Interior Design Basics: Styles


To begin any interior decorating project, we need to decide what style to create our interior home in order to feel good in that space.This is the idea of interior design professionals.

I have gathered information on the main characteristics for the various styles of interior decorating. I have included the main characteristics of each style along with photos. It is important to view the variety of styles and decide what styles you would like to live with in your home.

Modern Minimalist Style of extreme accuracy with nothing too much and no heavy backgrounds. The emphasis is on simplicity. Colors are dull or bright but flashy. Pieces are geometric shapes of square, rectangular and round. Surfaces are clean and no details. Minimalist modern style illustrates the simplified form.

Classic Refined style, developed, rich in details that are found in the structure of furniture, lighting, etc., as well as in fabric prints. The furniture is the “art.” Carved or inlaid details and applied. Decorated with floral elements, vegetable, leaf motifor scenes drawn from legends.

Rustic Style structure is crude withrough details. Structure elements of furniture and lighting can be in tree trunks, logs, branches, jute. Style is found in mountain vacation homes and rural areas.

Classic Updated Refined and elegant. Classic form details are found in a new approach. The forms preserve the structure of old forms or parts in general updating them sometimes or some elements of a furniture style ombined with modern elements, creatingthe fusion between old and new. Finishing parts are in a new approach: painted and varnished with different and innovative colors, surface gold or silver finished with patina or serigraphic.

Retro Refers to ’50s, ’60s or ’70s. In that period it is anticipated design of pieces to come. A playful approach with a funny structure of form, the play of colors and prints. New approaches to design forms, yet within classic design lines. Prints with geometric shapes, lines, plaid or printed with illustrations of the Pop Art style.

Contemporary Modern, new and cool. Colors are balanced, warm; bright tones and pastel can be out of the question. Finishes are warm and wood. Appearance to look more polished. Textile use of leather, velvet, plush, printed. Scandinavian modern style can be defined as a contemporary style.

High-tech An innovative modern style and the emphasis on detail that is not random but part of the structure. Details of screws, rivets, wheels, rough metal are specific to this style. The finishes are often metal, glass plastic, wood, leather. The colors are often dull gray, white and small amounts of black.

Elegant Country Rural style is elegant with influences from English, French or Scandinavian classic pure style. Rural chic. Finishes are bright colors with white and pastel. Forms are traditional. Surfaces are painted and sometimes have a slight patina.

Your home should reflect your lifestyle. You should surround yourself with what you love to look at.


About Karen Carpino

Karen Carpino is an interior designer and founder of Chicago-based Karen Carpino Design. A professionally registered interior designer with over 25 years of experience, Ms. Carpino's clientele includes both residential and commercial projects. She brings you techniques, trends and tips in “Style At Home.”