Whether you’re in the market to buy, build or renovate, understanding different design styles can provide additional insight into the buying, building or renovation process. Even if you’re working with a design-build firm or an interior designer, having basic design terminology in your back pocket can help you most effectively hone in on your preferred design style. This will ultimately make navigating the design process more manageable. This guide will break down the different home design styles to help you immerse yourself in the design process.
A traditionally designed home doesn’t have to mean tired or stuffy. You can adjust this classic style to your taste and lifestyle preferences. While traditional style typically complements the details of older homes, you can also layer it into newer construction. You can accomplish this through incorporating intricate mouldings, classic finish selections, such as polished nickel or antique brass, layering the lighting and selecting furniture with traditional influences.
To prevent a room from feeling like a time warp, mixing traditional pieces with contemporary accents can keep the space current. An example is pairing an antique dining table with modern chairs or juxtaposing a room of rich, wood furniture with lucite accent pieces.
Features of traditional style include:
- Detailed woodwork
- Intricate patterns
- Period pieces such as curved and detailed furniture
- Rich colors
- Brand: Ralph Lauren
For traditional decor enthusiasts, Grandmillennial style is a subset of traditional style that has an appreciation for traditional decor, chintz, chinoiserie and latticework.
Transitional design blends traditional style with contemporary influences to feel balanced and relaxed. Transition style is hallmarked by sleek, streamlined lines paired with the warmth of a traditional space. For example, a sofa with sleek, track arms upholstered in a luxe boucle or tweed fabric.
Features of transitional style include:
- Neutral colors
- Streamlined furniture
- Sleek finishes
- A relaxed feel
- Wood pieces
- Textiles in a variety of textures
- Subtle colors and patterns
Bringing in an abundance of textures can help a neutral transitional room from feeling too sterile.
While it’s best known for being sleek and sophisticated, contemporary design also has a welcoming warmth. Contemporary design is centered around a less is more approach—simplicity, clean lines, minimal patterns, white space and neutral colors.
Features of contemporary style include:
- Neutral colors
- Clean lines
- A focus on the space, instead of the items in the space
Mid-Century Modern Design
As a style that has spanned many decades, mid-century modern is a minimalist style hallmarked by clean lines, smooth angles and bright, solid colors. Mid-century modern was created in the mid-19th century, shifting from the ornate details typically found in older, more traditional styles.
Features of mid-century style include:
- Simple lines
- Minimal silhouettes
- Solid, bright colors, no patterns
Mid-century modern accents are an excellent way to incorporate this retro style into your home while also keeping it from looking like a 1960’s time warp. For example, an Eames chair in a transitional room or wishbone chairs in a traditional dining room are excellent ways to bring a mid-century modern influence to a space.
Often associated with masculine style, industrial design has an urban vibe and is a natural fit for loft-style spaces. Industrial design’s minimalism is highlighted by dark neutrals and raw woods and metals.
Features of industrial style include:
- Oversized elements
- Clean overall design
- Reclaimed factory and warehouse pieces
- Raw and unfinished woods and metals
Scandinavian design embraces minimalism and simplicity, creating a serene vibe. In a Scandinavian-designed space, light neutrals, such as white and pale gray, are typically the foundation and highlighted by textured accessories, such as luxe, tonal knots and furniture with simple, clean lines. Light wood tones are most prevalent.
Hallmarks of Scandinavian style include:
- Light grain wood
- Tonal textures
- Pale neutrals
- Clean lines
Understanding the most common design styles allows you to navigate building, renovating or buying a home with more profound design knowledge.