The Style Glossary: 10 Most Popular Furnishing Styles

Room ideas are about the inspiration for a cozy living ambiance and tips on implementing living ideas. Terms like shabby chic, country house, or industrial come up again and again. But what does it all actually mean? And aren’t vintage, retro, and shabby chic somehow the same thing?

The 10 most important furnishing styles are clearly explained in this glossary, and their distinguishing features are shown.

1. Feng Shui Furnishing Style

Definition of Feng Shui Furnishing Style

Strictly speaking, Feng Shui is not a furnishing style. Feng Shui is a concept of harmony that emerged from Taoist teachings. Alongside Buddhism and Confucianism, Taoism is one of the three great teachings that have shaped China’s culture and way of life.

Features of Feng Shui Furnishing Style

Colors have different meanings (e.g., monochrome combinations for good friends, red and green for wealth and knowledge) and should be rather strong on the walls and more restrained on the furniture. The functionality of the flow of Qi plays a central role in the furnishing, so too much decoration should be avoided.

The furnishing should consist of natural materials, whereby according to Feng Shui, metals are also among the natural elements. As a rule of thumb, one should keep in mind Feng Shui: furniture and utensils made of wood, decorations, and accessories made of metal, stone, plants, terracotta, silk, and linen.

2. Industrial Furnishing Style

Definition of Industrial Furnishing Style

Industrial is closely related to the age of industrialization, from which the first living concepts in industrial design emerged when old factory halls were expanded into spacious, open lofts. Instead of plastering brick walls and hiding ceiling beams behind layers of plaster and filler, suspending ceilings and removing old copper pipes using plasterboard walls, rust, iron, and concrete were simply declared a stylistic device.

Features of Industrial Furnishing Style

There are unmistakable overlaps in industrial with the vintage style and the upcycling trend in terms of style. Dining tables made from workbenches and ceiling lamps made from sewage pipes in front of a rugged backdrop are not uncommon in industrial style. In addition, the decoration with accessories in an industrial environment is rather spartan.

Because with industrial designs, furniture and furnishings, such as lamps and tables, already have a very own, decorative spirit that no longer necessarily needs to be underlined by accessories and knick-knacks. Materials such as concrete, brick, and iron are particularly suitable as furnishing materials in the industrial sector. The colors are also based on this.

3. Classic Furnishing Style

Definition of Classic Furnishing Style

Anyone who expects the definition of a single, classic furnishing style at this point will be disappointed. Because the classic style is often linked to epochs and the place of residence. Classic furnishing style is an ambiance of high-quality, durable, but elegantly structured furniture. Even more spacious furniture does not look bulky and clumsy in the classic design, but rather sublime and sometimes a little pompous.

Features of Classic Furnishing Style

Straightness and clarity must dominate the ambiance. Confused, wild, and all too colorful are left out here. Communication is a special element of a classically furnished apartment. Armchairs and sofas in the living room are usually facing each other. Dining groups are designed so that you can look at each other and speak to them directly at any time.

Because classic furnishings are also based on classic materials, it is not uncommon for real wood floors and parquet to be found. Large, high-quality carpets shouldn’t be too playful in design, but they should set more contrasting color accents. Otherwise, the color scheme is rather sober and shouldn’t be too bright. Cream tones, dark brown, and dark gray are typical.

4. Country House Furnishing Style

Definition of Country House Furnishing Style

The definition of the country house style is based on the country houses of well-off townspeople, mostly used as summer residences, which were built in the country as a status symbol in the course of urbanization. Architecturally, country houses move somewhere between classicist and art nouveau. And this is exactly how the country house style can be interpreted.

Features of Country House Furnishing Style

In furniture and furnishings in the country house style, generously curved shapes and decorations can often be found. Floral patterns – for example, on the wallpaper, carpets, or dishes – are also a clear distinguishing feature of the country house style, just like flourishes and lathes on beds, chairs, and armchairs.

Classic furnishing elements in country house style include dried bouquets made of meadow flowers or wall hangings made of rattan, wicker baskets, and stone jugs. Wooden furniture is a key element, as are linen curtains and coarsely patterned home textiles. Natural “decorative items” such as trees, moss, and flowers should also be reflected in the choice of color.

5. The Mediterranean Furnishing Style

Definition of Mediterranean Furnishing Style

The Mediterranean furnishing style is based on various models around the Mediterranean. The connecting element of these regions is always the sea. It specifies the color and shape of the furniture. If you want to decorate in a Mediterranean style, you should creatively implement the connection between earth and water in your home.

Features of Mediterranean Furnishing Style

Typical Mediterranean colors are blue and white. Turquoise and light blue nuances can be found in the design of walls, upholstery, and floors. Woods and terracotta, including marble, symbolize the earth and should definitely be taken into account. Because only when the two come together does the Mediterranean attitude to life emerge that this furnishing style conveys.

Driftwood – possibly painted white – can represent a great Mediterranean element as an accessory or piece of furniture, for example, made into table lamps. One or the other side table or sideboard with a shabby-chic look also looks great in a Mediterranean apartment. Marble floors, gold fittings in the bathroom, and an open fireplace complete the ambiance.

6. Modern Furnishing Style

Definition of Modern Furnishing Style

A modern furnishing style is determined by clear, open, and light structures. Furniture and interior design are often subject to the form-follows-function principle. That is, the expediency dictates the design of the furnishings. The design is therefore rather sober, straightforward, and dispenses with too much ornamentation. Modern means are sober but not cool.

Feature of Modern Furnishing Style

The modern furnishing style is shaped by eponymous, modern materials. Lots of glass that generates transparency and brightness. Metal and chrome that is light but still robust. Carbon fibers that allow unusual furniture designs. Contemporary art and multifunctional furniture are not uncommon in modern apartments.

Modern apartments are a creative playground where you can do whatever you like. The basic design of walls and floors should be cautious so that the furniture and accessories can look better. Colorful carpets, sofas, art prints, and wall tattoos will very well accentuate light and cool wall colors.

7. Vintage and Retro Furnishing Style

Definition of Vintage Furnishing Style

Vintage translates as old-fashioned or traditional or time-honored in German. And that is exactly the definition of this furnishing style. Most vintage designs are based on the fifties, sixties, and seventies, but some also in the twenties. A retro look can be achieved by choosing classic materials and furnishings.

Features of Vintage Furnishing Style

If you want to furnish your home in a vintage style, you have the choice between modern materials that are shaped into familiar designs (retro) and the authentic look that can be achieved with original furniture and decoration (vintage). It is also not uncommon for a combination of modern, remodeled furnishings and original parts.

Vintage can also be designed very individually and in a way that is typical of the country. Decorative items are, for example, ancient tin advertising signs or old black and white photos in playful frames. The vintage style can be implemented casually and elegantly with leather furniture or combined with shabby chic elements.

8. Rustic Furnishing Style

Definition of Rustic Furnishing Style

A rustic interior is robust, rural, and simple. The essence of this style is of an uncomplicated, robust character with coarse bonds. Nevertheless, you can also modernly interpret the rustic furnishing style and spice it up with some upcycling ideas. Rustic apartments get along well without too much decoration.

Features of Rustic Furnishing Style

Dark woods with a clear grain form the basis for a rustically designed environment. In general, wood represents the central theme of this style because it runs through the design of the floor and the furniture and the wall design. Log houses are particularly suitable for a rustic style – if you like it rustic, you can’t ignore wood.

Furniture made of real wood and lamps with feet made of rosewood or umbrellas made of logs ensure rustic comfort. The overall ambiance can be kept dark and designed in earthy tones and colors. Indirect, warm light or even a fireplace wonderfully round off the cozy aspect of the rustic furnishing style.

9. Shabby Chic Furnishing Style

Definition of Shabby Chic Furnishing Style

Shabby chic is a furnishing style that plays with the charm of used and worn furniture. The furnishings are either genuine vintage furniture, the wear and tear of which has not been restored. Or it is modern furniture that has been artificially “old.” For this purpose, it was sanded and only superficially painted.

Features of Shabby Chic Furnishing Style

The main element in a shabby-chic interior is undoubtedly wood. There is a clear overlap here with the retro and vintage styles because shabby chic also emphasizes the traditional look of furniture and furnishings. In contrast to vintage, however, old furniture is usually not reprocessed in shabby chic.

There are no fixed color features in a shabby chic interior. Much of the furniture is whitewashed in shades of white or shades of gray, but just as often, you can find chests of drawers and cupboards that have been left to their own devices in natural wood colors. The furniture can just as easily be colored in bright colors. The parts must show traces of their life.

10. Scandinavian Furnishing Style

Definition of Scandinavian Furnishing Style

The Scandinavian living style combines some key components of many other furnishing styles: it is straightforward as the classic style but at the same time modern and yet dignified like the country house style. Furnishing Scandinavian means bringing a certain freshness, coolness, and lightness into your own four walls.

Features of Scandinavian Furnishing Style

Wood is also the dominant design element in a Scandinavian furnished apartment. Softwoods that are particularly typical of the region are ideal for beds, cupboards, and Scandinavian-style tables. In terms of color, the style is based on the colors of Nordic nature and reflects the lakes, forests, and meadows of Scandinavia.

Natural materials are found in the furnishings and run through the entire living concept in the Scandinavian style, including decorations and accessories. A lot of cotton and linen is used in the home textile sector, glass is a typical material for decorative living elements, which, kept in Scandinavian colors, spices up the apartment.

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