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A New Year brings all kinds of new beginnings, and that can be especially true for homeowners looking for ways to refresh their home décor, either because they are planning to stage their home for sale or because they simply want a fresh start.
While décor trends come and go, one of the ‘hottest’ right now is urban décor. It’s not a new concept at all, but it is one that fits well with the busy lifestyles so many of us lead right now. It is also a style that suits many different tastes, so for those hoping to set a rather neutral stage for potential homebuyers it can also be the perfect choice.
The term urban decor can mean many different things to many different people. To some it the kind of sparse, stark decor you find in small urban apartments while to others it is a modern take on the work of the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, an ultra-modern architect in his day but one who appreciated the value of nature in architecture and decor but chose to interpret it in a very different way.
Either way urban decor is mainly about finding your own style rather than just copying what you might see a glossy catalog or magazine.
Inspiration for Great Urban Decor
For the most part urban decor revolves around statement pieces and a clever use of what is sometimes a very limited space. It has a contemporary, modern feel that is not cluttered but it is not so limited that it has no character.
As previously mentioned, many of the urban design experts of today look to the work of someone who worked decades ago for the inspiration for their own work. Frank Lloyd Wright was a pioneer in field of urban planning in general but it was his work in creating beautiful homes which made the most of natural and local resources – a style he called ‘Usonia’ – which really set him apart.
So forward thinking was Lloyd Wright that many of the homes he built and styled still look ‘futuristic’ today, even though most of them date back to the 1930s and 1940s. Because some of these homes still exist in their original form as museums modern day homeowners who want to create an urban look for their home can still look at them for inspiration today.
Possibly the best example that you can still see today is a home that was named the most important building of the 20th Century, The Kaufman House, or as it is better known Falling Water. The home was built in 1935 for Pennsylvania department store magnet Edgar Kaufmann, Sr.
As a Pittsburgh native Kaufmann spent most of his time in the big city but he did own land about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh where he wanted to build a home that was as modern as he wanted but that would not look to out of place in the wooded area where the land was located. And so Falling Water was born.
Many of the elements used in the interior of the home are still very popular in urban decor today. The floors are made of hardwood, stone and cork and were are only dotted with rugs. The furniture is sleek and sophisticated with clean lines but not with too much decoration.
Statement pieces in the form of larger figurines and small, but bold. pieces of accent furniture can be found all over the home (it is still preserved and open to the public today.) While Lloyd Wright was far from the only urban designer he almost certainly influenced all the others.
Incorporating Urban Decor into Your Home
Flooring – Carpet does not have too much of a place in urban decor, hard floored finishes, and ones that can be highlighted are more normal. Accent rugs are often used for practical and decor purposes. If you cannot do anything about the carpeting in your home try to downplay it by drawing the eye elsewhere.
Walls – The walls in an urban decor scheme are normally solid in color but not too plain. Artwork should be used as a statement piece though, one or two striking pieces rather than several small ones.
Furniture – Clean lines and sharper angles are the mark of great urban decor furnishings. Check thrift stores and online outlets for more unusual pieces rather than just settling for something from Ikea. Smaller accent pieces of furniture and even storage solutions that add function as well as form can help set the tone as well.
Accessories – Accessories do have a place in urban decor but they should be pieces that make a real impact. Bold art glass vases, chunky candle lamps and other intriguing pieces can all make an impact.