Are you curious about what your interior design style is? You're not alone! Learn how to define your unique sense of style and bring it to life.
Admit it! You’ve probably indulged in a few online personality quizzes in hopes of discovering a little more about yourself. Who doesn’t want to define their style and learn how to enhance it best? Let’s apply this introspection to your interiors and see if you find yourself in these styles, along with ways to blend, refine, and make them your own.
Look around your own home for clues: did you just makeover your dining room with a gorgeous pink fabric bubble pendant? Do your dining chairs have gently curved, low-profile back support? You might just be into mid-century modern decor — but chances are your personal tastes span more than just one style!
While it would be impossible for us to explore every design style, let’s look at the following styles to see what fits you best:
Farmhouse style involves all the materials you’d expect on a traditional farmhouse: quaint traditional spaces, exposed beam construction, and rustic wood furniture.
The bold farmhouse notes are tempered by smooth finishing, fresh whitewash paint, and fabrics in gentle plaids or florals sprinkled among the neutrals. There is a focus on the country lifestyle but with an emphasis on comfort. If you’re starting to imagine Joanna Gaines and her interiors, you aren’t wrong!
The rustic design style resembles farmhouse but with less polish and paint. The construction of spaces and furnishings is left visibly rough, with thick exposed joints on furnishings.
Textiles like cotton, hemp, or wool soften the texture of wood and exposed brick and stone. Colors are neutral to allow the natural finishes and textures of the space to speak for themselves.
Minimalism centers around functionality, with clean lines and limited distractions. Sleek materials like steel, glass, and chrome work together with smooth wood and stone for added warmth.
Natural textiles support the importance placed on organization, with color palettes limited to neutrals like white, gray, tan, and black, with minimal patterning — although some minimalists like to pair their spaces with smaller pops of contrasting colors. The great thing about discovering your design style is that you make the rules!
The mid-century modern style evolved in the mid-20th century, celebrating clean lines and sleek surfaces. There is some overlap with minimalism as furnishings were often made of teak wood, metal, glass, and vinyl so that their functionality was part of their artistry.
Clean geometric shapesfound their way into light fixtures, with glass orb pendants and Sputnik-style chandeliers. Colors became bold, creating more opportunities to design striking accent features. It’s no wonder this is one of the more popular design styles today.
The Scandinavian style relies on minimalist principles of spare belongings and mid-century modern shapes, but it is uniquely focused on the cozy factor. Texture and textiles include lambskins, soft wool throws, or kilim rugs, and accent pieces stand out in a neutral palette. Natural light is celebrated like art and may be one of the few adornments in a room. When we think of Scandi spaces, we imagine something clean and calming.
This style is reflected in the colors and effects of living on the coast (duh), whether you’re actually located there or not. Think light wood (a driftwood look from exposure to salt and sun) and crisp, clean fabrics in the palette of the sea: white like the clouds, the blues and greens of the ocean, and the neutrals of sand and shells. Coastal homes facilitate a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living.
If you were to time travel, you’d find that contemporary design means something different in every decade you did home tours in — that’s because it’s all about what’s on trend at the moment. Today, our definition of contemporary style involves strong linear shapes. Well-defined lines run through all rooms and are repeated in furnishings, artwork, and architecture.
The neutral palette of black and white is a backdrop for bolder colors that are kept to a minimum. Prints tend to feature a two-tone style that packs a punch, and window furnishings are minimal and often sheer.
The boho style is more free-wheeling, centering on natural materials in an irregular, layered, unconventional way that gives your home a well-traveled look.
If you see natural materials like rattan, bentwood chairs, macrame wall hangings, and wickerwork with low-profile furnishings like floor pillows and bed cushions, you might be in a boho home. Colors are also layered: natural neutrals with pops of vibrant hand-printed fabrics (like ikat or mud cloth) and the vivid greens of houseplants. Think of Justina Blakeney’s home and design style.
The traditional style is inspired by 18th to 19th-century aristocratic Europe, showcasing dark and detailed antique wood interiors, like doors, fireplaces, and furniture. Pieces were oversized and covered with expensive fabrics like velvet, silk, and linen worked into damask, floral, and striped patterns.
The traditional style glamor continued into lighting with ornate crystal chandeliers often hanging from a ceiling medallion. These timeless items are arranged with an eye for symmetry and in a subdued neutral palette.
The art deco style transcended interiors and was present in architecture and art in the 20s and 30s, in both furnishings and architecture. The home decor style of flappers was all aboutstreamlined, exuberant geometric designs in luxe materials. Think zigzag, chevron, and sunburst shapes in lacquered or smooth surfaces, like steel or brass.
Pieces can be gilded, and fabrics are expensive and come in rich jewel tones. Lighting is often geometric in shape and ornate.
Combining elements of older styles and the new, curating them in a way that tells a rich story is crucial to this design style. Eclectic doesn’t mean cluttered; it is a pared-down blend of interesting textures and vibrant colors or patterns that finds new and unexpected ways of using traditional pieces. It doesn’t lean too heavily toward any design trend and can be easily tailored to your design style.
Glam is similar to art deco, stressing high-quality materials and the use of shiny, metallic surfaces, but with more of a stress on luxury than geometry. This style builds on a neutral background with bold colors, often in jewel tones or pastels, and smooth polished pieces of glass, metal, or lacquered wood furniture. Lighting is often oversized crystal chandeliers.
TLDR: Don’t be afraid to be showy with this style.
The short answer is: no! There’s no need to limit yourself to a rigid definition of style. Your tastes are completely your own, and blending styles adds interest to your home while being uniquely you. As the nature of design repeats itself ever faster, these basic design styles are combined and branch off into something altogether different.
For instance, if your living room combines the elegance of traditional style with the curves and curated look of contemporary, chances are it is transitional — the perfect blend of the two. In the same vein, the blending of mid-century modern with farmhouse for the aptly named modern farmhouse.
Similarly, the traditional French countryside and farmhouse get revamped in shabby chic. The combinations are endless! Try not to get too tripped up on the labels.
If you read the above list and still aren’t sure which design type your style falls under, there are ways to dig deeper and find your true style secrets.
Just as interior designers use mood boards to tease out a client’s tastes by way of collections of decor items and paint colors they gravitate toward, you can use multiple mood boards to narrow down the lines, color palettes, and furnishings that speak to your soul.
Start loading up your Spoak mood board with items, photographs, colors, and textures you love, and see which design trends emerge and repeat themselves again and again.
Home interior design training is helpful to any homeowner who wants to get the look they are craving without too much time-consuming trial and error. Taking a course in BeSpoak School on furniture design or finding your interior design style could be the boost you need to level up your design skills.
While we’ve covered some of the main characteristics of some popular design trends, a deeper dive into individual design styles with BeSpoak School wouldn’t hurt if you want to explore the time periods these decor trends emerged from. Plus, you’ll get decorating tips for making these styles your own and learn easy-to-learn rendering skills to bring them to life.
We’ve looked at the top interior design styles and how to use them in your home. It’s time for you to take these design ideas and run with them!
Remember, there are no limits here. Some of the most memorable spaces are the ones that have an unexpected feature or combination of furnishings that defies any “rules” of a particular style.
Are you already mentally rearranging your home, deciding which pieces are so “you” that they will be instant focal points? That’s the designer in you talking. If you’re still curious about what other styles speak to you, try taking an interior design style quiz to further build out your home look.
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