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Style Defined: Juxtaposition


It’s not modern, rustic or traditional – but don’t call this look shabby or
coastal!

Interior decorator Lauren Oviatt of Oviatt Design breaks down the style of
the popular California showroom: Juxtaposition Home.


So you know your design sensibilities aren’t modern, they’re not rustic or
traditional, they’re not shabby chic or coastal either. Maybe you’re a
collector who loves to display your treasures and layer pieces in your home.
Maybe you aren’t so into color but love unusual objects and worn-in
leather furniture. We’ve just pinpointed your style and we’d say it has a bit
to do with juxtaposition!

The style realized in Juxtaposition Home to me is a mix of eclectic style,
antique collectibles and textural, natural fabrics. A lot like Restoration
Hardware’s current product offering and style but with a world-traveled
almost ‘steampunk/ industrial’ mixed in. You may fit this category if you
are drawn to the following five ideas.

1. You are an eclectic collector.
This style relates to collecting things and pieces that are out of the
ordinary. Black and white sketches of insects, antique metal letters or
signage, mottled glass bottles or jars that are a hundred years old, an
assortment of non-functioning industrial machine parts or tools, or even
weathered clock faces. The only thing that unifies this style to me is how
unusual the collections are. And they’re ALL on display. No closets or attics
here!

2. You’re more into texture than color.
The look of the rooms featured in the store as well as any interior spaces
that have been featured in design publications are all basically colorless.
There is high contrast in light and dark fabrics and more emphasis placed
on the architectural features of the space, (exposed ductwork or barn wood
floors) and the collections that people who love this style connect with so
well. The fabrics you do see are worn leathers, sack cloth, Belgian linens
and heavy duck cotton with vintage washes and faded patterns.

3. In describing your collections you’d say: my new things look old,
and old things look really old.

This particular style is all about PATINA. Patina is the clear bronze color
that appears on a doorknob or faucet after years of use, the green that
develops on an old penny, the bubbles behind your mercury glass
collection. Patina gives things character and interest – turns everyday
collections into conversation pieces.

4. You can’t pass an antique store without going inside.
Maybe it all started with your grandmothers vanity collection of a silver
hand mirror and a bristled brush, or possibly you inherited an old set of
leather-bound encyclopedias… those who love the ‘juxtaposition’ style are
obsessed with things of the past. Something about things that tell a story
resonates with you. They are continually on the lookout to further grow
their collections – and usually it’s for sentimental reasons.

5. You love the color black!
One of the most prevalent nuances in the ‘juxtaposition style’ is the
constant use of the color black. It is the frame on art pieces and old
documents, it is the old rub on the metal letters you collect, it is the
ironwork on a vintage lamp or light fixture, it is an old steam trunk that
functions as a coffee table. As I mentioned before, this palette here is high
contrast and is usually characterized chalk white (colorless) walls and black
painted furniture pieces or metal shelving. It enhances the old, industrial
chic look that defines this style.

*A Final Word:
To keep your home from looking like a cabinet of natural curiosities or an
attic of old collections that would frighten your kids at night, follow this
advise: use fresh greenery wherever you have the chance. Live plants or
cut flowers, even if only green, give a life and livelihood to your spaces that
keep these spaces feeling current and cobweb-free. It will not put a kink in
your ‘juxtaposed’ style. Also, try to incorporate mirrors or reflective
accessories to encourage the movement of natural light and always, always
use sconces, lamps and overhead incandescent lighting to warm up the
space.

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