Style definedPublished on September 20, 2012

  • JP Paquette, design consultant, Cadieux Interiors

  • Phillip Van Leeuwen Boomkamp, managing director, Phillip Van Leeuwen

  • Sonya Kinkade, interior decorator, Sonya Kinkade Design

  • Luc Crawford, owner, Luc Crawford Design

If you like garage sales and bistro glasses, your style leans toward urban country, and if you drink martinis and dream of clearing clutter from book shelves you have modern tastes....

You've got style ... now it's time you learn how to use it! Ottawa At Home interviewed four local experts to discover how style has adapted to incorporate today's lifestyles, and learn what defines each unique decorating style.


Urban Country

Sonya Kinkade, Interior Decorator, Sonya Kinkade Design.

What do you consider to be the elements of urban-country décor? An eclectic mix of salvaged materials, such as antique or reclaimed wood, mingled with industrial architecture.  

What should a well-dressed urban country space include? Reclaimed wood floors, tables, beams, and salvaged architectural items including metals. A mix of leather and fabric, favouring naturals such as linen. Lighting includes crystal chandeliers, architectural pendants. Currently, metal apothecary lights are popular. 

What is one piece of furniture that represents urban country décor? A piece, like a dining table or coffee table, that uses both reclaimed wood and salvaged metals.  

What colour scheme works best with urban country décor? A soft white to highlight the furnishings and keep walls looking clean and fresh.

How does urban country décor stand out from other decorating styles? It combines both country and city living elements. 



Phillip Van Leeuwen Boomkamp, Managing Director, Phillip Van Leeuwen. 

What do you consider to be the elements of contemporary design to be? Clean lines and smooth surfaces without intricate details. Today's updated contemporary design is a blend of comfortable, livable elements that create a sophisticated fresh look and feel. 

What should a well-dressed contemporary space include? Metals like stainless steel, nickel and chrome are very popular because they they distort the contemporary look. Avoid elaborate patterns and clutter; they distort a clean, contemporary look. 

What is one piece of furniture that best represents contemporary design? Most furniture designed by Le Corbusier.

What colour scheme works best with contemporary design? Neutral colours typically offset contemporary design.

How does contemporary design stand out from other decorating styles? Fewer limitations.


New Traditional

JP Paquette, Design Consultant, Cadieux Interiors.

What do you consider to be the elements of new traditional design? High style, refined furnishings with textured fabrics and low-sheen wood finish. Space can be jazzed up with "bling" without being too serious or formal.

What should a well-dressed new traditional space include? A beautiful large rug, either a Persian or a more updated wool/silk, with calm and muted patterns such as geometrical. It must be large enough so that most of the larger scaled furnishings are on the rug. Resist the urge to overaccessorize; select larger items and less of them.

What is one piece of furniture that resonates with the term new traditional design? A black baby grand piano has presence and anchors a room.

What colour scheme works best with new traditional design? A monochromatic palette combined with dark woods, ivory walls and neutral textured fabrics, is the ideal recipe.

How does new traditional design stand out from other decorating styles? It's timeless and warm, while still appealing to a younger audience.



Luc Crawford, Owner, Luc Crawford Design.

What do you consider to be the elements of transitional décor? Shape, texture (pattern), and colour. Shape is found in the furniture - the back of a Louis XV chair with its ornate curves. Texture (or pattern) can be found either in the woodwork or upholstery fabric. Then colour, which are typically neutrals - greys and beiges, mostly with blacks and browns.

What should a well-dressed transitional space include? Great design should include an anchor or feature piece. In transitional design, it would be a traditional piece of furniture with a contemporary fabric.

What is one piece of furniture that best represents transitional décor? A late -1800s lounge chair covered in a fabric with a large print, with mostly neutral colours.

What colour scheme works best with transitional décor? A neutral palette of grey, beige, black, brown with a hint of colour like purple, deep red, yellow, orange.

How does transitional décor stand out from other decorating styles? It's a harmonious balance of the soft elegance found in contemporary décor with the bolder shapes of traditional.


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