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  • Writer's pictureHelen Koss

Understanding your style

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

We all have our distinctive style when it comes to our persona ... well most of us

Our clothes, our accessories our scent all those create one social image of a person.

But how do you capture a person in the space, how can a dwelling represent one persons style to to say a whole family when each member has his own way and his own social image?

Here are some tips on how to determine a style for your home

Take some items from your wardrobe, the ones that you love, examine them,

Their texture, color style ( is it casual or official, is it flowy or rigid, what color it is, what accessories go with it ...) all those will help determine the style of your home.

Knowledge is power! get to know the basics.

That said, you can’t pull from the huge variety of design styles at your fingertips without knowing what they are.

Even the most unique, compelling spaces out there are inspired (at least in part) by the essential design styles that came before them. The old saying that you need to know the rules in order to break them applies to design, too!

I've rounded up the essential design styles everyone should know, whether you’re trying to craft your dream home or just figuring out what you don’t like about certain spaces. Read on for design styles old and new that you can adapt and build off of today. Who knows—you might just discover a new aesthetic to try on your next project.

Traditional & Transitional

homey • symmetrical • timeless • calm • luxurious

The traditional interior design style pulls from classic, timeless shapes from the past: mainly the 18th and 19th centuries. Traditional design will often incorporate antiques or reproduction pieces designed to look antique.

Furniture will be ornate, but rooms will favor symmetry in order to portray a feeling of calm and order. Classical artwork will be incorporated, dark woods are popular and jewel tones are used a lot. Fabrics will be heavy and luxurious.

Transitional style interior design allows more freedom when decorating your space because you can combine items from different eras.

So if you find yourself drawn to traditional design elements, but perhaps want to mix things up with something more contemporary so that it doesn’t feel stuffy, then the transitional style might be perfect for you!


moody • masculine• striking • inviting • old-world charm

The industrial design style derives from taking an old warehouse or industrial factory and transforming it into a chic loft or living space.

The style emerged in the early 2000s and is still popular today. Many stores, restaurants and companies have embraced the industrial style, partly due to the nature of the buildings their businesses reside in.

Rooms that feature exposed bricks, beams and pipes, cement/concrete, metal staircases and huge windows.

If you have any of those features in your home, you are well on your way to being able to create a fantastic industrial-style space.

Otherwise, it’s going to be quite a bit more difficult to successfully achieve that look. Without those inherently industrial features, what you’ll probably end up with is something that looks a little more contemporary or mid-century.


trendy • fluid • ever-changing • present • ambiguous

Quite simply, contemporary interior design is what is in style TODAY.

The word contemporary literally means “belonging to or occurring in the present”.

What is contemporary today, may end up looking dated in 10 years time

Some people refer to contemporary style decorating as “modern”. Contemporary and modern are not the same thing. Although by definition the two words MEAN the same thing, in the world of interior design, they are actually two separate styles.

Contemporary is what we described above: what is in style TODAY. Modern refers to any “forward-thinking” interpretation of design that began in the 20th century.


essential • curated • deliberate • careful • uncluttered

Minimalism is becoming increasingly popular, affecting many of today’s interior design styles.

At its core, minimalism takes an interior, or an object, and strips away any and all excess components. You are left with the essential structure, the core elements, and a clear, simple and hopefully exciting design.

The construction of minimalist interiors is incredibly difficult to pull off: you can’t just choose a couple of pieces of furniture, chuck them in a white room and call it a day. Since everything is pared down to its essence, nothing can be masked or covered up. As a result, careful consideration is required for every shape, form and material.

Minimalist interior design keeps it simple and ensures that every object in the room has a place and a purpose.

Midcentury modern

functional • streamlined • open • sleek • uncluttered

The mid-century modern style (or “MCM”) has been taking the world of interior design by storm for the past several years.

It’s essentially the interior design style that emerged in the middle of the 20th century in America and in Scandinavia. Post-WW2 American designers were excited about experimenting with new materials like plastic and plywood, and wanted to explore all the possibilities of mass production.

Mid-century pieces are often a mix of organic and geometric forms, with clean lines and gentle curves. Admittedly it’s not always the most comfortable, but that depends on a lot of different factors, like whether or not your piece is vintage or made with today’s modern materials.

Modern Farmhouse

classic • restrained • cozy • elegant • warm

A little more refined and contemporary compared to traditional farmhouse, the modern farmhouse style has just that little bit more of an edge to it.

It’s a fascinating interior design style, being a mix between contemporary minimalism, industrial elements and warm traditional country.

You can use architectural salvage (somewhat sparingly!), but the finishes shouldn’t be quite as worn as they would be in a traditional farmhouse.

Keep the walls light and bright, the furniture comfortable and the feeling inviting.

Save the wall quotes, mason jars and sliding barn doors for traditional farmhouse decor.


natural • laid-back • inviting • mismatched • eclectic

Mediterranean-style interior design is a riff on the décor found in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

Whether you’re channeling a warm, carefree summer in Santorini, Capri, or Ibiza, the best Mediterranean-style interior design focuses on indoor-outdoor living; natural materials and finishes; and an effortless, minimalist-chic approach to decorating that is rooted in centuries of life along the beautiful Mediterranean coast. Mediterranean is a variation of coastal design, which is a broader term based on the generic codes of seaside living.

Though Mediterranean style has a timeless appeal, it can be interpreted in both classic and more contemporary ways. The original features of older homes like natural stone walls, exposed wood beams, or tile floors might preserve the character of the property, while adding contemporary furniture and decor make the home feel current. Contemporary Mediterranean architecture and interior design might focus on modern lifestyles with bigger rooms, larger energy-efficient windows, and modern luxuries like swimming pools, but old school materials and architectural details may be preserved or added as a nod to history.

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