10 Minutes Read. Published 30 Jun 2023

Knowing your Home Interior Design Basics can be really useful in finding out reference projects or communicating your needs and wants with your interior designer. This is why we came up with this quick guide on the various types of styles that you can choose the next time you choose to renovate your BTO, condo, HDB or any project you have in mind.

So let’s get started on the Home Interior Design Basics that you will need to know!

Minimalist Interior Design

Minimalist interior design is characterized by its emphasis on functionality and practicality. The layout of a minimalist space is carefully organized to optimize movement and usability. Unnecessary items and excess ornamentation are intentionally eliminated, allowing the space to feel clean and efficient. This intentional simplicity not only creates a visually appealing environment but also promotes a sense of calm and clarity.

One of the key elements of minimalist design is the abundant use of natural light. Large windows, skylights, and glass doors are incorporated to maximize daylight and create a bright and airy atmosphere. This connection to the outdoors helps to blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, fostering a sense of harmony with nature.

Minimalist interior design also encourages mindfulness and intentionality in daily life. By eliminating distractions and excess belongings, minimalist spaces can create a serene backdrop for relaxation, focus, and introspection. The minimalist philosophy extends beyond just the physical space and can influence a more mindful and simplified lifestyle.

Scandinavian Interior Design

Inspired by the Nordic countries, Scandinavian interior design is characterized by its minimalist and functional approach, creating spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. It emphasizes simplicity and clean lines, with a focus on uncluttered and organized environments. The use of light color palettes, such as whites and soft neutrals, along with abundant natural light, creates a bright and airy atmosphere. Scandinavian design draws inspiration from the region’s natural landscapes, incorporating natural materials like wood and stone to add warmth and a connection to nature. Overall, Scandinavian interior design embodies simplicity, functionality, and a harmonious balance between aesthetics and practicality.

The importance of natural light is a key element in Scandinavian design. Large windows are utilized to maximize the amount of daylight, creating a sense of openness and spaciousness. This emphasis on natural light is especially significant in the Nordic countries, where long, dark winters are common. By bringing in as much natural light as possible, Scandinavian interiors feel welcoming and rejuvenating.

Scandinavian design also values the use of natural materials and textures. Wood, in particular, is a prominent element, often showcased in furniture, flooring, and architectural features. These materials add warmth and create a cozy atmosphere. Additionally, Scandinavian design incorporates elements of nature, such as indoor plants, to enhance the connection between the interior space and the natural world. This combination of natural materials and nature-inspired elements contributes to the overall sense of tranquility and well-being associated with Scandinavian interior design.

Industrial Interior Design

Industrial interior design takes inspiration from the raw, unfinished look of industrial spaces such as factories and warehouses, resulting in a rugged and utilitarian aesthetic. Exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and visible structural elements like ductwork and pipes are celebrated as design features. These raw elements add a sense of authenticity and industrial charm to the space. Utilitarian furnishings made of metal, reclaimed wood, or distressed materials are commonly used, often featuring a worn or aged appearance. Industrial interiors typically embrace open floor plans that create a sense of spaciousness and allow the raw architectural elements to take center stage. The design often incorporates industrial elements such as metal shelving, vintage workbenches, and factory-style lighting fixtures. The color palette is typically neutral, with shades of gray, black, and brown, providing a backdrop for the raw and industrial materials to shine. Overall, industrial interior design embraces the beauty of unfinished elements and celebrates the practicality and simplicity of industrial spaces.

In addition to raw and utilitarian elements, industrial interior design often incorporates a mix of textures and materials. Alongside the prominent use of metal, elements like reclaimed wood, leather, and exposed concrete contribute to the overall aesthetic. These materials add depth, warmth, and contrast to the space, balancing out the industrial elements.

Industrial design also embraces the concept of repurposing and upcycling. Salvaged or vintage items are commonly used as statement pieces, such as repurposed factory carts transformed into coffee tables or old gears turned into wall art. This approach not only adds character and uniqueness to the space but also promotes sustainability and environmental consciousness.

To complement the industrial ambiance, the lighting in industrial interiors is often a standout feature. Large, industrial-style pendant lights, exposed bulbs, and track lighting are popular choices. These lighting fixtures not only provide functional illumination but also serve as decorative elements, adding an extra touch of industrial flair.

Mid-Century Modern interior design

Mid-Century Modern interior design emerged in the mid-20th century and remains a popular style known for its timeless appeal. It features clean lines, organic shapes, and a seamless integration of functionality and aesthetics. Iconic furniture pieces from influential designers of the era, like Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Arne Jacobsen, define the style. Sleek sofas with clean lines, armchairs with organic curves, and geometrically inspired tables are prominent in Mid-Century Modern interiors. These pieces often showcase natural materials such as wood, leather, and molded plastics.

In addition to furniture, Mid-Century Modern design incorporates architectural elements such as large windows, open floor plans, and the use of natural materials like wood paneling and exposed beams. The style emphasizes a connection to the outdoors and seeks to bring nature inside through ample natural light and views of the surrounding environment.

Mid-Century Modern interiors are known for their warm and earthy color palettes. Rich, warm tones like olive green, mustard yellow, and burnt orange are commonly used, complemented by neutrals like white, beige, and gray. These colors contribute to the inviting and cozy atmosphere of the space.

The Mid-Century Modern design values simplicity and functionality. This style favors uncluttered spaces, allowing each element to stand out and make a statement. It embraces a minimalist approach while incorporating pops of color, pattern, and texture for visual interest.

Contemporary Interior Design

Contemporary interior design is a reflection of the present era, embracing simplicity, functionality, and a clean aesthetic. It features clean lines and a minimalist approach that avoids excessive ornamentation and clutter. Furniture and architectural elements are characterized by sleek profiles and smooth surfaces, often incorporating geometric shapes and forms. The emphasis is on creating a sense of order and sophistication.

In terms of color, contemporary interiors tend to favor neutral palettes as a base, including shades of white, gray, and beige. This neutral backdrop allows for versatility and timelessness while providing a soothing atmosphere. To inject personality and visual interest, bold accents in the form of vibrant colors or striking patterns are introduced through accessories, artwork, or statement furniture pieces.

Contemporary design values open and functional spaces that promote a sense of spaciousness and connectivity. Open floor plans are often favored, allowing for seamless transitions between different areas of the home. Furniture choices are made with practicality in mind, incorporating hidden storage solutions or multifunctional designs to maximize space efficiency. The focus is on creating environments that accommodate modern lifestyles and support the needs of the occupants.

Integrating technology is another hallmark of contemporary interior design. From built-in entertainment systems to smart home automation, technology is seamlessly integrated into the space. This integration is done in a discreet manner to maintain the clean and uncluttered aesthetic that defines contemporary design. The goal is to enhance functionality and convenience without compromising the overall visual appeal.

In contemporary interiors, natural light takes center stage. Large windows, skylights, and glass doors are employed to maximize the presence of natural light, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. This emphasis on natural light not only enhances the overall aesthetics of the space but also contributes to the well-being of its occupants, promoting a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors.

The interplay of materials and textures adds depth and visual interest to contemporary design. A combination of smooth and textured surfaces can be found, incorporating materials such as polished wood, glass, metal, and natural stone. The juxtaposition of these different elements creates a dynamic and visually appealing environment.

Contemporary design also embraces individual expression and personalization. Eclectic touches, such as blending modern and traditional elements, incorporating unique artwork, or showcasing personal collections, are often welcomed. This allows homeowners to infuse their spaces with their own personalities and tastes, creating a sense of uniqueness and character.

Bohemian Interior Design

Bohemian interior design, also known as boho-chic or boho style, is a vibrant and eclectic design aesthetic that celebrates individuality and a free-spirited approach to decorating. It embraces a rich tapestry of colors, patterns, and textures, creating a visually stimulating and inviting space.

One of the defining characteristics of Bohemian design is its use of rich and bold colors. Deep jewel tones, earthy hues, and vibrant pops of color are often incorporated to create a sense of energy and vibrancy. These colors are complemented by an array of patterns, such as paisley, floral, ikat, and tribal designs, which add visual interest and a sense of wanderlust.

Bohemian interiors are known for their layered textures and fabrics. The use of different textures, such as cozy rugs, plush cushions, fringed throws, and embroidered textiles, adds depth and warmth to the space. Natural materials like rattan, jute, and woven fibers are frequently used, contributing to the bohemian aesthetic and infusing a touch of earthiness into the design.

The furnishings and decor in a bohemian space are eclectic and diverse, often sourced from various cultures and time periods. Mixing vintage pieces with handcrafted items and global finds is a common practice. This creates a unique and personalized environment that reflects the homeowner’s individual style and travels. Antique furniture, colorful poufs, floor cushions, and statement pieces with intricate details are often showcased, adding a sense of history and character to the space.

Bohemian design also embraces a relaxed and casual atmosphere. The emphasis is on creating a space that feels lived-in and comfortable, where formality takes a back seat to comfort and self-expression. The arrangement of furniture is often organic and free-flowing, with a mix of seating options that encourages relaxation and conversation.

Coastal Interior Design

Coastal interior design, also known as beach or nautical style, captures the essence of seaside living and creates a relaxed and breezy atmosphere within the home. The design aesthetic draws inspiration from the coastal environment, incorporating colors and textures that reflect the beauty of the beach. A light and airy color palette is a hallmark of coastal design, featuring soft shades of blue, sandy neutrals, crisp whites, and pale greens. These colors create a sense of openness and mimic the natural elements of the coast, evoking a calming and refreshing feel.

In coastal interiors, natural light is maximized to create a bright and sunlit space. Large windows, sheer curtains, and light-filtering blinds are common features that allow for the influx of natural light while maintaining privacy. The goal is to create an airy and light-filled environment that emulates the openness of the coastal landscape.

To enhance the coastal vibe, textures and materials associated with the beach are incorporated into the design. Woven materials like rattan, wicker, and jute are often used for furniture and accessories, adding a touch of natural texture. Wood elements, such as weathered or bleached driftwood, are also common and contribute to the coastal aesthetic. Soft and comfortable fabrics like linen, cotton, and lightweight blends are favored for upholstery and bedding, creating a relaxed and casual atmosphere.

Coastal design embraces a connection to nature, often incorporating beach-inspired decor and motifs. Seashells, starfish, coral, and other coastal treasures are used as decorative accents, bringing a sense of the seaside indoors. Nautical elements such as ropes, anchors, and stripes can be found in textiles, artwork, and accessories, adding a touch of maritime charm.

Furniture in coastal interiors tends to be casual and comfortable, with a focus on creating a welcoming and laid-back atmosphere. Slipcovered sofas and chairs, oversized lounges, and hammocks are common choices that promote relaxation. The arrangement of furniture is often open and oriented towards the views, allowing for a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Modern Farmhouse Interior Design

Modern farmhouse interior design is a popular design style that combines the rustic charm of a traditional farmhouse with contemporary elements, resulting in a warm and inviting space with a touch of modernity. This design aesthetic embraces simplicity, functionality, and a cozy atmosphere, creating a harmonious blend of old and new.

In modern farmhouse interiors, neutral color palettes are commonly used to create a sense of calm and serenity. Shades of white, cream, beige, and gray form the foundation, allowing the natural textures and materials to take center stage. These neutral hues are often complemented by warm and earthy tones, such as soft blues, muted greens, and warm browns, adding depth and warmth to the space.

One of the key elements of modern farmhouse design is the use of natural materials and textures. Wood is a prominent feature, whether it’s in the form of exposed ceiling beams, reclaimed wood flooring, or farmhouse-style furniture. This adds a touch of rusticity and warmth to the space. Other natural elements like stone, brick, and metal are also incorporated to create a sense of authenticity and character.

Modern farmhouse interiors embrace a balance between vintage and contemporary elements. Furniture pieces often have a farmhouse-inspired design with clean lines and a touch of simplicity. Mixing old and new elements is common, with vintage or antique pieces combined with modern accents. This juxtaposition adds visual interest and creates a unique and personalized space.

Functional and practical features are emphasized in modern farmhouse design. Open floor plans are favored to promote a sense of flow and connectivity. Kitchens often feature farmhouse sinks, open shelving, and large center islands, combining beauty with functionality. Cozy seating areas with comfortable sofas, oversized armchairs, and plush cushions create inviting spaces for relaxation and socializing.

To add a cozy and inviting atmosphere, modern farmhouse interiors often incorporate natural and layered textures. Soft and comfortable fabrics like linen, cotton, and burlap are used for upholstery and textiles. Layering rugs, throws, and cushions adds depth and visual interest to the space. Simple and timeless patterns such as stripes, gingham, and checks can be found in textiles and accents, enhancing the farmhouse charm.

Oriental Interior Design

Oriental interior design, also referred to as Asian or Eastern interior design, is characterized by its harmonious blend of colors, textures, and intricate details inspired by the cultural heritage of various Asian countries. The color palette in Oriental design is often serene and balanced, with neutral tones like beige and cream creating a calming backdrop. Accents of bold and vibrant colors, such as red, gold, or black, add drama and visual interest to the space.

Nature-inspired elements play a significant role in Oriental design, with the use of natural materials like wood, bamboo, stone, and silk. These materials bring warmth, texture, and authenticity to the space, while indoor plants and bonsai trees establish a connection with nature. Symbolism and meaningful details are also key aspects of Oriental design, with traditional motifs like lotus flowers, dragons, or cherry blossoms often incorporated into artwork, wall hangings, and textiles. These motifs reflect cultural significance and add cultural richness to the space.

Oriental design embraces a minimalist approach, favoring simplicity and uncluttered spaces. Furniture is typically low to the ground, featuring clean lines and natural materials. The arrangement of furniture is carefully considered to promote openness and flow within the space. Traditional elements like paper screens and Shoji doors, made of rice paper and wooden frames, are often utilized to filter natural light, creating a soft and diffused ambiance while providing privacy and separation of spaces.

Art and calligraphy are also integral to Oriental interiors, with traditional paintings, scrolls, and wall hangings showcasing landscapes, nature scenes, or calligraphic writings. These art pieces not only add visual interest but also reflect the appreciation of art and culture in Oriental design. Overall, Oriental interior design captures the essence of Asian aesthetics, creating a serene and balanced atmosphere while celebrating the cultural heritage and artistic traditions of various Asian countries.

In summary, there is no right or wrong when choosing your style of your home. With larger homes you might even want to choose a mix of different themes and styling. We hope that we have made it easier for you in your design process. Should you need to renovate your home please give our renovation experts at DeStyle a call! We hope to design your next dream home!

De Style® is a full service firm offering:

1. Design & Build

2. Interior Design & Renovation services for residential and commercial spaces.

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+65 6555 5200
+65 6555 5212

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Bizhub 2, Singapore 408734

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