5 Of The Most Popular Interior Design Styles

Being an interior decorator and a magazine editor I hope I have my finger on the button when it comes to trends and styles of decorating. Well, at least I hope so!

Fashions change of course. You only have to look at coffee table books from ten years ago to realise this, and economic issues and changing values all contribute to altering our perceptions of ‘good taste’ but here is a tongue in cheek look at the 5 of the most popular interior design styles today.

Paul Craig for Heart Home magazine (issue 4)

Shabby chic

Shabby chic is a very pretty look which usually incorporates all-white interior walls, ceilings and floors, which are then complemented by vintage or distressed furniture pieces, linen fabrics and country style accessories. Pastels are often used to bring a more feminine touch to the look. Whether genuine antiques are used or not, shabby chic is all about combining the old-fashioned, with a relaxed and supremely comfortable interior.

Tina Fussell for Heart Home magazine (issue 8)

Scandinavian style

Scandinavian style also uses an abundance of white as a backdrop but there the similarity to Shabby Chic ends. Furniture can also be painted but it is much less fussy and is often of wood in its natural state. Windows are often left bare to let in as much light as possible and painted floorboards are the norm. It is altogether a more pared down approach to interior decoration.

Patrick Butler-Maddon for Heart Home magazine (issue 1)


The contemporary look is all about muted colour schemes and luxury fabrics. Furniture is carefully selected for its clean design and sharp corners. A few accent pieces are used throughout the home for visual appeal, from large, statement lamps in the living room, to sleek and stylish power showers in the bathroom. Check out the contemporary lighting from Foundry and buy power showers from Mira to really get the contemporary effect.

James Balston for Heart Home magazine (issue 5)

New York

You’ll get a real sense of the big city with this style. It suits open plan, warehouse-style apartments, where industrial elements contrast sharply with the modern furniture. Bare brick, metal, concrete and raw plaster can all be in evidence and often all together.

Penny Wincer for Heart Home magazine (issue 7)


This is the style for you maximalists out there. There are no rules. Floral wallpaper can be mixed with clashing colours and flea market finds. Mid-century modern furniture can be mixed with modern lighting and family heirlooms. It takes courage and a certain amount of flair to pull off this look but the results are often full of personality and energy.

In reality we often adopt a mixture of these styles for our own homes but which style speaks to you the most?

April 16, 2014



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