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How to Find Your Style

Perhaps you’ve poured over magazines and social media seeking design inspiration and are now feeling overwhelmed by the choice available. Never fear; we’re here to help.

As we always say, our homes should be a true reflection of who we are and surrounding ourselves with things we love is sure to make us happy. The most characterful homes blend different styles rather than sticking rigidly to one but it’s helpful to be able to identify the core elements of key design aesthetics. That way you’re able to draw on what you like to create your own unique style. Here’s our list of the 6 styles to be aware of and (as we’re obsessed with curtains and blinds) the best options for windows in each case.

1. Traditional

Traditional interiors are timeless, drawing inspiration from 18th & 19th Century England and France. Dark wood predominates, symmetry is important and the ambience is calm, comfortable and ordered. Colour palettes tend to be neutral with pops of colour provided by paintings, cushions and accessories. Rich, sumptuous fabrics such as silks and velvets are key with popular patterns such as florals, plaids and stripes mixed with plains.

Owners of traditionally designed homes go to town with their windows, combining Roman blinds with full, often interlined curtains for maximum flexibility and opulence. A goblet or triple pleat heading ensures curtains make a real statement.

2. Contemporary

Often described as the opposite of traditional, contemporary design (not to be confused with modern - more of that later) is probably the hardest to define. Contemporary means of the moment and so this is a style that is constantly shifting and evolving. In general terms, a contemporary interior will be sleeker and simpler than a traditional one. There will be less emphasis on ornate detailing and embellishment. Furniture will have clean lines to create a more open and airy feel. Metal and glass may be used widely to bounce light around a room and textured fabrics such as linens and velvets will add depth and interest.

A contemporary interior may also feature a combination of Roman blinds and curtains at windows but headings will be chosen to provide a look that is sleek and understated. Our pencil or double pleat are perfect for contemporary interiors.

3. Industrial

Historians trace the origins of this design style back to the end of the Second Industrial Revolution in Western Europe when factories closed down and a population increase led to the vacant spaces being repurposed as living accommodation. However, industrial style really took off at the end of the 20th Century, becoming an iconic feature of Hollywood films such as Fatal Attraction (1987) and Ghost (1990). And it’s remained popular ever since.

This style celebrates the raw and the mechanical. Exposed brick walls, bulbs, pipes and beams take centre stage. Concrete and wood floors will always be favoured over carpet, while warmth and ‘softness’ is provided through a mix of textures. Windows are often left unadorned but where privacy or a filtering of light is needed, a simple roller blind or unlined curtains with an eyelet heading are the perfect solution.

4. Mid-century modern

Sometimes simply referred to as ‘modern’, this style is heavily influenced by design from the late 1940s through to the early 1970s. This was when the world of design started to break free from the constraints imposed by the Second World War and move towards a more modern era. Cult furniture such as the Eames Lounger, Wishbone Chair and Artichoke Lamp were designed during this period and are still coveted today. If anything, mid-century design has become even more popular in the last ten years.

A mid-century home will be open, airy and-fuss free. Furniture, often made from rich woods such as teak and rosewood will have exposed legs and arms to maximise the sense of space. Accent colours such as mustard yellow and avocado add interest to a muted, earthy palette and pattern is used judiciously. A connection between indoors and outside is encouraged so windows are simply dressed. Our wave or cartridge headings work well here.

5. Scandinavian

As the name implies, Scandinavian or ‘Scandi’ style takes its cue from those Northern European countries that are so influenced by nature and often inclement weather. This is one of the easiest decorating styles to recognise and emulate; light, airy and organic with pale walls and equally pale floors. Colours are very understated if not completely absent and the focus is on functionalism and simplicity. Natural shapes and materials abound, large mirrors reflect the light and cosy, neutral fabrics inject just the right degree of ‘hygge’.

Scandi style has many parallels with mid-century style, particularly in terms of form, function and a connection with nature. The owner of a Scandi home is likely to be a house plant obsessive! As for windows, well curtains are not big in Scandinavia where the emphasis is on letting in as much natural daylight as possible. A roller blind may be all that’s required but if windows need softening a little, opt for curtains with a simple wave heading and hang on a wide pole or track. This way, when open, curtains lay against the walls rather than window and don’t block the light. The windows will appear larger too.

6. Bohemian

Finally, in this canter through our pick of design styles comes the bohemian or ‘boho’ look. This is a very expressive and carefree aesthetic that takes inspiration from all corners of the globe. Layering is key and maximalism is fully embraced. The owner of boho home is unlikely to worry about matching. Instead, their homes will be a riot of colour, texture and pattern; relaxed and full of personality.

Boho living spaces feature low-lying furniture (the more low-lying, the better), scatter cushions, rugs and pouffs. Sofas and chairs will have a lived-in look even if they’re brand new, indoor plants will be scattered everywhere and treasured antiques from far-flung bazaars will sit alongside flea market finds. Many of the elements that make up a boho interior are likely to have an interesting backstory.

When it comes to windows, go wild and be as bold as you dare. Dramatic silks or velvets with a triple pleat heading will provide oodles of volume and curtains that pool on the floor will add to the sense of carefree abandon!