Top Notch Interior Design Styles

Through the years, many looks have come and gone in home interior design. The amount of styles are limitless and people like to mix and match trends so as to customize their look to fit their individuality. Yet there are some hot trends that keep popping up and staying with our modern community.

The main hot interior design style is the French Neo-classical. It is a look that blends the style of old money together with Hollywood regency. The style focuses on restraint in addition to muted finishes and architectural delineation. Another style we’re not able to get away from is the Shanghai Modern. It is a Chinese modern style. It includes the classic figure of Asian furnishings along with fretwork patterns, koi as well as foo dogs, utilizing them as a sort of pop art.

Another hot trend is known as the Enchanted Forest. As the label describes, it is a more whimsical look and is obviously not for everybody. This particular look is quite tongue in cheek, using wood grain designs, antlers and antler accessories, trophy mount eads as well as gnome-like creatures through the home.

A big look that will generally remain a classic will be the Americana look. This look takes objects from pre-Revolutionary periods and utilizes them in the modern house. This is the broader array of interior design, overlaying furnishings from the 1770’s throughout the 20th century. The principal focus is on red, white, and blue.

These are just some of the popular trends that people continue to see incorporated into dwelling spaces as well as businesses. But by no means are these the only ways to decorate your house. The range is extensive and only restricted by your imagination

Interior Decorating Styles – Part Three – The 18th to Mid 19th Century

Knowing your preferred decorating style is the best way to approach a decorating project from a point of knowledge. The information will help you to tackle your own decorating project or to speak confidently to a decorator or designer when communicating your vision for your space. In part three we will look at a few of the decorative styles contributed by the 18th Century and begin the Mid 19th Century. This five part series on interior decorating styles will give you an overview of contributions offered to the decorating industry.

In the 18th century two styles of architecture and decoration dominated the first half of the century. The first style was Palladianism. Palladianism was derived from the writings and engravings of the 16th century Italian architect, Andrea Palladio. This particular style was characterized by bold, austere, and large architectural elements such as Venetian windows. Venetian windows were used a great deal by Palladio. This particular window is arched with two lower rectangular openings on each side.

During the 18th century, floors were often bare with sisal matting or oriental carpets. The ceilings were coffered with plaster moldings. A coffered ceiling is a ceiling that consists of recessed panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon and is usually trimmed with ornamental motifs. This type of ceiling actually dates back as far as the 6th century as both a decorative element and as a means of lightening the load of a heavy marble or stone ceiling. Back then you would only see a coffered ceiling in the homes of the very rich, but today, coffered ceilings are available to everyone and can even be purchased in kits. It is a popular look in libraries. The walls were paneled and painted with a flat paint usually in grey or green or hand painted wall papers. The walls were meant to be the backdrop for paintings, prints, or engravings. The Palladianism style featured furniture made of solid or veneered walnut. Veneered furniture is actually very well made. The thin wood overlay is fragile in its natural state or by itself; because it’s generally only 1/64 inch thick, but when it’s properly glued to another surface it becomes part of that surface and has considerable strength. Special care must be taken when sanding because it is so thin you can sand right through it. But, the good news is that it doesn’t take much sanding to smooth it, because it is sliced with an extremely sharp knife. Palladianism style furniture typically consists of tripod tables, bureau bookcases, and upholstered chairs usually in a fabric that coordinates with the window treatment.

The second distinctive style of Early 18th century was Rococo. This style was lighter, exotic, and it seemed almost frivolous in appearance. Rococo was recognized because of the use of Rocaille, Chinoiserie (Oriental art and motifs), Turkish and Indian figures. Roacille is another word for Rococo which is the Italian word for style. It is the most opulent excessive version of the Louis XV form. It is characterized by exaggerated curves and extensive carving, sculpting, and ornamentation, most commonly including scrolls and seashells. Flowers, foliage and light scroll work was often used. A popular color for the walls was light yellow. However, the Rococo style was not very popular in America.

The Late 18th Century saw a predominant style called Neo-Classicism. It first emerged in the 1750’s in Europe. Neo-classicism was a reaction to the flamboyant and frivolous style of Rococo. Neo-Classicism reached the United States in the 1780s. Actually, in many respects it is a natural extension of early century Palladianism. Because the Rococo style never quite caught on in the United States, it was pretty much over looked and the next style, Neo-Classicism, went back to the Palladianism style for its inspiration. Now, Roman architecture was taking center stage again, but, unlike Palladianism, ancient Greek architecture was also included. Neo-Classical interiors were elegant and are well suited for traditional style homes. The Neo-Classical style had lightness to it and featured a great deal of linear decoration. The walls were mostly divided by a dado or a chair rail. Essentially, a dado divides a wall horizontally and is usually about 36 inches from the floor. Its purpose is to keep the backs of chairs from damaging the wall. The walls of a Neo-Classical styled space usually were covered with a flat paint or patterned wall paper. Furniture pieces used were embellished with painted swags of flowers, ornamental bows, and cupids, and other mythological scenes. Solid or veneered mahogany wood was typically used. The windows were treated with swaged and tailed drapes. The fabrics used for drapes were not heavy in weight such as tapestries and woolen velvets. Simpler fabrics were used. Neo-Classicism preferred light weight silks, printed cottons and sheers. These types of window treatments are popular in what we call Contemporary spaces.

During the 19th Century interior decoration was still basically Neo-Classical. The predominant styles that emerged during the early 19th century were the Empire and Regency styles. These styles were in celebration of Napoleon’s conquests which provided military motifs. The Empire style originated in France in the 1790s. The basic architectural style of the French palaces was Classical. Fixtures and furniture included laurel wreaths, medallions, and imperial eagles, swans, and lions. The Regency style drew inspiration from Greek ornament and incorporated elements of Chinoiserie. And, both of the styles saw an increase in the use of cut pile carpets. The ceilings were built lower and usually there was a medallion in the center where the chandelier hung. Flat paint was still used on the walls in addition to faux finish paint treatments becoming popular. Faux marble and woodgrained finishes were used on doors and other wood work. Fabrics in the Regency style were light weight silks and floral patterned chintzes. The chaise lounge became popular. Upholstered chairs, settees and sofas were very generously stuffed, and most times deep-buttoned or tufted. And a new development of permanent groupings of chairs and tables to facilitate conversation became more prevalent.

During the Mid 19th Century the color palette of interiors began to broaden and include more vibrant colors. What may seem over the top and excessive to us today was considered chic and sophisticated in the mid 19th century. As with most things, eventually the color palette and excessive interiors became less ostentatious. Also, an eclectic mix of decorative styles became fashionable.

We will explore more of the Eclectic style in part 4 of the interior decorating style series as we continue to talk about the Mid 19th Century and late 19th Century.

©Rena Bullard 2010

This article may be reprinted, in its entirety, with copyright information.

Useful Tips in Finding Luxury Hotels in San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas offers an ambience that can make visitors feel right at home. Whether you have come here to see the dazzling river walk, the Alamo or the historic missions, you are assured with so many great memories you can bring back home.

Although a bit expensive, if you have money to spare, it is good to try the luxury hotels at least once in your life. And if you do try, consider the luxury hotels of San Antonio. There are many good choices in San Antonio and some of them are suggested below.

First is the Hilton Palacio del Rio, a beautiful luxury hotel in San Antonio only two blocks away from the Alamo. The hotel has spacious rooms, offering terrific views and private balconies. Each room even features a king sized bed or two full beds with cable television. You will also have in-room movies and high-speed internet access.

There is also The Hyatt Regency San Antonio, a marvelous high-rise hotel. It is illustrious because of its built-in garden atrium. Amenities include laundry services, concierge services, a hair stylist, a babysitting facility and a business center. Its guest rooms have coffeemakers, cable televisions and broadband internet access, as well as a wet bar and a microwave oven. It also has an outdoor pool and an exercise facility with a Jacuzzi.

The Marriot Plaza San Antonio Hotel has uniquely decorated rooms and bungalows set on six acres of beautiful landscape. It made the hotel popular to tourists. Hotel guests can get the same benefits compared to a business center. The rooms are all spacious with a very relaxing ambience. The interiors are very warm and cozy.

There are also ATM machines, child care, a concierge and a gift shop. The hotel’s guest rooms have high-speed internet access; cable television and air-conditioning, along with free news paper every morning and a coffeemaker.

Choosing a luxury hotel though does not only depend on the facilities and amenities offered. It also depends on what you plan to do and what places you intend to visit in San Antonio. Book yourself in a hotel convenient to your plans.

Get a room at one of the finest hotels in northwest San Antonio, especially if Fiesta Texas and Sea World Theme Park are both only minutes away.

Enjoy the luxury accommodations right along the downtown River Walk where shops and restaurants abound. In fact, you will find a multitude of bars along the River Walk, promoting breezy Texas nights.

If you love shopping, consider booking accommodations near the historic Market Square along downtown San Antonio to see various local festivities. The Market Square has approximately 100 shops like a huge farmers’ market area.

Get more from your money when you book a room at one of the fine hotels near the San Antonio International Airport, merely 10 minutes away from downtown.

You can also try the famous King William Historic District south of downtown also. This is where the old Victorian homes have been rehabilitated into first class bed and breakfast facilities. The guests here love the unique Victorian ambience.

Affordable Luxurious Hotels in Monterey

Looking for an ideal vacation for your family and loved ones or planning for a business destination? Monterey in California, USA is the best for you. You can see how the land, sea and skies meet here. It has a variety of recreation and cultural activities. You can see a charm of small town in here. Monterey has been also famous for its abundant fishing but now focused in keeping different marine life.

The city has abundant sea inhabitants which include:
o Kelp seaweed forests
o Sea otters
o Sea lions

One of the largest aquariums of North America is located in Monterey. This largest aquarium is called the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Important marine science laboratories are hosted here. This city is within a federally- protected ocean area which includes the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. You can try diving and snorkeling in the waters of Monterey.

When you decide to visit the Monterey Peninsula, you can say that you are in for great treats with a variety of accommodation choices that you can avail. From luxury beds and breakfasts, to wider selection of accommodations for all kinds of travelers; these are all offered within your reach. This makes Monterey Peninsula a memorable place to explore or visit.

There are many luxury hotels available in Monterey just for you. Some of them are:
o Hyatt Regency Monterey
o Monterey Hilton Resort
o Seascape Resort Monterey Bay
o The Inn at Spanish Bay – Pebble Beach

These are just samples of Monterey hotels just for you. These hotels are luxurious and affordable, easy on your budget. These hotels offer luxury amenities like:
o sparkling pools
o golf club fairways
o T-Mobile wireless internet access
o grand beds
o electric interiors
o bigger television sizes
o video on- demand
o data port
o executive suite rooms
o well decorated wood furnishing
o one room has separated living room and bedroom
o wine program
o gourmet dining
o fire place
o kitchen in your room

There are also some luxury hotels that provides you with a mid- sized refrigerators which you can use to store your food and drinks. You can also request for a microwave for you to cook or preheat your food.

There are more that these hotels offer. They also offer great room sizes for your business needs like seminars or conventions. These rooms have complete facilities. Some of these hotels even offer secretarial services needed by business people. You can have complete usage of the available gadgets like printer, photocopy machine, and many more.

You surely have a great hotel experience in these luxurious hotels. After experiencing all the amenities that these hotels can offer, you can now experience the outdoor activities in this marvelous place.

As mentioned earlier, there are abundant sea inhabitants in Monterey. You can try checking out and explore these things while you are on your vacation on Monterey. Enjoy exploring the sea creatures that the city has. Since it is one of the largest aquariums, you can see the sea creatures that are found only in this city. You can experience a thrilling dive with some of their wildest sea creatures.

There are also nice golf courses for travelers who are golf lovers. Cool structural designs for houses and hotels, clean environment, abundant sea life and fresh air. All of these you can get in the city of Monterey. Aside from this, travelers can also visit their museums with lots of historically architectural structures.

Traveling is not that expensive. You can get great discounts from these luxurious hotels and experience all the things. Never forget the greatest attraction of Monterey – the sea and the aquarium. Dive in and enjoy.