- About Us
- Contact Us
- Contact Us
Designers have an arsenal of nuanced language to describe different interior design styles. Their terms identify the diverse style options available across the market. While designers can recognize the difference between seemingly identical terms, it’s easy to miss the subtleties if you aren’t familiar with a specific design definition.
For example, while we typically use the terms contemporary and modern interchangeably, they describe different types of interior design. In theory, it may be confusing to separate the two styles, but if you compare photos of a contemporary and modern living room, you’d likely see a difference.
To help you understand the jargon used to describe interior design styles, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular styles. Take note of your preferences so you can easily communicate them to your designer.
With so many to choose from, you have a good chance of finding a style you like. However, it may seem overwhelming to narrow down the field. If you can’t decide on just one style, you’ll be happy to know many people blend elements of design to create a hybrid that speaks to their personal taste. Blending styles gives you the opportunity to tailor generic designs into something that truly fits your taste.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common themes used in interior design today.
The term “modern” encompasses a broad sense of design. These spaces adhere to crisp, clean lines. They also incorporate metal, steel and glass materials and use a simple color palette. If you stick to these elements, your space will maintain a modern feel. Since modern design rules lend themselves to broad interpretations, two homes classified as modern could look completely different.
Every element of design in this style — from the furniture to the art — will have a sleek, simplistic look with straight, commanding lines.
Modern and contemporary homes have similar design features, but the biggest distinction is that contemporary is ever-changing, while modern refers to one type of design. Contemporary design will continue to evolve with the times. In the year 2100, contemporary design will mean something different than it does today, while modern design will look the same as it does now.
Currently, contemporary design borrows elements of modern design, but it does not have a rigid set of rules. It follows curving lines and a fluid sense of style that incorporates changing trends.
If you enjoy feeling like you’re coming home to a cozy cabin, a rustic design could best describe your taste. These designs rely on raw, natural elements, such as unfinished wooden tables and stone decor. Revitalizing a fallen tree into a coffee table encompasses the rustic spirit.
These homes have an outdoorsy feel and a sense of warmth from stone finishes and reclaimed wood furniture. This cabin feel can also be adapted into more chic applications, but its roots remain in a lodge-type home.
Farmhouse decor uses elements of the rustic design with a modern twist. It relies on small, natural touches, such as dried flower arrangements, antique vases and distressed furniture. This design uses neutral, light colors in addition to muted turquoise or pale yellow. You can use bright accent colors for a more defined pop, but the traditional farmhouse appearance is clean and understated.
Traditional designs contrast the light and airy farmhouse look with a darker, European feel. Instead of reclaimed wood, the furniture is polished and finished with a dark stain. Traditional designs often feature ornate, golden mirrors and classical or Renaissance art. The furnishings have great detail, and the rooms do not rely on minimalism for their beauty.
The curved lines and rich color palette lead your eye around a traditionally designed room. Well-placed, textured fabrics accentuate the room, and entering the space may feel like you’ve traveled to a luxurious study in a historical English home.
Bohemian designs opt for clashing, bright and organic colors and textures. These colors deliberately contrast and create a mismatched, thrifty vibe with a global feel. Patterned, woven rugs, knick-knack collectibles and vintage trinkets give the room a carefree style.
There are no orderly rules or guidelines for bohemian styles. Pillows can double as chairs. Flea market finds function as art in the room. The only rule for selecting furniture and decor is deciding whether or not you love it.
A popular choice for apartments and urban lofts, industrial styles draw from a utilitarian, structural feel. While commonly used in old warehouses and factories converted into luxury studio apartments, this style can be adopted in a house as well.
Industrial designs have a raw, unfinished, yet chic feel. Exposed brick, steel, wood and ductwork can all exist within a space with vaulted ceilings and dangling metal light fixtures. Industrial furniture is sparse, and rooms follow the color scheme of the wood, steel and brick. Splashes of color may come from abstract art or luxury photography prints framed on the wall.
Does walking through an IKEA make you feel at home? If so, the Scandinavian design style may work best for you. In this style, everything in the room, even the furniture, should function as an understated art piece. Your eyes follow the sculptural, intentional lines in the room. A combination of bright plastics, enameled aluminum, wood and steel work together to fill the space.
Natural lighting in Scandinavian designs illuminates the sparse pops of color, natural fiber throws or furs and plank-like floorboards.
Coastal design relies on a light, blissful atmosphere that calms you as soon as you enter a room. This style carries the same feeling as a luxury island resort or high-end beach bungalow.
The coastal look relies on a laidback, chic appearance. It emulates the style of a seaside retreat, giving you the chance to breathe, reset and relax. A combination of soft neutrals and vibrant accent colors are used in coastal design styles. Furniture with rich texture, such as a driftwood coffee table or wicker chair, set the tone of the space.
No matter what style feels like home to you, Streamline can give you the space to make it happen. As Philadelphia’s leading home builder, we have the power to develop your site into a space you love coming home to.
Whether you’re looking to build, sell or invest, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about what Streamline can do for you.