Mindi Dejonge, May 22nd , 2018.
Convey the feel of a French Polynesian bungalow with furniture made from teak, bamboo or banana leaf. Furniture made from rattan, wicker or water hyacinth also imparts a tropical feel. Include layers of organic texture with items made from woven seagrass such as area rugs, baskets, chairs and headboards. Provide an extra layer of privacy when needed with matchstick blinds on windows. Plantation-style shutters work well with wood paneling. Grasscloth wallpaper is another option for adding texture and color to walls. Bring in a touch of Tahitian culture with colorful, hand printed pareus. Pareus are brightly colored sheets of fabric that can be wrapped around one's body and worn as a simple dress or draped across a bed, the back of a sofa or the arm of a chair for a splash of color and pattern. Hang a collection of authentic wood Polynesian tiki masks or display carved tiki sculptures on a table or shelf. Hang a framed Polynesian tapa on the wall. Tapas are paintings on fabric, traditionally used as celebration dance dresses depicting tattooed heiva dancers, Marquesan women, aquatic animals and traditional Marquesan tattoo motifs. In lieu of traveling to French Polynesia to acquire these tribal treasures, look for them online.
A Style All Its Own. The transitional decor is often confused with the eclectic style, but the styles are very different. Transitional will often use contemporary furnishings mixed with antiques, but even these old-world pieces will be sophisticated and have simple, classic lines. Eclectic styling is far less refined and consistent and often incorporates one type of item either as a stand alone or in a group. For instance, a living room eclectically styled would have two different end tables anchoring the sofa with two different lamps. A transitional decor room would probably have matching accessories. In a kitchen, the eclectic style would mean hand-painted cabinets and a retrofit island with different colored appliances; in a transitional style kitchen, it may include a reclaimed wood island with all matching stainless steel appliances. Window treatments would be simpler and more crisp in a transitionally styled room, while an eclectic room could have more ornate window coverings.
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