What interior design style are you? It’s one of those questions that as designers, we are constantly asking our clients. And today we are asking you.
Any time we meet with a new client and start on a project, before we do anything we first take the time to help them navigate through the different “design styles”. This process involves pointing out key features of each so that we can then decipher together what style they fall into. It’s a process of elimination and for many they already know what they love and gravitate towards, but for others, seeing pictures of all the different styles helps them know “ohhh, that definitely isn’t me”. Which then allows us to help get them closer to what is them.
While there are quite a few styles below, this is not meant to be the end-all-be-all list, as styles are constantly changing and evolving, and many if not most people can be a combo of both. That is where the fun comes in for us! So, today it’s a crash course in design styles – let us know in the comments what yours is.
Traditional is one of the oldest, and most common design styles so let’s start with that. The traditional style is rooted in heritage and traditional shapes and forms. You will often find pieces that have not changed at all since they were first created hundreds of years ago. It is all about conscious layering, formality, and incorporating pieces with structure and symmetry.
Bohemian style AKA as Boho to most, has become very popular in the last 5 years although its roots date back much further than that. Boho style is all about pulling together natural and organic elements into a very layered and collected look. You’ll find lots of caning, rattan, bamboo, and textiles in this style mixed with bright and saturated colors. It’s exotic, it’s playful and it’s very layered.
It’s neutral, it’s inviting and it’s casual. It relates to modern in its clean aesthetic and color palette but this style is all about layering neutral textiles and textures to create interest rather than introducing additional color. In this style you’ll find lots of light-toned woods and relaxed textiles mixed with iconic lighting done in black, brass and chrome.
For all intents and purposes, this could be called the slightly more refined cousin of Boho. It has a lot of similarities as far as the collected nature, the colorful combos, and the curated aesthetic. However the pieces are less organic and more styled. Eclectic rooms could be filled with iconic pieces from just about every style, and when done right it all works together.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Boho or Eclectic, lies modern. Many people feel modern can be cold, stark and sterile. But – in reality, modern style is very much rooted in square shapes and forms. You won’t find anything in this style with extra embellishments, and typically the style has a more neutral color palette with the occasional pop of color.
This style has become very mainstream in the last 5 years – thanks to the popular HGTV show Fixer Upper. The style uses a lot of found and salvaged objects but pulled together in a more modern and refined way. Rather than being too rustic and farmhouse-esque it is more inspired by the latter. You’ll see plaids, blues, greens and lots of white and black used in this style. It is very inviting and comfortable and has a slight tinge of traditional in it without being too formal. Think rustic yet refined.
This style is filled with luxe textiles like leather, suede and velvet and jewel toned colors. It’s very high-end and polished and employs all the very finest of finishes. In this style you’ll see a lot of minimal yet impactful touches that give it that posh and elevated look without having to add on too much of the extra detail and fill that you might find in a “Hollywood Regency” style.
Just as the name states – the origins of this style lean more factory-esque and machine. It can lead a bit more masculine than the other styles as it uses a lot of metal, rustic wood, and leathers. However, the softness comes through its neutral color palette and the use of found objects which instantly can give the room some soul and character.
The name inherently gives you a sense of what the style holds. It’s all about the casual beachy atmosphere that you’ll find in many of the homes on the east coast. The style is all about bringing the natural elements of the coast inside your home. There are a lot of white-washed woods, blue tones and plenty of white to help all that beachy sunshine bounce around the room.
With cues coming heavily from the ’50s and ’60s this style has become one of the most common and relatable styles for many people. The pieces designed during this period have stood the test of time and still remain fresh, modern, and relevant. The lines on many mid-century pieces are simple, clean and minimal and are made out of warm woods with purposeful details and styling.
A style which has similar cues to modern – minimalist, has very clean lines and simple shapes however the style lives by the the mantra “less is more”. It uses a very, very refined had when selected items for rooms that fall into this style and everything in these rooms must play a purpose. You won’t find too many extra objects or layers.
Hailing from its namesake, Scandinavian design is very much nordic in its roots. It has some similarities to organic modern but reads a bit more simplistic and minimal in its approach. When colors are used, it’s a very soft color palette of pastels balanced out with light-toned woods and lots of whites, creams, and tans. It is inviting, simple and clean yet very warm and relaxed in its styling.