Ever wonder how designers and interior decorators make each room look professionally styled and pulled together?

The secret:  Stick to the main STYLE and accessorize for the WOW factor.

Read on below for your home décor style guide including tips and trends for how to make your home, your sanctuary.

1. Traditional

Traditional interior design is derived from classic, never outdated, European style and is heavily influenced by the old European décor that gained popularity during the 18th and the 19th century.  It’s perfect for those who appreciate rich history, classic art pieces, antique elements, and symmetry.

Other distinctive features for this design style include walls painted with neutral colors so furniture and decorative accents are easily showcased and the pairs of sofas, lamps and accessories are used to create an element of symmetry and balanced space centered on a focal point – which is usually the mantle and fireplace, a stunning piece of artwork or the television. 

Dominant elements include:

  • Architectural details including elaborate moldings, trim, wood paneling and wainscoting, coffered ceilings and built-in cabinetry
  • Solidly constructed pieces with natural wood
  • Elegant furnishings, accent and antique pieces
  • Pairings of furniture and accessories that are stylish and elegant
  • A neutral colour palette with rich tones, dark wood and sophisticated colours
  • Expensive textiles including silk, velvet, cashmere in accessories
  • Comfy fabrics including cotton or linen in upholstery, drapery and accessories
  • Intricate tile and wood floor patterns

2. Contemporary

Often confused with Modern Design Style (See #3), contemporary design style includes open spaces and sometimes unusual layouts, plenty of light, wood and glass and straight lines that are more on trend in style.  This design style is modern and evolves with the times.

Key elements of contemporary design:

  • Open spaces or open floor plans
  • Unadorned spaces that are clean and clutter-free
  • Use of natural light
  • Neutral colors
  • Metal accent pieces
  • Textured and natural fabric
  • Very light or very dark wood tones
  • Furniture with exposed legs to create the illusion of added space
  • Lighting design used as an artistic statement
  • Intricate details are minimal

3. Modern

Simplicity and clean, crisp lines are the main feature of this design style. All excess is eliminated.  Clutter is unacceptable in the modern styled living space. Simplicity and fresh elegance is the focus with a very basic or even monochromatic colour palette. Spaces are adorned with subtlety. Black, grey and white are utilized with hints of primary colours.

Modern interior designs also include elements and materials that provide you with an overall warm and comforting feel without being loud or bold.

Key attributes of modern interior design style include:

  • Absence of ornament
  • Intentional asymmetry
  • No clutter or chaos
  • Neutrals with primary colors and bold color contrasts
  • Geometric-patterned or plain area rugs
  • Furniture pieces have clean lines and basic shapes, made of materials like metal, chrome, or glass and are streamlined with polished, smooth and sleek surfaces
  • Art, rather than accessories
  • Open floor plans

4. Mid-Century

Very distinctive in its look and clean lines, the mid-century home must be mid-century on the outside as well as on the inside.

This home is minimalistic, sparsely furnished and can offer an ancient retro look taking you back to the 1900’s with some of the most iconic interior designs or gives off the 1950’s and 1960’s nostalgic vibe.

Key Elements:

  • Main theme is “fussy-free”
  • Crisp, simple lines
  • Rusty metals
  • Lots of wood
  • Subtle silhouettes
  • Simple fabrications
  • Molded plastic plywood
  • Natural shaped furniture (the egg-shaped chare, for instance)
  • Hues of blues and greens

5. Shabby-Chic

For the craftily inclined, Shabby-chic design style is a popular choice with the popularity of vintage finds at the flea market and DIY home décor. Inspiration is drawn from vintage designs and styles with the focus on creating soft, feminine and delicate designs by blending contemporary and modern styles with a scruffy, ragged finish.

Primary shabby-chic design attributes:

  • Decor has a soft, feminine feel
  • Vintage fabrics and items
  • Distressed, antiqued and painted furnishings
  • Whitewashed and pickling floors
  • Pale palettes – white and pastel colours
  • Floral prints
  • Wall hangings
  • Flimsy light fixtures

6. Eclectic

Showcasing a contrast of elements including colors, furnishings and materials, this design style involves breaking the traditional rules and mixing elements to create something fresh and unique, aesthetically pleasing and balanced.  There is a focus on creating a cohesive blend of colour and patterns.

Main design attributes:

  • Varied palette with a few grounding neutrals
  • Different pieces in the room are tied together with paint, fabric or a more refined or roughed-up finish,
  • Defined by contrasts and variety

7. Beach/Nautical

This style includes light colors with splashes of bright colors such as navy blue or red, loads of natural light streaming through windows, nautical accessories such as rope, dark wood and other items found on boats and wicker or rattan furniture.  It’s the perfect choice for the lake-house, beach house or cottage.

Motifs from the sea, ships, anchors and beach are used to create a relaxing space.  The colour palette is inspired by the beach.

Key characteristics:

  • Light and breezy
  • Nautical-themed decor
  • White backdrop with colors derived from sand, surf and shells, sky
  • Décor crafted from natural fibers and organic materials,
  • Wickers tools, rattan furniture and beds with a natural oak frame
  • Unfinished wood for chairs and tables
  • Breezy window coverings
  • Chic linen upholstery for furniture
  • Sea inspired decorative accents including jute, rope, seashells, oars, anchors

8. Mediterranean

This is a distinct style characterized by ornamental elements and features including columns and arches and an earth toned colour palette.

Main style elements:

  • Arches and curves in the design
  • Columns
  • Ornate features in the furniture designs
  • Tile and brick
  • Earth tones
  • Large, sturdy furniture
  • Interior balconies
  • Tall ceilings
  • Faux finishing and Venetian Plaster, sculpted elements

9. Rustic

Think of coming upon a cabin in the forest and you’ve nailed rustic interior design.  This style is truly raw, often with unfinished and raw elements of stone or wood. Inspiration is drawn from nature and includes accessories that come from outdoors including reclaimed wooden floors or ceiling beams.

The main focus of rustic interior design is on raw, natural, and unrefined elements that are bold, earthy and organic. Rustic can be dark and heavy or you can go for a ‘modern and contemporary rustic’ style where fresh, light, and grounded take on the ‘original’ rustic theme.

Important rustic design elements:

  • Exposed ceiling beams
  • Use of reclaimed wood
  • Exposed stone wall
  • Wooden flooring
  • Cowhides, sheepskins and simple neutral-colored natural fabrics
  • Distressed and handcrafted items
  • Wood-burning fireplace
  • Prominent staircases

10. Farmhouse

Similar to rustic design, farmhouse is lighter, incorporates some shabby-chic, features plenty of natural wood and provides a cozy, relaxed feel.

Main style elements:

  • Simplistic colour palette, plenty of white
  • Large kitchen and dining place
  • Prominent fireplace
  • Open shelves and cabinets
  • A parlor for visitors and a sitting room for the family
  • Cozy fabrics, natural materials and textiles
  • Vintage, reclaimed or heritage accessories
  • Vintage, shabby chic furniture with a rustic flair
  • Tongue-and-groove paneling, shiplap and butt boards
  • Even ceilings with exposed reclaimed beams
  • Wide plank floors
  • Barn doors

11. Scandinavian

Inspired by the simple lifestyle of the Nordic countries and their characteristic fjords, mountains and glaciers, Scandinavian interiors provide timeless designs and styles including a myriad of textures and clean, refined lines. 

Important design elements:

  • Predominantly white, but use of bright, bold colour
  • Clean, refined lines – modern, practical and uncomplicated
  • Beautiful works of art
  • Large mirrors
  • Principles of symmetry
  • Lots of space and natural light, fewer accessories
  • Furniture pieces are functional, purposeful and stylish but not  trendy
  • Use of light colored wood and warm, subtle colors
  • Organic materials

12. Bohemian

Bohemian interiors are known for their use of pieces that exude nomadic and ethnic vibes – a representation of the avant-garde lifestyle known for adventure and the carefree spirit. Inspiration is derived from southwestern, Moroccan and tribal styles. Different colours and accessories are mixed and paired with varying textures to create a comfortable, welcoming and lived-in feel.

  • Vibrant colors
  • Rich, bold, loud patterns
  • Variety of elements and accessories including pillows, throws, rugs
  • Animal hides
  • Metallic accents
  • Natural

13. Hollywood Glam

Super luxurious in style, the key here is opulence, exquisite detail and high quality. Designs make big, bold statements with the help of drama and opulence. Inspiration is found in Victorian style and antique furnishings.

  • Luxe, expensive elements and accessories
  • Magnificent decorative accents
  • Bold colour palettes with beautiful blends of turquoise, reds, purples, silver and gold

I hope you’ve found your preferred design style here but if you’d like some help creating your Sanctuary Space, I’d be delighted to chat.  Contact me to schedule your FREE ‘Create Your Sanctuary’ consultation for tips and an action plan within your budget.