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john disque journalistRising with the Daily Sun
A daily column by John Disque


Good Morning East Tennessee!

Did you know that your home says more about you than you might think?

There are basically 7 different styles of decor: Traditional, Colonial, Victorian, Art Deco, Country, Craftsman, and Modern.

Traditional is: that home filled with beautiful antiques, thick drapes, wall paper, button-tufted furniture and usually highlighted with dark wood and hardwood floors.

Colonial is: the period from the 1600s to the 1800s. The key is: old style simplicity with European influenced practicality. Handmade quilts, baskets and the houses themselves show the personal touches and the lack of mass production.

Victorian is: named after Queen Victoria of England. The style is elaborate, flamboyant, excessive and expensive with hand-carved furniture, huge porches and silk drapes setting the stage. The houses themselves tend to have windows that would seem more at home on a church. The style is meant to captivate, impress and convey wealth.

Art Deco is: the hardest style to explain. Cheerful colors, cleanliness, lack of clutter, conversation and furniture pieces that are actual functioning pieces of art. Elegant statues, vibrant paintings, and original paint schemes are the keys.

The difference with today's art deco and tomorrow's is: expense. If the furniture, lighting and everything else was actually designed and made by a true artist and not copied and mass-produced by a furniture dealer you can almost guarantee lifelong value.

Country is: American charm at its best. The houses and the furniture reflect a "new found pride." Country style is about as American as you can get.

If you go with this style you should keep in mind that the pieces you choose should tell some kind of story of the American past. Examples: cast iron pots and pans, hand-spun ceramics, seamless glass, war decor, and exposed brick. Plastic anything is a big "no no."

Craftsman is: the style that followed the Victorian style. Arts and crafts is the key. The emphasis is on practicality, comfort ,and affordable homeliness that shifts a visitor back to the early 1900s.

As the American population grew, more and more people were distancing themselves from England and the queen. They wanted to get as far away as they could get, and it reflects in the chosen simplicity of the furniture. At the same time they wanted a country they could be proud of and brag about. Their solution was to surround themselves in 100% all American everything.

Modern is: today's fashions combined with elegance and spaciousness. The key to the modern style is "no clutter." There should be nothing that isn't functional and necessary.

While your furniture won't hold much of a conversation the very space of the room will.

Another key to this style is "vibrant colors" and top-quality paint schemes with very crisp lines. Exposed brick, collections, paneling and wallpaper are gigantic mistakes and will not mix.

Although there's many subcategories and other styles, these are the most popular.

Over the past 20 years my style has slowly evolved. While I started my adult years loving the art deco style I soon learned that most of it goes out of style too quickly. What is beautiful and elegant today is soon semi-laughed-at; sort of like a bean bag chair.

As I got older I went to the country style and pictured my life and home as a soft-lit getaway. "A peaceful haven and the perfect place to sit in my recliner and read a book. A library of conversation pieces and collections designed to grow old in comfort." Books, paintings, dark wood, and antique bottle collections set the stage."

Today I've returned to the "art deco-style" combined with the "modern-style."

The problem with "old" is that you can accumulate too much clutter which tended to make me feel old. You also find yourself shopping at yard sales and buying things you already have. Then you spend half your life dusting it and keeping your pets from using the legs as their new hambone.

One day I realized it was too cluttered. Although it was comfortable, I wasn't old yet nor was I ready to grow old so I got up and gave it all away.

I've always been an "art lover," and today as I go about planning exactly what I want I'm very careful on what I choose. Patience and true art are the keys. "Good enough" is not good enough. It has to be perfect. It has to be original art, and it has to look clean and elegant while maintaining its artistic value. It can't be cheap, and there has to be a decreased risk that it will be out of style tomorrow.

Do they still make beanbag chairs?

Have a great day!

Published January 24, 2011

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