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Furniture Needs to Balance Home's Style

October 21, 1990

Q: We are purchasing a Spanish-style home and wonder if we might use contemporary furniture. If we used traditional, what style would be appropriate? We do not want "Mediterranean."

A: In most residential interiors today, the approach is eclectic rather than period. So a combination of modern designs with period reproductions would be appropriate. Keep in mind that the scale and degree of formality must be compatible.

With scale in mind, the reproduction furnishings need not be Mediterranean, but do need to be in balance with the weight of the Spanish architecture. That could certainly include Tudor or Georgian periods from England or rural Louis XIII or XIV from France.

Some Scandinavian and Dutch furniture from the same time frame would have the proper weight and scale and be appropriate as well. The thinner, more refined designs from later periods, no matter what their country of origin, would be less desirable.

The other connective link to combine these various periods successfully, besides scale and degree of formality, is color. Color cannot camouflage poorly selected, disparate pieces, but can complete the marriage between the appropriately combined stylistic periods and the architectural environment.


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