Whether you are just starting out in your first home, or you are tired of making expensive design mistakes that leave you with a home you don’t actually love, starter style is the foundation for creating a cohesive, beautiful space.
Where to start with Starter Style:
If you are ready to walk through the door of your home and think, “Wow! I get to live here,” instead of noticing all the flaws and imperfections, mismatched furniture, and outdated trends, you are in the right place!
But before we can really get started on designing a home we love, we have to figure out what exactly it is that we like. Knowing which styles that appeal to us—and which styles that don’t—is an essential first step in creating a timeless, cohesive design for your home.
Grab a piece of paper and make three columns. At the top of your columns write: Love, Neutral, and Not for Me.
Then read through the list of styles below and put each style in a column.
Interior Design Styles:
- Traditional: Classic and timeless, with a note of formality. Classic patterns and formal furniture create a polished look with historic influences from England and France.
- Modern: Clean lines, right angles, monochromatic color schemes, and natural materials, with a focus on functionality. You’ll see lots of glass, steel, and concrete, and not much in the way of decorative elements.
- Mid-Century Modern: The prevalent style from the mid-1940’s to the late 60’s, featured in shows like Mad Men, I Love Lucy, and Bewitched. Furniture in this style is frequently made of teak, rosewood, or oak with geometric shapes and bold, bright colors. :
- Cottagecore: With a heavy English countryside influence, this style is all about the cozy and quaint. To get this look, you’ll go after vintage vibes and reclaimed finishes, with a focus on family heirlooms and incorporate lots of wood furniture and plants. Toile, lace, and florals are key elements, plus wallpaper and lots of layers.
- Minimalist: With simplicity as a priority, there are lots of clean lines and a focus on less being more. Every object has a purpose, and spaces are uncluttered. Color schemes tend to be heavy on the neutrals.
- Bohemian: Free-spirited and uncoventional, incorporating bold colors and lots of pattern and texture. This look is often vintage-inspired and includes lots of woven wall hangings and plants.
- Industrial: Inspired by factories and warehouses, you’ll see lots of exposed brick and Edison lightbulbs in industrial designs. Stripped-down, raw and unfinished elements are paired with recycled elements. Dark grays and blacks are often used as accent colors alongside natural materials.
- French Country: This style features distressed and painted furniture, patterns like toile in muted blues, yellows, and greens. Roosters often make an appearance as decor, along with other rustic details. French country is heavy on both comfort and charm.
- Grandmillenial: An updated twist on traditional, this style is heavy on blue and white, floral wallpaper, and antique wood furniture. You’ll see plenty of chinoiserie, needlepoint pillows (perhaps with some sassy sayings), wicker furniture, and chintz patterns.
- Mediterranean: Inspired by—what else—the Mediterranean Sea, this style borrows blues from the skies and the sea, as well as other colors found in the landscape. Indoor-outdoor living is a priority, and rooms tend to be bright and airy with a touch of opulence.
Here’s your homework:
Here’s your homework: spend some time studying the styles you put in your “love” column this week.
What from your home matches those styles? What doesn’t?
Spend some time flipping through magazines or scrolling Pinterest for inspiration, and then come back next week to learn what to do next so you can implement starter style in your home!