Take a Seat

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Retro 1950’s inspired dandelion print

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French Inspired Classic White with Hair Pillow

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Paradise Punch Trina Turk

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Studio Bon

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Interior Design Styles

I discovered this article while I was searching the web last night. This article to be a great resource for many reasons; it helps describe all the styles of interior design and it also gives visuals of each style. I found this to be so helpful because even with my degree in interior design I still am learning about all the many different interior design styles.

*I did not write this information. Here is the original source: http://www.interiordesignipedia.com/interior-design-styles.html

AMERICAN: There are 4 distinct ‘American’ interior design styles.

1. American Colonial Style focuses on function and practicality and is still popular today.

click here: colonial

2. Southwestern Style often in incorporates a bold color palette and light-colored wood.

click here: southwestern

3. Shaker Style is simplistic and furniture is made from quality wood.

click here: shaker

4. Patriotic Style themes include the American flag, American icons and American retro.

click here: patriotic

ARTS AND CRAFTS: the arts and crafts style flourished between 1860 to 1910.  This movement was made up of a  group of designers and writers from England, UK.  They produced high  quality, well made, handcrafted goods which were costly.

ART NOUVEAU: from 1880 to around 1910 art nouveau was in full swing and it is said to be the first 20th Century modern  style as it was the first style to look to nature and the surrounding  world instead of backwards in history. Many people confuse art nouveau  with art deco interior design however they are very different styles.

ART DECO:  Art deco interior design represents a period between 1908 through till 1935.   This style particularly began in Paris and worked its way through Europe and then globally.

ARABIAN:  Arabian interior design is a magnificent blend  of color, pattern and personality. It encompasses the rich, vibrancy of  tones found in the desert with complex designs.

1. Modern Arabia

2. Bedouin Arabia

ASIAN:Asian interior design reflects materials and finishes from the East.  This  design style is typical of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

BRITISH:  there is many styles to celebrate British interior design however, I am going to focus on two of them, Cool Britannia and Shabby Chic.

Cool Britannia is British interior design, styled around  patriotism and in the 1990’s the phrase ‘shabby chic’ was coined to  describe the modern laid-back style.  ‘Shabby’ refers to older, lived in or secondhand objects that have a distressed look about them, but not overly damaged. ‘Chic’ applies to objects which are old but definitely worth keeping.

1.  Cool Britannia interiors:  For the lowdown and ins and outs on British interior design click here: COOL BRITANNIA

2.  Shabby Chic interiors:  for the fun, eclectic style click here: SHABBY CHIC

CONTEMPORARY: contemporary interior design became popular in America in the 50’s and early 60’s  just as travel by aircraft became accessible.  The look has either  straight lines or beautifully curved.  Literally this style relates to  what is current, happening now and is reflected in today’s design and in fashion design.  Contemporary interior design works with most, if not  all interior design styles.

FRENCH:  typical   French interior design is fairly classical.  It can be both sophisticated and elegant or over opulent and dramatic.

INDIAN: Indian interior design styles are warm and earthy.  They have an exotic appeal and hold a magical look with the use of harmonized colors.

INDUSTRIAL:    Industrial interior design is the combination of art and engineering to make life ‘easier’. Lots of high-tech gadgets!

ITALIAN: Italian interior design is modern and has a look of luxury about it.  When I  think of this style I think of all the great Italian designers like  Scarpa, Sottsass or the much-loved fashion designer Armani.  Italy has  produced and continues to produce world trendsetting designers so it is  near impossible to go wrong choosing this style as your concept.

JAPANESE:Japanese interior design is simplistic and pretty streamlined in both layout and finishes.  This style is the defining influence on all modern-day  minimalism.

MINIMALISM: minimalistic interior design is certainly chic when put together well. The clean lines and open spaces allow you to enjoy simplicity at its very best.

MOROCCAN:  the Moroccan look is rich in spice colors and is influenced by Spanish, French and  Arabic interior design. Beautiful patterns fill the spaces along with  textures and aromas.

NAUTICAL:  the look of nautical interior design is very much that of the seaside and beach front.  Think New Hampshire and you would be on the right track.

RETRO:  retro interior design covers 3 decades; 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The look is varied, from plastic fantastic, disposable and  low maintenance to psychedelia. The influences were the boom of  advertising, flower power, pop music and pop art.

1950’s: retro 50’s

1960’s: retro 60’s

1970’s: retro 70’s

RUSTIC: to achieve a rustic home interior design that looks great you can mix elements of it in  with a contemporary interior design so your home does not become too  much like a log cabin. This mix can be very striking and interesting.  Rustic design emphasizes on natural, unrefined elements and objects.

Scandinavian: there are two interior design styles that are Scandinavian design.  The first is modern and the other is country.

1.  Scandinavian Modern began in 1930 and is present today. It is born from the basic principles of  modernism fused with traditional materials and can have the look of  contemporary interior design.  IKEA is the worldwide phenomenon of this  style.

Click here: modern

2.  Scandinavian Country style  originated in the 17th Century and lasted until the late 19th Century.  The look is that of a farmhouse and the main material is light-colored  wood.

Click here: country

SPANISH:  touches of Arabic design are mixed with bold, beautiful colors and shapes are found within Spanish interior design styles.  Rustic walls of plaster or stucco finish look fantastic.

TUSCAN: the Tuscan style originates from Tuscany, Italy and embodies the calm, serene  nature of the Italian countryside.  It is simple, elegant and has a  sense of luxury.

VICTORIAN: the Victorian era from 1837 to 1901 saw many great changes within homes since mass  production meant that goods became more affordable.  People began to  take great pride in the look of their homes which they saw as a  reflection of status. Plump cushions and excessive ornamentation lead  the way for this style.

VINTAGE:Vintage interior design refers to the 1940’s and early 50’s.  It is an era that most people remember either from their own childhood, or from the homes of grandparents.  Therefore vintage is wonderfully nostalgic and feels  comforting in a family home.

ZEN: zen interior design is based on zen principles of light, space and function and when applied to the home can give you a more relaxed and peaceful  state of mind.  The approach is minimalistic and uses the bare  essentials within a home and each item has its own purpose. The best  colors to build your look upon are earth tones that are warm and  uplifting.

What is your favorite design style? I have to say I love them all but I am a sucker for shabby chic, Scandinavian, and vintage.

Let’s Color

“Remember, color is not just color, but mood, temperature and structure.” – Van Day Treux

“I owe my color sense to crayons.” -Angelo Rafael Donghia

”Don’t make the mistake of picking out one hue and trying to match everything too closely.  You always want 2-3 shades of the same color running through walls, carpet and upholstery to give a room some depth.”  – Vincente Wolf, interior designer


 ”Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.”  -Mary Lou Cook, interior designer

“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.” -Joan Miro

No More “Safe” Designing

My first job out of college was (& is) working in a textiles showroom. Before this job, I was deathly afraid of “mixing it up”. I was what you call a  ‘safe’ designer- I only used textiles and patterns that matched, were from the same color family and like I said, were very safe. Since working in the textiles world, I realized how much fun I was missing out on. Mixing fabrics, textures and colors is now one of my favorite aspects of design. There is no sense in being afraid of mixing patterns- go crazy, and for god’s sake, have some fun!

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Here are some lovely little “reminders” to help you mix-it-up:

1.) Work with the magic number 3. It is said that groupings of objects in 3 or in odd numbers are more appealing to the eye than even numbers. Odd numbers in design force the eye to keep moving and add visual interest.

Pattern #1: Use this pattern as your focal point. Let this fabric be the largest scale of all the 3 patterns. All the other patterns will be inspired from this pattern.

Pattern #2: This pattern should contain colors that go well with pattern #1; there should be some colors that are also in pattern #1. This pattern should be half the scale of pattern #1 so these two don’t fight.

Pattern #3: This pattern should be in the neutral family, let this pattern be more quiet.

Here is some more knowledge from apartment therapy on “mixing it up”:

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Color Intensity: Stay with the same color tones and intensities. Veer away from mixing primary colors with pastels, or muted ones with jewel tones.

Solids and Textures: You don’t want to put too many patterns on top of each other. You need a place for the eye to rest. Add in solids and textures to balance and separate.

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Graphics: Choosing a black and white (or color and white) graphic is a good way to add in an eye-catching element to unify the space.

Balancing: Whether you begin with your patterns or solids first, be sure the rest of the room is continued in that same color palette to create harmony.

White: White is a great base that brings everything together and lets your patterns make a vibrant statement. Just make sure to keep the same white throughout for a crisp, clean look.

Companion Fabrics: If you need a little study time to push you into the world of mixing patterns, look into companion fabrics. Companion fabrics are designed by companies as pre-mixed harmonious patterns by color palette. Just head to the fabric store, ask for some companions and start studying what works together and why.

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Pattern Buddies: Ok, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What looks good together:

  • Polka Dots, Textures and Graphics
  • Small Polka Dots, Stripes and Florals
  • Plaid, Paisley and Graphics
  • Ikat, Polka Dots and Paisely
  • Chevron, Floral and Geometric
  • Toile, Texture and Stripes
  • Animal Prints and Texture
  • Two Ikats and Texture
  • Damask, Floral and Stripes


…So, are we having fun yet?!

Are you a “mixer”? What is your favorite way to mix-it-up in design?