Monday, December 23, 2013

Decorate With Old World Charm

A stone wall has old world charm.

If you prefer the timeworn and classic to the glossy and mass-produced, the eclectic to the perfectly matched, consider decorating with old world charm. This aesthetic transcends a single style and instead encompasses several decorating themes, among them French country, farmhouse, Victorian, Japanese Wabi-Sabi, Moroccan, Spanish hacienda, Tuscan, shabby chic and primitive. Give any room an old world theme with heirlooms, hand-crafted pieces and flea market finds, or invest more time and money in rustic design elements. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Integrate classic architectural elements. An unpolished, unpainted stone wall with a stone fireplace has dramatic presence. Recreate the look more simply with stone facing, pebble tile or a line of stones on the mantle. Exposed wooden posts, wooden ceiling beams and stucco walls evoke a French chateau or Italian villa. Red tiles on the roof or awnings radiate Spanish hacienda style. Wide plank wooden floors in a natural or distressed finish have a pared-down Wabi-Sabi aesthetic.

2. Finish your interiors with rustic beauty in mind. Keep natural materials unpainted and unpolished, or add a layer of clear varnish for protection. To subtly brighten surfaces without masking hues and textures, apply a thin coat of antique whitewash or milk paint in a cream tone. Faux finishes such as sponge painting, rag rolling and crackle glazes make interiors feel vintage. For a moody, bohemian effect, paint a wall a dark color and then add another dark color on top. After the paint dries, gently sand away to reveal different layers and thicknesses of paint.

3. Furnish your home with solid pieces that have artisan touches. An overstuffed couch may feature embroidered upholstery or a vintage throw across its back. Wooden furniture may have details such as wood joinery, hammered tin panels, wrought iron hardware, oxidized metal or tile insets. In the bedroom, a wrought iron bed frame and a headboard with scrolls set the tone. In the bath, set a wooden milking stool next to a clawfoot tub.

4. Accessorize with vintage pieces, antiques, ethnic motifs and heirlooms. Oriental rugs in deep jewel tones may cover floors, while lighter, vintage cotton or lace may dress windows. Display favorite dishes on open shelving or in a china hutch. Fill earthenware pottery or painted tile dishes with fresh fruit or loaves of bread.

5. Hang artwork in elaborately carved wooden frames. An oil painting of a landscape may adorn the wall above your mantle, while portrait paintings line your hallways. For a less formal touch, hang botanical prints, vintage tin signs or framed pieces of vintage or international fabric such as toile.

Tags: dark color, Spanish hacienda, stone wall, with stone, world charm