Theme Decorating: Chic or Cheesy?

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Theme Decorating: Chic or Cheesy?

Staff Writer · Nov 3, 2010

Theme decorating, when used with respect to a specific decorating style, can be a chic way to furnish your apartment. However, theme decorating can result in some chintzy results if the person doing the decorating does not possess an understanding of some of the basic decorating styles.

Surveying the Styles

If you want to decorate with a theme in mind, it’s advised you stick with a specific style. Some of the main styles include contemporary, retro, traditional, and art deco styling. Understanding a little bit about each of these themes will provide you with informaton that you can use in developing an apartment decor that looks chic rather than cheesy.

A Contemporary Theme

To lend a practical and stylish look to your apartment, choose a contemporary theme. A contemporary decor includes the use of clean lines and ergonomically comfortable furnishings. Choose a vivid color, such as bright blue or red or two contrasting colors with neutral tones, such as tan or cream, for your rugs and furnishings. Select leather furnishings and metal tables made with tempered glass. Light colored woods and Scandinavian-styled designs work well in this type of decor. To maintain the theme, decorate with only a couple of well-placed accessories.

A Retro Look

A retro theme looks great in many apartments because of its ultra mod styling. The theme plays tribute to the decor of the 50s, 60s and 70s and makes use of steel furnishings and “space-age” designs. You can also throw in a shag rug and  bean bag chair for good measure. Make use of super mod styles of furniture. Choose sofas and chairs in camel, white, brown or black. Use chrome or brass floor lamps for a totally retro effect.

A Traditional Theme

Of course, when it comes to decorating, you really can’t go wrong with a traditional theme. Choose from reproductions of Chippendale and Queen Anne furnishings and upholstered chairs in fine fabrics, such as velvet, damask or silk. Colors are understated and typically include shades or tints in green, blue, gray, cream, tan or white. Manufactured in mahogany or cherry woods, traditional furniture is denoted by soft curves and straight lines.

An Art Deco Theme

Go back to this modern theme of the 20s and 30s when the art deco style first caught hold. The style captures the modernity of that long-ago time by combining glass, steel and leather furnishings for an ultra-sophisticated, chic style. Pick from “moderne” sofas of the period in brown velvet or black leather sofas made of ebony wood frames. Enjoy French art deco petite bridge chairs, which can always be fitted into an apartment, or period club chairs made of soft saddle leather in brown and trimmed  painstakingly by hand with nails made of nickel. Add lights and furnishings made of aluminum and chrome to complement this understated yet stylish look of the 20s and 30s.

As you can see, a theme, when chosen with regard to a specific decorating style, can be a chic way to decorate an apartment. Keep the mentioned themes in mind. Each one is a good choice for decorating any apartment home without the risk of making it look cheesy.

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