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Need Help Defining Your Interior Design Style?

JUNE 18, 2017
Photo credit: Carla Choy

Do you find it difficult to define your interior design style? Many people do, including some of our customers when they start a project. However, finding your design style is easy - and our designers are pros at helping you begin. The best way is to simply look at rooms and decide which ones you love and which ones you don't (see, we told you it was easy). 

Today Decorist Elite Designer Carrie Fundingsland of HOUSEPlay takes over our blog to show you 6 different design styles, with inspiration from our own talented Elite designers' portfolios. 




Decorist Elite Designer Jillian Scott


Decorist Elite Designer Jason Martin


Eclectic style mixes and matches the old with the new, low and high, the bold and the quiet. The no ­rules approach is what makes this style tricky ­- it’s a very fine line between what works and what looks incohesive and not pulled together. When done well, the eclectic room is a true reflection of you at your daring best, highlighting your sense of style and confidence.

Tip: proportion is key. Play against textures ­- dark against light, matte against gloss, elegant against rustic. Tip: layer textures. Balance - sit the bold in-your-face pieces next to the more quiet, shy pieces. Start with a neutral back drop ­- soft gray, white, or a super pale blue or green. Pick a shape and repeat it then throw in the opposite to keep it from boring.


Mid­-Century Modern


Decorist Elite Designer Elena Calabrese


Decorist Elite Designer Natalie Myers 


Mid-Century Modern is uncomplicated, pared­ down forms, contemporary patterns like geometrics or strong sensuous curves. Marimekko and Knoll still produce classic patterns from the midcentury era. Natural woods. Bridges the organic with the man­made, seamless flow between indoors and out.

Tip: leave windows bare, accents with a natural motif. Make it yours: invest in one authentic piece ­a marshmallow sofa or an Egg and Womb chair and make it the centerpiece. Layer with other pieces that complement but aren’t necessarily true to the period. Etsy and 20x200 are great resources for works that reflect midcentury masters. No excess details or unnecessary flourishes. Pair warm neutrals with punches of saturated colors such as eggplant, teal, or rich navy.




Decorist Elite Designer HOUSEplay


Decorist Elite Designer Braun + Adams 


As a Traditionalist, you love classic and antique furniture, floral prints, balance and lots of molding. This look sometimes gets a bad rap as being too fussy or outdated. But, when done right, traditional interiors are meant to feel familiar, comfortable, and welcoming. Arrange furniture in a way that invites conversation. Position sofas and chairs along the axis of the room. Symmetry is key but you can mix it up in subtle ways so the room doesn’t feel too stuffy. Hang art in a group, mix your side tables, and add a tall plant or floor mirror.

Tip: keep edges soft ­- plump cushions, lots of throw pillows, and mix skirted pieces with leggy tables and chairs. Avoid ruffles and minimize tufted pieces to keep the room classic, not out­dated. Use neutral colors, but don’t play it too safe. Blues, reds, greens, all have a place in traditional interiors. Wood colors in the same color family ­- walnut, cherry, mahogany, and oak ­rule the traditional style and keep the space looking pulled together. Tip: skip chrome accents, instead, burnished brass, aged bronze, and pewter ­give traditional homes elegance and warm undertones. 




Decorist Elite Designer Jessica McClendon


Decorist Elite Designer Abbe Fenimore 


Glam is reflective surfaces, polished marble, mirrored furniture, silk velvets, crystal chandeliers, gold and metallics. Combination of art deco, traditional, and modern. Sophisticated ­hinting at fabulous dinner parties and hi­gh-class travel, with a little tongue-­in-­cheek humor. Never gaudy ­always in good taste. Bold and rich color palettes - black and white mixed with jade green or teal, lemon yellow, or purple eggplant. Fabrics, chinoiserie, animal skins, leapoard prints, overscaled florals and stripes. Be theatrical: curvy sofas, dramatic drapery, tropical plants. Decorative trims, Greek key, contrasting piping.


Coastal / Hamptons


Decorist Elite Designer Sidney Wagner


Decorist Elite Designer Nest Design & Co.


Coastal or Hamptons style is light and breezy, with a palette drawn from the beach, sand, shells, sea and sky.

Tip: keep it subtle ­- the coastal style is best when it sets the mood and doesn’t hit you over the head by being too kitsch. Stay away from dark colors and dimly-lit spaces. When was the last time you were at a beach house that was dark and cramped? Let the light in! White walls amplify light. Blur the lines between indoors and out. Spare window treatments ­- think light linen and matchstick shades. Keep away from the fussy -­ use simple patterns and textures, washed out colors, slipcovers vs. structured upholstered pieces. Keep nautical prints and accessories to a minimum. Use bold colors sparingly. Use organic materials -­ sea grass, rope, straw, and jute. Keep woods whitewashed or light in color. Dark woods can be incorporated as accents: a walnut trunk or a teak chest ­would look great against an overall light palette as long as they don’t overtake the space. Streamline your furniture plan and keep accessories to a minimum. Coastal furniture needs to stand up against salt air, wet bods, and sandy feet. Slipcovers, sturdy wood tables, wicker, and thick glass work beautifully and look just as good in Austin, TX as they would in the Hamptons.




Decorist Elite Designer Lauren Martin


Decorist Elite Designer Madelyn Haward


Modern is clean lines, uncluttered, functional and organized.  Surfaces are polished, smooth and sleek.

Tip: keep modern interiors from feeling cold and sterile by adding in different textures - think natural wood, leather, metals and hides. Keep color palettes simple and uncomplicated with high contrast - black and white, navy and camel, charcoal and sand - and add punches of color through art and accessories. Everything should have a function - no unnecessary objects or knick-knacks. Modern design increases space and creates the illusion of a larger room. This decorating style is easily kept clean and spur of the moment entertaining is simple and quick.

If seeing all these gorgeous room images and learning about the different design styles has left you feeling inspired, then try a Decorist design project today. You can work directly with Carrie of HOUSEPlay or one of our other 400 + talented designers. It's affordable, fun and super easy!

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