Contemporary furniture features strong lines, shapes and forms. Polished surfaces, functional fabrics and man-made materials are characteristics of contemporary decorating styles. Streamlined sofas, chairs and tables suggest energy and movement, making the contemporary style a good choice for those with active lifestyles. While contemporary color schemes are generally neutral, they can include accent pieces that provide pops of color. The contemporary style makes great use of light, both functionally and aesthetically, and lighting fixtures with sculptural qualities are popular choices for rooms decorated in contemporary styles.
French Provincial furniture is influenced by the ornate style of the French Court of the 1600s and 1700s, as interpreted by the period’s less affluent merchants and peasants. The scale, lines and proportions of the home furniture echo those of Louis XIV and Louis XV, but with a decidedly country feel. French Provincial furniture has a handcrafted look, with a heavy use of cane and wicker. White painted furniture also suits the French Provincial style. Strong blues and yellows are popular, as are more muted shades like terra cotta and rose. Home furniture stores may refer to this style as French Country.
The color palette for the English style includes strong, saturated colors like crimson, forest green and navy blue, as well as a heavy use of gold and golden yellow. Dark wood is favored over lighter woods like pine and oak, and the strong color palette helps balance the deep, rich tones of mahogany, walnut, and cherry. The scale of a large English manor is reflected in a modern use of the style with an oversized mirror, chandelier or floor-to-ceiling window treatment.
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