ABC’s of Austin Window Fashion – J is for Juxtaposition

Window coverings are one way to add drama and juxtaposition to your decor.

Juxtaposition is the act of placing dissimilar – often opposite – items or concepts together in order to produce a contrasting effect. It is a concept that is frequently used with great success in literature, art, and even home décor.

In movies, we witness juxtaposition when a song such as “What a Wonderful World” is played over scenes of violence and war. It is also evidenced when an old man watches a young baby learning to crawl. And every super hero movie – and many other movies – utilizes juxtaposition when they identify the hero and the villain.

These contrasts elicit certain emotions when we watch or read them, rounding out the fullness of the experience. In our homes, we create juxtaposition for the same reasons. It can evoke feelings of calm and comfort as well as energy and interest.

Here are some examples of juxtaposition in home décor:

  • Visual Juxtaposition.

Contemporary furnishings are minimalistic in nature. They are composed of lots of straight lines and clean corners. No puffy cushions or bulging armrests. Little to no pattern such as flowers or stripes. When you take these types of pieces and accessorize them with plush blankets and multi-patterned pillows, or hang patterned window coverings in the room, you create visual juxtaposition. Without the accessories, the piece will look crisp and neat, but with them it will take on a warmth and personality to create a more inviting space.

In that same contemporary space, you can also create juxtaposition by including a few antique (or antique-looking) pieces. Perhaps an old mirror on the wall or a Singer sewing machine table between two contemporary chairs. Or even a repurposed antique door made into a coffee table.

These simple accessories or signature pieces enhance a room with visual juxtaposition.

  • Textural Juxtaposition.

Textures play a huge role in the feel of a room. For example, a room with hard wood or concrete flooring may not seem like a place to play on the floor or stretch out and watch a movie. But add some floor cushions or a soft rug and suddenly you have a comfortable place for old knees or tiny toes.

Take a teak wood outdoor bench and give it style and cushioning with some colorful outdoor pillows. The contrasting textures are beautiful and functional.

You can also utilize this technique with window treatments. If you have a room with a lot of smooth finishes – like a bathroom – you can create visual interest with Provenance® Woven Wood Shades as show in the picture below. Or in a formal dining room, consider Vignette® Modern Roman Shades to add texture, pattern, and contrasting interest.

Provanance Woven Wood Shades

 

Textural juxtaposition adds the element of touch to what you experience in a room.

  • Light and Dark Juxtaposition.

Light and dark can refer to actual light coming into a room compared to the darkness preferred for sleeping or it may refer to the color choices themselves. Either way, it is a beautiful and elegant way to use juxtaposition in your home.

When we sleep, most of us prefer darkness and privacy. During the day, however, we might like to let in the natural light. This contrast can serve practical as well as emotional purposes. If you’ve ever experienced a few days of gray skies, you likely know how important sunlight is to us. Likewise, if you have every tried to sleep with a bright street lamp right outside your window, you understand the need for darkness at those times. Curtains, blinds, and shutters all give you the power to choose when and if to let the light into your home. At Austin Window Fashions, we have a wide selection of colors and styles to suit every preference and create just the right amount of light vs. dark in your home.  

At AWF, we can also stain or paint your wooden shutters any color you desire. This can help you create the look you are going for with light walls contrasted with dark shutters or vice versa. We recently had a client who wanted a simple, elegant look in her new home. She had already chosen all black, white, or gray for her flooring, cabinetry, tile and the like. When it came time for selecting her shutters, she dreamed of black – and we delivered! As you can see from one of her photos below, the black and white creates elegant juxtaposition to each other as does the homeowner’s use of bright colors for her other decorations.

Painted black plantation shutters

Light vs. dark juxtaposition certainly creates a mood in a home while adding beauty and elegance.

Juxtaposition – the contrasting of ideas, concepts, emotions, or environments – is a powerful tool in the arts. It speaks to us on a deeper level and enriches our experience within a story, a piece of artwork, and even a home.