What is informal style these days? Since we are in a very creative time, interior design can take an informal approach in many ways. First of all, informal denotes comfortable and easy living. That being said, we still need our living spaces to function well in the space available. We don’t want to try to cram in more than we actually need to enjoy the space, but we definitely want to like the look of the finished space. We want easy care items and surfaces that look good and will continue to look good for a reasonable length of time.small contemporary living room with grey sectional sofa, lambskin throw, gold brass accents, and grey area carpetWe can take a contemporary approach by way of clean lines, adding some light woods, perhaps some shinier metal finishes or geometric motif fabric choices. We can soften the overall look with nubbly fabrics. Abstract artworks work well in a contemporary space, and bring colour and a sense of fun and funkiness. A nice touch is to throw in a retro element or two, as well. The make the room feel welcoming, and many people have pleasant memories of these items. Grass cloth wallpaper is a retro revival, and a timeless element in a room design. It is surprisingly easy care, as well. casual contemporary living room with patterned retro armchair, grey zebra area carpet, and grass cloth feature wallInformal decor with a more tradition bent incorporates elements from the past, some of them with formal detailing but with a faded, warn patina. For instance, furniture lines lean toward a more classic approach, say, an English arm, tufting in an armchair, or an ornate mirror with aged glass. Sofas and armchairs may also have a rolled arm, rather than a square arm. What makes a traditional room informal is perhaps the addition of less formal furniture pieces in rougher woods, or with distressed leather.upscale retro casual vignette with rustic vintage console table and cuttings of healthy plants including fuschiaArea carpets display elements of from days long ago. An Oriental carpet is an element of a traditional style room. The carpet in modern times bay be woven in a purposely distressed manner, with faded motifs, rather that more distinct ones.industrial style loft condo living room with distressed leather sofa, muted area rug, wheeled coffee table, and black floor lampTraditional decor tends to use more accessories, and these accessories may have elements of a more curving nature. Lighting will be in a more feminine style, such as a chandelier. There is, overall, a more feminine silhouette to many elements of informal traditional decor. Chairs and beds tend to have tailored skirts, but not always. Draperies are full and flowing, and always to the floor, often in luxury fabrics.upscale casual dining room with very rustic dining table with chrome legs, Parsons chairs, hurricane vases with candles, and mercury glass pendant lightCountry of origin can play a part in informal decor styles. It can become quite rustic as in American Country style. French or English Country is less rustic, usually. In all cases woods are distressed or genuinely old. We often see wicker furniture used because it is a timeless element. Turned wood spindles often are seen in the furniture. Lines are very much more curving. Fabrics often are hand woven. Linen is used liberally. Textured fabrics are strongly present. Large and small printed fabrics are combined in creative ways to carry the colour palette.floor length custom silk draperies on tall open windows in French living roomWe may take a more upbeat and even eclectic approach by blending elements from all these styles and periods into the room design. This is easier said than done since we don’t want to lose our way. We need to know when to stop and when to add just the right additional element. That’s where we designers can be an invaluable addition to your arsenal of tools. We have been at this for years…even decades. That is a huge advantage when you are wanting a more creative approach and are fine with blurring the lines a little. We can blend formal with informality. A more dramatic finish can be achieved by adding elements from different periods and countries of origin.eclectic living room with blue tufted chaise, octagonal cube side table, paired armchairs, pendant teardrop floor lamp, and large abstract artwork This eclectic approach is a way for the client to see more of themselves in the finished room design. It is a more organic, natural approach. Another advantage is that it sometimes can make use of treasured inherited pieces that hold sentimental value! These pieces often languish in the back bedroom because the client is unwilling to spend money  to update an old piece.  It is well worth it and honours the memory of the previous owner of the piece. These old pieces can really look wonderful when some attention is lavished on them. They can be brought forward to shine in daily use in one of the main rooms of the home. Your home can reflect more of your own personal expression! You will always think of the previous owner when you look at the newly refurbished piece, and it will become a cherished part of the home’s furnishings.upscale casual dinin room with clean lined dark wood furniture, chevrom pattern area carpet, vases with branches, and turquoise stained wall panellingCall Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.

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