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We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a conversation, and a friend asks you to describe an experience that’s unfamiliar to them. Maybe it’s a a foreign city you recently explored, or a delicious meal full of new flavors. You try to convey your thoughts in a way that makes them feel as though they were there with you, but you just can’t find the words.

For many interior design clients, describing personal style preferences is a similar scenario.  Your taste is likely based on spaces you’ve seen or experienced, so it’s only natural to attempt to bring the other person into that space, using adjectives like “clean,” “cozy,” “modern,” or “rustic.” However, these terms only serve as broad descriptor words, rather than concrete style names, so they tend to leave the listener with a vague impression of the clear picture in your head. With a more specific and well-rounded design vocabulary, you’ll not only narrow down your Pinterest searches, but also enter into your interior design consultation with more confidence in your design identity.

So, we’ve compiled a list of 12 common interior design styles to help you put your style into words. You might only resonate with one of the photos, or you may find that you’re drawn to two or three of them. Yes, it’s ok to love more than one style! Take a look at these 12 photos, select up to three favorites, and then scroll down to read more about each of them (Hint: if you click on a style name, the link will take you to a Pinterest board filled with even more inspiration photos for that style. Photo sources can be found on the Pinterest boards).design-styles

1. Traditional

Traditional or Classic style interior design is rooted in old English and French styles of decor. Casegoods and cabinetry in this style tend to be elaborate and intricately carved, while the upholstery is more sensual, with tufting, scroll details, curved legs, and roll-top arms. Patterned fabrics, such as chinoserie and lace, are abundant, and usually accompanied by trims, tassels, and tapes. Darker wood tones, brass fixtures, and symmetrical placement of furniture and accessories are also common characteristics of this style.

2. Cottage

Cottage style encompasses a few different sub-styles, including the East Coast Cottage, the Tommy Bahama Cottage, and the Crafstman Bungalow. The East Coast Cottage is light and beachy, with plenty of white beadboard, slipcovered sofas, blue accents, basketweave tables and chairs, and sisal rugs. The Tommy Bahama Cottage is also light and bright, with many of the same features, but with more of a bohemian, island-resort feel, and an abundance of greenery and cane furniture. The Crafstman Bungalow is a darker, earthy version of the cottage style, boasting heavy, hand-crafted woodwork. All of these styles embrace sturdy, comfy furniture, natural fibers, and wood beams and floors, creating an overall cozy effect.

3. Transitional

Transitional interior design is a mix of traditional and contemporary styles. It features simplified curves, which pay homage to its traditional roots, without the ornate detail. It also tends to lend itself more to comfort and coziness than true contemporary, making it inviting and livable. Most transitional start with a neutral color palette as a base, adding visual interest with small pops of color and plenty of texture and pattern. Since this style came about as a way to bridge between two other styles, it’s safe to mix in the occasional traditional light fixture or contemporary coffee table to create the perfect balance.

4. Zen

Zen interiors put an Asian twist on contemporary design. They usually tend toward minimalism, with low, flat surfaces, geometric profiles, and very few embellishments or curves. Zen style works well with natural materials, especially sleek wood and smooth pebbles. A trademark element of Zen interiors is the sliding shoji door, which uses paper, rather than glass, to cover its geometric cut-outs. Asian motifs, such as cherry blossoms and bamboo, are also prevalent in this style.

5. Scandinavian

Scandinavian style is another form of modern minimalism. A true Scandinavian space will feature bright white walls, blonde furniture, and light-colored finishes. Chairs and tables in this style are usually light and airy-looking, and decorations are kept to a minimum. The few accessories that do occur are neutral or whitewashed, but full of texture, such as sheepskin rugs and woven wall-hangings.

6. Industrial

Industrial interiors aim to highlight the concrete, metal, repurposed wood and other rough materials commonly found in factories and warehouses. They often seek to expose the building’s bare bones and inner workings, such as pipes and i-beams. Industrial style furniture usually has a rugged and tough look to it, embracing the behind-the-scenes details, like rivets and welding, that normally would be kept hidden below fabrics or varnish. Worn-in leather and natural woven materials, such as burlap and jute, make great accents for industrial spaces.

7. Spanish

Spanish style interiors feature plaster walls with arched openings, terracotta floors and pottery, wood beams, and ornate, hand-painted tiles. Traditional Spanish homes include wrought iron decor, pillows and hand-knotted rugs with vibrant patterns, and dark, walnut-colored furniture. Updated Spanish homes, often referred to as Santa Barbara Spanish, can be distinguished by their bright white walls, cobalt blue accents, and coastal-inspired furnishings.

8. Country

Country is a fairly broad style, covering several sub-styles. Shabby Chic and French Country, for instance, tend to be more delicate, with lighter colors and subtly feminine details. A more woodsy, masculine take on Country, with dark wood walls, stone fireplaces, heavy wool rugs, and fur throws, would result in a Cabin-style interior. Farmhouse and Americana interiors are sub-styles frequently featured on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, with an abundance of shiplap, lantern-style light fixtures, and sliding barn doors. The overarching characteristics of Country style interiors include rustic wood, repurposed objects, gingham and plaid patterns.

9. Bohemian

Bohemian style is an eclectic, well-traveled style of interior design, full of texture and vibrant colors and patterns. Though it works well with contemporary furniture, it’s influenced by many old-world styles, including Mediterranean, Persian, and Middle Eastern styles. The hallmarks of Bohemian interiors include Turkish rugs, macrame, antiques, flea market finds, and an abundance of plants.

10. Midcentury

Midcentury Modern design is a style that began developing in the 1950s and 60s, or mid-20th century. While it’s largely an American style (think Mad Men), it is rooted in the teachings of the Bauhaus – a German art school. Some of the key characteristics of Midcentury design include streamlined furniture that’s lifted off the ground on tapered or hairpin legs, walnut wood casegoods, and vibrant upholstery in colors such as chartreuse, orange, and teal. For even more style inspiration, don’t forget to take a look at the classics: Charles & Ray Eames’ Lounge Chair, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Table, and George Nelson’s Comprehensive Storage Unit for Herman Miller, to name a few.

11. Contemporary

Contemporary design is a clean, sleek style, that is essentially the complete opposite of Traditional design. It features simple lines without embellishment, and sharper angles in place of delicate curves and scroll details. Most contemporary interiors use a neutral color palette, with heavy emphasis on grays, taupes, and creams. While there’s room for a pop of color in any interior, the majority of visual interest in contemporary spaces comes from varied textures, subtle patterns, and natural fibers in tonal colors.

12. Glam

Glam style takes its inspiration from both the Art Deco era and Hollywood Regency era. Glamour and luxury are the main focus of Glam interiors, boasting velvet upholstery, fur throws, metallic or mirrored casegoods, and lacquered side tables. For interiors that lean more toward the Art Deco side of Glam, geometric motifs with black and white finishes can be a great addition to the space. If Hollywood Regency is more your style, try adding a damask print chair and some dramatic lighting.

 

Now combine your favorites to find your unique style. One of RWD’s designers swoons over Transitional Glam, while the other has a Midcentury Bohemian obsession – we’ll let you figure out who’s who. What’s your style combination? Share it in the comments below! And for more information about each of these styles, and how to implement them in your home, contact us! We’d love to hear from you.

XOXO,

RWD

What happened in Vegas two weeks ago shouldn’t stay there! We took a quick, two-day trip to the Las Vegas Market, and found more inspiring vendors and furniture pieces than we can count. So we decided to take a few moments to put together a list of some of the highlights of our trip!

Noir Furniture

IMG_0055While Noir wasn’t new to us, we hadn’t had used many of their products in the months prior to Market. However, walking into their showroom at the World Market Center rekindled our love immediately. From the beautifully textured casegoods and tables to the geometric lighting and chairs, we were completely obsessed. Needless to say, we’ll be using them a lot more in upcoming projects!

Leftbank Art

IMG_0040As usual, Leftbank‘s showroom exceeded our expectations. RWD found several pieces of art for our current clients, and plenty of inspiration for future projects. We love being able to order our favorite works of art in any size. Plus, the colors in these pieces matched our business cards perfectly!

Renwil

IMG_0023Every once in a while, we come across a vendor that makes us pause and think, “Why didn’t we know about this a long time ago?” This year at Market, Renwil was one of those vendors. They have a charming and quirky collection of unique accessories (like these adorable cacti) and lighting, and we can’t wait to use their products in some of our upcoming projects!

Surya

IMG_0029Surya has always been one of our go-to rug vendors, but this year they’ve really stepped up their game! They have several, gorgeous new hand-tufted and hand-knotted rugs, as well as some great machine-made options. And their growing collection of lamps is a definite plus!

Phillips Collection

IMG_0032Phillips Collection is a vendor we’ve considered using a few times in the past, but walking into their showroom was enough to make us want to pull the trigger. Their beautifully crafted, live-edge furniture pieces are absolutely stunning, and we found more than a few brass wall accents to add some character to future projects.

Studio A Home

IMG_0003While we’ve known about Global Views for several years, we loved taking some time to get to know their sister company, Studio A Home. We found a number of furniture pieces with interesting textures, and some dramatic, moody light fixtures like the one in the photo above.

Made Goods

IMG_0043Made Goods has a large number of products, but each one is incredibly unique and impeccably designed. Check out the lines on this bookcase! It was hard not to fall in love with every single item in the showroom. We’ll definitely be keeping them in mind in the coming months.

Bonus: The Cosmopolitan Hotel

IMG_0009Although it’s not technically a Market highlight, it was impossible not to be inspired by the extravagance of our hotel. The Cosmopolitan is the epitome of modern luxury, with beautiful finishes, well-made furniture, and a gigantic, three-story chandelier dominating the center of the dining area and casino. We spent a relaxing evening lounging in our hotel room, before heading out for drinks at an LVMkt party located at the Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub inside the Cosmopolitan. Overall, it was a successful and inspiring whirlwind visit to the City of Lights!

XOXO,

RWD

July 6, 2015

I was honored this last week to find out that I was listed as one of the top 15 interior designers in Sacramento!  I am close with many of my colleagues listed and know they are worthy competition.  Many years of hard work and wonderful clients has made this possible and I truly appreciate it.  You can read the article here and vote for yours truly on the poll.

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Many Thanks,
Rebecca Ward

April 17, 2015

It’s been a while since last posting on here, but I thought I would start out this blog talking about two new trends that I have been seeing. With spring in full bloom, many new styles and trends have been arising. I want to focus on two trends that have caught my eye which is the color blue and stripes. Many designers are using the color blue in many furniture pieces and accessories it’s perfect because blue goes with a variety of colors such as pink, green, coral, and grey. Blue is such a vibrant color that gives depth to a room and gives it a wow factor. 
 
A combination of the color blue can be made with the boldness of stripes. Stripes are also an up and coming trend in makes a room look bold. It also makes the person who is using such bold stripes in their homes look fearless in their design decisions. 
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Stripes can be used in furniture, decorative pieces, or by painting the walls in stripes! Stripes can make a room not only look bold and beautiful but it can also make a seemingly small room look bigger! Stripes can make a space look modern and stylish just by even adding a few stripes to a wall or in furniture selections! Stripes make a space look fresh and vibrant!
Xoxo,
RWD 
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