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design style

How would I sum up my design esthetic as an interior designer? I may use one or several of the following characteristics:

  • Use of texture and patterns

  • Use of contrast

  • Full range of colors including neutral tones

  • Boldness in terms of color and art

  • Geometric forms

  • Plants

  • Wood

  • Use of art throughout space including photos, paintings and sculptures

  • Brass, steel and black metal

  • Vintage pieces

  • Luxurious feel

  • Cozy feel

Sometimes it's difficult to define your design esthetic based on today's various design style categories. To get a broad feel for my taste take a look at these Pinterest boards:

But if we're talking about my design styles based on defined categories, they would be as follows (along with some descriptions)...


Contemporary style (which means “in the moment”) encompasses a range of styles developed in the latter half of the 20th century.

Characterize by:

  • Use of a neutral base palette with bold contrasting colors.

  • Use of curved lines (compared to modern design which uses straight lines

  • Focus is on form of decor versus function (which is what modern design does)

  • Smooth, clean unadorned surfaces

  • Simple use of patterns such as stripes & geometric for contrast

  • Simple, uncluttered spaces

  • Artistic flair

  • More trendy

  • Sofas, chairs and ottomans have exposed legs

  • Minimalist design approach

  • Use of light—especially natural light


Modern is a broad design term that doesn’t necessarily have a single definition. Modern design employs a sense of simplicity in every element, including furniture. Modernism was a rejection of the ornate flourishes of other design styles, such as Gothic, Renaissance and Victorian styles of design.

Characterize by:

  • Clean straight lines

  • Open floor plans

  • Lack of moldings trimming windows, doors and walls

  • Use of metal

  • Minimalistic design

  • Lack of clutter

  • Bold accent colors

  • Built-in shelving

Mid-Century Modern

"Midcentury modern" itself is a difficult term to define. It broadly describes architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century (roughly 1933 to 1965, though some would argue the period is specifically limited to 1947 to 1957).

Characterize by:

  • Clean lines, curves & smooth surfaces

  • Organic forms

  • Bold colors with neutral walls

  • Use of patterns and texture

  • Focus on Wood and brass details

  • Signature pieces of furniture

  • Rugs and throw pillows

  • Table and floor lamps with geometric shapes


The minimalist decorating style is an exercise in restraint, where space, lighting, and objects play equally important roles. This style demands you to pare down your furnishings to the bare essentials so that you're left with a set of curated objects that deliver maximum impact.

Characterize by:

  • Simplicity in form and function.

  • Uncomplicated wall finishes.

  • Clean, open, light-filled spaces.

  • Minimal decoration

  • Strategic use of materials for visual interest, texture, and personality.

  • Two to three color palette.

  • Simple textiles that add warmth


A design movement characterized by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the early 20th century, and subsequently flourished in the 1950s throughout the five Nordic countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.

Characterize by:

  • No wall to wall carpets

  • Exposed wood flooring

  • Light muted colors

  • Wood, wood everywhere

  • Clean lines

  • Decluttered spaces

  • Minimal decor

  • Maximizing natural light

  • Greenery

  • Cozy textiles


Industrial style or industrial chic refers to an aesthetic trend in interior design that takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces that in recent years have been converted to lofts and other living spaces. ... The Industrial style of design is most commonly found in urban areas including cities and lofts.

Characterize by:

  • Exposed pipes, ducts & brick

  • Wood and Metal surfaces

  • Vintage furniture and accessories

  • Use of warm and neutral tones. No bright colors.

  • Concrete, wood or stone floors

  • Free standing lights

  • Large comfortable furniture


Rustic style is a design emphasis on rugged, natural beauty. It embraces nature-inspired textures, simple and earthy colors, and ultimately an unpretentious, organic warmth.

Characterize by:

  • Quite often rustic spaces are in natural environments such as the woods or mountains.

  • Use of raw natural elements, exposed wood

  • Wide plank wood floors

  • Fireplace

  • Wood paneled walls

  • White walls

  • Neutral color palette mixed with white

  • Chunky pieces of furniture

  • Faux animal hides

  • Solid fabrics

  • Non-shiny metal

  • Use of greenery

  • Use of textures

  • Mimicking nature

  • Woven textiles

Art Deco

Art Deco, short for Arts Décoratifs, is characterized by rich colors, bold geometry, and decadent detail work. Having reached the height of its popularity in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, the style still brings in glamour, luxury, and order with symmetrical designs in exuberant shapes.

Characterize by:

  • Heavy geometric influences.

  • Triangular shapes.

  • Zigzags.

  • Trapezoidal shapes.

  • Straight and smooth lines.

  • Loud, vibrant, and even kitschy colors.

  • Streamlined and sleek forms.

  • Sunburst or sunrise motifs.

  • Exaggerated curves

  • Hard edges

  • Stepped forms

  • Chevron (inverted, V-shaped mark) arrangements

  • Ziggurat patterns

  • Stylized, floral patterns


The word 'bohemian' refers to someone who is socially unconventional and often involved in the arts, making it a great interior design option for a rich and heady space full of visual interest and a relaxed spirit.

Characterize by:

  • Simple base color, usually warm and earthy

  • Botanicals

  • Various different patterns

  • Furniture low to the ground

  • Distressed furnishings & decor

  • Not minimalistic but not hoarder-like

  • Use of metal & mirrors

  • Lots of layering

  • Lot’s of art

Do any of these styles resonate

with you? If so, let's talk!

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