If you’re a lover of interior design, you will know that the wealth of styles we know and enjoy today, are from Europe. Each nation from the continent has its own unique takes on various styles, but only a few countries truly have their own interior design style. In the UK, you will find the classic cottage, regal Georgian era buildings and the traditional powerhouse of Victorian style.
In France, you will find a deep affection for baroque, French-gothic and southern France villas. In Italy, you will fall in love with Catholic-Rococo, Renaissance Baroque and of course, neoclassical Roman style. Scandinavia is probably where the modern origins of minimalism sprouted as their classic cabin styles are famous around the world for being basic, neutral and spacious. So what about, America? Yes, although you may not know it, this nation also has it’s unique style.
Putting your finger on it
Don’t worry if you have no clue what the American interior design style is. It’s incredibly new, as the colonial-style dominated for such a long time. It emerged in the late 80s and early 90s. You can describe it as ‘universality’. It’s not so much focus on design, as it is comfort, space and coziness. A mixture of materials will be used. There is a liking for wood but this is a style that is the most open to smashing old protocols and using new materials wherever possible.
The kitchen, for example, can be made purely out of wood, but you can and should use newer materials like fiberglass. The island can be made out of American walnut, but the countertop can be made from polished vinyl or faux marble. Unlike other islands, you can also have classic leg supports underneath the counter. They won’t be in the traditional dark earth tones of Europe, but more so like a beach house, with a lighter shade of autumn brown.
The living room and kitchen should be in the open floor plan. America is the birthplace of this concept, which has pretty much taken over the country. Everyone wants an open floor plan because there is so much more space. However, there are no physical or style boundaries, as the living room is more or less styled in an eclectic manner. Sofa colors don’t have to be matched in sofa pillows. You can have a classic lamp on the corner table beside you, standing on a bright green area rug. Have you put your finger on it yet?
The nation of the patio
There are many nations in Europe that have claimed to have created the best patio styles. The amazing Italian patio styles with orange, red and pastel yellow dominating the patio made of clay and stone, is simply iconic. Southern France has a more beige and yellow style, a little lighter and delicate. America, on the other hand, mixes summer and winter together. You can expect double-hung windows that offer protection, strength and incredible flexibility. You will want these as replacement windows for your current styles, as they are superior in design, using the Mortise and Tenon structure rather than the weaker and less visually attractive vinyl weld. You have in effect two windows in one, whereby you can change the level of visibility you want into the home and air circulation.
The patio can have both wicker and traditional leather seating. Remember, you are trying to mix two seasons of an opposite nature. Put the leather or fabric seating closer to the home, preferably underneath a patio awning so you have protection from the rain. Then place the natural-toned wicker seating out in the sun, closer to the garden. For your patio, you can have either sandstone rough paving, or neater and darker flagstone tiles. The tiles will provide a smoother surface but if you want something that’s more down to earth and rugged, the sandstone paving is better. American patios have such a brilliant blend of comfort and style. The best bit is, you have almost total freedom over decor choice as there is no definitive look.
Bedroom of the traveler
Let’s not forget, America has not come too far from its traveler past. And, you can see this in the way the classic American bedroom is styled. There is a mixture of rough linens and wool, while also incorporating modern materials like polyester and nylon. There is one thing for sure, the area rug has to be given precedence in the bedroom. American weather is either very hot or very cold in most states. This fluctuates from night and day, so you need to have a rough cotton area rug which is typically in a neutral color such as grey or white. Your bed must be standing half underneath it while the other half is splayed out beyond the foot of the bed.
This provides you enough room to place a storage chest behind the lower board. Storage chests are from Europe, but they have mostly disappeared from the contemporary European styles. America is keeping this quaint item alive. A black buckle around your varnished brown storage chest would be so classical.
Open to artwork
Unlike other styles, the American interior is inherently welcoming to artwork being hung on the walls. Go to New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago or Washington D.C. and, you will find the attitude to paintings and sketches in the home is the same. Americans love to hang artwork in their homes, as more of a statement of their interests than anything else. Other styles use ornaments, figurines, sculptures and carvings but the American style does not so much.
Thankfully, the American home is open to all sorts of artwork so take your pick, be creative and hang something up in your living room and yes, even in your kitchen.
Not many people know it, but yes America does have its own unique interior style. Not everything you see has a purely European origin in the contemporary American home. Be more eclectic, mix earth tones along with brighter neutral tones. Mix your patio with winter and summer furniture.