Decorating Styles: Formal

The formal style of décor is characterized by symmetry, symmetry, and more symmetry. From the windows to the room’s shape and layout, order rules this type of home décor.

In a formal room, decorative elements are arranged around what is called the focal point – the place where most attention is drawn. For example, if your room’s focal point is the fireplace, you will set up your furniture and accessories in straight lines around it.

To maintain symmetry in a formal room, most elements of décor appear in pairs so as to balance things out.

Furniture that appeals to the formal style is generally tall and sleek. Woods aredark and polished, such as oak, mahogany, Bombay mahogany, and walnut. Because of the tall nature of the furniture, formal style rooms work best if ceilings are vaulted and doors and windows are tall.

Windows are covered from top to bottom with two layers of covering: a flowing fabric and a more rigid fabric on top to pull everything together.

Antiques are a great addition to any formal room, as they follow the conservative look that the formal style appeals to.

Ideally, a formal room has walls that are upholstered. This adds to the classiness of the formal style and the “expensive” look that is generally achieved.If this is not within your range of options, use alternative painting methods that mimic the feel of an upholstered wall at a much lower price.

A formal home also has dark, rich hardwood floors to go with the dark furniture – particularly in common areas. Oriental or Middle Eastern rugs offer warmth and dress furniture in living rooms and dining rooms.

The formal look certainly isn’t for everyone, but it’s an appealing style that tends to maintain the order of a house. If you’d like to incorporate this style into a room in your house, the dining room is a great option,as it is well suited to the formality of this décor style.