Contemporary Decorating Style

Contemporary style or ideas can be easily identified. This is because the main traits of these styles are orderly placement, finer lines and a combination of modern and traditional ideas without actually contradicting each other. The texture used is usually more sober and more comfortable. Bright colors are rarely used because in this style the colors used are warm and in the mid range.

Simplicity is the key feature

In contemporary decorating style remember the key idea is simplicity. Even in the furniture the colors used are material used is very sober and sometimes even boring. However at times there can even be an infusion of bright colors and this may come from an accent wall that has a contrast color or vivid colored cushions, sometimes even rugs that are really colorful will compliment the contemporary look of your home.

Some ideas that you can use: Following are some of the ideas that can be implemented in order to get that contemporary feel:

o The things you use must be modern, practical and functional at the same time.

o You need to choose Berber if you are looking for a smooth surface.

o Details like furnishings, accessories and moldings need to be avoided on all surfaces.

o There must a consistency in the design that you choose, be it wood surface, tables or shelves.

o You could cover a wall with fine texture of linen wall paper. And the patterns must be simple.

o The fabrics used for the upholstery should be either in silk, wool or even linen with a special focus texture and color and not patterns.

o A special emphasis needs to be kept on less clutter and it could sometimes be difficult in a normal house. But the idea is to keep the clutter in a place that is out of sight.

o Other important feature is the use of multi-door systems, use of materials like bright metals like nickel, chrome etc. but definitely in a very subtle manner.

American Decorating Styles

The way Americans have traditionally decorated their homes is a reflection of who we are as a people. Unlike the fancy pomp and decorative fluff of many European styles, American homes are neat and functional. We don’t play at being kings; we respect and admire the common man. We are a rough and tumble society that values getting things done, and our decorating has always reflected this.

During the colonial period, the early settlers were limited in their furnishings to what they could make, or what they could carry from overseas. This gave our country an early start with a style that was simple, functional, and effective. From such humble beginnings developed a style that was inherently down to earth, and even later on when European goods became more readily available, many homes still reflected this humble spirit.


Largely isolated from the rest of the world, Americans were free to create their own design trends. However, the isolation was not total, and people still brought ideas and styles from their countries of origin, and applied them to their homes in America. The result was a mix of new trends with a variety of older styles to create a blend that could only be called American.

The Gothic movement was especially influential in American design. One of the dominant European styles, its high vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows blended with humbler American traditions such as whitewashed siding to create a more dramatic America trend.

Since the early American settlers were largely English, they were also heavily influenced by Tudor decorating styles. These lush and intricate designs added bright colors and posh patterns to American furnishings.

Federal style decorating, and architecture, is influenced heavily by classic Greek and roman styles. This includes straight lines, clean and simple spaces, and the use of classic materials such as polished marble.

American country is a younger style, that is opposite the pomp and self importance of Federal and Gothic influenced styles. It has a very light tone, that is cheerful, and simple in a crafty way.

American country style features mix and matched furnishings, with both newer contemporary styles blending in with traditional, hand me down style accessories. Its main philosophy is to be casual, relaxed, and friendly.

Americans are a unique people, and their decorating style reflects this. Mixing and matching various European traditions, the relative isolation of the country has allowed the creation of a completely new style. While this trend does have old world influences, its inherent spirit is entirely one of a kind.

Safe Rooms – Preparing a Home Safe Room

Safe rooms (or also known as panic rooms) may be installed in your home to keep you free off intruders. All you need to do is to choose which room in the house you want converted and then go about consulting with builders to figure out how much a home safe room will cost you.

Safe rooms, as professionals call them, have been in existence throughout history. It was only when the movie Panic Room came out that the concept of safe rooms became very popular. In the United States, safe rooms have been built ever since the first colonials arrived in the New World.

Before, safe rooms were built by those who could afford it. In old Europe, the mansions and palaces of the gentry often had rooms with built in features that made it impervious to common thieves and intruders. Only recently did the cost of safe rooms decline which makes it affordable to people living in suburbia. Still, a safe room isn’t cheap. Installing a safe room will cost slightly higher than ordinary room renovations.

The safe room has fortified ceilings and walls that are difficult to bypass. It is ideal to use steel to reinforce the walls of the safe room. The cost of steel can be quite prohibitive though, so bricks and cement are often used as replacement materials. Installing wall reinforcements will add to the weight that the floor or foundation has to bear. The builders must do a thorough inspection of the floors and foundation around the walls of the room to make sure that the house doesn’t collapse. If any adjustments need to be made, they will find them during the inspection. The ceiling itself has to use other materials like tin or very strong wood. Using brick or cement for a ceiling is highly possible but it would require massive reinforcements for the walls and posts just to hold the ceiling up.

The safe room door should be able to withstand almost any effort to break it down short of using a tank. The doors are usually made of double-core metal with a heavy deadbolt installed. The door, together with the reinforced walls, makes the panic room safe from almost anything. All that is needed now are the amenities, as these rooms must be livable. If the time comes that its needed, it should be ready for occupancy for a number of days. Water, a sink, a toilet, some food and furniture will serve this purpose well.

A fortified room must have a communication device installed. This will make it easier to call emergency services if you are forced to stay in it. A video feed to a monitor or two inside the room will also allow you to see outside the room. This will be of great help to you if you are under siege because you can monitor the movements of the perpetrators and inform the police.

In tornado prone areas, these panic rooms would be the ideal place to hide in because of their reinforced nature. Fire will not spread or get through the reinforced walls and ceilings which makes these rooms an ideal place to go to when a fire breaks out.

Although you may not want to think about it, people you know and invite into your house may be the ones to commit criminal acts. Having a home safe room to run to which will keep the offenders out is a very huge gift for your peace of mind. If this should happen to you, the cost of having one of these safe rooms in place might be cheaper than any cost you are willing to pay.