Best designers contractors for home remodeling & improvement long island

by / Tuesday, 01 March 2011 / Published in Uncategorized


All of the components in a room must relate to one another and to the space itself to achieve good design. At best, you can see when something looks right or if it’s out of place. But becoming aware of the fundamental principles of design, size, scale, proportion, line, balance, harmony and rhythm, will sharpen your eye and help you to make better design decisions.
Size is relative. A column that looks massive in one space can appear small somewhere else. It is important to choose what is appropriate to your space. Scale refers to the size of something as it relates to the size of everything else. Proportion is the relationship between parts and the whole, the size of the doors and windows in relationship to the room, for example. Even the untrained eye can see when something is out of proportion the windows are too big or too small. But achieving the right scale and proportion can be difficult for the layperson and often requires patience and some experimentation.
Lines convey qualities that affect the perception of space. Vertical lines (a column for example) imply formality, dignity and strength. Horizontal lines, like those of a chair rail, suggest repose or a foundation. Diagonal lines express motion. Curved lines, such as an arched doorway, suggest freedom or softness.
Balance is the arrangement of architectural components, furnishings or patterns in a way that creates a sense of rest, poise and equilibrium. A balanced arrangement can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetry occurs when architectural elements are exactly the same on either side of a center point. For example, a decorative passageway with a pillar resting on a podium at each end of the opening represents symmetry. Symmetrical arrangements are formal. Asymmetry occurs when architectural elements are different on either side of a center point. A decorative passageway with a pillar resting on a podium at only one end of the opening is an illustration of asymmetry. Asymmetrical arrangements have a casual, less structured look about them.
Rhythm relates to visual patterns and how they carry the eye around the room. Harmony works with rhythm to create cohesiveness by linking all of the patterns and parts of a design. Architecturally there are five types of rhythm, repetition and pattern, progression or graduation, transition, opposition or contrast and hierarchy. Repetition and pattern take place when the repeated use of an element of design, such as shape, form or color, creates a pattern. The width of a series of wall frames and the series of parallel flutes on a fluted pilaster are examples of reception and pattern.
Georgian, restrained classical details and symmetry define this elegant style. During the latter part of the period, plaster walls replaced those made of wooden panels. This change eliminated the dark and somber interiors of earlier years. Brightly colored walls also contributed to a lighter and more delicate appearance. Architects began using plaster moldings to frame and separate space on the featureless walls. This innovation led to wall-frame treatments constructed of wood moldings. Although it is commonly believed that wall-frame treatments are a less expensive version of paneled wainscoting, designers typically choose one or the other depending on the look they wish to achieve, not because of cost. Wall frames also offer an excellent opportunity to use contrasting colors to manipulate the perception of space.
Federal, during the nineteenth century, Americans inspired by the connection of their new democracy to the first democracy tried to evoke Greek architecture. Completely classical, dignified and stately, Federal style furniture accompanied this movement. The legs were always turned and lion’s paws were carved on feet. Typical motifs seen in federal style furniture and ornament include lyres, sways, festoons, scallops, urns, acanthus leaves, scrolls, spiral carved turnings and eagles. During the federal era, there was much interest in archaeology and architecture and Thomas Jefferson, himself an architect, was an important proponent of the movement.
Victorian, The industrial revolution gave rise to a prosperous middle class in both England and North America. These new consumers, eager to acquire a vast array of home furnishings, crammed their homes with an extravagant mixture if period furniture and pattern. To satisfy demand, manufacturers began mass producing home furnishings and wallpaper at a prodigious rate. The resulting creations were both historically exaggerated and sometimes poorly manufactured. Authorities on interior design agree that the Victorian era was a period that went over the top in its reinterpretations of earlier styles. Taste and beauty were sometimes over looked in the mad dash of conspicuous consumption. Despite its decorative excesses, however the Victorian era contributed q major design scheme, the tripartite wall. The divisions of the wall surface into three separate and distinct areas, and the relative proportions of height of each area, mirror the design and proportions of the classical use of a pedestal, a column and an entablature
The arts and crafts movement was born in England in reaction to the design excesses of the Victorian era. Proponents regarded the ostentatious display of newly acquired wealth in Victorian England with disdain. Influential figures in the American arts and crafts movement were furniture maker Gustav Stickley and renowned architects Frank Lloyd Wright and the Greene brothers. As a group, they established two main goals. First, they sought to fashion a uniquely American expression of the arts and crafts movement by emphasizing simplicity, honesty and function of design. Craftsman style and Mission style furniture are superb example of the American arts and crafts movement. Second they maintained that every aspect of a home’s design, from landscaping to architecture to interior décor, should be an expression of one dominant style. Today, Craftsman and Mission furniture have made an enormous comeback. But this style is incompatible with the trimwork found in many new homes. The straight, broad, flat, rectangular surfaces of the furniture clash with the small, insubstantial, curved and beveled moldings and trim. If your furniture is representative of this style, you might consider redoing your trimwork to make it compatible with your furnishings.
Country style reflects comfort, unpretentiousness and a devotion to nature. American country style, more rustic than English or French country, often draws on colonial history for its context. Furnishings and textiles are simple and homespun. Plain muslin, ticking, or cotton plaids and checks look at home in this décor, as do simple florals. Plain furniture without much ornament fits nicely into an American country setting, especially if it shows a little distressing in the finish. Homemade quilts, a storage trunk, or other utilitarian decorative touches add charm to the American country look. English country style derives from rural cottage life. Authentic cottages have simple, flat casings, tongue and groove paneling and round wood beam ceilings. Furnishings and textiles exhibit a look of faded glory, slightly worn fabrics, lived in furniture and the casual blending of good quality antique oak or pine heirlooms with new pieces are characteristic of English country. Chintz with large floral patterns and lively stripes works well, along with accessories such as vintage china, flatware and candlesticks.
French provincial style reflects the colors of earth and sky and uses natural materials such as stone, wooden beams and clay tiles. A rustic French farmhouse look might use tongue and groove paneling, miniprint wallpaper and textiles and accent pieces such as clay pottery, a large cupboard or armoire and a massive harvest table in a big, rustic kitchen.
As you think about installing trimwork, you’ll want to give some consideration to compatibility or architectural style, trim and décor. Ask yourself first what style of trim will work best with the historical character of your home. Mixing trimwork from various eras can be tricky. While you can combine style elements of say, Vinctorian and English country, other combinations may clash. The flat, square profiles of Arts and Crafts trim, for example, would be incompatible with an ornate Victorian treatment, likewise the handsome, classic look of some federal style motifs would be too stately for a country room. Second, be consistent throughout your home. While you can mix past and present attractively, a home that changes style radically from room to room ends up feeling disjointed. Third, consider not just architecture and trim but also furnishings, fabrics and accessories. You needn’t slavishly stick to one style or era in your choices but the results will work best if all of the elements are compatible. In the end, your own personnel vision is the most important tool you have to pull it together.

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