As you become more familiar with these style definitions you’ll be able to more easily recognize the style of a structure, piece of furniture, accessory or room design – and start to understand how to blend various styles effectively.
Style Terminology F-Q
Federal: Highly popular from 1780 to 1830, this American furniture style reflects refined lines, tapered legs and contrasting veneers and inlays, much of which were influenced by Sheraton and Hepplewhite. Large storage pieces include brass pulls and feet.
French Empire: From the early 1800s this style is based on classic Greek and Roman design; motifs symbolize torches, eagles, empire wreaths, mythological figures, lions and the letter “N” (for “Napoleon”). Extensive decorations and ornamentation highlight walls and ceilings.
French Provincial/French Country: These rustic versions of formal French style (such as Louis XIV and Louis XV) were considered peasant furniture. Instead of heavy, formal upholstery, the chairs have caned backs and seats and the furniture exudes a handcrafted air and is left in its natural state. Colors used include Mediterranean blue, green, yellow and terra-cotta. Wire and wrought iron are used with natural stone and terra-cotta.
Garden: Floral print fabric, needlepoint pillows, framed botanical prints, painted wood furniture, fresh flowers, antique china and lace accents typify this style.
Georgian: Elaborately carved cabriole legs, ball-and-claw feet, broken pediments, ornate carvings, piercing and gilding earmark this style. Pale colors like cream, dusky rose, sage, pea green, powder blue were favored and often used in floral prints.
Jacobean: Recognized by its medieval look, dark finish and Italianate carvings, this style is named for King James I, England’s ruler in the early 1600s.
Lodge: Substantial rustic furnishings are created using natural materials such as leather, wool and wood.
Mediterranean: Known also as “Spanish Modern”, this style originated in Spain, Greece and Italy. Furniture ranges from simple and functional to very formal. Pieces tend to be short with ornate legs and feet and heavy, furnished hardware. Textured walls and bullnose edges on counterops and mantels.
Mid-Century Modernism: Popular from the 1030s to the 1970s, this style uses colorful plastics, vinyl, melamine and Formica (materials developed during this period) as well as plywood, wood veneer, fiberglass, steel, aluminum and wrought iron. Organic shapes, clean lines and bentwood plywood frames were used for furnishing. Lighting pieces included floating shapes and radiant arms of steeel, brass and alumimum as well as brightly colored lampshades.
Mission: This style represented the Amerian arts-and-crafts movement and features heavy dark-finished oak furniture with straight and simple rectangular lines. The Morris chair, the first reclining chair, was the most popular piece of mission furniture.
Modern: A clean, streamlined furniture style from the 1930s with roots in the German Bauhaus School of Design and modern Scandinavian design. Characterized by polished surfaces, sleek geometric shapes and asymmetry. Expansive, unadorned windows merge the interior design with the outside landscape.
Moroccan: Intricate patterns, colorful mosaics, metal lanterns, textured walls, gauzy fabric, jewel colors, Oriental rugs, piles of pillows in luxurious fabrics and ornately carved wooden accents define this style.
Neoclassical: Popular during the late 1700s, this elegant and simple design sports ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian motif themes.
Old World: The wear, tear and patina of usage is the signature of this design. Textured walls, natural materials and muted, subdued colors support the style. Distressed furniture and matte or honed finishes add to the feeling of age.
Portuguese: Large, heavy furnishings, carved ornamentation and bulbous turnings on bedposts and furniture legs are hallmarks of this style. The color strong contrast of dark wood with white or neutrals create the color scheme while gold-leaf accents and colorful, elaborate tile designs enhance the design’s formality.
Define Your Style
Have you seen your home decorating defined in the style terminology list yet? If not, look for it next week when the final decorating style terms are presented!