April 2015 archive

Decorating Styles Defined {Part 1}

For those of us that enjoy decorating, one of the most common questions that is asked is, “What is your decorating style?”  This can be a difficult question to answer, especially if you aren’t sure of the definition of the various decorating styles!  Now, I truly believe that decorating styles are individual and can be mixed and matched {or even made up for that matter!}; however, I still think it’s important to know the basic decorating styles in order to use them as a basis, or starting point, for your own, individualized style.  So let’s take a look at some of the most common styles.

TIDBITS&TWINE - Decorating Styles Defined Part 1: What is Traditional, Contemporary, and Transitional




A traditional style of decorating is defined by classic, timeless pieces.  The furnishing will be intricate but not fussy, so think turned legs, carved details, and lots of millwork.  The wood tones are typically darker and the metal finishes lean toward warmer, such as gold, brass, and copper.  Furniture and decor choices tend to lean toward things that emphasize curves, so you won’t see a lot of clean, straight lines in a traditional room.

{Traditional Living Room via Houzz}

{Traditional Living Room via Houzz}


Another tell for traditional stye?  Predictability and symmetry!  Traditional style of decorating uses a lot of formal, conversational furniture groupings and items placed in a very symmetrical manner, whether it’s two wingback chairs flanking a sofa or a pair of candle holders evenly placed on a mantle.

{Traditional Fireplace and Millwork via Chambers & Chambers Architects}

{Traditional Fireplace and Millwork via Chambers & Chambers Architects}


While neutrals are a favorite in traditional style of decorating, so are rich colors and patterns, but they tend to be dramatics, as opposed to bold.

{Traditional Colors and Seating Arrangement via Ann Lowengart Interiors}

{Traditional Colors and Seating Arrangement via Ann Lowengart Interiors}




Technically, a contemporary design style reflects what is popular “now”, meaning that it represents whatever styles, colors, etc. are currently trending.  But in general, a contemporary style is one where less is more.  Spaces tend to be more open and cleaner, where accessories aren’t collected, but intentional.  Straight lines are king in contemporary design, but they are often broken up just a bit with round, geometric shapes just for a bit of contrast.

{A contemporary kitchen via Charlie & Co. Design}

{A contemporary kitchen via Charlie & Co. Design}


In terms of colors, think sleek and sophisticated.  Neutrals and monochromatic colors schemes dominate, as do cooler, shiny finishes like chrome, steel, and glass.


While Contemporary and Modern styles are often used interchangeably because they are similar, they are actually a bit different.  Contemporary design takes it cue from Modern, but then doesn’t hesitate to break the rules to reflect whatever is current, whereas Modern is a bit more strict with its style based on historical, iconic design.



Think of Transitional design as a happy marriage between Traditional and Contemporary.  It’s basically the familiarity and comfort of Traditional, but an updated version that is a bit more streamlined and simple and…well, contemporary!  Transitional furniture pieces are often a mix of curving and linear so that they maintain a sense of comfort but have a sleeker overall look to them.  The same sofa could live on both a Traditional and Transitional room, but in the Traditional, it will likely have a skirt, whereas in the Transitional, it won’t and will instead feature clean lines at the base!

{Transitional Living Room via Susan Hoffman Interior Designs}

{Transitional Living Room via Susan Hoffman Interior Designs}


In Transitional design, forget the heavier fabrics and rich colors of Traditional and opt for a quieter, simpler look.  While the prints and patterns might be the same between the Traditional and Transitional, a Transitional room will eschew lots of colors and opt for tone-on-tone.  You might also find a classic print that has been revamped for a more current feel.


Colors tend to stay within the neutral palette and patterns are present, but minimal.  Transitional spaces are kept from feeling boring with their use of texture, though.  Fabrics, accents and other decor are elegant and “warm” but simple in design.



Up next in Decorating Style Define: Part 2

  • Eclectic
  • Hollywood Regency
  • French Country



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18 White Kitchens {That Are Anything But Boring}

I’ll admit that there was a time that I thought an all white kitchen was BORING!  After all, where’s the interest?  Where’s the color?  Well, here are 18 kitchens that prove white is anything but plain!  In fact, white kitchens can allow you to do three very important things:

1.  Create the illusion of a bigger, brighter space

2.  Play up design elements

3.  Add pops of color


TIDBITS&TWINE - 18 Gorgeous White Kitchens That Are Anything But Boring


Bigger & Brighter

If your kitchen is full of windows and basking in sunlight, then creating the sense of a light and bright space might not be as important.  But for many of us, our kitchens have limited sunlight, or as in my case, low ceilings that make the space seem smaller.  White kitchens really do open up the space and allow what natural light there is to bounce around the room, making it seem bigger and brighter.

White Kitchen with rustic pendants

{via Veranda}

White Kitchen with glass cabinets

{via Veranda}



Design Elements

White kitchens allow your choices in design elements to really take center stage.  In this case, design elements can refer to the textures of material choices, metallic finishes, lighting, appliances, decorative decor…basically, all of the little extras that go into a kitchen design.  When the backdrop is white, it’s remarkable how much these elements pop!

Annie Brahler Kitchen

{design by Annie Brahler}


Pops of Color

The word color has different meanings to different people.  Some people think of color as something vibrant and bright!  To others, color can simply be a contrast between what is being used, even if everything is neutral.  Regardless of how you define color, a white backdrop can make even the smallest of color variation stand out!  And if you ever tire of your white kitchen, you can make simple updates {such as painting the walls or ceiling, changing out the chairs or light fixtures, adding rugs, etc.}  that will have a dramatic impact on the overall look, giving you lots of flexibility in the future.

White Kitchen with Calacatta Gold Marble Counter

{Calacatta Gold Marble Counter via Traditional Home}

White Kitchen with dark center table

{via Veranda}




I’m not planning a kitchen makeover anytime in the near future, but if I did, I would definitely opt for white cabinets and backsplash, with a white marble counter, which would make my dark kitchen seem bigger and show off my vintage bread board and scale collection a bit more.  The downside, of course, is that a white counter won’t hide food debris and crumbs like my current kitchen, but that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make.


Would you consider a white kitchen for your remodel or next house?


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21 Fabulous Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite French Vintage finds to help give you some shopping ideas.  {Or perhaps to give you some ideas for your Wish List!}

Some of these items I already own and love {so I think you will, too!}, and others I’m hoping to get someday {hint, hint, Hubby!}.  But what I love about this list is that the pieces are very versatile and practical, so they’re sure to get a lot of use.


Boxwood Wreaths

Preserved boxwood is one of my favorite ways to add a pop of color with organic texture.  I have wreaths and topiaries all over my house, but my favorite are these 6″ mini boxwood wreaths!  I’ve used them at the base of candles, on the backs of chairs, draped over lamp shades, and even in wooden herb nesting crates.



Oh-So-Cute Apron

Who wants to cover up a nice outfit with a plain apron when you could have a beautiful, feminine and fun one like this Sadie Mae Style apron?  I love the mix of patterns, the splash of aqua, and that gorgeous sweetheart neckline.


Vintage Creamware Platter Set

Plain serving pieces make entertaining so easy since they coordinate with everything.  Plus, they allow your food to take center stage!  These set is an eclectic mix of sizes and shapes but that all work together for a cohesive look.  I like to mount my serving platters on the wall so that they are decorative when not in use, but don’t take up any cabinet space!

TIDBITS & TWINE Dining Room 15


Personlized Pretties

Every mom loves items that have that extra special, personal touch, so items like personalized phone cases and stationary are great gifts!  This personalized date sign from Emma & the Bean is another great way to remind Mom of the special dates that made her who she is!


Lavender Soap

Lavender soap seems so luxurious and calming – just what a busy mom needs, right?!  The cube soap is great for decorative use and the hand soap is practical whether used in a kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom.  Home & Body Company’s French Lavender is one of my all-time favorites and I usually find it at HomeGoods or TJMaxx for $5.99!




Which of these items is on your Wish List?


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