We have always loved romance in our homes. It is a style that puts a value on the personal and the intimate. Today is no different in the basic impulses–welcoming homes that are filled with comfort and good cheer. But romance has taken a more refined turn: it has streamlined from past decades, just as our lives have.
Here are some of the latest trends and examples of designers who are setting the new direction in romantic design. We might say that we are trending more like the 18th century than the 19th in our romantic tastes. Simplicity blends perfectly with the desire to be surrounded by the things you love in good measure–like the prose in a Jane Austen novel.
Subtle Colors Spell Peace: Stark whites or bold brights are giving way to hues that are delicately blended, often with a stunning combination of rustic and sophisticated. Wall colors, according to the authors of Patina Style, are most effective when applied to surfaces that are not perfect. Painting textured surfaces is one of the dramatic touches they incorporate in their interior designs.
To form the background for the new romantics, you’ll want to remember that the vintage look is still very much alive, but just a touch subtler. Beautiful neutrals are the background of choice for the new romantics as in these dining room furniture collections from Hooker Furniture’s Harbour Pointe Collection.
Florals–A New Bouquet: Roses will never go out of style and the rose hues for the new romantics are the pale, pale pink and luxurious ivory. Hydrangeas are the flower of choice in many romantic interiors, especially dried ones that have an intriguing blend of color and texture. Picture a few blossoms in a trophy cup you picked up at a yard sale. Whatever may be your flower of choice, bouquets are more restrained; a single flower on a side table as in this elegant setting from the Melange Collection featuring the Kenmar pedestal table.
Fabric Choices: Annie Selke in her very useful book, Fresh American Spaces has lots of good information about romantic fabrics. To sum, she advises country fresh linens, parlor velvets in either solid colors or gentle patterns, and heavier textured material. For decorative accents, chose embroidery, beading, and exquisite handiwork–but in condiment amounts. Above all, stay true to your palette.
Embrace Vintage Elements: Romantics love the past and the glorious tradition of craftsmanship. So incorporating furnishings that honor this tradition are also welcome in the new romantic style. For example, Hooker Furniture’s Primrose Hill round coffee table in Wheatfield finish with its sturdy frame and it open-work apron. Such a statement piece can set the stage for a room or a home. Heritage architecture–an old window frame or a carved cornice–is a wonderful way to help a home make the gentle transition for the past to the present. Salvaged shutters can do wonders to make a modern interior more romantic.
Create Drama: Romantics are daring, and romantic decorating can also have that fabulous feature that sets it apart from the ordinary. Be on the hunt for that very special statement: Shining mirrors and gold touches like those in Sanctuary’s sparkling credenza, styled like those of the past with today’s special panache. It is a good example of today’s romantic direction–never predictable.
To Sum: Romance is in the air, but it’s a fresh breeze that makes home our place of peace and comfort like never before. Enjoy the freedom that decorating romantically gives you.