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Interior Design: Guidelines on How to Use Themes

Interior Design: Guidelines on How to Use Themes

When decorating or redecorating your home, you can choose to work from scratch or select a theme to provide a template for your design’s structure. Working with a theme can help you easily find the pieces and accents you would like to incorporate into your new home’s décor. Before you begin working with some of the most popular themes, it’s important to have a clear idea of which different themes are popular in interior design circles, their key features and how you can work with them to create a functional final result. 

In this article, we will list some common interior design themes as well as some of their attributes to help you get started.

Guideline to Working with Themes

Art Deco 

Art Deco is best defined as the classic style of the 1920’s, popularized by the iconic book The Great Gatsby and the subsequent films based upon it. This design is known for its geometric style and metallics—such as polished brass and shiny chrome. Glass and mirrors are also a popular choice with this style, as well as dim, balanced lighting.

The style features the boldness and contemporary styles of its decade and is an excellent choice for those looking to revive the bygone era in the 2020’s.

Laid Back Bohemian

If you’re on the market for a style that’s a little more laid back and light-hearted, you may consider a bohemian design for your space. This design is delightfully messy. It incorporates the colors of the earth, with a relaxed style. The key here is to keep everything loose, including oversized blankets thrown over furniture and pillows featuring tassels, as well as flowy curtains and rustic rugs.

If you’re trying to keep your style grounded and down to earth, the boho look may be exactly what you need.

Classical Style

This style first entered the culture in Europe in the 1600s with the emergence of impressionist art music, as well as its accompanying music and architecture. If you would like to incorporate the classical interior design style into your home’s décor, you can do this by focusing on opulence, with ornate rugs, embroidered pillows, embellished frames and heavy, adorned curtains.

 Interior Design: Guidelines on How to Use Themes

Upbeat Contemporary

It’s important to distinguish between modern, post-modern and contemporary. Modern typically refers to the period between the early and mid-1900’s, whereas postmodern refers to the period directly succeeding this and contemporary refers to the modern era. Meaning, designs that are fresh and align with current trends and emerging styles.

If you would like to truly keep a contemporary style, it requires maintenance. Trends are always ebbing and flowing, so you will have to keep track of what’s current. You can do this by plugging into magazines and catalogues and keeping a close eye on what’s happening in the world of interior design.

Cottage Style

This trend has been around for quite some time, but has recently experienced a dramatic uptick in popularity due to recent events, with many popular influencers on social media platforms declaring themselves to be a part of growing “cottage core” movement.

It’s understandable—simpler lifestyles come with less drama and less of the stresses and pressures of daily life in the rat race. If you can’t escape this lifestyle altogether, you can at least make your home a safe haven by keeping things basic with a minimalist focus that incorporates rustic woods—particularly oak—florals and other elements of nature. 

Old Hollywood

This style is not for the faint of heart—or the faint of budget. To do it correctly without appearing garish, you’ll need to invest a bit of money into opulent furnishings with exquisite details. Golds and other metallics should be your focus here, as well as other design elements that spell luxury, such velvet—particularly in cobalt blue.

You may also consider incorporating sequins as well as large, plush rugs or plush carpets.

Industrial Chic

This design has been growing in popularity due to the increase in populations in urban areas, often resulting in the repurposing of industrial buildings into residential buildings. In many of these apartments, many elements of the industrial unit remain intact, such as exposed pipes and other fixtures.

To incorporate this style, keep your focus on all the things you’d associate with a traditional warehouse. This includes concrete, steel and open keeping spaces open and utilitarian rather than ornate and cluttered.

 Interior Design: Guidelines on How to Use Themes

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern was a popular style during the 1950s and 60s and its appeal has proven to be enduring. The architectural style features things like floor to ceiling windows, oak floors and light colors that allow sunlight to be reflected within the space.

To design your space in this style, keep the focus similarly simplistic. You should be working with oak woods, as well as beige, white and light olive green as your color palette. Furniture should be geometric in shape and incorporate as few design elements as possible. This will help your space feel like it was lifted straight from the mid-century.

Minimalist Style

This style is self-explanatory. The key here is the age-old mantra, “less is more.” Pare down as much as possible. They say that nature abhors a vacuum, but even if that’s true, minimalism adores one. With this style, every piece of furniture should have a purpose. Cut out the knick-knacks and other superfluous design elements in favor of an empty space wherever possible. Keep your color palette equally toned down and monochromatic.

This does not mean that you have to entirely void the space of all sense of creativity. However, instead of choosing tacky figurines, invest in some high-brow, minimalist art, using pops of color very sparingly and only as an accent for your space—taking care not to overwhelm its overall tone.


With any luck, one of these themes stood out to you. Regardless of which theme you choose, be sure to do sufficient research so that you can ensure that you’re able to craft a final result that has a cohesive flow. Don’t be afraid to consult the experts if you’re attracted to one of these styles but don’t know how to get started on your own.