Basic Styles in Interior Decorating

by Jonni Sissons

I have spent much of my life accumulating beautiful treasures from around the world to adorn my home. One of my favorite pastimes is interior decorating, which is about more than just the color of the walls and the knickknacks in a hutch or on a coffee table. A home’s décor creates the overall atmosphere and ambiance of the residence. For those with limited experience, choosing a specific style can help establish a theme and guide the manifold decisions that need to be made when decorating or remodeling. Here are of few of the most common decorating styles:

Traditional: This style of decorating utilizes old-style furnishings and subtle fabrics to create a calm, muted feel. Traditional rooms evoke an earlier era and have a classic mood while remaining somewhat casual.

Modern/Contemporary: Sleek lines, stainless steel, and neutral colors are emblematic of modern design. When creating a modernized room, everything should appear clean, smooth, and practical. Minimalism is bedrock in contemporary design, with few embellishments and frills.

Formal: Homes with a formal style run the risk of feeling more like a hotel or museum than an abode. Antique furniture, darkly stained wood, and ornate throw rugs are all commonplace with formal décor. As opposed to modern decorating, the formal style focuses on the details and symmetry of each space.

Shabby Chic: A fusion of elegant and old, the shabby chic style has gained traction among mainstream designers in recent years. Drawing on the principles of both traditional and formal design, shabby chic juxtaposes old, worn antiques, which are commonly painted white, with newer fabrics featuring bold colors and intricate patterns to generate a distinctive atmosphere.