T0 Faux or not to Faux? That is the question. At least around these parts. I would say for the last 10 years the Old World style has been very popular in Oklahoma. Things are changing a bit lately. Things are becoming a bit brighter and cleaner.
I have a philosophy when it comes to this style. I really like it if it’s done right. Some people tend to go way over the top (as in anything in life, right?). The key to successfully decorating in this style is moderation. Too much fringe. Too much gold. Too much velvet. Too many faux painted walls. This has such a heavy feeling to me. However, I think Old World can be done with out going to the extreme!
My Old World Rules:
Rule #1- Never faux finish or crackle paint an entire kitchen or bathroom. Instead, do just one piece of furniture. I think this makes it look more authentic. People wonder: Is that really old? But if the entire kitchen is done that way, it’s pretty obvious it’s not really antique.
Here are some examples of this I really like.
Now this Swedish armoire is probably really old, but you get the idea. The patina of the piece also goes with the rest of the rustic furniture.
This living room is bright and beautiful. The antiqued mirror adds character to the room.
Design by Lisa Luby Ryan. Notice the chest, mirror and settee all have a patina. These few pieces add that Old World charm without being over the top!
Rule #2- Never faux finish the walls of an entire room. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. If you have a professional that knows how to create a beautiful patina to woodwork, it can be extremely beautiful! I’m really talking about what they used to do here in Oklahoma about 5 to 10 years ago. They would paint the walls then take a rag and rub a stain or another paint over the top. I think the goal was to create a cool finish. Some did look okay, but a lot of the finishes just made the walls look dirty. I think you can still achieve the old look without this effect.
Another design by Lisa Luby Ryan. This room still has an old French/Belgian feel because of the furniture, art and lighting. Nothing needs to be done to the walls to give this effect.
This home is by Loren Interiors in Houston. It has a distinctly European feel because of the rock, wide plank floors, furniture and lighting.
Decor de Provence. Notice old-looking floors, old fireplace, art and beams.
I think this room is so homey and beautiful. The beams add richness and I love the painted bookcases. They might even have a patina finish on them that would be a great little touch. The smooth cream walls keep it so soft.
This has a more rich look without being over the top. It’s still livable.
Rule #3- Keep fabric and trims to a minimum. I would say the majority of us do not live in a palace like Versailles, so why do we try so hard to make our homes look like a castle? Everyone has their own taste. I understand that. For me, I like to keep the opulent finishes to a minimum. I love a very formal look, but I’m talking about embellishments.
Reece Witherspoons ranch in California. It is very Old World Spanish without fringe and red velvet.
The iron staircase and luxurious rug add the richness to this space.
Room by Patricia Healing and Daniel Barsanti. It’s Old World in architecture, but the furniture is simple with luxurious upholstery.
These homes are really Mediterranean in origin. And who doesn’t love the Mediterranean? It’s glamorous and rich looking. I think that’s why people around here want to try to copy that European look. In moderation with a few great pieces, it can be extremely lovely and luxurious.