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The Most Popular Interior Design Styles

December 21, 2013 IADT General, Interior Design 0 Comments

The Most Popular Interior Design StylesMost people have ideas about how they want their homes furnished. Some people's taste in decor fits into certain typical interior design styles such as traditional, modern or coastal, but not all do. Established interior designers are often known for their trademark styles, and clients who share their taste will seek them out. But students of interior design and those who are just starting out need to be able to work with clients across a wide variety of tastes.

How does an interior designer know what a client's taste is in decor? Nowadays, digital Pinterest-type boards are taking the place of file folders of tear sheets, in which a person would find photos in printed magazines that inspired his or her design style. A designer can look at a client's digital board or tear sheets folder (both of which are also called idea books) to get a good sense of those design elements — the colors, textures, shapes, materials and space planning styles that a client likes best.

Let us examine some of the basic style categories.


In traditional decor, furnishings are usually in 18th century English, 19th century neoclassic, French country and British Colonial revival antique styles. The traditional look features classic styling and symmetry, with muted fabrics that are usually solids, simple florals, stripes or plaids.


The modern look began in the 1950s and 60s (mid-century modern), and includes Scandinavian influences. Modern style features minimalist design free from clutter, with large windows or glass walls to let the daylight in and reveal views. Walls and kitchen cabinetry are often white, with simple shapes. The modern style can include playful, colorful accessories.


Inspired by the ocean, coastal style features white and shades of blue, along with airy fabrics on the windows for a light and breezy feeling. It includes nautical or beach-themed accessories, like seashells and boating images. And, as Lisa Frederick writes on Houzz.com, coastal furniture gives the feeling that you can put your sandy feet up on the furniture without harming it.


Romantic style is all about the more feminine design elements, such as florals, soft colors and textures, ruffles, candles, crystal and antique mirrors. This look also includes whitewashed wood, delicate details, lace, soft lighting, and soft fabrics such as silk, chenille, matelasse and velvet.

In addition to these styles, there are many other design categories. And when a person's taste encompasses elements from various categories, it falls into the style known as eclectic. An interior designer can learn a lot about a client's interior design styles by looking through that person's idea book and learning what elements the client feels will make a home feel like his or her own, whatever that style might be.

Photo source: Flickr.


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