The Ultimate Guide to Design Styles

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Are you stuck trying to figure out how to design your home? Is it hard for you to determine what type of style you’re “going for?” Well, you are not alone. All over the world there are people who have different visions for their home. Some like a lot of bling while others like a more toned down look, some like wooden accents while others are more drawn to acrylics or metals. If you are stuck then you have come to the right place, because today I’m going to give you the ULTIMATE guide to decorating styles.

Bohemian

For those of you looking for a carefree lifestyle with little rules, bohemian is the style for you.


Bohemian is about fusing together a lot of different things from around the world. The results are a very eclectic style as diverse as the people who influence it.

When you are using the bohemian decorating style you must remember to toss all the design rules out the window, because it’s no correct formula! It’s often a random, bright, patterned, colorful structure of culture.



So when I’m using bohemian style for a client I remember the following things:

  • Look for Flea Market finds and pieces from travels.

  • Vintage Furniture and light fixtures

  • Look for globally inspired textiles and rugs

  • Floor Pillows and Fur Pillows

  • Don’t be afraid to use bold colors and patterns

  • Embrace Natural and Handmade items

Modern

One of the most misdefined design styles, modern design stems from the early to mid-20th century. “Modernism was the future in the early midcentury. It harnessed the capability of machinery to offer affordable housing and furniture solutions to the masses. This informed architecture, interiors, furnishings, and art,” says Los Angeles based interior designer, Natalie Myers.

Okay, so enough with the history lesson. What we really want to know about is the decorating style. Well, when using a modern design style its best to think of an uncluttered space with clean, crisp lines.

So if you are looking to incorporate a modern design in your home just remember the following things:

  • Clean and Crisp Lines

  • Simple Color Palette (Neutral)

  • Metal, Glass, and Steel Accessories

  • Sleek sense of simplicity

  • Not a lot of Clutter or Color

Contemporary

When you’re describing design styles you may be using the words “modern” and “contemporary” interchangeably and you wouldn’t be alone. This is a common mistake thousands of people make everyday.

Although most people probably believe that they mean the same thing they actually are very different. Contemporary actually refers to the style of the present day. It’s a style that is always advancing, and most likely will have a totally different look 50 years from now.



Today the look is defined by:

  • Curved Lines (Think Furniture)

  • Neutral Colors like Black, White, Tan, and Gray

  • Minimalism

  • Texture adding Visual Interest to the space

  • Natural Lighting

Industrial

Most commonly found in urban areas including cities and lofts, the industrial design style refers to an aesthetic style that takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces.

Industrial design has a ton of character, so expect to see lots of exposed pipes, beams, and brick, with bare walls, concrete or wood floors, and rough ceilings. Yes, I know that it’s very masculine with little to no soft intimacy with the design, but it can easily become home for anyone who is willing to look past all of the components that come with having this style.





If you are looking to have this style in your home check for the following:

  • Open Floor Plan

  • High Ceilings

  • Exposed Pipes, Beams, and Bricks

  • Unfinished Rawness to many of the elements

  • Large Steel Windows (The more natural light the better)

  • Metal Light Fixtures

  • Warehouse/Urban Loft Inspiration

Traditional

Traditional design style is all about the classic details! Influenced by European decor It’s a timeless style taking cues from the 18th and 19th centuries, incorporating classic art, antiques, and pieces with history.

When using this design style consistency is key! Traditional design strives for harmony and order which is why most of the time furnishings will match, symmetry is huge, and everything seems to just go together.

Traditional design deals with rich color palettes. Think red, brown, green, and plenty of dark wood along with a variety of textures.

Here are a few more things to look for when using this design:

  • Depth, Layering

  • Regal Influence in the furniture

  • Grand Accessories like Candle holders, China, Chandeliers

  • Traditional Fabrics are Heavy and Ornate

  • Really give’s off a no place like home feel.

Hollywood Regency

My personal favorite of all the design styles, “Hollywood Regency” or “Hollywood Glam” is the dramatic design style usually for someone who like to make a statement!

It’s me, I’m Someone!


Hollywood Regency is all about communicating lavish glamour in a way that isn’t stuffy or too self-serious. With this style bent towards unapologetic maximalism, Hollywood Regency features richly layered textures, high contrast patterns, metallic finishes, and vibrant colors.

The furniture is not expected to be the main focal point in this design style. It’s more about designing the room in a way people can interact with each other. It’s also about the accents when using this style to turn up the glam.

Here are a few more things to look out for:

  • Tufting and Antiques

  • Plush

  • Velvet Furnishings

  • Bold Color Palettes like purples, reds, and turquoise

  • Brass & Gold Hardware

  • Crystal Accessories

  • Fringe and really anything flashy in my book.

  • Acrylic

Rustic

According to housebeautiful.com The term rustic is pretty broad, different design types can actually fall into it. In it’s most basic definition, rustic describes a design that’s natural, rough, aged, and casual, so there are many styles—each drastically different from the other—that can be rustic. Some include Tuscan, coastal, cottage, or what you might traditionally think of as rustic—lodge. Rustic design is very warm and inviting due to a lot of the raw and unfinished elements such as wood and stone. I usually see a lot of clients go for this kind of design when they want a more rugged cottage feel.

So when designing Rustic remember these key factors:

  • Wood Beams

  • Natural colors and textures

  • Furniture is usually Oversized and Handmade

  • Has a Simple, Natural, Earthy Feel

  • Expect lots of Wood and Stone

Coastal

Coastal basically follows a nautical decor, although most people may think it’s more seashells, anchors, with blue and white color schemes… Which once you think about it that’s pretty much what nautical is right?

Wrong!

While the two have some elements in common, coastal is decidedly less in-your-face. In the simplest definition, coastal is beachy. Through use of natural light, soft tones, and a clean aesthetic, it’s meant to evoke the breeziness of the beach. Basically, it feels like summer year-round inside your house. “A coastal space takes its cues from the natural environment for everything from color palette through to materials used,” says Will Taylor, author of Dream Decor, and the blogger behind Bright Bazaar. “The core features are usually jute textures, earth tones, layered blues, crisp whites, stripes, and loose linen upholstery.”






So if you’re not totally confused already here are a few things to look for when styling your home coastal:

  • Light and Airy color palettes with cool neutral shades

  • Lots of Natural Light

  • Often white/beige furniture is used

  • Natural Elements

  • Small amount of Sea Accessories

  • Crisp and White

If your ready to get started on a project or just want some insight, feel free to become a client!