Everyone has their own individual interior design style. This is their own set of key principles that when added to a room create a stylish backdrop that makes them feel at home.
Your design ethos is more than just about creating a show home – it is about your life and all of the experiences that happen inside. From your children’s first steps to you creating a haven from the outside world, this is a place where you should feel safe. You should feel cocooned in familiarity, surrounded by beautiful things that add colour and enjoyment to life.
Using glossy magazines and websites as inspiration, you may try to emulate a certain look or style, but somehow the style you choose just doesn’t seem to happen. This might leave you asking why? What is it that you are doing wrong or not including? Are you adding too much or too little?
Wonder no more, because this comprehensive guide to several interior design styles covers everything you need to know, from suggested colour schemes to furniture choices, along with the occasional hint on how to add your own character into the style.
White walls, neutral colours, wood, clean lines and no clutter – these are the attributes of Scandinavian interior design style. With no bright or all-consuming colours, this style is popular because it looks ‘clean’. It is vibrant without compromising on a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.
Opt for light woods (such as beech) and ditch the wall-to-wall carpets in favour of wooden floors. Choose natural materials (such as wool rugs) and make the best use of the natural light pouring in through your windows.
Consider carefully adding each piece to the scheme, and take pieces away, too. Keep ornamentation and accessories to a minimum, but the ones you do use should add style and statement to the space.
Keep furniture minimal and informal to the eye. If you need colour, choose a light, neutral palette such as barely-there grey or cream.
Angel chairs offer the perfect relaxed and information style when it comes to an armchair. Use the grey angel chair with a white woollen rug and a light beechwood side table to create the ideal Scandinavian styled living room.
The word eclectic means to fuse together different styles of something that normally wouldn’t mix. For example, an opera buff who also like punk, or a design style that mixes patterns from different eras.
Eclectic doesn’t mean ‘chaos’ or using everything and anything in a design. In this sense, this phrase is used to describe a mix of decors, textures, time periods, styles, trends and colours. There does need to be some reasoning behind it so that there is some sense of cohesion.
The above photo has a mix of styles and genres – the modern artwork clicks in place with the central light. The rustic door is a departure from the modern style, as are the country kitsch stools at the breakfast bar. The central dining table and its angular ‘70s styled dining chairs is different again. The neutral wall and floor colours pulls the room together and gives it the cohesion the eye needs; they are the blank canvas against which the rest of the items sit. There is no one thing that looks disjointed or out of place.
For example, in an ultra-modern decorated living room, you can introduce a note of yesteryear with a traditional wing-backed armchair, complete with floral fabric upholstery, or a traditional tartan pattern. In the dining room, use a large, old dining table with modern, plastic seating. Stick with similar colours that clash these so that the contrast is marked and vivid.
Many people opt for a rustic interior design style. It is similar to the farmhouse or country style. but with material left in a raw state:
You can never have too much wood in the rustic feel, so consider panelling the walls so you can admire both its texture and ingrained patterns. For living room seating, choose leather or wool upholstered items, sticking with natural colours such as brown or black leather.
Industrial design has its roots in the loft living apartments of large, industrial warehouses, long since abandoned by commercial endeavours. With vast open living spaces, the loft was ideal for engaging and making use of the industrial elements that were ingrained in the fabric of the building.
If the industrial style attracts you, think exposed pipes, beams and ducts. Allow wood and metal to play together, such as the harmony between a metal cage and wooden shelving.
Along with exposed brick walls, add hardwood flooring and keep soft furnishings utilitarian.
Think no fuss, simple structures that lend an uncluttered feel to the space.
The transitional style is a blend of the traditional and the contemporary, like the mainly traditional appeal of the living room above, but with the hint of the modern (the Perspex side table).
It is a design with polish. Thematerials and fabrics ooze a classic and elegant appeal. Lines are simple yet sophisticated, a mix of the linear and the rounded.
Of all the styles, this is probably the easiest to pull off, but add your own flair, such as a modern tub chair set against a modern traditionally styled sofa.
The vintage style is all about age and nostalgia, with a modern, fresh twist to bring it back up to date.
The modern Vintage look in the above living room combines the iconic Chesterfield sofa with ornate legs and castors with a hint of the modern in the shape of a fresh colour scheme. The fireplace doesn’t dominate the room, and the modern art and scarce but well-placed ornaments on the mantle add to the room’s overall feeling of calmness.
How can one describe Hollywood glamour? Decadence. Jewels. Sparkle. Over the top exuberance. Ornate. Busy. Full. Gold, silver, brass, steel, anything that glitters and makes a statement.
No, think bigger.
For example, in the bathroom, choose the biggest bath you can fit, and opt for decadent taps or an ultra-modern waterfall tap that fills the bath with cascades of water.
In the living room, fill the sofa with deep pile cushions and opt for luxurious carpets and rugs underfoot. But colours are understated, richer tones like red teamed with cream, with the best Hollywood Glam colour scheme containing a lot of white, gold and silver. Anything that sparkles? Use it!
There are five key elements to minimalist interior design:
This style dates from the mid-20th century, and is characterised by the fast-moving changes after WWII. From discovering and refining plastic to bold use of colour (especially monochrome colour schemes) the mid-century modern style replaced drab with fab.
The seaside is a place of nostalgia for many people, a reminder of holidays spent enjoying the sun and everything that the coast has to offer. The Coastal interior design scheme takes it cue from the sea and everything associated with it.
Be careful not to opt for ‘cute nautical’ themed items, as they can soon tip a room from coastal to a child-like seaside theme. Instead, bring out the coastal style with colour.
Think sand, light pastel blue, white and the odd dash of cream for warmth here and there. Look for inspiration in Hessian rope and the smooth feel of shells. For furniture, opt for light beech wood and keep the detailing informal and sparse.
The coastal theme is all about informality and relaxation. Choose informal seating with crisp, clean cotton and other natural materials. Think rounded edges and soft corners, leaving angles and lines to other design schemes.
Whimsical, romantic and helplessly chic, this is a perfect design scheme for many, but how do you snag the French Country look for your home?
This interior design style features furnishings chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear. New items can be used but are ‘distressed’ to give the appearance of age.
Light, romantic and delicate, there is something appealing and feminine about this design style that suits many rooms of the home, from the living room to the bedroom.
Use antiques if your budget will allow, or if you are buying ‘new’ items, sand them down and paint so that they have a slightly distressed or used appearance. Keep everything bright and light, using darker shades sparingly, if at all.
Shapes and form should be elegant and curved – leave the hard lines and angles to other schemes. Think plush and sumptuous, but not necessarily frilly. The traditional style of a wingback chair would work; why not add it to your Shabby Chic styled bedroom alongside an antique bedside table?
The Contemporary design scheme includes a range of styles typical of the latter half 20th Century. Soft, rounded lines are a stark contrast to the angles of the previous decade. Colour schemes were calm and neutral, but with bold elements to focus the eye.
Elegance AND comfort. The traditional style of dressing and designing a home is one of the most popular. And it is easy to understand why:
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to designing your home. Over the years, your tastes will change. Interior design is not about upholding the principles of a certain style, but about emphasising key elements that work for you. Which of these styles will you choose for your home?
Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.