Surround yourself with elegance Stately traditional furniture doesn't require a traditionally elaborate setting.

BY DESIGN

March 17, 1996|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE

As much as I talk about the importance of a room's "surround" meaning its floor, walls and window treatment I don't mean that these elements take precedence over a room's furnishings.

The key is for the surround to complement the furnishings. This holds true for eclectic designs as well as for period settings.

This can be seen clearly in a dining room, since the styling of this part of the home is almost always driven by the furniture.

As the photo shows, the surround for English Regency furniture can be kept quite simple. Because pieces of this kind have a glamour and a strength all their own, there's usually no reason to add lots of special effects.

The furniture's stately lines may be enhanced by a Savonnerie rug and by gently pulled-back draperies or classically styled curtains on decorative poles. Beautifully proportioned furniture appropriate to the scale of a room generally needs very little in the way of supporting elements.

In this model, walls painted in a single color are punctuated by moldings and window frames in a deeper color. A sheer fabric barely covers the windows. It is traditionally styled, however, with swag and side curtains puddling onto the floor.

An antique rug might have been welcome, but such a purchase didn't fit the budget. Instead, there's an Indian dhurrie in a geometric pattern. This is a fine choice, wholly in keeping with today's eclectic interior styles.

Pub Date: 3/17/96

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