Designer Lauren Oviatt gives us a “show and tell.”
With great local boutiques and online access to thousands of furniture, accessory and bedding resources, these days it seems overwhelming to design your own tasteful, personalized spaces – there are just too many options! The problem is not that we can’t finding things we love, it’s that when we start combining those things… we can end up with something a little off, a little too, je ne sais quoi, eclectic?
Here is a list of the most current styles right now. With a few resources and tips to get you started, you’ll be able to identify your style and suddenly, your rooms and spaces will become pulled together and cohesive.
Transitional seems to be the “in” word these days in the design world. Simply, transitional is a twist on classic traditional design. In this style you’ll see the use of very traditional and enduring furniture in tables, hutches, and accent pieces. The transitional twist is to pair these pieces with upholstered furniture that is covered in lighter-colored (mostly neutral) and more current fabrics. In this style we see the use of color in bold strokes, either by throwing dramatic toss pillows on a neutral sofa or using a patterned upholstered headboard that pops against an otherwise all white bedroom. To finish things off, transitional spaces use current accessories, such as mirrored furniture, metallic accents, glass objects, things that are eye-catching and spark conversation.
As much as we don’t like to admit, Utahns have a reputation for being a little slower to trend and more hesitant toward change. Many Utah homes are the same way! There is still a very strong trend toward what I call “Mountain Traditional”, a style that combines cabin living with high traditional design. Here we’ll see darker wood-stained furniture, heavy casegood pieces (casegood is design-speak for “tables, dressers, chests, hutches, etc., wood furniture), rich and heavy fabrics on sofas, drapery, rugs and bedding that is often deep colors of red, gold, sage, and other warm dark tones. You’ll often see the use of accessories and details like tasteful antlers or fur, antique leather books, worn brass lamps and fixtures that finish off the style.
Alongside Transitional, Coastal style is very big right now. “Coastal” is the new “cottage.” Most of the country lives too far from the coast to have authentic beach-homes, however, we’re seeing elements of this style used all over the country! This style is simply categorized with the use of lighter color palettes. Whitewashed or muted painted cabinets or casegoods, heavy white millwork in baseboards and crown molding, and the use of light wall colors are key identifiers. Instead of heavy fabrics, Coastal style lends itself to natural fibers and softer, washed fabrics… think jute rugs, linen upholstery, sheer gauze-like drapery, and overall less formality in design. The trick to staying away from too “romantic” or “cottage-y” of a space is to choose your furniture and upholstery with cleaner lines and shapes in mind. Cut out the fussy and ornate carvings, too much appliqué, and other overly feminine details.
For those who love the feel of loft-living or more industrial spaces, Contemporary is your style. This design style is categorized by the use of concrete floors or countertops and other hard surfaces, metal accents in furniture and accessories, abstract pattern in fabrics, and overall more bold design choices. Contemporary can be difficult because many people think anything goes – and that is certainly a misconception! Be careful to choose pieces that are still complimentary of one another.
Those who love contemporary are drawn toward more minimalistic design and furniture that has strong square lines and dramatic features. Color wise we see both the use of very strong bold hues working together or very little color at all – the key is in the shapes and the feel evoked as a whole.
The European style is probably the most enduring style of all. Think of very traditional elements using antiques in furniture, accessories and art. Fabrics that coincide with this style are classically paired, various layers of texture and color in large-scale florals and toiles combined with smaller-scaled checks and gingham patterns. Pastoral or floral artwork and wallpaper are used often in this style. Look for rich use of color in true primary tones like cherry red, royal blue, and colonial yellow. Tables, chairs and other wood pieces are typically finished in a medium stain or painted in historically muted tones.
Lauren has always had a love for interior and landscape design, floral décor, and all things beautiful! Having lived in the South and also on the west coast before settling in Utah, her design instinct is to combine traditional elements and furniture with updated style and current color palettes. She is constantly looking for ways to infuse glamour into her projects while bringing a fresh perspective and an eye for tasteful, classic design. Lauren has degrees in both Public Relations and Interior Design and worked in wedding/event planning before transitioning to residential and hospitality design.
Oviatt – Pratt is a full-service design firm in business for over 25 years, specializing in high-end residential and commercial design. The scope of their projects ranges from simple home renovations to large-scale construction projects where design is implemented from the first wall color choice to the final finishing touches. With direct access to over 50 upholstery, accessory and furniture lines, Oviatt-Pratt’s designers are able to provide each client with pieces that are particular to his or her taste and style. Their showroom is open to the public Monday through Friday.
Lauren Stimpson Oviatt
Oviatt-Pratt & Associates
Interiors & Design