Written by guest contributor Paisley Hansen
Everyone has their own individual taste in interior design, but there are times when we feel at a loss for what will fit in a space with what is already there. If you have a room decorated in a specific way, but have empty space on the wall you’d like to fill, it is good to know what kind of design feel the room has to continue on the same path in finding art. If your room suddenly needs a rug but you don’t know where to start, knowing what your style is can nudge you in the right direction to find the rug that fits your space and your taste.
You might have a rustic style if you like unfinished edges, rough details, and the idea of nature used in unexpected ways. A home decorated in a rustic style like this one might have doors reminiscent of a barn door. Wood furniture would retain all the uniqueness of the tree trunk that it came from; rings, knobs, and imperfections would be embraced and highlighted through the finish. Natural-looking stone is commonly used for fireplaces in a rustic style.
Modern design is all about minimalism. This encompasses the use of geometry and clean lines. Everything in a modern space would have clean, defined lines. Color contrast is meant to be shocking; the use of black and white is common. Shelves are usually built in unexpected geometric lines. Simplicity is the heart of modern design; no messy details are allowed.
You might have a contemporary style if you enjoy the idea of modern minimalism but relish in warm colors and textures. Furniture in a contemporary space would have warm finishes and velvet or plush upholstery. Colors are also warm and well-balanced; shocking contrast is not used as in minimalism. Prints are used but only in moderation; you might use some texture-printed throw pillows as an accent against solid furniture.
Classic design is very refined, elegant, and rich in details. Vintage items are often repurposed; for example, a vintage mirror with a beautiful frame would be repainted or refinished and hung as a focal art piece rather than as a mirror. The focus of a classic design embraces elegant details that are never out of style. It is a complete rejection of current trends in color and style. Anything placed in a classic space will stand the test of time. Classic design appeals to a wider range of people as the level of taste is so high and elegant.
You might have a retro design style if you enjoy the fun designs of past decades. Most retro spaces embrace the 1960s and 1970s: yellows and browns, neon flowers, concentric circles, and geometry. Geometric designs are used but without the clean lines of modernism; squares with soft corners are often used in prints and for storage. Prints can be mixed and may feature neon contrasts. Fun items of the past like bean bags and inflatable furniture may be featured in a retro living space. Bright colors are the main characteristic of a retro style.
No matter what your style, your design style is your own. You may use this as a rough outline for your space, but ultimately you have to embrace your own unique taste. The big trick is not to go too eccentric: Find a balance between bold statement items and neutral solids, and you’ll have a space you will love and can show off to company. If that style is eclectic, go all the way with it! Embrace what you love, and it will love you back.
images: Joss & Main, Tobi Fairley, Jonathan Adler