Everyone’s tastes are different, especially when it comes to interior design. There’s a design style for every preference and we’re here to help you find the look that’s best for you. This is a list of the timeless classics that shape a design to help you narrow your search for the perfect space!
A contemporary design style is fluid and often extracts from other styles like modern, minimalist, and rustic to create its look. Key principles of this style include craftsmanship, open concept floor plans, simplicity, and open space. Craftsmanship refers to the appreciation of quality materials and artistic elements, like custom furniture pieces and clear surfaces. This style favors open spaces, which highlight simplicity, lines, and lighting. Bold prints and colours are avoided with this design style and embrace clean and round lines, with an attention to detail.
Industrial style, or urban style, is inspired by the look of warehouses, factories, and other industrial spaces. It includes stripped-down architectural details like exposed bricks, exposed beams, or building systems. Materials used in this style include wood, leather, iron, and concrete. Millwork, furniture pieces, or décor items are often repurposed or created using recycled materials (ex. Bookshelf made of reclaimed wood, wooden coffee table with castor wheels, etc.). An open-concept layout is typical and emphasis of graphic lines on elements like windows, often created with black metals. A neutral colour palette of whites, greys, blacks, as well as neutral tones of brown are used, paired with natural textiles.
Minimalist style is all about less is more. It strives to highlight uncomplicated forms, clean lines, and simple finishes. It is usually seen with an open concept layout and employs pure geometric forms with little to no ornamentation. Basic furniture and finishes are used to achieve the clean, unified look. A neutral colour palette is most used in this type of style.
This design style is often confused with contemporary design because of their similarities. Much like contemporary, modern design relies on clean lines with no ornamentation or dramatic elements. Natural materials and a neutral palette of whites, beiges, and some shades of black will be used to create a seamless modern look, much like contemporary designs. Furniture pieces that have a low, long profile are used to emphasize the use of clean, straight lines. An open concept layout, using as few walls as possible, is defining for a modern design. Furniture is used to provide visual distinctions between spaces (ie. dining and living room).
Rustic is a term that is used lightly to describe many different types of design that have commonalities. It describes everything from farmhouse design to a Tuscan-style estate. This is quite a large range, so how do you know when you’ve achieved a truly rustic look? A basic definition for rustic is a design that is natural, rough, aged, and casual. Natural materials are the forefront of a rustic design including wood, stone, and fabrics like burlap and canvas. Raw materials are common, and materials are used in their most natural form. Lighting is chosen to match the natural and reject modernity. Handmade, simple, oversized furniture pieces are used to emphasize materiality and embrace a comfortable feeling. Furniture is often made from raw logs, boards, or stone. The colour palette maintains the themes of nature with greens, browns, and grays being most common. Rustic design favours warmth and comfort through materials, colours, and layout.
Traditional design is the opposite of modern and contemporary design styles. It embraces small details like crown moulding, wall panelling, and columns. It is inspired by the 18th and 19th centuries, incorporating classic art, antiques, and pieces with history. Consistency is key with a traditional design, but it is never boring. Symmetry is a requirement, with many materials and furnishings matching with each other to create a harmonious look. The colour palette features dark wood, red, green, and brown. These can be bold and saturated or pale and soft. Furniture items have ornate details like clawfoot tubs, tufted upholstery, and carved wood. Rooms are often centered around a focal point, like a fireplace or large art piece. Traditional offers a feeling of familiarity, comfort, and predictability.
Transitional Style is the combination of two styles in one space, modern and traditional. Elements from both styles will be placed together strategically to create a cohesive design. It usually features curved furnishings with straight-lined, lacquered finishes which results in a room that is both masculine and feminine in nature. There are four important elements to follow when designing a transitional space: a neutral colour palette, textural elements, limited use of accessories, and impactful art pieces. Transitional spaces rely on soothing neutral hues to evoke a clean, serene atmosphere. The colour choice will allow the focus to be on the furniture choices. The textures that are included could be wood, glass, lacquer, rattan, fabric, steel, and metal. It is perfect for those who are not interested in locking the aesthetics of their home down to one style or design era.
Written by Carley Mulligan, Designer with ARTium Design Build Inc. & Just Basements