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Interior design styles explained

In this article, the team at Quratory demystifies common design styles used in homes. Are contemporary and modern the same? What does mid-century have in common with the classic? Which style is best suited to your personality? What should you keep in mind when selecting furniture and accessories for your home? Let us help you decode the different design styles.


 Home styling has a lot to do with the aspirations, tastes, and mindset of the homeowner. Travel and media have resulted in increased exposure, but has also opened up a plethora of possibilities. Sometimes, one tends to get confused with all the jargon used. In this post, we try to demystify the different styles that are trending today and explore it in the current context.

Traditionally, interior décor has ranged from minimalistic to extravagant. However, more styles are moving towards a middle ground. It is possible to blend in more than one style into your home. Material, personal tastes as well as the location of the home should play an important role in how you choose your style.


Contemporary styles are clean and minimalistic. Clean lines and geometric patterns feature predominantly in this style. Base materials can range from wood to steel. Muted colors and pastels for walls are distinctive of this style.

This style may sound cold or impersonal and often edgy. However, this is not necessarily so. Bold accessories can be statement pieces, say a bright throw on grey sofa. Abstract paintings and sculptures add to spaces like these. At Quratory, we prefer the contemporary style because a touch of ethnic, classic or bohemian can blend into it easily. This especially comes in handy when incorporating existing pieces of furniture that clients want to retain when moving into a new space.

With this style, vacant spaces are as important as the non-vacant ones. One space flows seamlessly to the other, giving it a sense of fluidity. Natural light complements the décor. 


Classic décor incorporates regal elements from Greco-Roman styles and the Victorian era. They evoke a feeling of grandeur and a larger-than-life sense of beauty. If you love such décor but believe they are not for limited space homes, it might be time to rethink. Nowadays, classic wooden furniture and accessories come in convenient sizes. Marble tops, wooden art, and textured curtains can add a touch of classic. The accessories provide a sense of refinement to the space.

Pastels and neutrals blended with deep shades like plum or purple work in the classic mode. Shimmer like rose gold can be used for edges and lines. Side stands, coffee tables or even sideboards and console tables can give the space a classic outlook. Ornate mirrors stay relevant even today. Large, hand-knotted carpets with extensive vintage patterns can be considered for classic décor.

Lighting should be mellow and sober. Natural lighting is preferred for energy efficient reasons, if at all. Fabrics used are typically cotton, velvet, silk or canvas.

Many people worry that using a classical style can turn a home into a mini-museum. But limiting the number of pieces and focusing on aesthetics and quality can help one avoid this issue.


A mélange of colors and expressive spaces – this is what most people associate Bohemian with. Many abstain from this style, mistaking it to be painfully artsy or cluttered. But in reality, bohemian decors are expressive and tells volumes about the people living in these spaces. Playing around with patterns, colors and lighting can add the Bohemian touch. You can model a corner or room in this manner, if you don’t wish your entire home to follow this style.   

Start with neutral bases such as wooden flooring and splash a few pop colours like magenta or a playful pink. An alternative for a base colour is an earthy brick colour. Mughal paisley on a lounge chair or Indian motifs on cushions or Macramé wall hangings can give a sense of Bohemian while being cost-effective at the same time.

Embroidered or even mirror worked fabrics used in a minimal manner add to Bohemian décor. Adding indoor plants is a great way of adding volume to décor. Since Bohemian culture is eco-friendly, distressed and antique pieces can be used. Refurbished frames and old window panes can add to the space.

There is always space for accessories like charms or trinkets. Handcrafted items like masks, lampshades or even decorated vases are considered essentially Bohemian.

Interior Design Styles:  A Summary 





Scandinavian styles originate from Nordic countries, where the climate stays cold throughout the year. In Nordic nations, sunlight and warmth are sparse. So, décor is focused on evoking these elements of nature.  These spaces give a sense of coziness and warmth while staying subtle.

The Scandinavian style is similar to the contemporary style, in that it is muted. Furniture in wood and décor with metals like copper and brass can be used.

White and grey can never go wrong in this style. Neutral tones like Shell whites or browns give the interior a calm feel. For people who like contrast, colors like sea green or ochre can be considered. Rugs, mostly woolly ones, are a key aspect. Keep the sizes small and pair with a wooden centre table. This style is also clutter-free and allows good air circulation.

Natural light will automatically enhance the lightly colored interiors. To facilitate good light, use sheer curtains. Candle lights or tea lights are an integral part of Scandinavian decor. Hanging pendant lamps or even simple fairy lights go well with this.

Potted plants and fresh flowers are a must in this format of decor. You can even use crafted artificial flowers, but take care lest they look overdone. Fur and wool are used in the context of winter, but these can be replaced with cotton or jute for the Indian context.

 Modern Décor



Modern décor truly evolved during the 19th century, influenced by various art movements and industrial styles. Though there is a lot of debate around modern décor being taken over by contemporary décor, the former has its own fan following.

Modernist elements are low key with abstract patterns and colors. Modern movements like Fauvism were against romantic spaces of any kind. So, dreamy flowery interiors are not part of this format. Modern décor is all about clean and sleek styles. Base colors can be neutral or even bright. Primary or secondary colors can be used too. For space conscious people, modern décor is apt.

As the name indicates, modern tends to have new era elements- concrete, steel or glass. Stainless steel chairs with white topped tables, processed wooden panels and furniture with neat finish is preferred. Prints and patterns should be more geometric and less organic. Wardrobe shutters and cabinets are less ornamental.

The spaces are bright and easy on the eyes. Typically, white light is preferred. To bring in natural light, long doors and windows are used.

 Mid Century Décor

Mid-century décor fuses the fuss free nature of modern décor and the organic elements from classic. It is minimalistic but gives one the freedom to incorporate one’s own elements to it. It is a very casual approach to interior design, while not being as vibrant as Bohemian. For example, adopted pieces of designer furniture can be paired with vintage pop art to create Mid-century décor.

Mid-century plans are open. Vertical gardens are a recent adaptation to this form. Partitions are another way of evoking the modern. Neutral colors like grey, white and black along with browns and beige can be used. Too many color in the same space can create havoc, so stay in one color lane. Bright colors can be limited to primary colors. Material in this décor range from wood, marble, glass, metals like copper to very industrial looking stainless steel or vinyl.

Bold prints or artwork can be paired with neutral backgrounds. Film posters or portraits go well with this décor. Patterned pillows or throws with plain or lightly textured sofas are another way to explore this space. Seating furniture is generally less decorative. Iconic furniture like egg chairs or recliner sofas with wooden finishes can be used as a statement piece.

Lamps can wooden or woven shades with connecting wires visible outside or hanging lights can be incorporated in this style.

Different people use the spaces they live in differently. For a few, homes are places to frequently host social gatherings. For others, it is simply a quiet place to unwind. Knowing your budget is an integral part of interior planning. Also, one has to also map out present and future lifestyles to pick the ideal décor. Given that trends are evolving constantly, the process of finding the right elements could be long and tedious. In the end, the home should stay true to the person living in it and this is all that matters.