Romantic style is a flexible decor that may draw on Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Colonial and English country heritage. The style mixes the substantial and ornate with the down-home, but is careful to avoid clutter. Its comfortable and traditional ambiance evokes Old and New England, calm grace and farmhouse coziness.
Ivory-colored linen curtains, casting a mosaic pattern in shadow across the breakfast table, might soften the early morning light. The scent of last night's fire is still in the air. Objects and details, essential elements of Romantic Country style, make each room a cozy refuge. This style appears as a collection of heirlooms gathered over the years and glowing with the patina of history.
n the guest room an antique porcelain washbasin sits on an embroidered lace runner. Hand-hooked rugs add color and casual texture to the dark oak floors. A Victorian sideboard stacked with blue and white china adds interest to the dining room, while a tiny inlaid box rests on the mantle. These quietly beautiful things help build the mood of a Romantic room.
Antique quilts add charm and personality, sometimes found on beds, sometimes hung as wall coverings. An ottoman, upholstered with a green and red Tartan plaid, sits invitingly near the fireplace. Hand-embroidered pillows casually tossed on the couch add color and whimsy with favorite sayings like, 'Bless this Mess' and 'Home Sweet Home'.
Elements of Style:
Walls: The walls play a supportive role in creating the romantic country feeling. It is the objects, the pictures, fabrics and furniture that add character to this style of design. In creating a background for the many wonderful objects, the walls are often treated with the soft colors created by color washing. This adds dimension to the romantic room, without making a design statement. Wallpaper, wallpaper borders, and stencils can also create the proper feeling to the Romantic Country room. Create a background texture using wallpaper, or interesting details through stenciling and wallpaper borders. This will add energy, and can often act as a perfect tie-in to the eclectic objects and furniture.
Floors: Dark oak floors come to mind when speaking of Romantic Country style. Muted Persian or floral rugs are popular, adding a warm and richness to the space. Hooked or braided rugs are especially nice details found in hallways, the kitchen or in the bath areas.
Fabrics: Floral fabrics, thickly woven, add the necessary color to accent the room. Often velvet is used on a couch or perhaps a single chair, mixing up fabric textures to add to the rich variety of the environment. Lace curtains or table runners create the appropriate feeling of the Victorian era. The simplicity of linen, hung as curtains, would offset the colorful embroidered pillows, or the complex quilts or tapestry panels hung as wall hangings or casually thrown over the back of a chair.
Furniture: The furniture tends to be solid, often constructed from oak. They are substantial pieces, simple in design. Chippendale, Victorian, Queen Anne styles all are found in the Romantic Country home. On the porch a wicker rocking chair might rest. A painted dresser would add just enough charm to the living room.
Accessories: One can expect to find a collection of old China and silver, passed down through generations. Bric-a-brac, like antique games, odd kitchen implements or fireplace tools hung randomly add to the casual coziness. A cast iron wood stove would be alive through winter, and the passage of time counted out by a grandfather clock. Large andirons sit firmly in the hearth. Framed pictures and mirrors are common place, reminding us of who we are and where we’re coming from. Copper or cast iron pots impart the feelings of a well-used kitchen.
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