Interior designers must be knowledgeable about the many different design styles that have been used throughout history. Understanding these styles not only helps designers develop their own unique styles, it also helps them deliver the expertise their clients expect.
The importance of learning about influential design styles throughout history
Major design styles and influences
Throughout history, architects and designers have created spaces based on influences from their cultures, environments, and history. A successful interior designer should have at least a broad knowledge of major design styles and of elements that are common in each of those styles.
The importance of studying styles
By studying influential and popular design styles, designers can not only get a broad understanding of how different elements of design have evolved over time, but can also begin to refine their own design styles. For example, some designers specialize in modern design, while others take on a more traditional Georgian style.
No matter what type of design career you wish to have, it is important to understand these different styles, and to be able to incorporate elements of any of these styles if a project requires it. Your clients will depend on you for your expertise and in-depth knowledge of the design field. By studying major design styles, you can prove to your clients that they have selected the right designer for their project and you can deliver results they expect.
Remember: there are dozens of major design styles, many of which are included in this article, but each designer should develop his or her own unique style. Major design styles influence a designer's unique style.
Major interior design styles and influences:
Furniture reflecting the Adam style includes Hepplewhite, Chippendale, and Thomas Sheraton. Adam-style furniture reflects the ornamentation of the interior space and may include lyres, urns, medallions, and wheat.
Adirondack – Adirondack style is also known as Smokey Mountain, Americana, and American Country style. This style is a throw-back to the days when America was laid out with winding roads, expansive farms, barns, and country living. This style is often associated with the use of classic American artifacts from 200 years ago to the present, including cast-iron pots, wood-burning stoves, knotty pine furniture, and homemade accessories.
In many cases, Adirondack style features accessories like old-fashioned copper or cast-iron cookware, old farming tools, vintage appliances, antique quilts, manual sewing machines, and even animal racks. The Americana style, in particular, often features American flag and American flag-inspired décor that includes stars and stripes.
American flag-themed and American history-themed artwork is also common in this style. Décor may include artifacts, such as antique household appliances or tools, antique dolls, or old pieces of farm machinery, for example.
Americana – see Adirondack