February 27, 2019

Interior Design Style Guide

From Midcentury Modern to minimalism, the world of design is vast and diverse. Over the years, certain characteristics and artistic movements have influenced the world of interiors, architecture and lighting, creating a lexicon unique to the design world. Here’s a look at some of the most popular interior design styles, to help ensure you and your designer speak the same language.





Midcentury Modern

The mid-1950s interpreted futurism in an entirely unique way, evolving Art Deco into something we now think of as Space Age, atomic, and Mad Men style. Warm metals, round shapes, clean lines and wood grain step to the forefront of Midcentury Modern aesthetic. In lighting, this translated into Sputnik chandeliers, arc floor lamps and artichoke pendants. For those looking to fully immerse themselves in this highly cherished style, head to sunny Palm Springs - a veritable time capsule for this now-vintage design movement.


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Farmhouse

Farmhouse style uses rustic barnwoods, flea market antiques and weathered metals for a look that feels warm, rural and lived-in. Oil-rubbed bronze, chipped-paint finishes, mason jars and exposed wood give any space that bucolic, farmhouse feel.


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Industrial

Vintage finishes, hammered metals and exposed mechanics are the pillars of industrial design. A celebration of the process of making something, industrial designs feel drawn from history, pulled from the factories, foundries and apothecaries of the past. Edgier elements - like metal studs, meshed metals and matte black knurling - give modern industrial fixtures a clean, rockstar vibe.


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Art Deco

Defined by repeating geometries, luxurious materials and streamlined symmetry, Art Deco dominated the early 20th century as technological advancements evolved manufacturing. The glamour of Gatsby, the skyline of Manhattan, the shapes of Cubism, all culminated together to form an architectural, art and design movement that stills feels relevant today.


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Scandinavian

Characterized by clean lines, washed woods, soft edges and intuitive functionality, Scandinavian design is eternally timeless and timely. The IKEA aesthetic spawned from the Nordic countries, influencing the more referenced Midcentury Modern era.


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Coastal

Also known as nautical, coastal design draws inspiration from the calm, serene ocean views and textures of the beach for a softened take on nature. Sun-bleached driftwoods, smooth stone, pale pastels and a nod to nautical instruments create the coastal vibe we all cherish.


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Bohemian

Bohemian style has roots in both Art Nouveau and Wabi-Sabi. Raw, organic materials such as rattan and bamboo, along with imperfect forms, craft a style that admires the human touch over machine-made products. Add a healthy dose of plants and succulents into the mix and you’re good to go.


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Minimalist

Minimalism thrives on the idea that less is more. A space or product that celebrates simplicity - clean, unadorned form - provides a sense of calm. The less we embellish something, the less complicated our living environments. In the lighting world, this means simple geometric shapes, carefully refined down in every little detail.


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French Country

Often referred to as “shabby chic,” French Country design blends warm, rustic finishes, slipcovered furniture, linens and antiques for a style that’s one part flea market, one part bed-and-breakfast. When it comes to French Country lighting, think rustic beaded chandeliers, thin and curling wrought iron suspensions and cherished heirlooms.


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Memphis

Founded in Italy by prolific architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, Memphis design incorporates exaggerated scale, cartoonish shapes, abstract lines and bold colors to create one of the most whimsical design movements of the late 1900s. What some think of as “80s design,” Memphis draws its roots from art movements, most notably Pop Art.


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Victorian

Highly ornate and elegant, Victorian design references Gothic and Baroque styles for a look that’s the opposite of minimalist. Emblazoned metals, sinuous and winding forms and Damask patterns forge designs that feel historic, haute and somewhat haunted.


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Glam

From over-the-top opulent chandeliers to gold-and-glittery pendants, glam is all things glitzy and sparkly. Traditional glam can be seen in ornate, Swarovski-studded light fixtures while “cosmo glam” simply adds a few lavish adornments to more modern forms.


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Southwestern

Heavily influenced by Spanish, Central and South American architecture, along with the Navajo and Apache tribes of the region, Southwest style emphasizes repeating geometric patterns, clay and terracotta, desert hues and ranch culture. In lighting, this translates to natural materials, ceramic pendants and hand-decorated lamps.


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Whimsical

At once eccentric, abstract and sculptural, whimsical design never takes itself too serious, adding a cheeky twist on real-life objects or recreating vintage items with high-tech features. Mashup styles - like Steampunk or Pastel Gothic - let fantasy take over, delivering a narrative with each and every design. Think Jeff Koons, Alice in Wonderland, and Tim Burton.


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Global

A westernized term that typically involves designs from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America, global design draws from many diverse regions, culminating in a well-traveled aesthetic. From metal-pierced pendants of Morocco to Italian silk suspensions and ikat-patterned pottery, global design is truly a melange of many styles.


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Contemporary

A broad term that encompasses a wide variety of styles and design movements, contemporary design is most commonly associated with an art museum aesthetic: Clean, stark, minimalist and monochromatic. For contemporary lighting, this means sleek, forward-thinking and futuristic; fixtures made with high-tech features and experimental materials.


Transitional

One of the most common terms, and one of the most broad concepts. Transitional design is not quite contemporary, not quite traditional. It’s versatile, modern, familiar; timeless products made with diverse materials. A transitional light fixture can work in a 19th century villa or a 21st century condo.


Traditional

Time-honored and frequently handcrafted, traditional design fondly references the past. Historic and ornate, traditional design is all about adornment and artistry, adding lavish and opulent touches to even the most everyday objects. When it comes to traditional lighting, everything from weathered wood suspensions, vintage cast iron pendants and glamorous crystal chandeliers set the tone.

Stylish Selections

by Jonathan Adler
$2,091 - $3,362
by Slamp
$360
by La Variete
$127 - $146
by PureEdge Lighting
$1,687 - $4,029
by Feiss
$261 - $720
by Jamie Young Company
$380
by Schneid
$395
by Flos Lighting
$3,495
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$395 - $495
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$4,110
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$350 - $592
by Seletti
$345
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$1,870 - $5,070
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$475 - $1,295
by Flos Lighting
$695 - $795