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En Vogue Home:> Building A Home Full Of Style And Quality:

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I know a few someones who were “quick” to “invest” in some furniture that could be considered “period pieces”. The period was the mid to late 1980s, a decade, that as far as fashion and style are concerned, should be forgotten, and who inspired many of us to acquire the latest and greatest in (black) lacquer and Formica. I was one of those select few…and all I can say is: “What were we thinking”? Fortunately, I’ve been able to bless someone else with this “timely classic” as I move forward toward more “timeless traditionals” whose beauty and appeal won’t fade with the crooning of “Auld Lang Sine. Others “unfortunately” can’t claim the same. Their choices are ones they currently will have to live with much longer. They’ve grown older, a bit wiser, and definitely wearier of this garish design that screams meretricious excess.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s NOTHING wrong with lacquer, mirrors, or Formica….but too much of even a good thing is still “too much”. Sophistication and style doesn’t have to be insipid or expensive, it simply has to be eclectic.

Before you furnish your home here are a few things to consider to ensure it looks “mod” and never outmoded.

· Unless you’ve got the money for extreme expenses, chances are you won’t be refurnishing your home every few years. Think back to your earlier years and note how some of your personal likes and tastes have changed. Make sure the designs and styles you pick are contemporary enough to reflect your “youthful” exuberance, but classic enough to sustain their appeal.

· Consider space and coloring of your home. A grandiose divan ensemble may lose some of its appeal in cramped quarters. Darker colors also command larger and more open spaces.

· According to experts, good design is well thought out. It has timeless appeal and is rarely if ever faddish and trendy (except perhaps for a few enhancing accoutraments). It is QUALITY merchandise that not only lasts in durability but also carefully crafted and can be handed down as a family heirloom.

· Remember that your choices speak volumes about YOU. Plates may (in your mind) be just plates, but they are actually a personal reflection. According to design specialists, every choice you make has both functional and visual implications, and offers subtle messages about your own quality, integrity, and personal style.

Personal Panache:
While you may find yourself partial to particular styles such as modern, traditional or eclectic, that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself or your choices. Often times adhering to one style can be restricting, boring, and may show lack of imagination. Mixing and matching has become quite mod and certain accent pieces can help add just the right amount of spice to your home sweet home.

An Appreciation For The Good Life:
Two things that never go out of style are quality and value. While it’s okay and even advised to be daring and “dare to be different” in your “youth”, once you are out on your own or happily settled into a comfortable nest with your special significant, you may want to discern between eclectic and eccentric. You’re certainly NEVER too old to have fun, but certain things are flagrantly fads (of the moment). And, while no one is suggesting that you compromise on your uniqueness and personal flair, experts suggest also not compromising on quality and reputation. Certain styles or types of wood are known to generally be more lasting both in durability and in the sense that they won’t go out of style. The same holds true for certain colors, patterns and designs.

The Finer Things:
We all know about fine china, and exquisite crystal, but one of the mistakes that most of us make is that we associate “fine” with “fragile”. Surely most of our most eclectic acquisitions are also our most delicate. However, according to industry professionals, more often than not, you get what you pay for, and more precarious purchases are also more durable and long lasting.

· Lead crystal is less fragile and less likely to break than ordinary glass. That’s because it has a higher degree of temperature resistance.

· Fine china is much stronger and less likely to chip than daily dinnerware. This is due to the fact that its base is made of highly refined clays fired at very high temperatures.

· The scratches and markings on fancy flatware is what give them their distinguishing patina.

· Bed and table linens are defined by their thread count (the number of threads woven into each square of cloth). The average range is from 150 to 300.

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