In a previous post we talked about the warm-and-fuzzy aspects of Old World design. And those are rich and emotive and important. But this design is also fairly particular when it comes to architectural elements and furnishings — things that obviously must be in place before accents can be considered. But in some ways you need to think ahead to the ambiance you’re creating, so we need to think about all of it, to get the big picture in our heads and be able to plan effectively to create this kind of elegant yet comforting design.
Juxtaposed Lines in Old World Design
If you asked if Old World design included round or square shapes, rough or delicate lines, the answer would seem perplexing: Yes. At the same time, we’d have to say that the design definitely favors more masculine elements. Like the variety of patterns and textures, the surprising yet harmonious mixture of rough, thick ceiling beams with arched windows and doorways supports the design well. Masculine elements like stone hearths, fireplaces, and walls of built-in shelving carved from darkly stained wood enhance the look. These surfaces beg for time-honored classic novels, carefully chosen antiques, and maybe an old world globe. Walls beg for texture that comes from hand-trawled designs, and hardware for fixtures should have the look of antiques but can be as simple or ornate as you prefer; they should look aged but not old; rich, but not flashy.
Suitable Furnishings for Old World Design
Remembering the large means and stone hearth, consider the furnishings that would complement such a style. If you’re thinking large, dark, and comfortable, you’re definitely headed in the right direction. Perhaps a distressed leather sofa with nail head accents could be paired with a dark, rough, all-wood coffee table. Everything you choose should feel like an old friend — comfortable and real. Organic materials, like leather and wood, evoke a sense of home and warmth, and the darker the color, the better. But the appearance and feel of wear are ideal, too.
Ideal Flooring for Old World Design
You’re probably not surprised that there’s really only one flooring option ideal for pulling off an Old World ambiance: hardwood flooring. Perfect for the job, J Gibson McIlvain hand scraped flooring utilizes hand-tooled expertise to create the look and feel of timeworn wood that can stand up to the heavy Old World furnishings — and life, in general. Alternatives include machine scraped flooring, both of which also include varying degrees of distressing. The addition of an accent color can help pull together your Old World design in a unique but understated way.
Old World design is definitely one that’s bound to remain a favorite for lovers-of-home in years to come. With time-honored elements like hardwood flooring and leather furnishings, you’ll be sure your new-yet-old look will stand the test of time.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods. As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House and Capitol building. Contact a sales representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling toll free (800) 638-9100.
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