Taking a moment to reflect on my favourite design styles

Who do you admire for their style? Do you have a close friend, eccentric aunt or celebrity figure whose style makes you want to dash out and buy clothes or accessories?

I am constantly wowed by the classics: Jackie O, Chanel and Ralph Lauren. All very different styles of fashion but all perfectly assembled and presented to the world. The bold prints and vivacious colours of the past invigorate my spidey sense and make me want to do something fresh and daring. Various design styles affect me this way as well and I’ve developed a few favorites the past few years.

Glam – One of our designers, Angela Orr has designed her home in the retro Hollywood/Madison avenue chic and it is a pleasure to visit her home. Deep teal paint with an abundance of black and white accessories, damask patterned fabric and deep-seated groovy dark grey couches scatter around her living room. Chandeliers and lamps drip with lucite crystals which twinkle and shine like Tiiffany’s coveted jewels. I believe there is even a picture of Audrey Hepburn on one wall in all her glamorous brilliance. This home is decadent and fun and perfectly reflective of the woman who has designed its interior.

Traditional – As often as I have mentioned my moms wall to wall blue carpet, the home I grew up in was truly wonderful and cutting edge in design – back in the day. My parents carefully restored a three-storey brick heritage home and the result was glorious even if it was a bit stuffy. I’m sure my eternal love of the damask pattern comes from growing up in this home where almost every wall was adorned with creamy velvet and moiré damask wallpaper. My mom had furniture pieces from her grandmother and had them recovered in a repeating colour or cream (also velvet) with wedgewood blue piping which matched the carpet. You get the picture, in 1974 it was a big deal to match every layer of fabric, and upholstery. The sofa had what seemed like a thousand tufted buttons on the back and I used to poke my fingers in each depression and try to count. I still have my mom’s formal dining room set which I cherish and it brings me joy every time I am fortunate enough to entertain friends and family on it.

Retro – The styles from the 70’s are coming back. I know this strikes fear into many hearts but I’ve seen some ultra cool shapes and fabrics rising out of this movement. Furniture has become a focal point again and has its own style and shape, some being framed like treasured museum pieces. I am excited to see the linear returning after so many years of puffy, overstuffed couches. Sleek drum barrel lighting is taking the place of multi limbed chandeliers and white is becoming a hot ‘colour’! Think back to white patent leather boots aka Nancy Sinatra and you have the newest must have fabric for headboards, occasional chairs and sofas.

It is exciting to see the styles coming to the forefront, colours and patters are magical and we are finally getting a break from beige. Dig deep and research some off the wall design and fashion styles when working on your home and you will end up with a heart stopping, inspiring interior.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at

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