Home Decorating styles 101

How did you get on with last week's home decorating style quiz? If you haven't taken it yet, be sure to take the quiz before reading on:

The first step in your journey to creating a cohesive home is about defining the decorating style you want to use.

In the same way that we all have preferences about what we like to eat and drink, and the entertainment we enjoy, we all have a decorating style that we are drawn to, even if we don't immediately know what that it.

In actual fact, most of us like a mixture of different styles, and different parts of different styles. 

We might like a little bit of industrial mixed with a bit of country and the odd contemporary piece thrown in for contrast. Or we might like some really traditional pieces but with something more wacky thrown in too. 

That's all good!

But as a starting point, we need to know what 'styles' are out there, so that we can begin to piece together a complete picture of what we like.

Here's a glossary of the 10 most common design styles to get you thinking about which elements you like in your own home:

1. Country Style

Country style is one of the most popular decorating design styles. Country schemes focus on comfort, and so we see fabrics made from natural materials such as wools, and chunky knits, Colour schemes are often pared-back muted greens, creams and browns. A roaring log fire is a must in a country home, and cosy is key. Country style is further split into sub-categories, such as French country (see shabby chic), farmhouse (see below), and modern, where some of the more rustic elements are replaced with neat painted wooden furniture. 

2. Farmhouse Style

More rustic than country, farmhouse has been popular for many years now. This style is characterised by rough hewn wood and repurposed metallic objects (farm machinery used as wall art for example). Vintage and mis-matched furniture is key to achieving this look. Scour flea markets and reclamation yards for authentic pieces. 

3. Shabby Chic Style

A pretty take on the Country theme. Shabby chic tends to focus on an all-white colour scheme, with painted wooden furniture and lace table coverings, which also crosses over with the 'French country' design style too. Called shabby for a reason, the more worn the furniture the better, and upcycling and vintage finds are perfect for this look.

4. Scandi Style

Scandinavian design has exploded into the main stream in recent years. Characterised by simple, unfussy design, Scandi is a fusion of practicality and comfort. Colour schemes are usually white, or pale grey, and softness is brought in through animal furs and sheepskin. There is a real focus on practicality, but in Scandi schemes, form and function usually marry together well.

5. Coastal Style

Like country, coastal is a popular look too. It usually comprises a white and blue colour scheme with splashed of red, with ticking stripes and natural fabrics used in abundance. In more predictable designs, stereotypical seaside paraphernalia such as fisherman's knots, life rings and lighthouses are included, but more modern coastal designs steer away from these predictable accessories and focus instead on creating light and breezy spaces.

6. Industrial Style

Industrial design draws inspiration from utilitarian buildings such as factories and warehouses, and hails back to the days of New York loft living. Think bare bricks, worn leather sofas and exposed industrial pipes. Concrete surfaces and vintage furniture fit right in here.

7. Mid-Century Modern Style

Inspired by the interior design of the 1930-1960s, mid-century modern design is as popular today as it was back then. It's characterised by both geometric and organic shapes and patterns, simple framed furniture and bold colour schemes. Iconic designers of this period gave us design classics such as the Eames chair and Andy Warhol artwork.

8. Bohemian (Boho) Style

Boho is a good look for people who want to live relaxed, freely and with lots of cultural references. Boho style is colourful and eclectic, full of ethnic fabrics, patterned rugs and tie-died cloths, moroccan lanterns and plenty of houseplants.

9. Minimalist Style

For those who dislike clutter, and enjoy a clean and ordered life, minimalism could be for you. Some people think of minimalism as cold and hard, but it doesn't have to be. Inspired by Japanese interiors, minimalist spaces use the bare essentials, but what is included is beautiful and makes a statement. 

10. Eclectic Style

The polar opposite of minimalist style, eclectic schemes are difficult to categorise, as they comprise so many elements. Bringing together many disparate elements is actually quite tricky to pull off, but choosing items in a consistent colour theme helps to unite the room. Ideal for rule breakers, the eclectic style really lets you express yourself in your home.

So now we've covered some of the main styles, next week we dive into looking at why choosing just one of these styles is a big mistake- and what you should be doing instead!

Until next time x


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