Art Deco Interior Design

There are countless interior design styles to inspire your home décor efforts, but some stand out above the rest. Art Deco is one such style. Though its roots trace back to a specific period, its long-lasting relevance has given it the unique ability to feel vintage, modern, and timeless all at once. Whatever home décor goals you have in mind, going behind the curtain on the history and concepts of Art Deco will help inspire your efforts.

Art Deco Interior Design

Art Deco is a decorative take on modernist style from the early twentieth century. One look at interiors designed in typical Art Deco style immediately brings the elegance of the 1920s and 1930s to mind. Art Deco, like the Mid-Century Modern movement that followed it, went beyond just interior design; it encompassed fashion, architecture, the auto industry, and more. Driven by an appreciation for the modern machines of the time, Art Deco emphasized sophistication in a nontraditional sense.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Nikada

 

Art Deco in Your Home

Art Deco can help to transform your home’s interior, but you don’t have to aim for a level of opulence Jay Gatsby would approve of to reap its rewards. The concepts found in modern adaptations of Art Deco can fit any budget, and the materials used to execute it are widely available.

Art Deco Concepts

Geometry is a cornerstone of Art Deco décor. You’ll often see spaces decorated in this style using geometric shapes like chevrons and sunbursts in parquet wood flooring and tilework. Rounded corners and smooth walls are principal architectural features. Mirrors are also central to an Art Deco aesthetic, helping to create symmetry without taking away from the rest of the room. Framed mirrors and mirror walls alike are popular features.

In the style of modern and minimalist decoration, Art Deco showcases a preference for uncluttered spaces with minimal furniture, letting the decorative elements shine. Optimal furniture pieces often come with mirrored and/or veneer façades, heavy lacquer, rounded edges, and circular designs. Go for bold colors when decorating, working from a neutral base. Silver and gold feel right at home in an Art Deco environment, as do alternative neutrals such as cream and beige.

 

Lilac color dining room in trendy art deco style with modern furniture, served table and chairs.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Peter_visual

 

Art Deco Materials

Common materials include veneer, stainless steel, and chrome. Frames for a gallery wall and tableside lamps are great uses for gold and steel, which are two signature Art Deco materials. Making smaller ornate décor choices such as intricately framed mirrors and accent lighting fixtures will help to create a regal atmosphere while staying within your budget. 

Visit our Design Styles page to learn more about common interior design styles and how you can incorporate them into your home:

Windermere – Interior Design Styles

 


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The Footing Needs of Different Equestrian Disciplines

Horses are athletes, and athletes need proper support when they train. Owning an equestrian property comes with a long list of responsibilities and maintenance tasks, but at the end of the day, the property exists to serve its horses. The following information is a short guide to understanding which materials are typically used in different equestrian disciplines so you can ensure your horses have the support they need to train their best.

The Footing Needs of Different Equestrian Disciplines

Jumping

To maximize your horses’ training, it’s pivotal that they feel traction when taking off, landing, accelerating, and making turns. Jumping footing needs to be soft enough to cushion landings but solid enough to support horses during takeoff. Materials commonly found in jumping footing include rubber, fibers, and sand. These durable materials fit the mold for what is a physically intense equestrian discipline.

Dressage

Having the proper dressage footing will help to prevent injury amongst your horses and improve their performance. If your surface is too hard, it can create instability when your horses land, which will increase strain on their ligaments and joints over time. If it’s too soft, your horses will have to work too hard to spring up from the ground, overexerting their muscles. Aim for footing that’s the right combination of soft-but-not-too-soft and durable. Sand and felt or sand and silica are typically used for dressage arenas.

Barrel Racing

Like other disciplines, the perfect footing for barrel racing is a combination of traction and cushion. With fast acceleration and explosiveness at every turn, horses competing in barrel racing need proper support for optimum performance. Many equestrian property owners will use mixtures of sand, clay, wax coating, and synthetic fibers to coat their barrel racing arenas, often two to four inches deep. Compacted stone dust is also a common choice for a base, which allows for proper water drainage.

Boarding

If your facility is a boarding facility, you may have several different disciplines being practiced in the same arena. If this is the case, you’ll want to go with a footing that can handle the variability while limiting dust and providing ample support. Footing blends comprised of angular sand plus short and long fibers will typically do the trick. As always, check that your footing is compatible with your local climate.

For more information on preparing your equestrian property and for answers to all your questions, connect with an Equestrian Advisor:

Windermere Equestrian Advisors

 


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: YinYang

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What is Gothic Revival Architecture?

If you’ve ever seen a home like the one in the photo above, certain words like “romantic” or “medieval” may have come to mind. The architectural style shown here is Gothic Revival, a unique branch of design that grew popular in the mid-19th century. Though it fell out of fashion shortly thereafter, this signature architectural style has left a lasting impression on home design.

What is Gothic Revival Architecture?

The most defining characteristics of Gothic Revival architecture are its pointed arches, steeply pitched roofs, intricate wooden trim, and its preference for vertical elements. As opposed to the horizontal nature of the rambler home style, Gothic Revival architecture reaches skyward. Gothic Revival also borrows elements of castles, such as towers with parapets and/or spires.

The architectural style eventually took on other variants. Victorian Gothic borrowed from elements of the Victorian era, and the North American adaptation Carpenter Gothic used a Gothic influence as the basis for a new style of home design popularized in the late 19th century.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: glasslanguage

 

A low angle shot of a three-story brick Gothic Revival home on a corner lot with a colorful garden. The corner of the house has a round tower with a pointed roof, calling back to rounded tower castles, with a rounded wrap-around porch underneath.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: fotoVoyager

 

Although Gothic Revival most naturally translated to larger buildings such as churches, mansions, prisons, and schools, the Gothic Carpenter style maintained many of the key characteristics that define the unique style with slight twists to accommodate for residential home life.

Beyond the vertical visuals, steep roofs, and arched doorways, residential gothic architecture also incorporated elements like board and batten wood siding, roof gables, ornate crown molding, and slim porch columns. Gothic-style homes are easily identifiable and much rarer than ubiquitous home styles such as craftsman, cottage, and mid-century modern.

To learn more about the different architectural styles, visit our Architectural Styles page.

 


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: akaplummer

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What is Row House Architecture?

Of all the alternatives to single-family detached homes that remain popular today, row houses may have the longest history. Some of the oldest and largest cities on the East Coast such as New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia still have row houses in great numbers. These iconic structures have served as the backdrop for some of America’s most beloved TV shows, including Full House and Cheers. Given their storied history and prime location, row houses represent the best of the past and the present in home design.

History of Row Houses

Since their beginning in the early 1600s, row houses have presented an economical solution to housing for home builders. They allowed builders to divide a plot of land into different living units that increased the number of tenants on the property. In the 19th and 20th century, the easy-to-build and inexpensive nature of the housing style fit the building demands of the era, and they proliferated throughout what are now some of the country’s most popular metropolitan areas.

Difference Between Townhouses and Row Houses

There are slight differences between townhouses and row houses. Row houses share a common façade along a street, whereas townhouses may be grouped throughout a development. Row houses have a consistent roofline and share a common wall, whereas townhouses may not adhere to the same uniformity of height and width.

Both types of housing may be governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA), which lays out guidelines for property upkeep and maintenance, enforces restrictions on making addition/remodels, and charges monthly fees that go toward the community’s shared spaces, property maintenance, and amenities.

One well known variety of row houses is the “brownstone.” As the name suggests, brownstones’ signature exterior is a mixture of sandstone that produces a dark brown color. Brownstones are commonly found in historic districts throughout New York City, such as Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Harlem.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Terraxplorer

 

Row Houses and the “Missing Middle”

Row houses, along with duplexes, courtyard apartments, and other similar housing types, were constructed in great numbers prior to World War II but are now far less commonly built. The term “Missing Middle” was first coined by Opticos, a team of urban designers and strategists who realized that this type of housing was largely missing in today’s market. In an episode of Monday with Matthew, Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner explained how these “missing middle” housing types can improve housing affordability:

“And the key function of this type of housing is to meet the rising demand for walkable neighborhoods, respond to changing demographics, and provide housing at different price points. You see, rather than focusing on the number of units in a structure—think high rise apartments or condominiums—this type of housing emphasizes scale and heights that are appropriate for and sympathetic to single-family or transitional neighborhoods.”

For more information on the various architectural housing styles, visit our Architectural Styles page.

 


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Contemporary Interior Design

Although there are certain fundamental principles to contemporary design, it is constantly evolving. While other interior design styles are often rooted in a specific period, contemporary design is set in the present. What’s popular now is what’s popular in contemporary design. Its ability to remain timeless is what gives contemporary design its greatest quality—it never goes out of style. Learn a bit more about contemporary design to find ways to incorporate it into your home.

What is contemporary interior design?

Contemporary style is characterized by clean lines, state-of-the-art materials, and a preference for openness over ornamentation. These tenets go hand in hand with the philosophies of modernism and minimalism, but contemporary design simply dips its toes in these other design styles without relying on them too heavily.

The aesthetic of modern construction lends itself well to contemporary design. Industrial spaces and open rooms with high ceilings and large windows help to deliver a magazine-quality contemporary look. But even if your home isn’t tailor-made for contemporary design, you can still curate it.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: vicnt

 

Contemporary Design in Your Home

The simplest way to incorporate contemporary design philosophy into your home is to let the natural architectural elements show. Let your exposed wooden beams and brick walls shine, decluttering the spaces around them to make them the focal point. This can make your spaces feel empty at first but remember; contemporary design is all about opening things up to effectively apply decorative details.

Choose modern furniture with clean lines and solid-colored fabrics. In the kitchen and bathroom, chrome and metallic surfaces will reinforce a contemporary aesthetic. When decorating, start with a neutral foundation (white, grey, and black) and add bold accent colors on top. The timeless appeal of a hardwood floor makes it a fitting choice for achieving contemporary style, while textured textiles in natural fabrics will help to liven up your spaces.

Stone, metal, and glass mix well in contemporary design, often combined in the selection of living room sets, decorative centerpieces, and kitchen/bathroom design. Large pieces of art, accent walls, and bold decorations help to broaden the color palette of contemporary spaces. You are free to choose bold, impactful hues from across the color spectrum in your decoration.

 

A living room area characterized by a neutral-colored contemporary interior design style. White walls host large neutral art in black frames. An off-white sectional couch with pewter heathered pillows and a grey blanket sit in the corner, with 2 wood and white marble round coffee tables. On the left is an angular seat with matching wood frame and cream-colored cushions. Above is a metal and dark glass light fixture. Open concept is implied with a black metal table in the back on the left against the wall, with metal lamps, glass reed infuser, and metal candle holders.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: AleksandraZlatkovic

 

The Differences Between Contemporary and Modern Design

Whereas contemporary design is centered on what is popular during the present, modern design is rooted in a specific time period. Modern design dates back to at least the early twentieth century, which evolved into mid-century modern during the 1950s.

Modern design typically has earthier colors and a general preference for wood, whereas saturated colors and metals/glass are more at home in contemporary design. Choosing modern design means you’re choosing to make decorative variations on a theme, whereas the theme of contemporary design is always changing, so you never know where it might lead.

Visit our Design Styles page to learn more about common interior design styles and how you can incorporate them into your home:

Windermere – Interior Design Styles

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What is Colonial Style Architecture?

With its grand stature and signature look, Colonial architecture hearkens back to the nascent days of British settlement on American soil. Since then, the classic home style has seen waves of renewed interest, giving rise to multiple variations on the colonial theme. Today, they remain a popular choice for homeowners throughout the Eastern and Southern United States.

History of Colonial Style Architecture

Like the Cape Cod home style, the roots of Colonial architecture took shape as European settlers made their way to American shores and began to develop their homesteads. A century later amid the country’s centennial celebrations, a new wave of interest in colonial homes took hold. This gave way to the Colonial Revival period, which saw architects and home builders molding the settlers’ early home designs into something more suited for the needs of modern life. Several variations were born during this time, including Georgian, Dutch, French, and others.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: korisbo

 

What is Colonial Style Architecture?

Colonial homes are easily identifiable, with symmetric and traditional exteriors that allow their signature characteristics to stand out. Their spacious interiors prioritize comfort, with common living areas and bedrooms typically located on different stories. Here are some common elements of colonial home design.

  • Symmetrical façades and windows with a central door
  • Shuttered windows for protection against the elements
  • Rectangular shape with either a central or double chimney
  • Built of brick, wood, or stone, depending on the region and era of construction
  • Pitched roofs with side gables
  • Front porch columns, typically framing the door
  • Grand entryways
  • Living spaces on ground floor, bedrooms located throughout second or third stories
  • Hardwood floors
  • Decorative moldings

To learn more about the various home styles from A-Frame to Victorian, head to our Architectural Styles page.

 


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: lillisphotography

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What is Mid-Century Modern Architecture?

The mid-century modern movement’s impact on design reaches far and wide. Whether it’s graphic design, architecture, interior design, product development or elsewhere, we see traces of its influence in countless aspects of everyday life today. Mid-century modern homes are known for their signature look and stylistic appeal. Here’s a short guide to understanding the characteristics behind mid-century modern architecture.

Mid-Century Modern Design

Yes, mid-century modern interior design and mid-century modern architecture are two separate things. The interior design style emphasizes clean lines and minimal decoration, the use of natural elements as accents, and a base of neutral colors for decorating. MCM interior design can exist in any type of home regardless of its architectural style, and is often a popular source of inspiration for decorators fond of vintage elements and popular mid-century furniture pieces such as credenzas, teak desks, Eames chairs, etc.

What is Mid-Century Modern Architecture?

Mid-century modern architecture is the exterior counterpart of its interior design branch. Fueled by a massive need for suburban homes throughout the Unites States in the post-World War II era, the stage was set for mid-century modern’s introduction to the masses. Some of the greatest minds in modern architectural history helped develop and proliferate its presence in society, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. Though you’ll find unique variations within mid-century modern, there are certain tenets of the architectural style.

  • Mid-century modern homes have flat roofs with straight lines. This clean geometric approach in roof design is part of a larger philosophical ideal that these homes should blend in with their outdoor environments, thereby working in harmony with nature.
  • Glass is used heavily, and floor-to-ceiling windows are a common feature, especially in the living room.
  • The minimalist approach to exterior design is showcased in the easy access to outdoor spaces and the fact that mid-century modern homes are often one-story buildings.
  • The open spaces created by this architectural style allow for intentional decorating and the use of color splashes to bring energy into them. Mid-century modern interiors often incorporate vibrant, warm colors on top of a calmer, neutral foundation.

 

For more information on home design, read our guide to industrial design:

What is Industrial Design?

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5 Ways to Incorporate Nature into Your Home

Home décor often focuses heavily on the latest and greatest trends. But even the most well decorated home can feel like it’s missing a natural element. Here are five simple ways you can incorporate nature into your home to make it feel more connected to the environment it inhabits.

5 Ways to Incorporate Nature into Your Home

1. Natural Light

Natural light has the power to breathe new life into your home. Place your furniture in your living room and/or dining room to make your get-togethers feel more connected to the outdoors and orient your workspace in your home office near a window to stay productive throughout the workday. By finding ways to let the sunshine in, your home will feel refreshed and lighter. Fortunately, this doesn’t require a heavy investment. Try sheer curtains or new blinds wherever your home’s large windows are. This will help to balance the light in the larger spaces around your home, so you don’t have to rely on artificial light sources.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: TomMerton

 

2. Hardwood Floors / Wood Accents

To truly feel a connection to nature throughout your home, you’ve got to work from the ground up. Making the switch to hardwood floors will significantly impact the look and feel of your home, given the large surface area of such a project. A job of this scale is likely to require the help of a professional, and you may have to find a temporary housing solution while the remodel is being carried out. But you don’t have to go to great lengths to incorporate wood into your home.

Wood accents can deliver much of the same feeling. Experiment with different combinations of driftwood, bamboo, sculptures, and signage throughout various rooms to keep your home thematically consistent.

 

A living room with hardwood floors and various wood accents.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Scovad

 

3. Organic Materials

Materials like stone, marble, and fabrics will not only help to incorporate nature into your home but will make it feel relaxing and cozy as well. A small collection of rocks or stone pebbles with trickling water in the bathroom work every time to evoke a natural tranquility. Stone or marble tile designs and/or backsplashes help to ground a space by providing an earthy foundation. Natural fibers like wool, cotton, and linen can be sprinkled throughout a home to deliver warmth and comfort while reinforcing a natural theme.

 

A modern bathroom with a marble backsplash.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: LumiNola

 

4. Decorating with Houseplants

Sometimes you don’t have to replicate nature to make your home feel more natural. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed the spaces feel by decorating with houseplants. However, there are certain rules you’ll want to follow when creating your own personal indoor ecosystem. Research the needs of each plant variety you’re interested in buying before making your final purchases. This will allow you to orient them appropriately throughout your home based on their sunlight needs. Plants that can survive with less sunlight are well suited for the darker corners of your home. If you’re not home often to tend to your plants, consider low maintenance varieties like succulents. Houseplants will add color to your home and improve the air quality while they’re at it. 

 

A man sprays water on the leaves of his houseplants.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: svetikd

 

5. Decorate with Earth Tones

All the aforementioned ways of incorporating nature into your home—natural light, wood accents, organic materials, houseplants—have a signature color palette. Once you’ve decided how these categories can fit into your home, you can decorate around them with complimentary colors.

Fortunately, you won’t be limited for choice. Earth tones run from darker, rich colors like brown and rust to lighter, vibrant colors like light green and sunlight yellow. The use of these colors can be carried out in your remaining accent pieces, such as towels, carpets, pillows, and more.

 

A living room decorated with earth tones.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: CreativaStudio

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Asian-Inspired Home Décor and Design

In the pursuit of designing a home just the way you envision, there are countless sources of inspiration to pull from. Asian-style interiors are known for their ability to bring a sense of calm into a space. This helps to create something everything homeowner can see the value in—a relaxing home environment. In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’ve compiled a short list of popular Asian-inspired home décor and design themes to consider incorporating into your home.

Asian-Inspired Home Décor and Design

Connection to Nature

One of the principal tenets of Asian design is a connection to nature. Using natural materials, a nature-influenced color palette, and houseplants in your home are all ways you can begin to create an interior that borrows from themes of Asian design. The bathroom is often a focal point for incorporating Asian-inspired natural materials. Using stone, wood, pebbles, and other materials will help your bathroom feel like it’s out in nature. Light stone tile in the shower will help to create the backdrop for a cascading water effect over smaller rocks and pebbles, while decorative wood elements can help tie the space together. These are just a few Asian-inspired design themes that can help take your bathroom to the next level.

Using natural colors will help to create a timeless aesthetic in your home. Whether your use of this color palette is exercised in large surfaces areas, such as wall paint, or in smaller accent pieces, such as complimentary décor items, natural colors will help deliver the serenity you’re looking to curate in your home. When decorating with indoor plants, organize them throughout your home based on their needs. For example, place plants that require more sunlight exposure in open areas and plants that have greater watering needs in easy-to-reach locations.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: t_kimura

 

Feng shui

Feng shui, a practice that has existed in Chinese culture for thousands of years, has been largely influential to Western home design. Feng shui was founded on the idea of balancing oneself with their environment. In the modern world, the practice of feng shui has evolved into a relationship between humans and the objects with which we share our living spaces. Feng shui can often have the greatest impact in the bedroom. If there’s something off about the orientation of your bed, it can be tough to get consistent, healthy sleep. A slight change in your bedroom’s feng shui may be just the adjustment you need to revitalize the space.

Minimalism

The connection between Japanese Zen philosophy and Western minimalism goes back centuries. Tenets of Zen culture such as simplicity, open space, and removing unnecessary features directly influenced America’s own minimalist design pursuits. Nowadays, minimalism in home design is most often exemplified in the way we arrange our spaces, in eco-friendly decoration, and through the use of clean geometric lines. This focus on the essential not only has aesthetic value, but can also have greater environmental benefits, such as reducing waste.

For more information on design inspiration from across the globe, learn more about the influence of Spanish architecture:

What is Spanish Style Architecture?

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What is Industrial Design?

Although primarily found in lofts, large apartments, commercial buildings, and other industrial spaces, you can easily borrow elements of industrial design when decorating your home. Born out of the Industrial Revolution, industrial’s unique style can create dynamic and visually striking interior spaces that feel clean, minimalist, and above all, modern.

What is Industrial Design?

The industrial style is based on the revolutionary concept of showcasing the building materials themselves as a design element. It creates an atmosphere akin to that of shipyards, places with reclaimed and repurposed materials, ports, etc. The common thread between all these places is openness. Industrial design prioritizes open spaces and a minimalist approach to filling the negative space. Whereas craftsman and cottage style homes were designed to evoke comfort, industrial design seeks to highlight architecture.  

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: vicnt

 

Industrial Design Elements

When you walk into an industrial space, you know it right away. The ceilings are higher than your typical single-family home. This stretches the scale and proportion of the space, which opens up new possibilities when decorating. Industrial spaces allow for vertical décor: ladders, vertically arranged gallery walls, and loft beds. A tenet of industrial design is the harnessing of natural light, so you’ll often see a preference for floor-to-ceiling windows. Features like weathered wood floors, bare ceilings, prevalent light bulbs, and structural beams help to tie industrial spaces together. These features are generally exposed, which helps the room from feeling too empty. Go-to materials for industrial décor include wood, aluminum, copper, steel, brick, and stone.

In modern and contemporary residential design, there has been a shift toward fusing elements of industrial design with other styles, such as mid-century modern or farmhouse, to create edgy yet comfortable living environments that look and feel sustainable. This is further proof that even if your home doesn’t have typical industrial features, you can blend in pieces of it to create something unique.

For more information on using modern design elements in your home, read out blog post on modern color design trends.

Colorful Modern Design Trends for Your Home

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