contemporary eclectic

What is my Style? - Part II

As promised, the second part of our series helping you to define your style (there will be a third part - if you want to start from the beginning, go to read Part I).

We continue our search today in defining styles so that you can have an idea of where you land on the spectrum. Let's dive right in!

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Contemporary: as its name indicates, it goes with the current trends and is constantly evolving. It can borrow from previous styles used as inspirations by designers from year to year - and also evolves around how society is evolving as well (an example being the open-planned kitchen and island that corresponds to the need of more counter space to prep: the traditional counter space being used up by coffee machines, micro-waves and so on).  Nowadays, contemporary interiors tend to be clean and unadorned, influenced by modern and Scandinavian styles for the most part. For the last few years, using more colors has become popular, making the distinction between contemporary and modern more clear.

 

Industrial: basically taking what was there JUST before the Modern style emerged but was not considered good enough to make its way into someone's home. The Industrial style items and furniture are inspired by the old 19th-century factories, with very raw materials, oversized elements and functional designs with no fuss, often associated with a dark color palette.

 

 

Hollywood Regency: also referred to as Hollywood Glam, it refers to the styles created by set designers for movies and TV in the 30's. Back then, movie plots often evolved around characters with incredible destinies, who often had a matching interior, full of luxurious and over-the-top, opulent details. Nowadays, this style is famous for its bold colors, Victorian looking ornaments, animal prints, velvety fabrics and extravagant chandeliers. This style is the perfect one to 'make a statement'. 

 

Transitional: for those who cannot choose between modern and traditional, transitional is the perfect blend between the two - hence its popularity. It can associate modern materials, like a glass coffee table to a flower-pattern upholstered sofa. The color palette tends to be rather neutral, to harmonize both styles together. 


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Eclectic: (often named contemporary eclectic) basically collects ideas from all styles to blend them into a truly unique interior design. The challenge here is to find a general thread that goes through the entire design to maintain a cohesive look.

 

 

 

Bohemian: style 'borrowed' from the fashion industry, bohemian interiors have no rule per se - regarding how the layout is organized or designed concept works or on how people within live. It often displays vintage furniture and light fixtures, all sorts of textiles from plaid to lace and can have a healthy dose of joyful clutter (the 'messy' look is part of the deal and contributes to the warm ambiance created). All colors are permitted, although it often evolves around brown tones.

 

Shabby chic: 'cousin' of the bohemian style, shabby chic tends to be more feminine and delicate and has more defined rules. Most items tend to be vintage (if not actual vintage, at least vintage-inspired with distressed looks) and the color palette goes towards the soft cream, white and light pink (pastels in general actually). Fabrics will also be more fluffy in general and lace will definitely be part of it.

 

Ethnic: also called Moroccan or African style, it refers to interiors with a strong vibe from another continent. With light materials and yet dark, earthy colors (browns, oranges) it often displays all sorts of items collected during trips, soft lighting fixtures made of clothes or distressed paper for a warm and cozy feel. 

 

 

This is the end of this post listing all the most common styles out there. We could obviously go into more details and list even more subcategories of styles but it would simply be too long (Art Deco, Zen that Aurélie likes very much, Mediterranean, etc). If you want further details on some other styles, please let us know!

Continue reading with the following blog post:

What is my style? - Part III

Brooklyn Apartment Transformation - Reportage

Brooklyn-apartment

A little blog post to give you more details about the story recently published on our home page

This young American couple living in this great apartment in Fort Greene came back to the US in October 2016, after 3 years spent in Zurich, Switzerland. Shortly after their move, they contacted us to help furnish their main living space and figure out how to make it look 'together'. 

The starting point

When they left for Europe, they knew their expat situation was going to be temporary so they did not purchase anything of value and did not bring much from Switzerland (apart from a few souvenirs here and there) so we were starting pretty much from scratch. The only things that we had to work with were:

  • The artworks inherited from a grandfather, finally in their possession after their few years abroad. 
  • A dining table purchased at Ikea and 2 wishbone chairs (the last two being inherited as well).
  • A black TV console (and flat screen TV).
  • Rugs purchased at Target.
  • A gray sofa they had already purchased and were waiting to be delivered.
  • 3 Empire lamps (mid-size).

The process

When we first met, the couple had already filled our style questionnaire so we already knew what their favorite colors were (purple and blue), whether they liked patterns (not really), how much color they wanted (pops of it here and there), how much accessories/furniture (a balanced amount) and what style they were attracted to (modern and contemporary). Our initial discussion went deeper into those questions, understanding how they were using the space so far, how they felt about the current layout and what was their biggest concern at this point (lighting in the evening as they had just 3 lamps, great for a traditional office space but not ideal for a living room).

After that initial meeting, we gave them 10 days to create and share a Pinterest board with us to see what aesthetic they were gravitating towards and understand better their preferences.  

Personal selection from the client (detail)

Personal selection from the client (detail)

After careful review of the items they had selected, it became clear to us they were gravitating towards airy elements, preferably with some sort of wires that got us immediately thinking about the American sculptor Alexander Calder. 

Examples of Calder's work.

Examples of Calder's work.

You can admire Calder's work at prestigious places such as the Guggenheim, the Tate Modern, MoMA etc - and his work is famous for being light, airy and whimsical at times. He was the inventor of the mobile structure as we know it today - a great mix between art and design. 

With that, we got started and shared with them the concept below.

Concept board submitted

Concept board submitted

Typically, we present this board in person to discuss but since the couple was traveling for the Thanksgiving break (and we wanted them to take advantage of the Black Friday sales), we recorded a little video to walk them through the concept... And they loved it! 

They picked the option 1 of the chair to match the wishbone chairs they already owned and we shared with them the full shopping list (after suggesting alternatives for the rug they were not fond of). 

The challenge

A few elements were from a vendor that has an average 4 to 6 weeks lead time for delivery, plus, the sofa they had ordered was being delayed every week. In other words, our client was on a roll to wait until March to get it all complete which was far too late.

The solution

We searched alternative options with vendors that would deliver quicker - the clients also searched on their end, providing options and asking what we thought would be best for their interior. After a few back and forth, we managed to update the entire shopping list with more acceptable delivery times - for the same price (sometimes even lower).

The result

Mid-January, everything had arrived, had been installed and they sent us pictures of their new space. As the last step in the process, we offered to go shopping for staging elements on their behalf and scheduled a last meeting to stage their interior and take pictures of the final result. Yay!

before-after-brooklyn-apartment
before-after-brooklyn-apartment
before-after-brooklyn-apartment

If you wish to view the full gallery, go here.

We want to warmly thank this lovely couple as it was such as great experience working with them and let us take pictures of their new interior. They also left us a stellar review which is always greatly appreciated!