I’ve found the best way to deal with the stress of buying a house is to drink heavily. But I’m not exactly a heavyweight in that department, so I’ve found an alternative; interior decorating. Sure, I haven’t bought the place yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t jump the gun and plan for when “my” house becomes MY house. Let the dog and pony show begin!
Since the rowhouses on my block were built in the late 1800’s early 1900’s, I decided to have a look at decorating styles from that period. The Arts and Crafts movement was in full swing, and Art Nouveau was also popular. Why not use those styles to flesh out “my” pad? (Bonus: I really like those styles anyway….) I love the earthiness of wood and glass, how this style plays up geometric patterns and I’d especially like to throw in some of the ultra-feminine art of the period amongst all the wood and angles.
Since I tend to go a bit overboard when I’m on to something, I figured choosing paint colors that are similar to what people in the 1900’s were using on their walls could be a great idea. Hey, if the colors are horrible, I can always change my mind, right? Right. But my search so far has unearthed a few sites that have given me hope that I can keep true to the period and love the colors. Old House Colors has a 1917 color chart from Evercote House Paint, and the colors? Pretty sweet! The French Grey, Tan and Drab (what an unfortunate name for a color…) are very nice, and probably easily matched with today’s paint colors. I’m a huge fan of Behr, ever since I painted an old bedroom of mine brick red and bright orange; hey, it worked, trust me. Behr’s colors were exactly like the paint chips. Bonus? Unlike some of the specialty paints that market to folks wanting old-fashioned colors, I can pick these up at the Depot. So I’ll probably go with them, though Sherwin Williams has a nice Arts & Crafts section too.
Artwork-wise, I’m a huge fan of anything Mucha, so maybe a reprint of Princess Hyacinth or Summer would be nice in the kitchen. There are some cool Klimt reprints on canvas at Ikea, but would that be too Undergrad Dorm Chic? Dunno. Do love them though; I’m a sucker for mass appeal I guess. And I’ve got a real jones for a huge wall clock in the kitchen too. Y’know, one of those massive, 3′ wide round jobbies with roman numerals? Yeah, one of those. But since I have to buy a few appliances for “my” house, like a fridge and a washer/dryer, I’ll just keep these links around for the day I can actually shell out.
More info on how to “do” Arts and Crafts style:
Arts and Crafts Style Decorating by Melissa Galt, from ezine@rticles
Bend Bungalow’s site for furniture, pottery, tile and much more. The artwork and Tibetan rugs links are amazing!
Old House Colors — again, a great site to track down what colors folks were choosing the turn of last century. There’s also an article on how to find the original colors of your house; very cool!
Color Hunter’s “artsandcrafts” search: many, many different types of colors! Their “artnouveau” search is wonderful too; I plan on revisiting this site often for ideas.
Interior Design inspirations by Natienka — a great blog by a woman who has probably forgotten more about home decorating than I’ll ever learn. Her Harmonious color scheme – using a 19th century period palette? Is awesome. Yes please!
Artsparks.com’s Interior Color Schemes System which has pulled me out of my “just slap paint on it” mindset; now I’m all about coordinating colors.
Arts & Crafts Style Lighting, for when I win the lottery….
A drool-worthy picture listing of Arts and Crafts style furniture from Google to use as a wish list or for inspiration. The bookcase pics? Awesome!
And of course, what list of links would be complete without HGTV’s The Low-Down on Arts-and-Crafts Style?