Interior Styles around the World
TABLE of CONTENTS
I. Concept 1
II. Book Layout 1-2
III. Content sample 3-12
IV. Page Layout samples 13-14
V. Production Requirements 15
VI. About artSparx 15
VII. About the Author 16
VIII. Market Analysis
Timeless Design is a unique entrée into the world of international interior design. Readers will learn how to create a look in their homes that emulates traditional interior design styles found in Mexico, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.
This book features stories describing Rustic, Romantic, Classic and Contemporary design styles found in the countries listed above. It also includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorials allowing the reader to recreate the style in their own home. These tutorials can be adapted to meet the needs of the full range of “do-it-yourselfers;” from the novice to the more experienced.
Timeless Design is intended as a coffee table-type resource book for people interested in changing their home or office environment or simply learning about decorative styles found around the world and throughout history. The book will be designed to be not only informative, but fun to read and visually appealing. It will feature photographs of elements of the given style and photographs to support the step-by-step tutorials.
This is the first in a series of interior design style and tutorial books that will be released by artSparx.com, an art and design educational Web site.
Timeless Design will feature four distinct Design Styles: Rustic, Romantic, Classic and Contemporary. The book will be divided into four sections; one on each design style. Each section (or chapter) will feature two examples of the style and step-by-step tutorials for each example. Each example also will include a recommended color palette. Skills developed in one section can be expanded upon through tutorials in other sections.
Following is a sample Table of Contents:
Chapter I – Rustic Style
Section II -- Country Tuscan
Chapter II – Romantic Style
Section II -- English
Chapter III – Classic Style
Section II -- Arts and
Chapter IV – Contemporary Style
Section II -- Modern
Chapter V -- Resources
Section II – List of recommended products and materials (include list of preferred suppliers in North America and United Kingdom and related Web sites)
Section III – Color concepts and descriptions of materials (including photographs, as appropriate)
Appendix I – Glossary of Terms
Appendix II -- Index
III. Sample Content
Each section is illustrated with photographs of interiors, fabrics, colors, decorative items, etc.
Chapter I - Rustic Style
There is comfort in the impressions of history. In the imaginative pages of a favorite book, the passing images of a Shakespearean play, and in the spaces surrounding us. Rustic style creates this impression. It imparts a feeling of time that washes over our environment like a familiar stranger. There is coziness in worn furniture, softness is old walls and memories in the faded linen curtains, blowing gently, and scattering dappled light across a wide plank floor.
We visit the Rustic Style by traveling to two worlds, similar yet far apart. Mexico and Tuscany. Both these worlds emanate from vibrant cultures alive with tradition, culture and history. And both present unique design opportunities. It is the love of craft, color and creativity, combined with a strong sun and dynamic environmental conditions that blend together and create what is known as the Rustic Style.
Page Layout Samples
Section I -- Rural Mexican Style
Emerald jungles, palm-fringed beaches, whitewashed villages, gracious haciendas, imposing Mayan ruins. Mexican style draws on a rich array of natural, artisanal and historical materials. Like the country itself, Mexican design is welcoming and colorful, elegant and quirky.
integral to the fabric of Mexican life. In Oaxaca, El Dio de los Muertos
(Day of the Dead) is celebrated with hand-crafted painted skeletons,
candy skulls, elaborate altars adorned with fruit, flowers and food.
Guadalajara, the "Florence of Mexico," boasts spectacular murals
depicting social and political issues. Throughout Mexico, "las indigenas"
produce exquisite artifacts colored with the rich, warm hues of the
Exuberant decoration juxtaposed with solid structure is the basic recipe for Mexican style. Tile inlay on a mesquite table fashioned with mortise-and-tenon joints. An imposing carved armario (armoire) alongside a hand-woven geometric rug. And the decorative possibilities of Mexico's vibrant regional folk art -- wood carving, clay figurines, baskets, pewter, candleholders, and yarn paintings -- are virtually limitless.
Elements of Rural Mexican Style:
Furniture: Often created from Mesquite wood and heart of pine structures. This rustic furniture is handmade with visible signs of mortise and tenon joints. Dovetail corner details add personality as well as strength to the furniture. Large iron hinges, and multi colored wood inlays solidify the impression of a sturdy, well built, hand-crafted furniture piece. A-frame table structures are perfect for laying out a days worth of tortillas and fresh baked flat breads. A heavy hinged armoire with carved wooden drawer pulls stand like a sentinel, proudly housing the family personal possessions.
Fabrics: Hand-woven blankets and rugs hang from walls, add color to the wide wood plank floors. There are sure to be a few cast casually over a chair, ready to be used for just about any domestic need. Brocade fabric, often in rich colors, is seen in more formal spaces.
Floors: The use of tiles and stone are Mexican staples. 12” x 12” terre cotte tiles, baked and bleached by the sun, or octagonal shaped, create a wonderful texture as well as functional practicality. Rugs woven in traditional Mexican geometric designs or simple stripes, always with bold or vibrant color themes, contrast with tile floors or add warm to wide plank pine boards.
Lighting: Lighting is diverse and imaginative. One will find fixtures made of wrought iron, or wood. Candles, colored glass, pottery find comfort in this style. Wrought iron chandeliers hang in large, open rooms.
Accents: Mexican style uses many different resources to accent the environment. From clay figurines, masks, candles, and pottery, to wood carvings and pewter objects. Many accents are colorfully hand painted. Hand blown glass, often irregularly formed, create dappled light that dances over furniture and walls. Silver smithing is a proud Mexican tradition. Picture and mirror frames are commonly additions to any room.
Tutorial -- Color Washing
Color Washing is one of the simplest yet most charming effects one can create. It is an ideal technique for slightly irregular surfaces, small cozy spaces, or large, open wall surfaces. Color washing creates the appearance of floating color; soft and watery, or bold and striking. It is often used on wall or ceiling surfaces to create a homey or rustic feeling. The density of color determines the intensity of the impact; from a soft, subdued parchment effect to a fiery, earthy terra cotta. When using earth tones, the color wash can have a slightly aged appearance and is ideal for imparting an aged patina to wall and furniture surfaces.
List of material requirements
Preparing the surface
Step 1: Remove all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Prime surface with a good water based primer.
Step 2: Tape off all baseboard edges, ceiling edge, trim, window and door frames. Remove all electrical and light switch cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with drop cloths.
Step 3: Choose and apply the appropriate eggshell finish base color. Allow to fully dry (8 hrs).
Mixing your glaze:
Step 4: Place a portion of the prepared glaze color in a 2.5 qt. bucket. Add water and dilute to proper consistency. Experiment. Fill the other bucket 2/3 full with water.
Step 5: Prepare 2 sponges by rounding corners and edges. Ordinary household sponges will do fine (1 ½ inch thick and approx 6 inches x 4 inches).
When glazing, always work from top to bottom. If you start at the bottom and work upward, any drips or spills occurring can damage already treated lower portion finish.
Applying the color wash
Step 6: Use one sponge for the water and one for the glaze color. Starting at the top of the wall, take sponge 1 with the water and dampen surface. Work in one area at a time, moving methodically forward over wall surface. Saturating the surface first allows the glaze to go on fluidly and evenly.
With sponge 2, dipped in the glaze, rub over damped area of wall and spread glaze. Work evenly over area for full coverage. Vary the pressure applied to the sponge to leave areas with slightly denser concentrations of glaze. Continue to soften glaze color working in a criss-cross manner until desired smoothness is achieved. Work quickly and conscientiously, keeping exposed edges dampened with water.
Step 7: Move to next area and repeat. Do not put glaze on previous edge but rather apply within 1 inch or so and soften into previous edge with sponge or dry brush.
At corners, apply glaze to within ½ to 1 inch of edge and with a dry brush, work into corner, then soften and smooth with light, gentle movements.
Applying a protective varnish coat
Step 8: To protect the surface, a water-based varnish, such as Benjamin Moore Stays Clear, may be applied after color-washed surfaces have dried completely (24 hrs). For wall surfaces it is recommended to use flat (matte) finish, eggshell or low-luster finish varnishes.
Step 9: Clean up with warm, soapy water. Dispose of remaining glazes properly.
Section II – Country Tuscan Style
The northern Italian region of Tuscany offers visitors an overwhelming experience for the senses, with the sounds of its music, the smells of its cooking and the visual richness of its distinctive style.
Florence and its surrounding towns… Sienna, Montepucciano, Pisa, Arrezo… are situated in the heart of Tuscany’s rolling hills. The Tuscan landscape is flecked with Terra-cotta rooftops and cypress trees, and by the soft, sun-drenched hues of local marble and clay.
Tuscan style evolved through layers of history, taking cues from the earliest Etruscan metal craft and pottery, and of course, from the sumptuous world of the Italian Renaissance. In Tuscany one finds frescoes, cracked and worn by time, still vibrant with original pigment, depicting ancient deities and the decadence of the late Roman Empire. Mosaic tiles, wrought iron gates and portals, distinctive bridges and architecture all reinforce the unique Tuscan identity, a particular expression of the Italian soul. Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, and Cimabue all contributed to Tuscan splendor. It’s no wonder Tuscany plays a substantial role in Italian culture and identity.
Elements of County Tuscan Style:
Tuscan rooms typically are beautifully proportioned on classical lines. Ceiling height, the size and scale of such features as the fireplace, windows and doors, as well as the furniture, all play an important role in creating balance and harmony within the room.
Walls: The wall treatments of the Italian home act as support for the rest of the interior. One sees wall painting, from Frescoes to murals, beginning in the earliest days of Italian culture. Plaster walls, stucco-lustro and marmorino walls all evoke the classic Italian feeling. Use of Tapestries, gold leaf and ornate detailing such as plaster moldings all helped to define the interior, often bringing historical context and stylistic vigor to the home.
Objects: Painted tiles, colorful plates and Marino glass from Venice, fall naturally within the Tuscan aesthetic. Wrought iron objects such as sconces and candle holders support the mix of earthen materials found within the home. Metal, stone, fabric, and plaster walls all combine to create this natural Italian style.
Floors: Terre-cotta tiles, glazed ceramic and marble inlay in intricate patterns are a few examples of the Italian sensitivity to design that carry through from ceiling and walls to the floors. Different types of marble create a color palette that defines the exquisite floors of The Duomo in Florence. Raw Sienne, umbers, rose pink, yellows and the pure white marbles from Carrara, above Pisa, all become the tools of the skilled craftsmen and artists. Pale travertine is often still used in homes and stores. Terrazzo floors, made from marble chips ground with crushed stone and stucco, polished to a smooth surface create new and diverse patterns to experiment with. Mosaic work, often of glass, stone or tile adds flare and energy. And of course, the wooden floor can be left plain or adorned with Persian rugs—which were originally imported by Venetian and Genoese merchants in medieval times.
Fabrics: Silks, velvets and hand woven brocades fill the home on furnishings, curtains and bedding. Lacework and linens add a bit more texture to the environment and rich damask patterns, tone on tone, are used effectively in all rooms.
Furniture: Furniture varies greatly. From rustic, folk pieces to the classic veneered and hand painted items. Inlay and gilt details all support the rich visual texture of the interior environment.
Tutorial – Simulated Fresco Plaster
The ancient world has always been a stepping stone of inspiration. Antiques are sought after, rooms are aged and a sense of time is washed over furniture, fabrics, wall coverings and objects large and small.
Fresco walls evoke just such a thing, hand built plaster walls that have been painted in a manner that allows the pigment to permeate the surface and become integral with the wall.
-Follow step-by-step tutorial -
Chapter Two - Romantic Style
Romantic style is a flexible decor
that may draw on Early American, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and English
country heritage. The style mixes the substantial and ornate with the
down-home, but is careful to avoid clutter. Its comfortable and
traditional ambiance evokes Old and New England, calm grace and
Section I – Early American Style
Inside and outside the house, loosely
painted commonplace objects in red,
Elements of Early American Style:
Furniture: The furniture tends to be solid, often constructed from oak and pine. They are substantial pieces, simple in design. Simple, unadorned with details, accentuate function harmonized with form. On the porch a wicker rocking chair might rest. A loosely painted dresser, colorful and whimsy, would add just enough charm to the living room.
Fabrics: Simply textured fabrics, thickly woven, add the necessary color to accent the room. Lace curtains or table runners create the appropriate balance of handy crafts and simple elegance. The simplicity of linen, hung as curtains, would offset the colorful embroidered pillows, or complex quilted panels hung as wall hangings or casually thrown over the back of a chair.
Floors: Dark oak floors come to mind when speaking of Early American style. Hooked or braided rugs are especially nice details found in hallways, the kitchen or in the bath areas.
Accents: One can expect to find a collection of old China and silver, passed down through generations. Bric a brac, like antique games, odd kitchen implements or fireplace tools hung randomly add to the casual coziness. A cast iron wood stove would be alive through winter, and the passage of time counted out by a grandfather clock. Large andirons sit firmly in the hearth. Framed pictures and mirrors are common place, reminding us of whom we are and where we’re coming from. Copper or cast iron pots impart the feelings of a well-used kitchen.
Tutorial – Stenciling
- Follow step-by-step tutorial -
Section II -- English Country Style
In the English countryside, pretty villages dot rolling hills and cobblestones line narrow medieval streets. Come in through the garden gate, and you'll find a steep thatched roof overhanging ancient leaded glass windows. Old garden roses creep around the carved oak door. The grounds, whether a picturesque cottage garden or rolling parkland of the local manor house, are lovingly cared for. Everything is fresh, tidy, and welcoming.
Slate roofs, thatched cottages, wood beam ceilings, and flagstone floors evoke scenes from Dickens or Hardy. The local pub is homey, with low ceilings, cozy rugs, and dark wood bathed in warm yellow lamplight. Stories, gossip, and local politics are traded here over pints of local ale. For the weary traveler, a bed and breakfast offers rustic charm, time-darkened wood wainscoting, and low-hanging leaded windows.
English country colors are natural and subtle: dark wood, gray or beige stone, warm ivory walls, perhaps a dark red or green accent wall. Furniture and wainscoting are carved wood, with Victorian lines. Lamps are important, with wall sconces or perhaps a rustic iron chandelier creating intimate pools of light and making hand-rubbed wood carvings gleam. A rug in a nineteenth-century floral pattern can add color, or perhaps a basket of dried wildflowers.
In the summertime, the all-important cottage garden serves as an "outdoor room" where tea and lunch can be served. The lawn or stone courtyard is surrounded by clipped hedges, climbing roses, forget me nots, bluebells. An old well cover, a low stone wall, or perhaps an arch clothed by clematis adds architectural interest. Ever-practical, the English cottager includes some vegetables in the landscape: a cucumber frame, a fruit cage for red currants and gooseberries.
Elements of English Country Style:
Walls: The walls play a supportive role in creating the romantic country feeling. It is the objects, the pictures, fabrics and furniture that add character to this style of design. In creating a background for the many wonderful objects, the walls are often treated with the soft colors created by color washing. This adds dimension to the romantic room, without making a design statement. Wallpaper, wallpaper borders, and stencils can also create the proper feeling to the Romantic Country room. Create a background texture using wallpaper, or interesting details through stenciling and wallpaper borders. This will add energy, and can often act as a perfect tie-in to the eclectic objects and furniture.
Furniture: The furniture tends to be solid, often constructed from oak. They are substantial pieces, simple in design. Chippendale, Victorian, Queen Anne styles all are found in the Romantic Country home.
Fabrics: Floral fabrics, thickly woven, add the necessary color to accent the room. Often velvet is used on a couch or perhaps a single chair, mixing up fabric textures to add to the rich variety of the environment. Colorful embroidered pillows complement natural colors of wood and plaster.
Accents: One can expect to find a collection of old China and silver, passed down through generations. Bric a brac, like antique games, odd kitchen implements or fireplace tools hung randomly add to the casual coziness. Copper or cast iron pots rest upon a hot Aga, ready to provide the inhabitants with warm victuals.
Tutorial – Distressed furniture effects
A distressed wood grain finish can make furniture appear time-worn and weathered. It is the perfect way to turn a contemporary piece of furniture into a piece that looks like it has been in the family for generations. Creating a distressed effect for furniture also adds a sense of comfort and coziness to a room and easily complements wall surfaces that have wallpaper or other decorative paint effects, mural paintings or plaster treatments.
The following tutorial is designed to help you create an antique, sage wood grain effect, with a dark tone glazed over a lighter base coat.
Step 1: Remove all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Isolate moldings, doors and trim by taping off wall surfaces and surrounding areas. If necessary, remove all electrical cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with drop cloths.
Prime as needed.
Step 3: Determine the overall color value of the surface being treated. Choose an eggshell base color. Allow this base color to fully dry (8 hrs).
Mix the secondary, 'grain' color.
Step 5: Wear disposable gloves. With glaze color prepared, place a portion of glaze color in one of the 2.5 qt. buckets. Add water and dilute to proper consistency. Experiment. Fill the other bucket 2/3 full with water.
Step 6: Use the sponge for the water and a clean 3 inch to 5 inch brush to use for your color glaze. Wet the surface with water to dampen it. Work one area at a time. Wetting the surface first allows the glaze to go on fluidly and evenly.
Take a brush, dipped in the glaze, and brush over dampened area to spread glaze. Work evenly over area for full coverage. Make sure not to leave any untreated areas.
Step 7: Take a clean, dry bristle brush and with a firm hand begin at one end of surface, dragging the brush evenly through the glaze moving in a downward manner. This will remove the freshly applied glaze from the surface, revealing the base color and producing a striee, lined texture.
This treatment resembles a wood grained effect. It is important to drag the color in the proper direction to maximize this effect. In this case, straight up and down.
Regularly wipe dry brush with a clean rag to remove excess glaze to insure a fresh grain pattern. Work evenly over surface. Wipe end edge with a rag to create a clean finish line.
If glaze is too fluid and continually “sags” or runs, allow to set momentarily then return and work at glaze with a dry brush until smooth. Be aware that latex glazes set quickly.
Move to next area and repeat. Work glaze
to previous edge but don’t overlap existing striee. Continue until area
Step 9: A water-based varnish, such as Benjamin Moore Stays Clear may be applied after striee surfaces have dried completely (24 hrs.) for surface protection. For trim and molding surfaces it is recommended to use a Low-luster finish, or Satin sheen varnish.
Step 10: Clean up with warm, soapy water. Dispose of remaining glazes properly.
V. Production Requirements
All content is original and will be developed by artSparx.
All photographic imagery will be provided by artSparx.
Book layout and design will be completed by artSparx.
VI. About artSparx
artSparx.com is an art and design education and resource Web site, which provides simple to complex art and design principles and step-by-step tutorials to individuals exploring their own creativity. The site pairs design style features with tutorials that help users emulate the various styles in their home or office environment. It does so in a fun, interesting and un-intimidating way and offers on-line resources and art and design advice.
artSparx has been on-line for just over a year and currently has, on average, 2,000 unique visitors per day, with over 1 million hits per month. The artSparx community is growing rapidly and has become a one-stop design resource for people all over the world.
Recent media coverage of the site includes:
- Feature articles in Realtor Magazine, the preeminent real-estate industry magazine.
- ‘Caught-on-the-web’ art and design web-site award 2002.
- NYArts magazine – July 2002
- FineLiving – artSparx is a top recommended web resource for the arts.
VII. About the Author
Tobias Freccia, founder of artSparx.com and Freccia Studios (www.frecciastudios.com), is a leader on the international stage of interior commercial and residential art and design. His expertise ranges from fine art painting and reproduction—including portraiture, landscape painting and still-life—to interior design, object and furniture design, and specialty gilding. He has also served as a color consultant and fine art lecturer and educator. Tobias holds a degree from the Parsons School of Design in NYC and represents clients in Asia, Western Europe, and the US. In addition to studying in the United States and Europe, Tobias has conducted extensive research on art and design throughout the world.
VIII. Market Analysis
There are 2 types of Art and Design, Interior Design and Home Improvement reference and resources products available to the commercial consumer market.
These 2 types of content are published and presented to the consumer in essentially 3 ways. Each publisher targets a specific demographic market; the economically challenged do-it-yourselfers, the mid-range interior design enthusiasts who have design style savvy but prefer to do-it-themselves, and the secure home-owner who is simply looking for design style inspiration.
These book offerings are typically broken down into 3 different presentation formats.
It is artSparx goal to target all demographic markets by offering the core appeal of each presentation format. We feel that the presentation style of Timeless Design captures this appeal in a way that is currently not maximized with existing publications. In essence, pairing distinct design styles with targeted tutorials, all of which are presented in a simple to understand yet visually sophisticated and stimulating manner.
The current design style market consists of:
High-end, coffee table formatted
books such as;
Middle to High-end formatted books:
Middle range design books –
publishing houses re-distributing content from Magazine and alternative
General design reference
‘Celebrity’ design books
Martha Stewart Series – Published by Potter
Christopher Lowell: If you can dream it – you can do it
Published by Potter
Lynette Jennings: Straight talk on Decorating
Published by Meredith
Katie Brown: Decorates – Published by Harper - Collins
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