Readers explore their design style at Dish & Design

Jodi Noding
The Detroit News

‘What’s your design style? – that was the question more than 150 readers came to have answered at Homestyle’s Dish & Design event Wednesday night at EuroAmerica Design in Troy.

Emily Cuozzo, an interior designer from Scott Shuptrine Interiors, discussed different ways to accessorize: traditional, farmhouse country, transitional and modern/contemporary design styles.

“Traditional is one of the most common styles,” she said. “The walls will be neutral, the upholstery luxe. To accessorize, bring in big splashes of colors with artwork and throw pillows. Blue and white ginger jars are a great addition next to a chair on a credenza.”

Contemporary style, on the other hand, with clean lines and an open, airy and fresh design, typically focus on white with small pops of color in vases and abstract art while its sibling, modern, is a minimal style that typically uses lots of glass, metal and muted pottery.

Farmhouse country is an inviting, rustic look that incorporates nature by adding texture that evokes the outdoors and colors, such as turquoise and baby blue.

And transitional is a mixture of styles and open to a wide range of accessorizing.

Cuozzo also suggests relying on artificial flowers and throw pillows — no matter the style.

“Throw pillows are a very easy way to make a statement and a cost-effective way to change a room,” she said. Artificial flowers add color and drama, and they’re versatile: All you need to do is to change the vase to change the look from rustic to contemporary.

Christian Pusca of Alf and Giulio Botteon of Cerasa spoke about Italian contemporary bath and kitchen trends. No longer do European homes have the traditional look we’ve associated with the continent.

“The trends are moving more contemporary in Europe and the U.S.,” Botteon said. Floating cabinets and shelves are popular. The look plays with materials, shapes and tones, matching woods with lacquered colors and square or rounded cabinets. The style is simple to clean and has lots of storage with many technical features, such as self-closing drawers. And Pusca says Italians are forced to find their design style, because when they move into a home, “It’s an empty box” with no kitchen or bathroom cabinets or appliances.

Homestyle writer Maureen Feighan reminded readers, “Home decor starts with fashion. One of the very best ways to find your style is to look in your closet. What do you like? If you are confused, think about what you’re wearing.” She also said that no one has to have just one style.

Color was another hot topic. Stephanie Summers of Sherwin-Williams discussed how to find colors for your home, including drawing inspiration from favorite accessories, home magazines and online interest boards. And today’s online apps allow you to snap a picture of a room and virtually paint it any color, letting you see how your dining room might look in lemon yellow or tangerine before getting out a paintbrush.

Tre Monti restaurant executive chef Benedetto Palazzolo prepared pasta in a rich Emiliana sauce for Dish & Design attendees. One of his secrets? He makes “the water as salty as the sea” when preparing pasta, he says, to flavor the sauce.

Dish & Design is a series of home decorating and entertaining seminars. The next one is slated for Nov. 30. Check your upcoming Homestyle for ticket details.