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What are the different interior design styles?

What are the different interior design styles?

Modern, industrial, Scandinavian, ethnic.... and the list goes on. One of the biggest challenges many of our clients face is the lack of understanding or vocabulary to describe and define their personal interior design style. With an abundance of decor ambiance, it can be difficult to determine which style will suit you best. Some also like to combine elements from several styles to create their ideal look.

A good starting point for an interior design project is to learn a little about each of the styles and how they differ from each other.

Maybe you want to change your style but you don't know which direction to go? Continue reading this guide by Delisse, which decodes everything you need to know about the main decoration styles of the moment.

1. Modern style

“Modern” is a broad term that generally refers to a home with clean, precise lines, a simple color palette, and the use of materials that may include metal, glass, and steel.

Modern design appeals to a sense of simplicity in every element , including furniture. A common word used to describe modern style is “clean.”

We are here to clarify the difference between modern and contemporary. Despite their many similarities, there are a few big signs that you're looking at a modern interior. Modern design refers to a specific period. Contemporary design is constantly evolving. Modern interior design came to the forefront in the mid-20th century.

For example, furniture has clean lines with smooth, sleek surfaces. Metal, chrome and glass, in particular, are favorite choices for designers. In modern interiors, decor is kept to a minimum. They tend to get rid of knick-knacks and use art as their main decor. It's common to see colorful, bold accents in art and furniture in a mostly neutral space.

2. Contemporary style

The main difference between modern and contemporary design style is that modern is a strict interpretation of design that began in the 20th century. Contemporary, on the other hand, is more fluid and can represent a sense of current events with less adherence to a particular style. For example, contemporary style may feature curved lines, while modern design does not.

When you look at interior design styles throughout history, contemporary interior design is the only one that is constantly evolving. Contemporary design style will most likely continue to evolve throughout the 21st century. Contemporary refers to everything that is of the present moment , which creates an environment suitable to last a lifetime.

3. Minimalist style

The minimalist concept is very popular in certain Anglo-Saxon countries. It takes the notions of modern design and simplifies them further.

The color palettes are neutral and airy, the furniture is simple and clean, and nothing is excessive or flamboyant in the accessories or decor.
Minimalism is ultimately defined by a sense of functionality and ultra-clean lines.

Contemporary design and minimalist design have many qualities in common. Both have simple shapes, clean lines and simple finishes. The minimalist decorating style is inspired by Japanese design and focuses on the principle that " less is more ." Minimalist design loves empty spaces.

While most minimalist interiors have a neutral color scheme, primary colors can also be used as an accent color. With this philosophy of less is more, you will find that functional furniture is the most essential design element.

Storage is so important in minimalist interior design and that's why furniture often serves as hidden storage. For example, a coffee table that lifts up to reveal storage space is one of many creative solutions used in minimalist interiors.

4. Industrial style

Industrial style , as its name suggests, is inspired by warehouses or urban lofts.

There is a sense of unfinished rawness to many elements, and it is not uncommon to see exposed bricks, pipes and wood. An iconic home with an industrial design theme would be a renovated loft of an old industrial building.

Although it can be said that industrial interior design is fashionable, it nevertheless has a past. When factories in Western Europe closed at the end of the Second Industrial Revolution, they left behind many large buildings unoccupied. The increase in population has caused the conversion of industrial areas into residential neighborhoods.

Materials like brick and concrete are a great way to add lots of character to the space. You won't hear the words "soft" or "homey" used to describe this unique style of interior design. Its masculine tendencies are tamed through the use of loose texture. Oversized artwork and decorative accessories are perfect complements. Furniture is often rough or unfinished and associated with antiques.

5. Scandinavian style

Scandinavian design pays homage to the simplicity of life demonstrated in the Nordic countries. Scandinavian furniture design often feels like a work of art, despite being simple and understated. The furniture is functional and features interesting lines, many of which have a sculptural influence.

Other common features include all-white color palettes and the incorporation of natural elements like pressed wood, glossy plastics, enameled aluminum, steel and wide planks. If there are pops of color, they often come from the use of art, throws of natural fibers or furs, or a single piece of furniture.

Natural, spacious lighting, fewer accessories and functional furniture characterize Scandinavian designs.

Scandinavian design is one of the easiest interior design styles to recognize. Think light, airy and organic. Woods are almost always an ash color in Scandinavian interiors. Nordic spaces exude a relaxing and inviting atmosphere.

Among their main characteristics we find:

  • white walls
  • large mirrors
  • comfortable and cozy textiles

Layered fabrics, glass furniture, clean lines and textures create a truly comfortable and cozy atmosphere.

6. Transitional style

Transitional style is very popular because it borrows from both traditional and modern design to facilitate a space that isn't "too much," style-wise or otherwise. There is a sense of balance that is appealing and unexpected.

A transitional design can incorporate modern materials, like steel and glass, then pair them with plush furniture.

Transitional design also includes relatively neutral color palettes, creating a calm, relaxed space that manages to be both elegant and streamlined, as well as warm and welcoming.

Transitional style is an ideal solution for someone who doesn't define their style one way or another between classic and contemporary, says decorator Vanessa Yufe of VY Designs. Rather, there is a perfect transition between these two aesthetics, and when this balance is executed well, the result is usually a refined yet relaxed and approachable interior.

7. French country style

Warm, earthy colors are indicative of a French country design style, as are worn, decorative wooden furniture . This style is inspired by our beautiful farms.

French rural design can include soft, warm tones of red, yellow or gold and natural materials like stone and brick. “French peasant” design can include collections of decorated porcelain dinnerware, linens, and bedspreads.

Like many other interior design styles, this decorating style is a sophisticated blend of a few different styles. It all starts with timeless antique furniture. For example, a Louis VI chair modernized with a modern print. Juxtapositions are found everywhere in this mixed, feminine and neutral design style.

8. Bohemian style

A very popular style for interior design and fashion. It reflects a carefree lifestyle with few rules except for following one's heart's desire.

Bohemian homes can include period furniture and lighting, textiles and rugs inspired by world artisans, collection displays, and items found in a wide variety of sources, including flea markets and at his travels.

It is not uncommon to find floor cushions and comfortable seating when incorporating bohemian style . This eclectic style can incorporate an ultra-glamorous chandelier paired with a well-worn rug and a mid-century chair. In bohemian style, there is a laissez-faire attitude where anything goes as long as you like.

Much like midcentury style, bohemian interiors continue to grow in popularity. With many brands fully embracing this trend, there's no better time than now to explore your bohemian side. In a nutshell, bohemian design is a free-form aesthetic that mixes different cultures and artistic expressions in an eclectic style that thinks outside the box. A relaxed bohemian atmosphere emphasizes nature. However, it is common to find bold patterns and bright colors for furniture and accessories.

When you enter a home with bohemian design, you immediately feel immersed in another culture. Travel trinkets are on display and the atmosphere is very nomadic. When comparing different design styles, bohemian is one of the few places where order is not necessary.

Mixing patterns and colors is encouraged. Likewise, there is a trend towards modern bohemian style. The addition of animal skins, metal accessories and rich wood helps modernize this collector's style. We love that bohemian style interiors use things in unconventional ways.

9. Rustic style

The rustic design is drawn from natural inspiration, using raw and often unfinished elements, including wood and stone.

Rustic design can incorporate outdoor accessories that emanate warmth from the design and architectural details that can include features like vaulted ceilings adorned with wood beams or reclaimed wood floors.

Many designs now incorporate rustic design with more modern furniture and accessories.

When considering rustic interior design, it can be defined using a few basic signs. There will always be natural materials, industrial touches and the charm of pretty farms in our countryside. The rustic design style originally arose from inspirations from the Romantic movement. It emphasizes the simplicity and effortless beauty of nature. For rustic interiors, it's common to see living room design ideas centered around a central fireplace.

9. Asian Zen style

Have you ever heard of feng shui? Asian Zen interiors originally come from contemporary design. They emphasize clean lines, interesting shapes and a relaxing atmosphere . References to nature are essential to creating the ultimate zen space.

Asian interiors are often asymmetrical and use circles more often than squares. Curtain walls or door panels are common to separate a larger space and provide a sense of privacy. The color palette is strictly taken from nature in order to maintain a serene and calm ambiance.

If you are looking to create a clean interior design in your home, taking inspiration from Asian Zen style might just be the right direction to take, as an Asian Zen interior is minimal but with unique natural elements.

Think of a minimalist space furnished with organic materials and filled with natural light. Imagine a light and airy space, without bulky infill surfaces, and that offers an open feel for the ultimate oasis. An Asian Zen interior like this should be visually balanced, with plenty of floor space promoting calm and peace.

We could list many other interior design styles but we'll stop there for today. I hope that this guide has allowed you to somewhat understand the different styles and possibilities that exist for furnishing and decorating your interior.

You might be wondering, ok that’s all well and good, but how do I choose which one I’ll like the most? We will address this question for many in a future article.

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