Kamis, 29 Oktober 2015

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Traditional Elegances

This is a style that offers an elegant, refined and luxurious way of living suited to town or country

interiors traditional elegances style

Traditional Elegance harks back to the 18th century and the golden age of craftsmanship and design in Britain. During that period interiors were designed as frameworks for social events, and this style is still best suited to principal rooms. Proportions are important. If your home has large windows, high ceilings, and original features, this style is for you. 

Often, the fireplace is the focal point of a room: a white marble Adam type surround, with steel fender and grate, is still one of the most elegant styles to be found. A mirror or family portrait hangs above the fireplace, which can be filled with a flower arrangement. 

Walls should be kept in pale background colours: blue, lemon, green or grey. Various painting techniques are well suited to this style, in particular ragging, dragging and marbling. Papers that echo these techniques are widely available. Alternatively, hang a paper with a discreet ‘regency’ stripe or tiny print, or one of the oriental style designs known as ‘chinoiserie’.

Windows are given a formal treatment: swags and tails or other elaborate headings, fringed or frilled curtains with heavy cord and tassel tiebacks.
Fabrics Large, often stylized florals or stripes are usual for curtains or loose covers; damasks or brocades serve for upholstery as well as curtains.

Floors can be polished wood with large, traditionally –patterned rugs. These days fitted carpets in discreet background colours are more common.

Lighting, too, is unobtrusive: wall lights, chandeliers in the main rooms, and ceramic table lamps with pleated silk or chintz lampshades all suit this style. On dining tables and sideboards silver candelabra lend atmosphere. Traditional elegance is exactly as it sounds a sophisticated look which is perfectly suitable for town or country life.

Bedroom – pretty relaxing
Large floral design frilled curtains have a single swag secured and either end with a bow. The mix of antiques and easy furniture makes this room ideal for relaxing as well as sleeping.

Drawing room – muted elegance
An elegant yet comfortably informal drawing room in pale, muted tones is lifted by the use of a vibrant blue. The large floral arrangement that fills the Adam style fireplace when not in use and the symmetrically hung picture son either side are typical of this style. It is apparent, too, in the pretty window treatment with its interesting but unfussy pelmet and choice of furniture that includes comfortable armchairs and sofas with antiques or good reproduction pieces.

Bathroom – formal and light
The pale geometric patterned wallpaper and roller blind fabrics, coupled with the very stylized window treatment, give this luxurious bathroom a rather formal air. The bath panels have been marbleized to tie in with the real marble splash back and surround. Edwardian taps and modern brass accessories work well with the pale marble, adding to the air of Traditional Elegance. 

Hallway – discreetly striped
This classic cream and gold treatment of all and stairway shows how well the style adapts to a small town house. Discreet striped wallpaper is often associated with the Regency period and certainly suits this hall with its huge flower arrangement on the console and ornate git framed mirror above. Careful attention has been paid to detail the marble effect of the floor tiles has been extended to the skirting, with the colours repeated in the dado rail.
Sitting room – classical warmth
The somewhat imposing proportions of this room are lessened by the use of warm apricot tones throughout. Brown and apricot patterned curtains have a traditional swag and tail heading and the relief design on the painted fire surround is picked out in crisp white. A collection of family portraits is hung over the fireplace in classic style and prized ornaments displayed along the mantelpiece. Task lighting is provided by elegant table lamps. The furniture arrangement of comfortable sofa and armchairs forming two sides of a square and focusing on the fireplace makes the seating area the centrepiece of the room ideal for easy conversation.
The room most likely to be decorated in a traditional manner is the dining room, as furnishing and accessories here are often inherited pieces. It tends, too, to be the most formal room in the house, less used by children and more for evening entertaining, and therefore allowing the display of china and glass either on a sideboard or in display cabinets.

This is not a cluttered style. Choose pieces whose design harks back to the 18th century, the ‘golden age’ of fine craftsmanship in Britain. Jasperware by Wedgwood with its classical relief work, elegantly shaped china, and silver candelabra and tableware all suit this traditional style. 

The 18th century is the one to follow for furniture that is both traditional and elegant. The dining chair with Prince of Wales feathers is in Hepplewhite style, while the lower, square backed chair is characteristic of Sheraton. Above all, furniture should be distinctive, as is this sofa table with brass handles and ormolu mounts.

Brass reproduction light fittings are most suitable, though they don’t give the atmospheric light of real candles. For living rooms and bedrooms choose porcelain lamp bases in classical shapes and add a pleated silk shade. Plenty of cushions, in stripes or large floral designs, coordinate with other soft furnishings.

Fabrics and wallcoverings
Use damasks for upholstery and curtains or a large scale floral design especially if you want to make the most of large window area. Chinoiserie for both walls and fabrics has been popular since tea arrived in England, and striped ‘regency’ wallpaper and fabric is very suitable for the traditional elegance of this look.
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