One of the most important things when designing your place, let it be by yourself or with the support of one professional designer, is to understand what is your own interior design style.
Think of it as your own dressing style. Most probably it took you some time to find your own personal style right? You can be sure it will also take some time to find your style to design your home or apartment. Not only that, I am sure you can tell as time goes by that your closet keeps changing. The design process is the same. It is always evolving and every new place you live will force you to somehow rethink your ideas on styles. This should be the fun part, so embrace it!
In this article I will share with you a list of the most universal decorating styles and how they could look and feel. I hope it will be a good guide to help you start narrowing down your own style.
1. MINIMALISM DESIGN
A style that prioritizes efficiency.
Everything is about functionality, favoring open concept spaces, very clean areas (no clutter at all!), only neutral colors with texture to add some coziness and above all “quality over quantity”
Visualizer: Karolina Krac
2. RUSTIC DESIGN
Here the emphasis is on natural materials, which means a lot of wood and stone with a strong earth feeling about it.
Usually, the design is very simple, shapes are very basic and décor tends to be heavier, darker but once again, still very natural.
Colors, of course, swings towards greens, browns and oranges and the furniture usually have some roughness to them.
3. CONTEMPORARY DESIGN
The focus of the “Contemporary” design is on form and the final look tends to be very high-tech and sometimes eccentric.
The basics are glossy metals, noble materials such as marble and leather and it usually has an inventive, unusual and unconventional approach.
4. TRANSITIONAL DESIGN
If you feel that the “Traditional” design with all its heavy fabrics and bulky pieces are too stiff for you but the “contemporary” look with its harsh edges and lack of cushions and comfort is too cold, probably your style is transitional.
Usually, this style combines calming and soothing colors with bold and large pieces of furniture and noble fabrics such as velvet and chenille.
Accessories, on the other hand, are kept to the minimum to not overwhelm the space and “negative/empty” spaces are key to maintain the balance of the combination.
5. FRENCH COUNTRY DESIGN
Here comes one style that goes in direct opposition to the super modern contemporary style but never goes out of fashion.
“French country” is all about creating a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. Color palette tends to be very warm: usually, tans, creams and soft yellows and material are mostly natural.
Although you can say that rustic style relies also on natural material, where the shapes are more sophisticated and upholstery plays a big role.
Patina wood is almost a must.
6. COASTAL DESIGN
First things first: “coastal” design is not nautical design, which means coastal is definitely not about anchors, seashells and blues and whites everywhere.
Yes, coastal design is a beachy style but in its essence, the core is jute, rattan, chip lap walls, loose linen, a predominance of white and tons and tons of light!
The basic idea here is to bring the summer feeling to the house or apartment all year long.
The space should be very clean but on the contrary of minimalism, furniture tends to be very casual, comfortable and easy going, with colors within the range of beiges, light green, blue and grey.
7. BOHEMIAN DESIGN
Also known as “Boho”, this style is inspired by young at heart, free-spirited people, usually related to arts and humanistic careers.
It has to do with incorporating different cultures and ways of life in the design, creating a mix of styles that tend to be maximalist but very cozy.
In this search to mix different parts of the world, “Boho” is about a mix of colors (often earthy), patterns and layers with ethnic and vintage pieces grounded by modern furnishing.
8. SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN
Although it could be confused with minimalism design because at its most basic level it is a very minimal design also, “Scandinavian” Design becomes different because it is totally inspired by nature and climate.
The philosophy behind this design is the function: every piece should improve everyday life and connect the indoor with the outdoor.
The palette usually is very neutral and textiles tend to be very soft (a necessity in cold climates) creating the warmth that the minimalism often lacks.
9. INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
Think about building materials of commercial spaces such as steel, iron, bricks and wood incorporated into a living space. This is the essence of “Industrial” Design.
The idea is to highlight the structural components of the buildings, creating a space full of exposed pipes, beams, brick and concrete walls. The final result usually lacks softness but has tons of personality!
Colors tend to be dark, furniture has a worn feeling that feels lived in and leather and vintage pieces are the main actors.
10. MID CENTURY MODERN DESIGN
Last but certainly not least, a style that became the most popular one in the US nowadays.
“Mid Century Modern” actually grew in America during the 50’s and 60’s as an evolution of styles such as Bauhaus and Danish Modernist and the timeless quality of its shapes and materials continues to appeal till today.
Mid-century has somehow become the new classic. Here more than anywhere else, the premise is almost a mantra: form follows function.
Basically, the style relies on clean lines, minimal ornamentation and fuss and the usage of new materials for its time: bent plywood, fibreglass, foam and malleable aluminium, steel and plastic.
As I said at the beginning of this article, this should be a guide and the only objective here is to help you to narrow your choices.
At the end of the day, I believe our personal style is never based in one single trend available out there and this is what makes our houses unique and my work so fabulous 😉