Design Styles Guide: Top 6 Interior Design Styles Explained

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With so many interior design styles to choose from, its hard to nail down just one look. Most people's style overlaps in more than one category. My style dictates a mixture of traditional, hollywood regency and transitional. Discovering your interior design style can be difficult for some clients. As a result, I've decided to highlight the top 6 interior design styles to help guide you on which aesthetic suits your fancy.

Interior Design Style: Traditional


Traditional design exemplifies a timeless style. It is inspired by 18th and 19th century European decor. Traditional design is perfect for those who love antiques, classic art pieces, symmetry and other design elements that are rich with history. Traditional design prides itself on its harmony, order and its friendly charm.

Dark woods, millwork, refined colors and warm jewel tones are generally seen in this design style. The furnishings and wall colors are neutral tones while accent pillows and accessories help to bring in pops of color.

Furnishings found in traditional homes tend to be heavy statement pieces. Characteristics of traditional furnishings include details such as button tufting, claw feet, and ornate wood carvings. Wing back chairs, chesterfield sofas, and Queen Anne chairs are popular traditional style furnishings.

Interior Design Style: Mid Century Modern


This era of design was influential from the mid 1930-1960s. Thanks to shows like Mad Men and the many price points available to consumers (think IKEA vs. Herman Miller); mid century modern is one of the most popular design styles. It is characterized by furnishings with clean lines, curves and geometric shapes. Wood accents, man-made materials, open floor plans and color are seen in mid century modern style homes.

The design philosophy with mid century modern style is to focus on the basic elements and functions of a piece. This style is the total opposite of traditional design. Furnishings are light and airy; creating an uncluttered look in a space.

Interior Design Style: Eclectic


Eclectic design includes a variety of styles and time periods that are made cohesive through color, textures, and finishes. This is a tough style to implement; too many variations can create a room that lacks flow and looks mismatched.

Eclectic style is characterized by a multitude of fabrics, patterns, and art items. Eclectic style homes usually exhibit unique art and furnishings, a mixture of old and new items, and handmade or personal items. This is not the "anything goes" decorating style. There is generally a "place for everything" although the space may look cluttered.

Interior Design Style: Hollywood Regency


This design style is a throwback to old Hollywood glamour. It exudes sophistication and swagger. This design style originated in the 1930's thanks to designers like William Haines and Dorothy Draper and was a favorite among the Hollywood elite.

Decorating with black and white, geometric patterns and bold accent colors are all iconic features of the Hollywood Regency look. Other common accessories are zebra rugs, gold accents, mirrored surfaces, Chippendale bamboo chairs, and lush velvet next to high-gloss lacquered pieces.

Furnishings are usually modest in scale and offer a clean, streamlined look. A prominent feature of the Hollywood Regency style is tete a tetes and parties, so furnishings are generally grouped for cocktails and conversation.

Interior Design Style: Transitional


Transitional design is a fusion of traditional and contemporary styles. Think of it as a more modern version of classic design. Transitional design marries curved furnishings with straight-lined pieces; lacquered finishes with wood accents to create a balanced and sophisticated space attuned to your needs and lifestyle.

Transitional spaces generally have a neutral color palette. Walls are usually painted in hues of tan, beige, ivory and grey. This serves as the perfect backdrop for the accent colors usually found in accessories such as artwork, pillows and accessories.

Transitional furniture pieces tend to have more classic shapes and silhouettes, but are smaller in size with less ornamentation than traditional pieces. This design style celebrates clean lines and simple architecture.

Interior Design Style: Shabby Chic


The shabby chic style is also known as "vintage chic" or "country chic". The entire decor appears worn, including all furniture pieces and accessories. This style exudes comfort and relaxation; it's also a fairly inexpensive aesthetic to implement.

A basic white color scheme works well in shabby chic interiors. Adding in touches of pastel colors help to compliment the space. Some of the most basic accessories to help complete the style include wicker chairs, distressed mirrors and wooden benches,.

There are so many aspects to love in each of these 6 interior design styles. I hope this interior design style guide gives you a better understanding of each and helps you narrow down a look that best represents your lifestyle.

Which interior design style is your favorite?

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