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Wonderful flair of Federation style, reimagined

Martha Taylor-Brown |
Take Victorian style, add something American and just a few drops of imagination, and you'll get great-looking, Federation style interior. Your own interior time machine.

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Being a combination of old Victorian style and early American influences, Federation style is a mix of two worlds, old and new. However, we can introduce contemporary elements into it and create something modern, yet with an old, warm flair. And to do that, you don't have to go many miles, one massive, antique piece can define your whole room. To make the picture complete, add just a few matching details and you're done. You can convert your existing interior into Federation style without long and tiresome remodeling.

And exactly that - easy remodeling - and it's ability to melt into a modern room is what makes Federation style so compelling. With it, you can make what you can't with some other styles: You can literally divide your room in two and still have a meaningfully designed interior. The point is to get well-preserved antique furniture - although you can hire a skilled master to make it for you - and then connect the old part of the room with new one with one piece of furniture that serves as a focal point.

While at old pieces, you can create your own interior "time machine" by mixing styles inside your room because old styles go well together. You can, just for an example, mix Victorian, Edwardian, Federation and rural style in one and get a beautiful space. Remember that you should go with deep, rich colors and plenty of wood. Plastics and modern materials have no place in that design except for windows and a very few details because you want to stay true to the original style.

If you want something upscale, it's time for design mantra "Less is more." Just as Federation style borrowed from the old design influences in England, England had its own borrowing from upper class French style. So, first, don't overdo it. A fireplace and light chairs are a must, as well as ceiling moulds. On top of that - take it easy. Let colors stay light, use rich but small details as accents and let it all be airy. The only thing that's missing in this picture is you in a chair with a glass of white wine.

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