10 Interior Design Styles Every Designer Should Know

December 10, 2017 2:23 am by admin
10 interior design styles every designer should know
10 pieces all designers swear by
10 Interior Design Styles Every Designer Should Know

What little tricks do you have up your sleeve to make your a home a well-designed space?

The bohemian style suits anyone who has a carefree lifestyle and who loves bright colors, vintage furniture, and layers. This style is a clash of beauty, chaos, and culture. It allows the homeowner to express their individuality and is often adorned with accessories gathered from trips or flea markets. It is one of the interior design styles that embraces an ordered form of clutter.

Creating a great interior design takes some skill. Image Source: Maeve Carr Design

Plants are commonly an after-thought. This is a design mistake. You may think that you have a room completely, immaculately designed, but look to see if you have incorporated plants and natural elements.

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Furniture style: Curves combined with straight lines, lacquered finishes, modern fabrics, subtle prints & patterns

If you are at a loss, we suggest browsing through magazines and interior showrooms to see what you love. Take notice of the way showrooms display their decorative objects; notice that most things are placed thoughtfully into groupings and not strewn about individually through the room. Most of all, buy what you love; what speaks to who you are.

An eye for appealing aesthetics is something that you may not posses right away, but through trial and error, you can discover the correct assortment of decorative objects that work in your home. A lot of interior designers say that if you absolutely love something, then buy it, you will find a place for it and a way to make it work. This mantra may work for those of us with a seasoned design knowledge, but not for the more timid newcomers to design.

The minimalist design style stems from the theory that less is more. There is less furniture, less clutter, less accessories. Even the items used are minimal in that they’re airy and have empty space around them. If your client is into the minimalist design style, you’re going to have to work with open spaces, few furniture items, and a whole lot of white.

Use black in a room for drama and to add depth. Image Source: lda-Architects

Functionality of your home is very dependent on individual lifestyles. If you have an empty nest, then you may be more willing to invest in expensive pieces and room decor, while busy families may prefer an open floor plan that is unobstructed by numerous decorative objects.  Consider your individual living needs and then choose the right design software that can help you achieve your ideal layout.

Classic lines are classic for a reason—they will never go out of style. Why spend $5000 on a sofa with bold angular lines that will date itself in 5 years? You can incorporate trends in less expensive pieces, but its best to keep your main furnishings simple, clean and classic.

Furniture style: Functional, simple, natural fibres, clean lines, smooth & rounded edges, natural hues

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Creating little vignettes all around your home can add to its appeal and functionality. Image Source: MHouse Inc

It is amazing what happens to the warmth and design spirit of a room the minute that you add a tall potted palm plant. Immediately the room seems fresher and more properly put together.

Interior design’s biggest enemy is boredom. A well-designed room always has, depending on the size of it, one or more focal points. A focal point must be dominant to draw attention and interesting enough to encourage the viewer to look further. A focal point thus must have a lasting impression but must also be an integral part of the decoration linked through scale, style, color or theme. A fireplace or a flat tv is the first example that most people think of when we talk about a room focal point.

Suddenly it becomes glaringly obvious that a picture needs to be moved because it is hung too high, or that you have too many small objects cluttering the room, or that the pillows really don’t work.

Color palette: Brown, green, metallics, jewel tones, purple, orange, blue

At the end of this article you’ll be able to recognize and use the basic interior design principles used by every interior designer to create a great design, and who knows maybe you’ll also save some money, or start a new career ! Now let’s begin with the beginning, and undestand what interior design is …

This guide on top 10 interior design styles will refresh your memory and help you easily identify the specific styles your clients are referring to.

The transitional style is a mix of traditional and contemporary. It offers the best of both worlds in that it is comforting and sleek at the same time. This style focuses on texture and material over color.

Taking several snapshots of the room from different angles is the best way to edit a room of its clutter and items that simply don’t work  in the space.

Asymmetrical balance is more appropriate in design in these days. Balance is achieved with some dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight or eye attraction. Assymetrical balance is more casual and less contrived in feeling, but more difficult to achieve. Asymmetry suggests movement, and leads to more lively interiors.

Distinguishing features: Clean lines, uncluttered, lack of ornamentation, calm, spacious, airy, lots of light

Furniture style: Second-hand/vintage, plush, saturated colors, poufs, mismatched, comfortable

Try arranging your favorite objects on a coffee table, or create a centerpiece of candlesticks on your dining table…anything goes as long as it is a cohesive grouping. If you are new to this idea, then start slowly and keep your groupings limited to 3 items that have common elements such as color, theme, or texture.

Some may argue that this same effect can be achieved through other bold colors, but we suggest you just try it with black and see what happens.

Repetition is the use of the same element more than once throughout a space. You can repeat a pattern, color, texture, line, or any other element, or even more than one element.

Color – Colors have a definite impact on the atmosphere that you want to create when doing interior design. A more detalied post about how colors affect our moods you can find here.

Distinguishing features: Colorful, layered, various textures and patterns, vintage items, tapestries, crowded

The modern style stems from the Modernism movement that came about in the 1920s. It should not be confused with the adjective “modern,” which refers to current trends. It should also not be confused with contemporary style, which also refers to design trends of the current era. The modern design style is very specific and is said to be founded by the famous German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Don’t be cheap when it comes to buying seating. Image Source: DKor Interiors

Distinguishing features: Luxurious, over-the-top, glamorous, dramatic, bold accessories

Radial symmetry is when all the elements of a design are arrayed around a center point. A spiral staircase is also an excellent example of radial balance. Though not often employed in interiors, it can provide an interesting counterpoint if used appropriately.

Furniture style: Elegant, regal, floral patterns, wooden (mahogany, maple, cherry), upholstered, heavy, claw-footed, velvet, silk

Distinguishing features: Clean lines, simple furnishings, lack of clutter & adornments, “form follows function”

We learn a lot of our floor plan mistakes the hard way, so why not virtually design your room first, avoiding  the drudgery of moving heavy furniture around, and failing repeatedly to get the proper layout.

“Interior design is the process of shaping the experience of interior space, through the manipulation of spatial volume as well as surface treatment. Not to be confused with interior decoration, interior design draws on aspects of environmental psychology, architecture, and product design in addition to traditional decoration.

How? Well, there are some basics when it comes to pulling together the interior design of a room. By following these 10 steps you can begin to create a peaceful and functional interior space that takes your four walls and makes them feel like home.

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Distinguishing features: Open space, uncluttered, airy, strong emphasis on line and form

Symmetrical balance is usually found in traditional interiors. Symmetrical balance is characterized by the same objects repeated in the same positions on either side of a vertical axis, for example you might remember old rooms where on each side of a room is an exact mirror of the other. This symmetry also reflects the human form, so we are inately comfortable in a balanced setting.

This little-known trick works! No matter what your design tastes— country to minimalist— every interior design should incorporate a few splashes of black.

Furniture style: Distressed/rough wood, leather, rough edges

An interior designer is a person who is considered a professional in the field of interior design or one who designs interiors as part of their job. Interior design is a creative practice that analyzes programmatic information, establishes a conceptual direction, refines the design direction, and produces graphic communication and construction documents. In some jurisdictions, interior designers must be licensed to practice.” – Source :Wikipedia

Transition is a little harder to define. Unlike repetition or progression, transition tends to be a smoother flow, where the eye naturally glides from one area to another. The most common transition is the use of a curved line to gently lead the eye, such as an arched doorway or winding path.

Contemporary style should not be confused with modern style. If your client wants a contemporary home, it means they’re into current design trends. It is not a static trend but rather an evolving one that adapts to current times. Contemporary style is generally based on simplicity, sophistication and clean lines. It is not cluttered, and it’s very sleek and fresh.

Distinguishing features: Symmetrical, columns, crown moulding, detailed woodwork

Adding decorative objects may seem silly, but it adds to the overall style statement of your home. Image Source: Residents Understood

Layering a room is paramount to comfort and visual warmth. Look to the room in the image below. A fuzzy area rug is layered over the rooms main carpeting; pillows are perched in layers on the bed and on the chairs; curtains layer the windows; a blanket layers the side of a chair….

It seems frivolous to add objects into a room that have no real use. Why would I buy something that I cannot use? Well, the answer is simple—because it makes a style statement, thereby adding to your decor.

In home decorating, a vignette is a grouping of objects or furniture.  You can create a vignette through a grouping of art on your wall, or a grouping of objects on a table, or a grouping of chairs near a window to create a conversational seating. By arranging your items in this manner, you create areas for the eye to stop, relax and stay awhile.

Another important element of interior design where it is necessary to take infinite pains is details. Everything from the trimming on the lamp shade, the color of the piping on the scatter cushion, to the light switches and cupboard handles need attention. Unlike color people find details boring. As a result it gets neglected and skimmed over or generally left out. As color expresses the whole spirit and life of a scheme; details are just as an important underpinning of interior design. Details should not be obvious but they should be right, enhancing the overall feel of a room.

Color palette: Neutral shades – brown, tan, black, cream, grey

The Huffington Post offers numerous houseplant suggestions that make your home brighter and the air cleaner. Even if you consider yourself anything but a green-thumber, you can still incorporate easy-care houseplants into your interior design—you will be so that glad when you admire the new level of interior design your room achieves thanks to greenery.

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This is where you get to have fun and showcase your personality. There is nothing worse than a home that doesn’t speak to the owners loves, travels, tastes, passions, and hobbies.

Whether you are a poor student trying to furnish your first apartment or you are upgrading to the home of your dreams—it is always best to keep the lines of your larger (more expensive) furniture pieces classic.

If you love color, then find ways to incorporate color through pillows and removable wallpaper. If you have travelled the world, then showcase the pictures you have taken or the items you collected while traveling.  If you love giraffes, then incorporate some giraffe print on a foot stool or area rug.

Furniture style: Velvet, plush, Victorian style, lacquered, silk, satin, tufted

If you don’t have a natural focal point in your space, such as a fireplace for example, you can create one by highlighting a particular piece of furniture, artwork, or by simply painting a contrasting color in one area. Try to maintain balance, though, so that the focal point doesn’t hog all of the attention.

Get the picture? Make the interior design speak to who you are. This is where you get to have fun and create your own personal masterpiece.

Furniture style: Exposed legs, neutral tones, natural fibres, two-tone prints, no skirts or excess fabric

Home designers and remodelers have to be familiar with all the popular interior design styles in order to accommodate the needs and wants of their clients. Most of the time, clients don’t even know the specific design style they want.

Most designers will tell you that if you are going to splurge on one item, then let it be the sofa.  Choosing the correct seating for a room is overwhelming! What color do you choose? What fabric? What size? How much should you spend? What is a good quality sofa? This New York Times article offers some insightful advice when it comes to choosing a high-quality sofa.

Traditional style is inspired by older and more classical European design styles, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s outdated. It’s a style that brings comfort, familiarity and predictability to a room, making a space feel warm and welcoming. There are no surprises in a traditionally designed home, and everything is clean, calm and calculated.

Stick with classic lines that will never get dated. Image Source: Candace Cavanaugh

Take a picture of your completed room in order to see what needs to be edited; the things that do not work in the space. Image Source: O Interior Design

Visiting numerous design showrooms will also help you in the initial search of style options that suit your needs and tastes. But before venturing out to shop, MEASURE! It would be awful to fall in love with a piece only to discover that it is too large for your space.

We can all achieve a well-decorated space by following a few design tips. Image Source: James Rixner

Progression is taking an element and increasing or decreasing one or more of its qualities. The most obvious implementation of this would be a gradation by size. A cluster of candles of varying sizes on a simple tray creates interest because of the natural progression shown. You can also achieve progression via color, such as in a monochromatic color scheme where each element is a slightly different shade of the same hue.

Distinguishing features: Spacious, few accessories, natural lighting, light flooring, clutter-free, minimal

Color palette: Neutral walls, warm, rich, dark, gold & silver furnishings/accessories

Everyone can incorporate these tips: layout the room properly, splurge on a great sofa, arrange decorative objects into vignettes, layer your rooms, add plants, incorporate black, stick with classic lines, take pictures to edit, and most importantly make it yours.

Furniture style: Mix of wood and metal, vintage/antique look, weathered, functional

Finally, contrast is fairly straightforward. Putting two elements in opposition to one another, such as black and white pillows on a sofa, is the hallmark of this design principle. Opposition can also be implied by contrasts in form, such as circles and squares used together. Contrast can be quite jarring, and is generally used to enliven a space. Be careful not to undo any hard work you’ve done using the other mechanisms by introducing too much contrast!

We suggest you narrow down your choices to a few final options and then choose based on highest quality. A sofa can be a lifelong investment when the best quality is purchased, so buy the best that you can afford. Oh, and choose a fabric that you won’t grow tired of…who wants to live with a floral patterned couch or a dated “it was hot when I bought it” color the rest of their lives?

Interior design must begin with a functional layout of a room. To begin, we suggest looking online for the numerous free offerings of online tools for room layout and design. In these design programs you can input room measurements, furniture measurements and then play with room layout to see what is most optimal.

That’s where your knowledge and expertise on different interior design styles comes in. After speaking with your client and taking a look at inspirational images they’ve gathered, you should be able to identify their design style.

This might be one of the most important steps. After all, a picture is worth one-thousand words. Standing back and taking a snap shot of your room allows you to peer through a new perspective. In a way,  a photograph allows you  to see the room for the first time, through a visitor’s eyes.

All of these elements form a cozy stratum within the room that help it achieve a well-decorated aesthetic. While considering the layers that you would like to add to your design think about choosing varying textures and fabrics— think velvet pillows, silk curtains, mohair blankets, and plush area rugs.

This bedroom is beautifully layered. Image Source: Ohara Interiors

Why? Black adds a sense of depth, character and focus to a room like no other color can.  It can be as simple as incorporating pictures in black wooden frames, or a black graphic print on your curtains, or a black stripe lining throw pillows… it doesn’t matter where you choose to incorporate this bold color, as long as you incorporate it somewhere.

In a short sentence for those who just scan this article balance can be described as the equal distribution of visual weight in a room. There are three styles of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.

All of these different textiles make the layering effect even more lavish. Go from blah to beautiful by layering your room today.

Furniture style: Streamlined shapes, simple, functional, subdued colors

Distinguishing features: Lightly adorned, clean lines, inviting, focus wall, neutral colors

Distinguishing features: Wooden beams, stone fireplace/accent wall, warm colors, natural materials, wooden counters and furniture, worn finishes

If we would speak about music we would describe rhytmas the beat of pulse of the music. In interior design, rhythm is all about visual pattern repetition. Rhythm is defined as continuity, recurrence or organized movement. To achieve these themes in a design, you need to think about repetition, progression, transition and contrast. Using these mechanisms will impart a sense of movement to your space, leading the eye from one design element to another.

On the other side, there is an art to decorating; a flair that doesn’t really follow any rules or formulas. While you may not have an artful flair, you can begin to learn how to develop one.

Industrial style is inspired by the industrial working world where machine, metal and brick were king. In this day and age, it celebrates a building’s raw and exposed materials. But that doesn’t mean it’s only reserved for people who live in lofts – any space can be transformed into an industrial-style home with the right color palette, materials and furnishings.

Do you feel like this was a little 101 in decorating? While this certainly doesn’t cover all the design secrets (only an interior designer can do that), it does get you started on the right path to creating a well-designed home that is functional and attractive—a home that speaks to who you are.

Look to the dining room in the image below. The black dining chairs are classic and go with any decor; they stay on-trend via the leopard fabric that can easily be changed, while the shape of the chair will never go out of style and is a great investment piece.

Now that you have an idea about interior design, we can move forward and learn something really useful, the principles of interior design. Let’s begin !

This style dates back to the 1930s when Hollywood was in full swing. Hollywood regency style is suitable for clients who are into glam, opulence and who are not afraid to take risks. It’s also for clients who love to entertain guests and who have an active social life. It is one of the interior design styles that opposes minimalism and embraces extravagance.

When doing interior design it is necessary to think of the house as a totality; a series of spaces linked together by halls and stairways. It is therefore appropriate that a common style and theme runs throughout. This is not to say that all interior design elements should be the same but they should work together and complement each other to strengthen the whole composition. A way to create this theme or storyline is with the well considered use of color. Color schemes in general are a great way to unify a collection of spaces. For example, you might pick three or four colors and use them in varying shades thoughout the house.

Don’t be scared to add your own personality to a space. Image Source: Arentpyke

Distinguishing features: Open concept layout, high ceilings, exposed materials, uncluttered, functional, mix of old and new, negative space

The Scandinavian style originates from Nordic countries. It puts a lot of emphasis on natural and artificial lighting to create a bright and clean space. Scandinavian design has many similarities to minimalist design where function, simplicity and clean lines reign supreme.

Scale and Proportion – These two design principles go hand in hand, since both relate to size and shape. Proportion has to do with the ratio of one design element to another, or one element to the whole. Scale concerns itself with the size of one object compared to another.

Think of this as a little 101 in decorating. While we all cannot possess the eye for exquisite design and detail — we can decorate our homes as though we do.  In some ways, interior decorating can be thought of as a formula with specific steps; building blocks that will help create your very own interior design.

Rustic style is all about bringing natural and earthy elements into a home. Cottages and townhouses are often designed in this style, but it’s becoming more and more popular among city dwellers. Rustic style incorporates accessories from the outdoors such as branches, logs, and reclaimed wood.

Furniture style: Simple, exposed legs, raised off the floor, glossy cabinets

As mentioned above, decorative objects can take a space from bland to outstanding. Not only do you have to incorporate decorative objects, you also have to place them into proper vignettes.

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