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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Classic Home Style

Classic home style is one of the most difficult (and potentially expensive) styles to achieve in home decor as it relies on creating a formal, symmetrical, elegant room using quality decoration, furniture and accessories. This style draws quite a bit of inspiration from history and it is not the history of the poor farm or factory worker but that of the landed gentry and industrial leaders of the day. Hence the expense.

Classic style is, of course, more easily achieved in large rooms with high ceilings with lend themselves to fine furniture and architectural details. Here are some elements to take into consideration in achieving this style.

Quality Counts

In a classic style, the quality of every element is important. Furniture will generally be heavy and made of wood and may be intricately carved. Curtains and window valances should be in a formal style and heavy fabric and other soft furnishings should be in luxurious fabrics such as silk or heavy cotton damask. Solid wood flooring with expensive oriental area rugs will help achieve the classic look at floor level.


If you have some genuine antique furniture then this will lift your room and help your classic look. If it is battered looking get it restored to its former glory.


Classic rooms are normally symmetrical in arrangement so you might have a hall table with two matching lamps, a bed with two matching bedside tables and a living room with two chairs, one on either side of the fireplace! You can of course have different non-matching elements in a room but it is important that they are all in proportion to each other. So you would not have a giant slouchy sofa to go with two upright formal fireside chairs for example.

Architectural Details

If your home is lacking in these you can buy architectural features in plaster or wood to add around door and window frames. Add deep skirting boards around the edges of the floor and cornicing to the ceiling as well as a central decorative plaster rose for your light fitting. If your doors are plain replace them with panelled doors or add faux panelling to the existing doors with wood strips before repainting the doors.

Classic Colors

Classic paint colors are generally subdued in nature. You will not find brilliant white or bright blue in this style of room. Each shade needs to be dulled down a little. Look for paints in genuine heritage colors for a period look.

Dramatic Windows

Classic homes generally had tall windows emphasizing the height of the room. Make yours seem taller by placing a valance or cornice slightly above the usual position hiding the actual top of the window from view. Swags and tails will help provide a grand look.

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