Casual decorating is a style that treasures comfort and warmth over formality and perfection. It is marked by unassuming pieces, antiques and found items, and objects with soft edges and comfortable surfaces. It avoids perfect symmetry and precise order, choosing instead to invoke a room with unique character and personality.
Elements of casual decorating can be found in a number of more stylistic
approaches such as rustic, American country, cottage, shabby chic, primitive, and French country. These are all laid back, informal styles that allow you to create visually engaging spaces that are still informal and relaxing.
The most common colors for walls in a casual space are going to be subdued tones such as soft grays, off whites, tans, and beige tones. Avoid dramatic colors such as deep reds, blacks, pure white and lush purples. Instead use bright, unassuming colors to contrast your space, hues such as rust, olive, and a variety of pastels will work best. You don’t want to overwhelm the space with color, but rather should strive to create a sense of harmony and balance.
Your furnishings should feature soft surfaces and rounded lines. Couches, chairs, and loveseats should be over sized for stretched out lounging. You don’t have to worry too much about matching styles as the overall sense of the space should be casual. Furnishings should also be lightly adorned, with texture substituting for color and design.
Casual furniture is generally more horizontal than vertical, stretching out through a space rather than towering up above individuals in an intimidating way. A larger surface means that you have more room for decoration and use, and tables should be oversized with expansive surfaces for display.
Personality is a key element of casual decorating. By putting a piece of yourself into a room you can make it feel more vulnerable and inviting, which will tend to draw people in. Items such as family photos, knick knacks, and sentimental pieces can all lend the space a sense of character and charm.
When arranging furnishings you should try to eliminate harsh angles within a room. Couches and tables can be fitted into corners, or placed diagonally to cut off these severe features. Shelves can also be fitted into the nooks of the room to fill recessed spaces with decorative visual beauty.
Whimsy is a great way to make a space feel more comfortable and casual. Pieces of strange playful décor, novelty lamps, coffee tables with reclaimed bases, pictures with funny sayings and statues of silly creatures can all help to take the edge off of your home and open it up to a grinning crowd.
Windows can be dealt with in a number of ways, and are usually given several layers of decorative treatments in order to give you full functionality over a space. Usually the first layer consists of blinds or shutters to keep the light and prying eyes out. This can be followed by cloth hangings or curtains which will add a bit of color to the décor. Finally curtain liners can be used to accent the space.
The main element of a casual decorating style is comfort. You want to feel at ease within the space and make others feel that way as well. Through the use of soft lines, rounded corners, and comfortable cushions, as well as a dash of personality and whimsy, you can create spaces that will naturally draw people in and welcome them back each time.
This article is brought to you courtesy of the mosaic coffee tables which are crafted by the artists and craftsmen at PebbleZ. The article itself was written by stone designer and home furnishing artist Joey Pebble.