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Design Styles

Design Styles

A great starting point for an Interior Architect is to learn a bit about each of the Interior Styles and how they differ from one another.

The Interior Design Style is, a set of basic features, design techniques, Color Palette & Elements of furniture which create special harmony in a particular style.

There are a lot of original styles in the interior design, let’s start with a list of the most popular styles:

1- Traditional.
2- Rococo.
3- Modern.
4- Contemporary.
5- Scandinavian.
6- Japanese.
7- Minimalism.
8- Industrial.
9- Futuristic.

It’s not a complete list of the styles, which were existed and continue to exist in the art of design and artistic culture. Also, many styles are divided into movements.


1- Traditional: for those who like things simple & unstuffy.

a- Origin and Inspiration: The Traditional is quite the mash-up drawing from: 18th century English, 19th century Neo-Classical, Country French & British colonial influences.

It aligns with the Classic Style in its preferences of symmetry.

b- Main Features of the style: Attention to details, far from Stuffy, Calm & Comfortable, Soft and curved Edges.

c- Color palette: Rich color palettes, and a variety of textures and curved lines.
no specific color but each element should be weighed in a proportionate and harmonious way with the overall environment.

d-Materials: Traditional homes often feature dark, finished wood, Furnishings have elaborate and ornate details and fabrics, like velvet, silk and brocade, which may include a variety of patterns and textures.

2- Rococo:

a- Origin and Inspiration:
The Rococo is developed in the early 18th century in Paris, as a reaction against the Grandeur, Symmetry and Strict regulations of the Baroque, Especially of the Palace of Versailles. So this Style brought all the focus inside. While the Rococo style grew to influence architecture, painting, sculpture, and music, it originated first and foremost as a form of interior design. So, to understand Rococo design we can’t start with grand facades of buildings; instead we have to look within.

b- Main Features of the style: Elegance, Rich interior decorations, graceful ornamental rhythm, large amount of ancient motifs, an emphasis on the mythology, Erotic desires & Personal comfort.

c- Color Palette: Soft pastel colors were dominating in the decoration.
the most popular color combinations were:  Gold & White and sometimes Blue, Green or Ivory enter the combination.

d- The main Motive of this style: Organic motifs traced curved, asymmetrical patterns around the room.


3- Modern:

a- Origin and Inspiration: Modern design is a designated time period, from the early to mid-20th century. It originated at the turn of the century, with roots in both German and Scandinavian design, and really gained popularity throughout the first half of the century. 

b- Main Features of the style: In modern style architecture and interior design, the emphasis is on fewer curves and more clean horizontal and vertical lines. Structural elements like concrete or beams are also often left exposed.

c- Color Palette: Earthy tones and vibrant primary colors: Red, Blue & Yellow.

d- Materials: Often incorporates natural elements such as: Stone, wood & leather.

e- Furniture: Modern furniture like architecture emphasizes simplicity and function. Low horizontal furnishings with clean lines. And the furniture is usually made of natural materials like unpainted wood, leathers, steel, chrome or glass; it also has to be made of smooth surfaces and have very little ornamentation.

4-Contemporay:

a- Origin and Inspiration: Contemporary design, on the other hand, refers to the style of the present day. It’s difficult to pin down and define, because contemporary design is constantly evolving. It’s a reflection of the now, and will likely look very different 50 years from now than it does today.

b- Main Features of style: contemporary style of decorating is defined by simplicity, subtle sophistication, deliberate use of texture, and clean lines. Interiors tend to showcase space rather than things. By focusing on color, space, and shape, contemporary interiors are sleek and fresh.

c- Color Palette: Bright White tones, Shades of Grey & Black.

d- Materials: Embraces the natural elements with industrial materials such as concrete, Stone (Marble, granite, quartz), steel and Glass.

e- Furniture: Tends to be more curvier, smoother, the designs are often more organic looking with geometric shapes. And it often wears black, white, or other neutral tones, using the natural fibers found in wool, cotton, linen, silk, jute to add textural appeal. Pillows in clean geometric shapes add a shot of color and texture.

5-Scandinavian:

a- Origin and Inspiration: The Scandinavian style, started in the 1950’s, of interior designing is all about light, breezy spaces. So, to emulate that aesthetic into the floor design, this style requires the use of light colored wood applications. Most Scandinavian style interiors are lined with oak wood or ash wood floors. These provide a qualitative visual dynamic against the otherwise minimal style of the rest of the interior.

b- Main Features of the style: White walls with pops of color, organic patterns,  Simple Furniture, Straight forward accessorizing, smooth surfaces, Lots of natural light, Straight lines, Functional layout. Remember, Simple lines create a clean, neutral, open style!

c- Color Palette: The Scandinavian style interior design mainly deals in neutrals, most notably shades of white, grey, beige, and lighter tones of pinks. But that does not mean that Scandinavian decor is entirely devoid of color! It very cleverly uses pops of color in little elements or through accent pieces.

d- Materials: Wood and metal finishes, warm textiles, fresh flowers and botanical.

e- Furniture: Made up of light wood and has a relaxed, almost farm house quality of it.

6-Japanese:

a- Origin and Inspiration: As it says Japanese style is from Japan originally, started with Japanese traditional Samurai.
Japanese interior designs draw inspiration from elements of nature as they have immense respect for nature. Their designs have a strong connection with natural elements such as wood, plants, natural lighting and more.

b- Main Features of the style: Organic flow between structure’s interior and exterior; minimalist, simplistic, and natural; bare essential furnishings; sliding doors or screens; focus on line, form, space, light, and material; wide open spaces; peaceful simplicity.

c- Color Palette: Color schemes are based on neutrals and natural colors, with warm golds for floors and walls and dark browns for furniture and architectural wood trim.

d- Materials: Often uses the natural colors of materials such as wood, bamboo, paper and rice straw, instead of relying on stains or paints.

e- Furniture: Walls, doors, screen grids and frames are all made of natural wood. The most common woods being western versions of maple, cypress, hemlock and red pine. Bamboo is also a popular wood used for decorative purposes, as can be seen in the image below.

7-Minimalism:

a- Origin and Inspiration: The Minimalism style is the most disputable and brightest style of the second half of the 20th century. Modern minimalist interior style can be described as modeling of space and light using the most essential items and functionality.

b- Main Features of the style: Simplicity in form and function; uncomplicated cladding & wall finishes; Clean, open, light-filled spaces; simple detailing devoid of decoration, Strategic use of materials for visual interest, texture, and personality.
Big windows: fill the space with light and connect with the outer world.
Free Space: Small amount of furniture and accessories.
Space Zoning & Multiplayer lightning.

c- Color Palette: It’s light, a lot of white color which is graphically emphasized with Black or Grey (White, Black & Grey).

d- Materials: This style is supplemented by natural tones of wood, brick, concrete, metal & shining glass. The wood and plaster are often crude and have a rough texture.

e- Furniture: should have geometric shapes and smooth silhouettes.

8-Industrial:

a- Origin and Inspiration: At the start of the 21th century, Industrial design has become increasingly popular and it’s easy to see why. The look is based on combining the best aspects of old-world charm with modern sleekness. In essence, it’s a perfect compromise. However, there’s one big misconception keeping this style from becoming a household staple.

b- Main Features of the style: When picturing these designs, we typically think of lofts with big open windows and lots of exposed brick. Those who live in less urban environments may feel they don’t have the right surroundings, that their living spaces are too traditional to really pull off this look.

c- Color Palette: A lot of Bold pops of colors, This style relies on using a combination of neutral shades to create a clean look. This style incorporates a variety of browns and tans.

d- Materials: A variety of wood, brick and metal pieces.

e- Furniture: Industrial spaces are all about mixing the old and the new and a mix of wood and metal furniture.

9-Futuristic:

a- Origin and Inspiration: It was born at the beginning of the 20th century. As expected, it all started with fine art and literature. His ancestor is considered a poet and writer – Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Futurism in the interior gained popularity 50 years later, when the so-called space era began.

b- Main Features of the style: Instead of designing typical buildings with functional appearances and symmetrical lines and form, architects designed structures that looked like imaginative works of art, resembling the future itself. This new style focused on the four main components of Futurist architecture: Movement, Technology, Nature and Science.
Round Doorways: this has never happened before on any style.
Use of neon lamps in home lighting.
Unusual architecture structures and bulky fantastic designs.

c- Color Palette: This styles color palette is: White, Black, their shades and combinations (Monochrome Interior).

d- Materials: Futurism in the interior does not tolerate wallpaper on the walls. As a rule, the walls are simply painted with white paint. A good alternative that can seriously save time on leveling the surface of the walls is white plastic panels. Their surface must be matte.
Materials: Metal, Leather, Glass, Plastic, polyurethane, Corian, carbon.
The floor is made out with: Laminate Flooring, Tile or Bulk substance.

e- Furniture: In general, futurism in the interior involves a minimal amount of furniture. As a rule, this is a round bed, a transparent unusual table, a completely round sofa and the same chair.
The restraint of the futuristic style is more than covered with furniture fantasies. That’s where there is room for design thought and creativity! You can forget about strict forms and sharp corners. Furniture items should be light, unusual, functional. The best option is objects with curved shapes. Hanging chairs, built-in tables, inflatable transparent chairs look good here.

Let us know which style is your favorite in the comment below and explain why.

Mr. Admin

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