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Some interior design styles can be self-explanatory. But the most sought-after and influential design styles of recent years require a little more explanation… and when a new look borrows from other, more established styles or puts a new spin on a beloved classic, things only get more complicated from there.

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If you find yourself struggling to distinguish between a minimalist interior and a mid-century one, we’re here to help. While the lines aren’t always so cut and dry, every interior design style has a few key principles that can help identify even the most eclectic home.

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Simply identifying each interior design style is more than a clever party trick—it can also help you define your own personal style and find more of what you’re drawn to. You can also allow yourself to mix and match according to your intuitions and sensibilities, and throw these labels to the wind – if your personal style calls for it. Of course, these styles and trends change quickly from month to month, so there’s always something to learn. And if you choose a style all your own, give it a name – we might write about it next week.

Read on to see the top design styles, their key features, and insights from our favorite designers.

Although it has largely taken a backseat to casual styles in recent years, traditional design is experiencing something of a renaissance, and we’re finding ourselves falling back in love with stately rooms and beautiful antiques.

It’s not hard to deduce that traditional design is inspired by, you guessed it, tradition. Specifically, the traditions of 18th and 19th century European interiors, albeit in a more timeless approach. Symmetry, harmony and understated elegance are defining features.

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Classic furniture, intricate details and rich colors abound in traditional interiors, resulting in decidedly formal yet functional spaces. Architecture is another important element, where detail work such as crown molding and wainscoting play a significant role.

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One of the cardinal rules of interior design is to always “edit, edit, edit”—but that comes with a caveat. “Edit, edit, edit” –

You are a maximalist at heart. “More is always more,” says Martin Waller, designer and founder of Andrew Martin. “Layers of texture and pattern to add excitement to a home—more rugs, more art, more objects.”

This no-holds-barred style is all about mixing bold patterns, bright colors, unexpected textures and more in a technicolor whirlwind that delights the senses and always leaves a new detail to notice. There are very few rules when it comes to maximalism, but we always think that wallpaper is a good place to start, as it instantly brightens up an interior without cluttering it up.

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Of course, there is a difference between “maximalist” and “repressionist”. Some editing is still necessary, though it depends more on intuition and impulse. Be sure to step back every now and then and take in the room as a whole. Or better yet, take a picture to give yourself impartiality and distance so you can see if the maximalist style works in your home.

Not sure if you can pull off this look? Start small, such as a guest room or entryway, to limit the amount of square footage you need to paint.

At the other end of the spectrum, we embrace minimalism – a true less-is-more design philosophy that makes a big impact with bright, clean spaces that minimize clutter and an often overly restrained, muted neutral or clean color palette. black and white.

While minimalist styles often include midcentury modern or Scandinavian elements, this look is more of a

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Gift. Tip: If you want to achieve this look, expect to pull a big Marie Kondo on your home. The fact that it leaves open to interpretation is what makes it so versatile, so even traditionalists can fall into this trend.

Not to be confused with other modern design styles, contemporary interiors are entirely of the moment, while modern can refer to anything forward-thinking from decades past – such as Midcentury Modern or Modern Farmhouse.

The key elements of contemporary design can be traced back to simplicity, clean lines, fine sophistication and the conscious use of textures. It seamlessly combines classic, timeless elements with very current, modern pieces. It’s also a naturally minimal style that should never feel fussy, stuffy or dated. Most modern spaces stick to a black, white and neutral color palette, occasionally using bold accent colors to create strong contrast. Strong visual lines are also characteristically present, whether straight or curved.

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The style, also called modern traditional, gives a new twist to the age-old style. “We’re seeing homes honoring history in a really fresh and inspiring way,” says decor designer Luz Perez Brown. While the moniker “traditional” sounds old and tired, the way designers and homeowners alike are reclaiming the term is really about loving the past and looking to the future.

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“Infusing clean lines with beautiful antiques, ornate moldings and vintage artwork… Anything our grandparents owned is new again, and this rich culture is woven seamlessly into our environment,” explains Perez Brown.

As a style combination, transitional design is one you might not even realize you’re using in your home. In essence, transitional style is a blend of traditional and contemporary design styles. In other words, it combines the old with the new to achieve elegant yet comfortable and timeless interiors.

So how exactly is this blend achieved? Transitional rooms are usually equipped with sophisticated furniture that combines classic, soft lines with the comfort of modern pieces. The color palettes are more modern, clean, neutral colors form the base layer, and soft pastels or rich earth tones are incorporated sparingly. Contrast can be achieved by using different textures or tones.

A trend that’s here to stay, MCM is in our hearts now and forever – but it’s also interesting that this look changes and adapts over time.

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“I’m seeing more and more requests for Midcentury Modern,” says decor designer Joshua Jones. But this isn’t your grandmother’s Midcentury Modern, he explains. “They often want to mix this style with a bohemian or glamorous vibe to reflect their personality. It can be bold and fun or light and airy.”

Geometric and wavy shapes such as hairpin legs, ‘amoba’ or ‘kidney bean’ furniture and warm wood tones are one of the things we love about this look is how adaptable it is. “This style is ideal for an older home or for those who appreciate retro furniture and accessories,” says Jones.

Usually characterized by rounded shapes, rich materials and rich jewel tones accented with brass, the Deco style has been transformed in recent years to look more modern and less 90s.

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“Using sinuous shapes is a definite throwback to a more modern twist,” explains Design Works’ Robin Strickler. “For furniture, we’re seeing upholstered pieces like sofas, chaise longues, and even benches that are asymmetrical and curved, rather than straight lines. This creates a calmer energy—imitating waves and curves—and feels cozier and more intimate.” Wavy club chairs like the one shown here are characteristic of the Art Deco style.

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Deeply rooted in place—particularly in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, though Finland and even Iceland are occasionally thrown generously into the mix, if we’re talking more broadly—this aesthetic favors clean lines, bent wood and other natural materials, and uncluttered , sophisticated underpainting against the ostentatious. displays.

“Scandi” spaces are likely to feature big-name Scandinavian design icons you’ve heard of, from Eeno Saarinen’s tulip tables to Hans Wegner’s subtly curved rocker arm chairs, and yes, even some well-placed IKEA pieces (no shame). – we love the Swedish megastore).

Trust Joanna Gaines – no list of the most popular decor styles is complete without pointing in the direction of the modern farmhouse. The look, which includes rustic elements in a fresh and airy way, has become fashionable in its homely, friendly atmosphere…and in the tendency towards a simpler lifestyle.

“With the fast-paced, real-time hustle and bustle we’re used to, our generation wants a slower, more mindful lifestyle,” says Perez Brown. “Farmhouse style allows peaceful nature to flow indoors with its soft neutral earth tones, natural materials and casual architecture full of textures.”

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World travelers and plant moms, this one is for you. Bohemian style favors layers of lush textiles from far-flung lands, such as handwoven Moroccan rugs layered with Japanese block prints and even Malian mudcloth cushions. Expect plenty of natural materials, tapestries, macramé planters overflowing with lush vegetation – the jungle-like plant obsession is very much at home in the boho space – and metals like brass and copper with a popular patina.

Authenticity is the name of the game, so anything that looks like it was picked up at a flea market in a faraway place.

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