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Tips on Home Decorating


The traditional style can best be described as the typical "formal" living room. Furnishings tend to be medium to dark woods with classic, conservative fabric patterns on sofas and chairs. These patterns are sometimes incorporated into the draperies as well. The defining word for the Traditional style is "timeless" and for this reason the perfect wall decor is the "timeless" look of artists such as Monet, Renoir, Graves, and Bierstadt.

If your color scheme is in the blue family, Monet offers a variety of images in this palette. Two excellent examples are "Vetheuil in Summer" and "Waterlilies."

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These two prints are a perfect example of how the mat and frame choice dictates the overall feel of the piece. Both images can be matted in a neutral outer mat with the inner matting picking up the blue accent colors for a softer pastel look. They can also be matted in a dark blue outer mat with a gold inner mat to give a richer, more dramatic look. Both looks work beautifully with these prints, showing the versatility that mats and frames bring to the same image.

Another color palette that has recently become popular is sage green. This green complements many other earth tone colors such as rust brown, orange, yellow, cream and beige. One of Monet's top selling images, "Impression Sunrise," incorporates sage into the color scheme. This image has an interesting history and is sometimes credited for the term Impressionism that is said to have been derived from its title.

Renoir is another Impressionist whose lovely landscapes and interpretations of French life complement the Traditional style. Examples of some of his best selling images are "Le Dejuner de Canotiers," "Picking Flowers" and "Le Moulin de la Galette."

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The still life is another popular look for those wishing to design a Traditional formal living room. The subject matter blends well in a room with other fine art images and offers a variety of looks and palettes to accommodate any color scheme. Some beautiful examples of still lifes are "Peonies" by Graves and "Sunflowers" by Monet.

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If you are looking for a formal feel with a slightly less feminine influence, the American artist Albert Bierstadt is an excellent choice. His dramatic landscapes of the American west capture the grandeur of the untouched wilderness of the 19th century. Two examples of his work are "Sierra Nevada" and "Yosemite Valley".

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