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Define a Theme: Contemporary, Cottage, Eclectic, Southwest

Different Design Themes on a Budget

Designing a new house can be difficult; especially if it is not your area of expertise. There are several things to consider before finalizing a design layout. In the process of design implementation, there will be many revisions and modifications before the desired outcome is achieved.

Professionals in this area – interior designers and architects – have studied different techniques that can be applied when designing a particular type of structure or area.

Select your architect and designer very carefully.  You are entrusting them to act on your behalf.  A good designer, for example, will spent time with you to determine your likes and dislikes.  Style, colours and textures all play a role in good design but are meaningless unless they are YOUR style, colour and design.

Your professionals can provide good advice concerning a particular theme or layout that you desire for your home.

Some of these design themes are:

  1. Contemporary. This particular design theme is characterized by its smooth, curved shapes and lines that were popular during the 20’s and 30’s. Contemporary styles are usually associated with a touch of sophistication: usually taking classical forms and reworking them to the point of minimalism and nearly absolute reduction. Doors of contemporary style reflect functionalism with the absence of applied ornamentation.
  2. Cottage Style. This design theme is known for its vintage look and casual, romantic feel. Technically, cottage style is not really a style because it is actually a type of place in which to live; but cottage furnishings have become popular resulting in the birth of the cottage style.

Cottage style furniture is often recycled, collected from family members or purchased at flea markets. As long as the effect is charming and comfortable, any furniture can fit the style. Cottage decors are usually pieces of furniture adapted from one use to another; for example, a bench may serve as a coffee table etc.

Floors are often wood and usually informal and imperfect. Windows should appear airy and light.

Instead of using heavy drapes, lace would be a good option for a cottage style window. The windows may even be left bare if privacy is not really needed.

  1. Modern Eclectic.  Eclectic style is a combination of items from a different variety of periods, styles and sources brought together through the use of colour, shape, texture and finish. This style has continued to increase its popularity because people maintain their freedom to choose depending on their taste.

In eclectic style, the palette of colours can vary, but staying with the more neutral tones is easier to tie all the elements together. When choosing furniture, take into account the finishes, materials and lines of the pieces being combined and look for ways to make them blend; whether it is with paint, fabric, or finish.

An eclectic look means that a multitude of fabrics that can be patterned or textured, or both. Start by using a neutral background, and then add coloured and textured solids to attain your chosen theme.

  1. Southwest Style. This style is popular throughout the United States, particularly in Arizona and New Mexico. Straight lines and square shapes define sturdy and primitively crafted elements of the style.

Abstract geometrical patterns are evident, as well as the influence of Native American patterns.  Terra cottar decorations, woven motifs, and leather furnishings are common elements of the southwest style. Door styles of this theme commonly use recessed panels with simple edge detail.

If you are looking for that southwestern motif, you might consider installing visas.  These are a typically southwestern design element and consist of open beams mounted on the ceiling.  They are split poles with the rounded edge exposed and are usually stained in a dark shade.  One step further and you can create flotillas.  This is the installation of small twigs tightly angled in a zigzag pattern between the visas giving the impression of the antique ceiling materials used in olden times.

Some of these themes may sound a bit expensive, but there are always alternatives that used to minimize the expenses, yet still have the same effect.

Following the cottage style will not create a budget concern; as most of the elements of a cottage theme are recycled or used items – if not home-made. For the others, you just use your creativity and imagination to create the same sophisticated look without the high price.

Furniture, fabrics and other decorations can be purchased from certain shops that feature less expensive items. Check for ongoing sales and promotions in your neighbourhood for good products at a bargain price. There are also flea markets, second-hand stores, garage sales and other bargain shops that you can explore to find bargains for your home.

The real key is that you should have a creative mind and wild imagination when trying to stay within your budget.


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