There are a wide range of styles to choose from when decorating your living spaces. One of the qualities most of us recognize immediately is the “traditional” style – the one that is “homey”, inviting and comfortable. We all tend to seek elements of this style when we want to relax, slow down and recharge ourselves. The qualities of this style of furnishing and decorating tend to be softer colors, softer lines, gentle curves and subdued lighting. These all combine to sooth the senses and create that inviting, relaxing atmosphere.
By staying away from extreme colors and choosing softer colors that tend to blend together without large contrasts, starkness is avoided. Although you do not want to create a boring color scheme, choosing colors of the same color family and close to each other on the color wheel maintains this soft blending. The objective is to make all the items meld together smoothly, but not all necessarily the identical color. The latter would defeat our purpose and create a stark monotone which would not be conducive to a relaxed atmosphere.
Lighting is the next area that can affect the atmosphere you are trying to create. Harsh and bright light fixtures that cast strong, sharp light are not conducive to our comfortable environment. Instead, use subdued lighting for the room in general. Subdued lighting can be augmented with specific task lighting where brighter lighting is needed, such as for reading. Subdued lighting can also be achieved through the use of lamp shades, for artificial lighting, and shears or light weight curtains to diffuse and tame natural sunlight and reduce it’s harshness.
Flooring also contributes to the warmth or harshness of the room. A carpet is always warmer and softer than a hard surface flooring material. But any floor, carpeted or not, can benefit from an area rug. As long as the coloring compliments and blends with the rest of the room, a good quality, luxurious rug can contribute substantially to the warmth of a room.
And, when creating an inviting, relaxing room there is of course nothing more inviting that a comfortable, inviting place to sit or curl up in. Since the rooms furniture is usually the most intimate element of the decor – the parts of the room that we touch and feel – these are the items that should be chosen most carefully. A really comfortable chair or couch can truly wash away tensions and stresses from anyone’s day!
So no matter what style your home predominately offers, creating a warm traditional style is really only a matter of collecting a hand full of these key elements together and avoiding harsh or stark colors, shapes and lighting.