Interior Design Style Guide: Which Style Best Suits You?
|August 13, 2013||Posted by Rachael under Buyer's Guides, Pro Tips, Trend Watch|
When it comes to your home, everyone has their own opinion on how it should be decorated. What works for one person is the complete opposite of how another would design the same space. This difference in taste has led to many different aesthetics becoming prevalent in design. Learning how each design style differs from one another can help you pinpoint your own specific tastes, making it easier to shop for furniture, choose paint colors, and accessorize your home.
Read below for our guide to the most popular design styles used in America today.
Traditional design is rich in historical influences. Whether dotted with antiques, or new furniture and accessories made to look antique, traditionally designed rooms are full of symmetry and clean lines. Stripes, plaids, solids, and small, symmetrical florals are fabric choices typically used in traditional design. Historic U.S. homes like the White House and Monticello are classic examples of traditional design.
Minimalist and simple, modern design can be categorized by the absence of decoration. Neutral-colored fabrics, geometric shapes, and a lack of clutter are all characteristics of modern design. Showcased in televisions shows like Nip/Tuck, modern design focuses on a few key pieces in each room and a solid color to fill the rest of the space. Sonneman lighting and Phillipe Starck’s collection for Hansgrohe are two examples of modern done well. Design Within Reach, CB2, and Room and Board are three stores that sell modern décor.
Contemporary interior design consists of a combination of modern and traditional elements. Minimalist, sleek furniture in bright fabrics or neutrals mixed with metallics like chrome and gold can often be found in contemporary design. As its name suggest, contemporary design is very now and “of the moment”. Stores like Pier 1 Imports, West Elm, and Anthropologie all sell contemporary pieces for the home.
Transitional design is the happy medium between contemporary and traditional designs. Known as “a new spin on old classics”, transitional design combines the clean, simple lines and curves of contemporary design and combines them with the rich woods and solid colors of traditional design. A focus on comfort is a product of transitional design, with soft fabrics and plush chairs taking precedent over the overall design of the room. Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel sell transitional pieces.
Imagine a trendy woman decorating a barn or cottage while maintaining the essence of the country. The rooms this woman would design would be classified as shabby chic. Combining florals, weathered paint, and pastels with luxurious items like chandeliers and crystal wall sconces, shabby chic design is comfortable yet elegant. Blogger Miss Mustard Seed infuses shabby chic into her home with milk painted dressers and chandeliers.
Inspired by low-tech, back to the basics cabins prevalent in mountain ranges across the US, rustic design uses lots of wood and stone to form the foundation of a home. Mason jars, burlap, and florals are all fitting accessories to a rustic room. Muted pastels on furniture, such as those used by Miss Mustard Seed, add a subtle splash of color that stands out against wooden or white walls. Lanterns and industrial-inspired lighting are the perfect compliment to rustic homes. Houzz has a fantastic gallery of rustic rooms that can be viewed here.
Your patriotic aunt who lives in the country probably has at least one piece of Americana in her home. A mix of nostalgia and patriotism, Americana design includes patterns and signs of faded American flags, muted red, white, and blue stars, license plates, and classic American food tins used as vases. Quick to cross into rustic/country, Americana is a collector’s dream. The men of American Pickers are likely to have an Americana-based design aesthetic.
A throwback to the good-old days of the 1950s and 60s, mid-century modern design takes its cues from the influential architects and designers of the day – Ray and Charles Eames, Joseph Eichler, Ludwig Mies Van Der Roh, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Furniture and fabrics seen on the set of Mad Men can now be found in the homes of mid-century modern enthusiasts. The classic Eames rocker, arc lamps, and sputnik chandeliers are just a few of the staples of mid-century modern design. Many of the apartments and products shown at Apartment Therapy, and the apartment of Manhattan Nest’s Daniel and Max are great examples of mid-century modern design.
Coastal design is inspired by the natural elements of the ocean. Sea shells, driftwood, sea glass, and even vases of sand can all be used to accessorize a coastal room. Blues, whites, and warm browns are colors typically found in coastal homes. Light and breezy fabrics combined with nautical elements like rope, industrial lighting, and anchors will make any home feel beachy, even if its miles from the shore! Kim of Sand & Sisal has used a coastal motif throughout her entire home.
What design style is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!