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Old World Style

The hallmark of Old World design is a comfortable, broken-in look that shows the wear and tear of usage. Textured walls, hand-trawled windows and walls and tumbled marble exemplify the style. Distressed, matte and honed finishes are preferable to highly polished, reflective surfaces.

Colors - The palette is deep, rich and regal but muted for a timeworn effect. Colors typically seen in an Old World room include burgundy, navy, forest green, ocher and cream. A combination of different finishes can range from dark-stained surfaces to painted, glazed and sanded finishes that simulate (or account for) years of use.

Accents - The polished surface on ceramic jars and the rustic quality of wrought iron are paired for subtle contrast. Other elements that evoke an Old World look include woven tapestries, Aubusson rugs and a distressed gilt finish on accessories.

Fabrics - Examples of Old World-style fabrics include damasks featuring oversize scrolls or floral patterns, complex tapestry designs, stripes and small prints set on cotton and muted hues of lustrous silks. Accoutrements like fringe, tassels and beaded trim add to the multilayered look.

Architecture - Rough-hewn beams lining the ceiling balance the more sophisticated elements in the room. Other notable architectural features of an Old World-styled home include arched doorways and windows, which add feminine curves to a predominantly masculine design.

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