September 05,2023

Why the world is obsessed with midcentury modern design

by Jennifer Cameron inHome Furnish

Modern vs. Contemporary Interior Design Style: Your Go-To Guide at Home

Can you spot the difference between modern and contemporary interior design? Mixing up these beautiful styles is easy to do. But after reading our ultimate guide below, you’ll be able to tell them apart like a pro. We’re putting modern vs contemporary interior design head to head, to help you confidently create delightful spaces in either style.

Keep in mind your style can be a combination of two or more styles. With an interior design quiz, you can help a designer pinpoint which look will fit you and your home.

Modern vs Contemporary Interior Design

‘Contemporary’ and ‘modern’ are often used interchangeably but, although there are similarities, they are two distinct design styles from different periods. First, there was modernism, then came contemporary interior design. The latter is still forming at present. But in time, we will also look back on contemporary design as a style of a certain age.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the basics of modern vs contemporary interior design from our pros to help you accomplish your ideal design.

Modern Interior Design

What is Modernism? A Modern Interior Design Definition

Modern interior design refers to a sleek and uncluttered style that began in the late 19th century. In its purest form, modernism reflects a fuss-free approach to life. As a result, designers kept décor minimal while emphasizing industrial materials. In addition, patterns are also few and far between. Modern interior design focusses on block colors, which include primary hues.

Pinning modern interior design to one definition is challenging as it spanned for more than a century. But its essence is rooted in clean lines. Real modernism has simplicity in every aspect of its design. After all, the founding modernist movement rejected what was artificial. And as a result, homes and public spaces were no longer filled with over embellishments.

History of Modern Interior Design Ideas

Modernism sprouted in the late 1800s as a reaction to overly ornate and artificial interiors, architecture and art. Meanwhile, by the 1930s, this movement that valued function above form truly bloomed. No-nonsense industrial materials took the lead in a time where society clung to the artificial.

Consequently, the industrial boom and growing cities created a need for simplified forms and keeping costs low. Luckily, new reinforced concrete and steel made construction cost-effective. Thanks to these revolutionary materials, architects could create buildings with large windows, flat roofs, and new shapes – even cylindrical and taller than ever before!

Constantly updated, modern interior design has seen many interpretations from the late 1800s up until the end of the 20th century. The Arts and Crafts movement kicked off the modern era. Which then continued to be updated and reinterpreted until finally waning in the 1970s with the rise of post-modernism. Colorful pops from more eclectic Art Deco, De Stijl, and Bauhaus art movements also helped shape modern design’s distinct, unapologetic appearance.

Today, a steady stream of modern elements still features in architecture and contemporary interior design. Read on for the essentials of a perfectly balanced modernist wonder.

Need help deciding between contemporary vs modern interior design elements for your space? Schedule your free online interior design consultation to learn which style best fits your home!

8 Elements That Make a Modern Interior Design

You can tell a modern interior by its well-defined lines, precise color palette, and moderate use of décor. Here are the 8 elements of a truly modern interior.

1. Modern Art

Artist revolutionized how people think about their environment. Besides, its thanks to artists like Édouard Manet that modernism took shape. That’s why art is essential to modern interior design. In these logic-driven spaces, prints and sculptures are expressive with bold color use and unexpected forms.

Abstract art, a favorite in modern homes, was a drastic turn from traditional idealism of the 19th century. But other iconic modernist pieces, like Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, Henri Matisse’s fauvist Woman with a Hat or Pablo Picasso’s Boy with a Pipe, also suit a modern home.

Showcase your favorite modern artwork by placing it on a feature wall, as the focal point or as part of a limited series on an expansive wall.

2. Glass, Concrete and Steel

Successful modern interior design shows off the concrete, steel, and glass craftsmanship. This means the framework of furniture is often celebrated and left exposed. Therefore, designers make no effort to cover up what truly makes an object. At times, furnishings can look machine-like because of the lack of ornamentation. It’s because of modernism’s guiding philosophy “form follows function”. In this, the form is simplified to serve its function first and foremost.

3. Abstract Forms

Because of a focus on function instead of appearance, designs can seem abstract, especially if compared to more luxurious furniture. Whatever you see in an authentic modern design is what is necessary to fulfill the most basic functional purpose.

4. Neutral Walls

After the embellishment of the Victorian period, modernist chose the stillness of neutral walls instead. Greys, whites, and even soft pastels make the perfect backdrop for a modern design. But for the more adventurous, especially those who appreciate De Stijl, can opt for block primary colors – blue, red, and yellow.

5. Clean Lines

Thanks to industrial progress at the time, materials like concrete and steel were easily accessible. And designers took full advantage. With these new materials, straight lines triumphed. Architects and interior designers enjoyed balancing the opposing vertical and horizontal lines of columns, steps, and furniture.

6. No Clutter

One thing is clear when you look at modern interior design ideas: clutter is not welcome. This means accessories and decoration are few and far between. Not only do designers keep décor to a minimum in modern homes, but they also balance empty and occupied spaces. We’d expect nothing less from the origins of minimalism’s “less is more”.

7. Pop of Primary Colors

Pops of bold red, blue or yellow are characteristically modern. Earlier influences from Bauhaus and De Stijl art movements brought lively hues into the understated style. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see artwork or accent pieces in vivid contrasting colors.

8. Large Windows

Thanks to reinforced materials, architects could make windows larger than ever before. As a result, many buildings of the modern era have big windowpanes, and little to no window dressing, letting in much needed natural light.

5 Creatives Who Shaped Modern Interior Design Ideas

Creatives, designers, and architects championed modern ideals. Here are five influential modernists who helped shaped the world as we know it today.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

As an architect, interior designer, and writer, Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the most prolific and well-known icons of modernism. After all, the honesty of materials and craftsmanship is evident in all his designs and buildings. His prairie style open-plan architecture was an antidote to the closed-in spaces of the Victorian era.

Grete Schütte-Lihotzky (1897–2000)

While working on projects to create affordable housing, Grete Schütte-Lihotzky came up with the Frankfurt Kitchen – a predecessor of the fitted kitchen we know and love today. Her efficient design simplified living by making domestic spaces, like the kitchen, more user-friendly.

Marcel Breuer (1902–1981)

The Hungarian-born Marcel Breuer was greatly influenced by the De Stijl movement while studying at Bauhaus. His radical designs, focusing on the logical, mechanical, and least artistic form of furniture, ensured his rise to the master of the furniture workshop at only 23.

Erich Mendelsohn (1887–1953)

As an expressionist architect, Erich Mendelsohn’s incorporated dynamic functionalism in his designs. His buildings are streamlined modern Art Deco creations, concerned with function above all else.

Naum Gabo (1890–1977)

As one of the fathers of contemporary sculpture, Naum Gabo’s stereometric method replaced the traditional idea of how objects occupy any given area. He used intersecting planes to cut the physical and visual mass of a sculpture drastically. The result is futuristic in its angular logic.

Contemporary Interior Design

What Is Contemporary Design?

Simply put, when comparing modern vs contemporary interior design, contemporary refers to styles that are presently relevant and new. The move from stark modern lines began during the late 20th century. Yes, modern elements feature in contemporary designs, but innovation and a sense of fun set it apart from its predecessors. The softer edges and elaborate sculptural touches make contemporary interior design styles unique.

Today, many beautiful trends make up contemporary interior design, but some of these styles include eclectic, Scandinavian, minimalism, coastal, industrial, and glam.

History of Contemporary Interior Design

Just like any other style, contemporary design is a result of the current technological advancement. Most noteworthy influences include the digital revolution, information age, and environmentalism. Globalization also has a profound impact on contemporary design. Now, more than ever, interiors are a mix of various styles from the world over. In fact, Scandinavian design, with roots in modernism, feature heavily in present-day designs.

Even before the break of the new millennium, contemporary interior design ideas were growing. During the 1970s, at the same time as post-modernism, this contemporary design took shape. With influences like Art Deco, futurism and deconstructivism, it was a bold step into the unknown. Yet, we still cannot pin this young style to one specific esthetic as every day brings another spin on current trends.

8 Elements That Make a Contemporary Interior Design

Spotting a contemporary design can be tricky as it borrows from many other styles. It is continually evolving, but these 8 elements can help you tell contemporary from a crowd.

1. Sculptural Light

Lighting design is one of the great feats of the 21st century. Now feature lighting can carry as much weight in a contemporary room as a beautiful sofa or artwork. Contemporary designers have taken the humble light to unseen heights. They transformed a merely functional element into something beautiful – something that deserves the attention of a well-crafted sculpture.

2. Highlighting Construction

Exposed materials, especially in construction, are key to contemporary home interior design. Modernism’s bare structures influenced present-day designers to take it one step further. At times, the structure of a building is also left exposed.

If you can see steel pillars, wooden beams, brick, or concrete of a building, it is certainly a contemporary one. Furniture designers and artists also use these materials to push the boundary between sculpture, art, and functional furniture.

3. Minimalism

Form is even more simplified, compact, and efficient because of technological advancement. Minimalism is in full swing in contemporary design. Still, unlike its predecessor, the function of an object could be to look good. Yet, as forms are simplified, the interior, on the whole, could be minimal or even maximalist.

4. Updated Materials

Innovative and more environmentally friendly materials give contemporary design a visual edge. Concrete, glass, and metal still feature like in modernism, but there are also many additional materials. Bamboo, cork, recycled plastics and glass, aluminum, and clay all feature in the new world of interiors.

5. Traveler’s Flare

As any part of the world becomes more accessible, styles are mixing and blending to create something new. As a result, contemporary interior design always showcases an additional influence. Be it from past or present, or from Asia, South America, or beyond.

6. New Neutral

Unlike the neutrals of the modern homes, the colors in the contemporary interior are earthy and naturally neutral. This means that tones resemble those found in nature. Think stone grey, sandy browns, charcoal black, and cloudy whites. Color pops are also more natural with leafy greens or rich jewel tones adding the oomph to a space.

7. Contemporary Art

Artists have often been the catalysts for change in the design world. With each passing style, art is gaining prominence. In contemporary home interiors, artwork is reveled and often placed on its own. A feature wall or as a standalone statue in an entryway is commonly incorporated. Additionally, the art of our time extends to functional objects. Though they are not overly ornate, items grow more esthetically pleasing.

8. Open Plan

Open spaces, with less division, is the way to go. Consequently, contemporary home interiors are all about improving living. And a well-demarcated home with fewer walls can do just that.

5 Creatives Who are Shaping Contemporary Design Styles

Because contemporary interior design is not static, interior designers are forever updating and perfecting their style. Today, innovative designers push the boundaries of interiors, but we can be sure that there’s more still to come.

Fernando Mastrangelo

Brooklyn-based artist Fernando Mastrangelo creates without boundary. His experimental works include furniture, architecture, interiors, sculpture, and painting. Certainly, Mastrangelo shows just how sculptural functional pieces can be.

Lily Kwong

Contemporary design reconnects humans to nature. And through landscape design, Lily Kwong highlights the versatility of botany and horticulture in constructed spaces. Her designs revive the urban sphere with living masterpieces.

Jorgen Hovelskov

Championing furniture design in the present day is Jorgen Hovelskov. His ‘Harp Chair’ is a modern marvel in the contemporary world. Its simplicity is as harmonious as a musical composition.

John Pawson

Essentially minimalist, John Pawson’s interiors follow in modern interior design’s footsteps. For instance, each element of his designs is carefully considered and veers off from what is merely comfy or ornamental. The result is perfectly balanced, minimal, and welcoming above all.

Zaha Hadid

Known as “Queen of the curve”, Zaha Hadid is one of the most experimental architects of the 21st century. Above all, she’s the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Her broad range of design includes the London Aquatics Center, the Broad Art Museum in the US, and Galaxy SOHO in China.

Modern vs Contemporary Interior Design: Differences & Similarities

When comparing modern vs contemporary interior design, you’ll see they have many similarities but also key differences that make them easy to tell apart. Here are their traits that overlap and differ.

Because modernism greatly influenced contemporary design, interiors from the two centuries have a few elements in common. These include:


Clean and crisp lines in architecture and furniture design

Open spaces, combined living areas

Form follows function

Neutral color palettes

Even though modern and contemporary interior design styles are closely related, they have distinct differences, which include:


Modern design spanned from the late 1800s to the end of the 20th century. Whereas the contemporary style began during the late 1900s and is still ongoing.

Material focus

Modern design makes use of dark or cherry woods, chrome, acrylic, leather and concrete. On the other hand, contemporary design features light wood, eco-friendly building material and recycled glass, plastic and wood.


Straight vertical and horizontal lines characterize modern architecture. Although vertical and horizontal lines are important in contemporary styles, forms are more fluid and often curved.

Straight vertical and horizontal lines characterize modern architecture. Although vertical and horizontal lines are important in contemporary styles, forms are more fluid and often curved. Lighting

Lighting design is big – even artsy – now, while a century ago, lights were modest and task-related.

Now that you are able to tell modern vs contemporary interiors from the other, you’re ready to get started. If you’d still like a design expert’s advice, Schedule A Free Interior Design Consultation to make your modern or contemporary masterpiece come to life.

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Interior Design Styles 101: The Ultimate Guide To Defining Decorating

Have you ever found yourself asking the question what are the different types of interior design styles? Maybe you want to switch up your style but can’t decide which direction to go in. There’s a style for every preference and we’re here to help you find the look that’s right for you. Keep reading for Decorilla’s ultimate guide decoding everything you need to know about the top 20 decorating styles for 2022.

Interior Design Styles

Luxury contemporary interior design style by Decorilla designer, Nathalie I

There are many types of interior design, with the list ever-evolving. Some of them are fads and others are timeless classics that stand the test of time. Each style is comprised of distinctive furniture, décor, lighting, and accessories that give it its signature look. In getting to know some of the most popular styles, you’ll better understand what styles stand out to you and meet your preferences. Pay attention to which inspiration images and design elements catch your eye. In addition to doing your research, getting to you know your personal interior designer style is also easier than ever before with the help of online interior design services that offer interactive style quizzes and experts available at the click of the button. So let’s explore these top 20 decorating styles to narrow down your favorites!

20 Most Popular Interior Design Styles

Transitional Interior Design Style

Transitional living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Corine M.

Let’s start with one of the most popular styles in the design world today. Transitional design is what we like to call the happy medium of interior design styles. This is the style for you if traditional design is too stuffy, but contemporary is too out of your comfort zone. Transitional is the perfect mix of traditional elegance with contemporary lines and textiles. In addition, transitional interiors keep accessories to a minimum. It’s important to let the furniture and the textiles do the talking. Take advantage of area rugs, throw pillows, and blankets to accessorize.

Tip: It’s important to know that your style can be a combination of two or more styles. Taking interior design style quizzes like this one or providing inspiration photos can help designers really pinpoint the client’s aesthetics because sometimes a personal style has no name!

Transitional style entryway design by Decorilla online interior designer, Catz D.

Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing aspect of the transitional design style is the mix of masculine and feminine. Curved furniture and finishes like wood, rattan, steel, and lacquer are common elements. Furthermore, the combination of two very different styles creates an interesting and welcoming home design perfect for entryways and other rooms. We’re getting so many entryway design ideas from this mixture of dark wood and mirrored furniture.

Transitional style living room design

Click here and get the look with these Transitional Interior Design must-haves.

Traditional Interior Design Style

Traditional style bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Kelli E.

When it comes to defining different interior design types one of the most well-known styles is traditional interior design. Traditional interiors use tables and chairs made from dark wood that is ornately detailed. Traditional design draws its inspiration from 18th & 19th Century England and France. This explains why it’s common to find expensive textiles like silk, velvet, and linen used everywhere from upholstery to window treatments. Fabrics also feature a variety of different patterns. A few popular patterns include; damask, florals, stripes, and plaids, for example. Furthermore, traditional homes also like to bring in a sense of glam with crystal chandeliers.

Traditional style living room design

European décor heavily influences traditional interiors. Most traditional homes have a very neutral color palette with pops of color brought in with oil paintings or floral arrangements. If you’re not into ‘matchy-matchy’ traditional may not be your cup of tea. Above all, consistency is key so it’s common to find matching furniture sets.

Traditional living room interior design

Click here to check out our complete guide to Traditional Interior Design.

Modern Interior Design Style

Modern style living and dining room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Susan W.

We’re here to clear up the difference between modern and contemporary. In spite of their number of similarities, there are a few big signs that you’re looking at a modern interior. Modern design refers to a specific time period while contemporary design is ever-evolving. Modern interior design came on the radar in the early to mid 20th century. Due to the mix of Scandinavian, mid-century modern, and post-modern design, we have our current definition of modern.

Modern home design by Decorilla online interior designer, Scott T.

For example, furniture has clean lines with smooth, sleek surfaces. In particular metal, chrome, and glass are favorite choices among designers. However, with modern interiors, décor is kept minimal. They tend to ditch the knick-knacks and use art as the main décor. It’s common to see bold colorful accents in art and furniture in a mostly neutral space.

Open concept modern living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Lauren A.

Click here to become the master of all things Modern Interior Design.

Eclectic Interior Design Style

Eclectic living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Sara S.

There are common misunderstandings when it comes to the eclectic design style. A few different key features identify eclectic interior design. Think of it as a high-energy collection of carefully selected pieces brought together to create a culture rich interior. Because of this, many think eclectic design has an anything-goes spirit. However, there is a fine line between layered and collected, and busy and distracting. Stick to a neutral color palette and use a select few accent colors to bring in the worldly vibe you’re looking for. With this in mind, the ideal eclectic interior balances color and texture. As a result, it’s the perfect blend of old and new.

Eclectic style bedroom decor

For more inspiration check out Decorilla’s best tips for Eclectic Interior Design.

Contemporary Interior Design Style

Contemporary living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Mladen C.

When you look at interior design styles throughout history contemporary interior design is the one style that is always evolving. The contemporary design style will most likely continue to change over the course of the twenty-first century. Contemporary refers to anything of the present moment. This unique interior design style borrows from various time periods which creates an environment fit to last a lifetime.

Contemporary style bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Susan W.

Contemporary interior design is a sleek and simple space. It uses different features like detailed moldings on walls and windows and open layouts to create an interesting and distinct space. Typical contemporary furniture shows exposed legs and clean lines to give a light and airy feel. It’s common to see materials like metal and glass used because of their light-reflecting properties. This look is the ultimate mix of house décor styles. In addition, neutral color palettes are the most common for contemporary design with textured fabrics to create interest. Thus, creating the perfect luxury modern interior.

Contemporary style home design

Want more inspiration? Check out more Contemporary Interior Design tips here.

Minimalist Interior Design Style

Minimalist style bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Kate S.

Contemporary design and minimalist design have a lot of the same qualities. Both have uncomplicated forms, clean lines, and simple finishes. However, the minimalist decorating style is inspired by Japanese design and concentrates on the principle that less is more. In the end, minimalist design loves empty space.

Minimal living room interior design by Decorilla designer, Roberto D.

While most minimalist interiors have a neutral color scheme, primary colors can also be used as an accent color. Patterns are nowhere to be found and texture is a necessity. Because of the less is more philosophy you’ll find functional furniture is the most essential design element. Storage is also important in minimalist interior design. For this reason, furniture often doubles as hidden storage. For example, a coffee table that lifts up to reveal storage is one of the many creative solutions minimal interiors use.

Minimalist interior design style

Click here to get the look with the ultimate Minimalist Style Design guide.

Mid Century Modern Interior Design Style

Design by Decorilla online interior designer, Michelle B.

Next, we have a classic that seems to stay relevant no matter the decade. Mid-century interiors started in the 1950s and ’60s in post-war America. During this time the design industry was trying to break out of its traditional barriers and dive into the modern era. As a testament to this style’s timeless quality, there are still so many popular mid-century modern furniture pieces that are still used in our homes today. Keep an eye out for versions of iconic furniture such as the Eames lounger, the egg chair, or the wishbone chair.

Mid century modern living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Sarah M.

Mid-century modern homes have a breezy and seamless flow. They’ve always encouraged indoor-outdoor living. For this reason, sliding doors and picture windows are left bare to emphasize the connection to nature. Rich and luxurious woods such as teak, rosewood, and walnut are regularly used. In addition, accents of mustard yellow, chartreuse, or avocado are used for a pop of color. The mid-century revival we’re seeing in today’s design industry makes this popular interior design style more achievable than ever.

Bohemian Interior Design Style

Bohemian style living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Marcy G.

Similarly to the mid-century style, bohemian interiors are continuing to gain popularity. Because so many retailers are jumping on the boho train there is no better time than now to explore your bohemian side. In a nutshell, bohemian design is a free-spirited aesthetic that mixes different cultures and artistic expressions into an eclectic style that thinks outside the box. A laid back boho atmosphere places an emphasis on nature. However, it’s common to find bold patterns and bright colors for furniture and accents.

Bohemian living room ideas

When you walk into a home that has a bohemian design style you immediately feel immersed in another culture. Trinkets are displayed from travels and the whole vibe feels very nomadic. When we compare different design styles Bohemian is one of the few where order isn’t necessary. Mixing patterns and colors is encouraged. Likewise, we’re also seeing a trend of modern boho style. The addition of animal hides, metallic accents, and rich wood help modernize this collected style. We love that Bohemian style interiors use things in unconventional ways. Try this fresh living room idea for an example: try hanging a vintage rug on the wall for a fresh unique take on artwork.

Modern Farmhouse Interior Design Style

Modern farmhouse style kitchen designed by Decorilla interior designer, Kimber P.

Our list of house décor styles wouldn’t be complete without modern farmhouse interior design. Joanna Gaines has earned the title as farmhouse queen, but even she is blending her farmhouse style into a more modern, and collected space. Modern farmhouse interiors have many characteristics of what we know as traditional farmhouse design. On the other hand, things become more simplified and clean without losing their character. Shiplap isn’t going anywhere and we still want to see barn doors galore. Modern updates like wide plank floors, open concept living, and sleek lighting are a few common identifiers of the modern farmhouse decorating style.

Modern farmhouse interior design by Decorilla online interior designer, Lane B.W.

Farmhouse interiors are also known for mixing metals. From gold to black to nickel, contrast is your friend. In addition, we love that this unique design style takes its connection to nature seriously. It’s essential to have raw wood elements and greenery that can be found in every room. Consequently, color palettes in modern farmhouse interiors are always on the neutral side. When you want to add that extra pop of color it’s important to pull from nature. For example, try adding deep navy, sage green, or burnt orange.

Modern farmhouse style living room design

Click here and master all things Modern Farmhouse Interior Design here.

Shabby Chic Interior Design Style

Shabby chic nursery interior design by Decorilla designer, Lauren A.

The shabby chic interior design style originated in the 18th century and transformed into the vintage-loving style it is today. Vintage furniture has always been at the core of shabby chic interior design. In fact, it was common for individuals to pass down furniture from one generation to the next. Then, each generation would put their own unique touch on it. Similar to its design sister, French country, shabby chic design has a very soft and feminine feel.

Shabby chic interior design style

In this feminine design style, shabby chic furniture is often painted or distressed. The pale color palettes with floral patterns pair perfectly with whitewashed floors and walls. Our designers love the distressed and rustic vibe and how it is often contrasted with glamorous accents like crystal chandeliers. Shabby chic interiors capture an elegant and cozy feeling in a home.

Find out what it takes to get the ultimate Shabby Chic Interior Design here.

Coastal Interior Design Style

Coastal living room decor and design by Decorilla online interior designer, Lane B.W.

You don’t have to live by the beach to appreciate the coastal interior design style. Not to be confused with nautical décor, the coastal decorating style is in another league of its own. A coastal space makes note of its natural environment. This can be seen through the color palette down to the materials used for furniture and accessories. Neutrals like whites are paired with beige to mimic the sand. Additionally, pops of blues to resemble the surf and sunny summer skies. Furthermore, coastal style homes should always feel bright and breezy. The intention is to feel like there is nothing between the indoors and outdoors. Because of this window treatments are kept to a minimum. A light sheer fabric blowing in the wind is sure to get the coastal vibe across.

Coastal style bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Corine M.

You won’t find anchors and seashells scattered everywhere for this interior design style. Instead, you’ll find blue glass vases, striped wallpaper, or abstract paintings that get the coastal feeling across. When it comes to identifying furniture in coastal interiors they have a very comfortable lived in feel. Painted and distressed furniture paired with wicker or jute makes for a match made in heaven. Because connecting to nature is so important with the coastal interior design style the addition of indoor plants is a must-have.

Hollywood Glam Interior Design Style

Bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Renata P.

Next on the list of decorating styles for 2022 is Hollywood glam. This chic style has been most popular in California since the mid-twentieth century, dating all the way back to Hollywood’s golden age in the 1930s. Hollywood glam interiors are made up of a mix of art deco and mid-century modern. This is an interior design style that is here to be seen. High contrast color combinations were the popular choice for color schemes. Popular combinations are not only hot pink and green, but also black and white. In addition, over the top chandeliers paired with high gloss or mirrored furniture is also a common combination. The contrast gives off a certain high-glamour luxurious vibe. This design style is sexy and sophisticated at the same time.

Hollywood glam living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Ilaria C.

Southwestern Interior Design Style

Southwestern style home design by Decorilla online interior designer, Christine M.

The southwestern style as we know it today is not the same as it was when it first became noticeable in the design world. And it will continue evolving as the years pass by. Southwestern interiors gather their inspiration from the soft lines of adobe houses, Spanish textiles, ironwork and nature. Color pallets have various colors found in the American desert. Rust, terracotta, and cactus green, are a few favorites amongst designers. Whereas furniture is more on the heavy side, often adorning thick legs and bulky finishes. Additionally, texture is southwestern interior designs best friend. Leather and suede are the most common upholstery material.

Southwestern home decor and design by Decorilla online interior designer, Christine M.

Rustic Interior Design Style

Rustic living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Lane B.W.

When looking at rustic interior design it can be defined with a few basic signs. There will always be natural materials, industrial touches, and farmhouse charm all around. The rustic design style was originally born from inspirations of the Romantic movement. It focuses on the simplicity and effortless beauty of nature. For rustic interiors, it’s common to see living room design ideas focused around a central statement fireplace.

Rustic home interior design by Decorilla online interior designer, Kimber P.

The use of wood is softened by adding cowhides and sheepskin to create a cozy feeling. Fabrics don’t have loud patterns and texture is everything. Unexpected additions like an industrial pendant light add to the sophistication of what we know as rustic interior design.

Rustic style bedroom design

Click here for our essential guide for the perfect modern Rustic Interior Design.

Industrial Interior Design Style

Industrial style living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Henrika T.

While one may argue that industrial interior design is trendy, it does have a past. When western European factories closed down at the end of the second industrial revolution it left many large vacant buildings behind. Population increase caused people to start converting industrial areas into residential neighborhoods.

Industrial bedroom design ideas

The industrial interior design style loves the art of exposed pipes and beams. Materials like brick and concrete are a great way to give the space a lot of character. You won’t hear the words “soft” or “intimate” used when describing this unique interior design style. Its masculine tendencies are tamed with the use of ample texture. Moreover, oversized artwork and cozy textiles are perfect additions. Furniture is often raw or unfinished and paired with antiques.

Click here to add Industrial Interior Design Style to your home decor with Decorilla’s ultimate guide.

French Country Interior Design Style

Design by Decorilla online interior designer, Kelli E.

Similar to many other interior design styles, French country interior design is a sophisticated blend of a few different style favorites. Shabby chic, farmhouse, and traditional all play a role in this design style. It starts with timeless antique furniture pieces. For example, a Louis VI chair updated with a modern print. Likewise, juxtapositions are found everywhere in this blended feminine neutral design style.

French country bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Fares N.

Scandinavian Interior Design Style

Bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Julian Francisco A.

Scandinavian design is one of the easier interior design types to recognize. Think light, airy, and organic. Woods are almost always an ashy color in Scandinavian interiors. Nordic spaces give off a relaxing and inviting vibe. Key features include white walls, large mirrors, and cozy textiles. Furthermore, no Scandinavian space is complete without using the Danish concept of hygge. Layered fabrics, glass furniture, clean lines, and textures create the perfect cozy look.

Scandinavian interior design style

Click here to check out our designers best tips to achieve your dream Scandinavian Interior Design.

Mediterranean Interior Design Style

Mediterranean style bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Luca C.

Next, we look at another culturally rich interior design style, Mediterranean design. This decorating style started in countries north of the Mediterranean Sea. Spain, Greece, and Italy are still the main source of inspiration today. In like fashion to the typical architecture of those countries, it’s common to find arches, columns and interior balconies in Mediterranean homes. Furniture for this design style reveals rich wood tones with ornate features.

Mediterranean living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Kelli E.

Mediterranean color palettes mimic those of the sea and sky while also incorporating warm hues like terracotta and yellow. Large picture windows embrace the outdoors with minimal sheer draperies to allow in as much light as possible.

Art Deco Interior Design Style

Design by Decorilla online interior designer, Peti L.

We haven’t met a lot of people who have never heard of art deco interior design. This iconic early twentieth century design style originated in France then made its way into the US from the 1910s to the 1940s.

Art deco style living room design

The industrial revolution heavily inspired the art deco design style which is why metal was a popular material of choice during this time. It’s easy to identify pieces from the art deco style because it typically has pointed edges and jagged corners. Oversized furniture was common from armories to sofas. Today, our favorite place to go for art deco design inspiration has to be Florida. Miami Beach is a great place to go to see the art deco interior design style embraced.

Asian Zen Interior Design Style

Design by Decorilla online interior designer, Luca C.

Ever heard of feng shui? You can bet you’ll find that philosophy utilized in our last pick for types of house décor styles. Asian Zen interiors are originally rooted from contemporary design. They focus on sleek lines, interesting shapes, and a relaxing atmosphere. As a result, references to nature are essential in creating the ultimate zen space.

Asian zen interior design style bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Haitham D.

Asian interiors are often asymmetrical and use circles more often than squares. Curtain walls or door panels are common to separate a larger space and give a sense of privacy. The color palette is drawn strictly from nature in order to keep the serene and calm vibes.

Click here to learn more about Decorilla’s favorite Feng Shui Interior Design tips.

Top Interior Design Types for Per Room

Design by Decorilla online interior designer, Amelia R.

Choosing an interior design style that reflects your personality can be an overwhelming thought. That’s why we asked our Decorilla designers to narrow it down to their top 3 favorite picks for living room ideas and bedroom ideas.

Interior Design Styles: Living Room Top Picks

Transitional style living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Mariko K.

Transitional Living Interior Design – if you’re looking for a sophisticated blend of old and new then transitional interior design is a great pick for you. Check out this Transitional Living Room Before & After transformation for some serious inspiration.

– if you’re looking for a sophisticated blend of old and new then transitional interior design is a great pick for you. Check out this Transitional Living Room Before & After transformation for some serious inspiration. Modern Farmhouse Living Room Interior Design – farmhouse interiors with a modern twist are a perfect choice especially if you have an open concept great room. For even more Modern Farmhouse inspiration see Decorilla’s top picks for interior designers with style like Joanna Gains.

– farmhouse interiors with a modern twist are a perfect choice especially if you have an open concept great room. For even more Modern Farmhouse inspiration see Decorilla’s top picks for interior designers with style like Joanna Gains. Eclectic Living Room Interior Design – this style is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a culturally rich living room with elements from various different interior design types incorporated. Check out how this Decorilla online interior designer transformed a new build home in this Eclectic Home Interior Design Before & After.

Interior Design Styles: Bedroom Top Picks

Modern style bedroom design by Decorilla online interior designer, Taron H.

Asian Zen Bedroom Interior Design – create an oasis and connect to nature with this relaxing bedroom style. Find our essential checklist for your Bedroom design here to help you get started.

– create an oasis and connect to nature with this relaxing bedroom style. Find our essential checklist for your Bedroom design here to help you get started. Contemporary Bedroom Interior Design – uncomplicated forms and clean lines are great to keep the bedroom a simple and sophisticated space. Check out this Contemporary Bedroom Before & After to see how a few key furniture pieces can change a space.

– uncomplicated forms and clean lines are great to keep the bedroom a simple and sophisticated space. Check out this Contemporary Bedroom Before & After to see how a few key furniture pieces can change a space. Scandinavian Bedroom Interior Design Style – the Danish concept of hygge is what every bedroom needs to make it the ultimate cozy space. Find our designers best tips on how to Hygge Your Home Decor here.

Add Your Favorite Decorating Style into Your Home

This list of interior design styles defined for 2022 is nothing short of inspiring. Not sure how to get started with incorporating them in your own home? Schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation and get help from a Decorilla design pro today!

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Why the world is obsessed with midcentury modern design

Today, more than ever, the midcentury modern look is everywhere. DVRs are set to capture Mad Men's final season playing out on AMC. Flip through the April issue of Elle Décor, and you'll find that more than half of the featured homes prominently include midcentury furniture pieces.

Turn on The Daily Show and you'll see the guests sitting in classic Knoll office chairs. If you dine in a contemporary restaurant tonight, there's a good chance you'll be seated in a chair that was designed in the 1950s—whether it is an Eames, Bertoia, Cherner, or Saarinen. A few years back, you could stamp your mail with an Eames postage stamp.

Meanwhile, type the words "midcentury" and "modern" into any furniture retailer's search pane, and you'll likely come up with dozens of pieces labeled with these design-world buzzwords—despite the fact that there is nothing "midcentury" about the items they describe. Over the past two decades, a term describing a specific period of design has become the marketing descriptor du jour.

"Midcentury modern" itself is a difficult term to define. It broadly describes architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century (roughly 1933 to 1965, though some would argue the period is specifically limited to 1947 to 1957). The timeframe is a modifier for the larger modernist movement, which has roots in the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century and also in the post-World War I period.

Author Cara Greenberg coined the phrase "midcentury modern" as the title for her 1984 book, Midcentury Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. In 1983, Greenberg had written a piece for Metropolitan Home about 1950s furniture, and an editor at Crown urged her to write a book on the topic. As for the phrase "midcentury modern," Greenberg "just made that up as the book's title," she says.

A New York Times review of the book acknowledged that Greenberg's tome hit on a trend. "Some love it and others simply can't stand it, but there is no denying that the 50's are back in vogue again. Cara Greenberg, the author of 'Mid- Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950's' ($30, Harmony Books) manages to convey the verve, imagination and the occasional pure zaniness of the period." The book was an immediate hit, selling more than 100,000 copies, and once "midcentury modern" entered the lexicon, the phrase was quickly adopted by both the design world and the mainstream.

The popularity of midcentury modern design today has roots at the time of Greenberg's book. Most of the designs of the midcentury had gone out of fashion by the late 60s, but in the early- to mid-eighties, interest in the period began to return. Within a decade, vintage midcentury designs were increasingly popular, and several events helped to boost midcentury modern's appeal from a niche group of design enthusiasts into the mainstream.

By the mid-90s, a niche market of collectors had already driven up prices of the original midcentury designs. A New York Times article notes that an original Eames molded plywood folding screen, which had been out of production, was worth as much as $10,000 in 1994. In December 1999, a George Nelson Marshmallow sofa sold for an unprecedented $66,000. A year later, two George Nelson "pretzel" armchairs sold for just over $2,500 apiece, while a 1965 George Nakashima cabinet sold for $20,700.

Some midcentury furniture designs, like the iconic Eames Lounge Chair, never went out of production, but many others had fallen out of production by the mid 90s. And even getting your hands on the pieces that were still being produced would have been challenging without an architect or a designer to order a piece for you.

In the early 1990s that began to change: In 1993, Knoll, a major manufacturer of iconic midcentury designs, opened its SoHo showroom, once to-the-trade only (meaning pieces were sold only to designers and architects, not to consumers), to retail shoppers.

Knoll's direct-to-consumer strategy was in part a reaction to a major downturn in the office furniture market in the late 1980s and early 1990s—the company needed to increase its customer base to make up for lost office business. The manufacturer also did away with special pricing for architects and designers (typically 40 percent less), and instead offered the lower prices to anyone who walked into the showroom.

Knoll immediately saw a huge boost in business, and eventually converted its contract showrooms into "more visible, consumer-oriented sales centers." As the years passed, more and more pieces that were once to-the-trade only would become available directly to average consumers.

Simultaneously, the 90s brought about reissues of many iconic midcentury designs. Furniture manufacturer Herman Miller was synonymous with the midcentury modern style during its heyday. Under the guidance of George Nelson, Herman Miller was among the first companies to produce modern furniture.

However, by 1994, Herman Miller had scaled back its business to focus almost exclusively on office furniture and had been out of the residential furniture market for 30 years. Like Knoll, Herman Miller would have been impacted by the downturn in the office furniture marketplace. Noticing a trend towards people working at home and creating home offices, Herman Miller saw an opportunity to return to the retail market.

The company decided to reissue pieces from the Herman Miller archive under the name Herman Miller for the Home, and to offer these pieces directly to consumers. The new pieces remained true to the original designs, but they were updated to use current fabric and material technology (the reissues were also stamped with a medallion to distinguish them from vintage pieces).

The company was also motivated by consumer frustration, according to Mark Shurman, director of corporate communications for Herman Miller. Both the limited number of vintage pieces and the low-quality knock-offs that had flooded the marketplace inspired Herman Miller to reissue the beloved designs. By bringing these classic designs back into production, Herman Miller was protecting its designs and its reputation.

The copycat market also gave Herman Miller confidence that the designs had a market. Herman Miller also took an early wager on e-commerce, launching a website in 1998. The company's bets paid off: From the moment they were reintroduced, the Herman Miller pieces have been in high demand.

The sales of the contemporary reproductions of the vintage midcentury designs got a huge boost in 1999, when a California entrepreneur, Rob Forbes, launched Design Within Reach, a direct-mail catalog and online business. (While many make fun of the company's name today, it was meant to describe the ease with which consumers could purchase the products, not their prices.) Not only did DWR give consumers direct access to midcentury modern pieces that were once sold only to the trade, but the catalogs also functioned as a design education for the masses. Every piece of furniture was accompanied by a biography of the product's designer, making Eames, Noguchi, and Saarinen into household names. DWR quickly became Herman Miller's largest retailer.

At the low end of the collectors' market, vintage mass-produced pieces commanded (and still command) what some might consider astonishing prices for items that were made by the thousand. Today, an Eames fiberglass shell chair in good condition might sell for just $150, but an Eames Lounge Chair from the 1970s can command easily $7,000. (Prices for some pieces did drop-off with the reissues and the advent of eBay, which made the vintage market more accessible.

For example, it would be unusual for an original Eames screen to command today the $10,000 that the New York Times mentioned in the late 1990s.) And prices can quickly climb: collectors of the midcentury value the patina of age on the original pieces, and are willing to pay, especially if a piece is in original, non-restored, condition or has an interesting provenance. A pair of Barcelona chairs, another common design, was recently offered for $24,000 on an online marketplace for antiques (a similar pair with no provenance might fetch a mere $4,000), but collectors would have been paying a premium to own chairs that came from the estate of architect Charles Gwathmey.

Many of the sites dedicated to second-hand furniture sales are flooded with genuine midcentury designs, but they are also overwhelmed with thousands of pieces that are labeled "midcentury modern" but are not of any design significance. Savvy sellers may even add a list of major designers and manufacturers to their listing keywords to lure collectors to click on non-designer items.

True collectors aren't just snapping up vintage Eames lounge chairs. Rather, they are after one-of-a-kind pieces that have documented history and provenance. The market for these midcentury gems has exploded in the last ten years. Joshua Holdeman, Sotheby's worldwide head of 20th-century design, points to the 2005 auction of a Carlo Mollino table that sold for $3.9 million as a turning point for midcentury modern furniture's auction market. "It was the first time that something in the midcentury had made such a breakout price," says Holdeman. "That [sale] was a signifier that these objects were extremely important in the history of design—and to collectors."

Media also played a role in midcentury modern's popularity. Wallpaper* and Dwell are two magazines that deserve much credit for championing the midcentury look. Wallpaper launched in 1996 and Dwell in 2000. The mainstream design media has also taken notice of the trend; the now-mostly-traditional House Beautiful, for example, devoted multiple pages to Herman Miller for the Home's launch in 1994 (after having covered midcentury modern design extensively in the 1960s).

In its review of the century, Time magazine called the Eames Molded Plywood Chair the "Best Design of the 20th Century," describing the design as "something elegant, light and comfortable. Much copied but never bettered." Mentions of "mid-century modern" and "midcentury modern" in the New York Times show a sharp upward spike from the mid-80s to the present day.

Cultural institutions also did their part to celebrate the midcentury designs. The Museum of Modern Art, in particular, championed the modernist furniture movement from its start. MoMA's 1940 "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition brought attention to modern design (the competition was won by two then-unknown students, Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, who collaborated on a chair design). The Museum was so interested in promoting modern design that visitors could actually sit on the furniture in the 1941 exhibition of the finalists from the Organic Design competition. Just five years later, MoMA devoted an entire show to Eames's furniture designs.

More recent exhibitions have raised the public's awareness of midcentury design. In 1999, the Library of Congress organized an expansive exhibition devoted to the work of Charles and Ray Eames. The show was mounted in six major cities over three years, making Eames a household name around the globe. A decade later, MoMA exhibited a selection of more than 100 midcentury objects from its design collection under the title "What Was Good Design? MoMA's Message 1944-56."

In 2001, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented the first major study of midcentury modern California design, "California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way." Exhibitions of midcentury modern design continue to be popular across the country; in fact, the LACMA exhibit was still touring last year, when it was shown at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts. In 2014, The Contemporary Jewish Museum presented "Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism."

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an event scheduled for April 10 called "Mad Style: Midcentury Modern Design." Inspired by Mad Men, the event offers a curator-led tour of MFA's collection of midcentury design and cocktails and encourages guests to "dress in your 1950's chic."

As MFA's event suggests, popular culture has also helped to bring midcentury modern design into the mainstream.Mad Men, which premiered in 2007, is one obvious cultural source. The show's reputation for period accuracy extended to the sets, which were specifically designed to reflect East Coast interiors in the 1960s. The set design team's research involved direct communication with Herman Miller, who helped to advise on period-appropriate furnishings and even provided period artwork from the company's archive that appeared on-screen as creative work that the agency was involved with.

However, it's not just period pieces like Mad Men or Jason Bates' immaculate 1980s apartment, complete with Barcelona lounge chairs and ottomans, that made the public aware of the period. midcentury icons are everywhere in film, television, and advertisements. On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has interviewed all of his guests sitting on Mesh Management Chairs from the Eames Aluminum Group.

In a late ’90s television ad for L'Oreal, Heather Locklear appears seated on an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair; the same design appeared again in a Razr phone print ad in 2008. Midcentury modern furniture makes frequent cameos in advertisements because of its clean, well-designed lines, but also perhaps because of a familiarity that advertisers believe the pieces lend their promotions.

Midcentury modern design is by no means the only furniture style to have come back into vogue after its day. In the late 1960s, the Art Deco style became very popular. (Like the term "midcentury modern," "art deco" was not coined until a later generation took an interest in the period.) Likewise, the early American looks of the Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Federal periods, which originated in the 18th and early 19th century, all enjoyed revivals in the 1920s and 30s, and then again in the 1980s when well-to-do Boomers took an interest in the period. Collectors in the 1980s who could not afford the original early American pieces began buying the early 20th century reproductions, which had a patina of age that contemporary reproductions did not. It's possible that if the midcentury look falls out of popularity and comes back into fashion decades from now, the early 21st century reissues will become collectible in the same way a 1930s Chippendale reproduction did in the 80s.

Why does midcentury modern continue to be popular, and why have contemporary retailers and manufacturers embraced its clean-lined look so emphatically? Midcentury pieces are simply well-designed objects, with a timeless look, says Sotheby's Holdeman. "[Midcentury modern designs] sit very well in contemporary homes and interiors—they still feel fresh today, they still feel modern. A lot of those pieces haven't been bettered. They still stand the test of time."

Familiarity is also a factor in midcentury's enduring popularity. Baby boomers who grew up with midcentury designs are certainly part of the market for both the originals and the reproductions. For this generation, the designs are a direct connection to their youth. (At the same time, many Boomers want something different. Stacey Greer, a midcentury furniture dealer interviewed by NPR, told a reporter, "They grew up with it and their parents had bought it, so they want anything but that.")

Generation X can also be blamed for midcentury's more recent prevalence. In a 1998 article about Gen X's interest in midcentury design, interior designer Jim Walrod hypothesized that the appeal of the period to "Generation X, even those without knowledge of its origins, is natural because of ''an invisible reference point'' young people acquired after years of exposure to the art direction of old movies and television shows, not to mention the teak and stainless-steel contents of their parents' living rooms." With "midcentury modern" designs available at retailers like West Elm, the period's look is also being marketed to millennials.

At the higher end of the market, Holdeman sees the interest in midcentury furniture running parallel to the market's taste for contemporary art. (Above, a circa 1950 low table from Sotheby's December 2014 auction of the Jon Stryker collection of European Modernism.) "The entire French midcentury portion of our category has become one of the blue-chip anchors of our market today," says Holdeman. "It's largely connected to the contemporary art world—the way in which those two categories complement each other." A Damien Hirst or a Jeff Koons is going to look more at home with a Prouvé chair than a Louis XIV one, so contemporary art collectors have embraced the period.

The trend toward urban living may also be part of what keeps the midcentury look alive. "The designs were conceived for the smaller post-war home," says Greenberg, who notes that they were designed to be mobile and lightweight for city residents who moved frequently. "All of that still plays into the way we live today."

  • Jennifer Cameron
  • September 05,2023

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