styles of interior design

Interior Design Styles

If you have been researching how to design your home’s interior, you probably have come across different interior design styles such as “contemporary,” “modern”, “industrial”, “art deco”, and several others. Have you ever wondered what these terminologies actually mean? For starters, these terms refer to different interior design styles, with each design having its unique characteristics, flavor, finish, and experience, and interior styles. This article seeks to decode the meaning of some of these interior design styles and to explain why they are as popular as they are.

While the interior design profession has existed for just over 100 years, the process of interior design has existed for as long as humans have been constructing homes and decorating them based on their needs and materials available to them. Centuries ago, when we were hunters and gatherers, do you think that a hunter’s house would be the same as a gatherer’s house? If we were to hazard a guess, the hunter-gatherer days of human civilization would have a utilitarian design style.

So, despite being a temporary shelter, a hunter’s house would have more space for the tools needed to hunt and more masculine interiors while a gatherer’s house would have more storage space and be gender-agnostic. Over the years, as civilization evolved, preferences and materials evolved too, giving rise to different interior design styles. Today, we are going to talk about some top interior design styles that have managed to stand the test of time and are used by people even today.

But before we do that, how good is your siding installation? Like any home improvement project, the success of your interior design process is dependent on the condition of other parts of the home. Your home’s unique attributes will come out better when the siding is in good condition, the interior décor on point, and when all areas around the home are functional and comfortable. Let’s now help you pick the perfect interior design style for your space.

Read also – Everything About Interior Design

10 Most Popular Types of Interior Design Styles:

  1. Modern Interior Design
  2. Contemporary Interior Design
  3. Art Moderne Interior Design
  4. Mid-Century Interior Design
  5. Minimalist Interior Design
  6. Scandinavian Interior Design
  7. Shabby Chic Interior Design Style
  8. Eclectic Interior Design
  9. Industrial Interior Design
  10. Farmhouse Interior Design

building interior design

Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. An interior designer is someone who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such enhancement projects. Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, space planning, site inspections, programming, research, communicating with the stakeholders of a project, construction management, and execution of the design.

In the past, interiors were put together instinctively as a part of the process of building.

The profession of interior design has been a consequence of the development of society and the complex architecture that has resulted from the development of industrial processes.

The pursuit of effective use of space, user well-being and functional design has contributed to the development of the contemporary interior design profession. The profession of interior design is separate and distinct from the role of interior decorator, a term commonly used in the US; the term is less common in the UK, where the profession of interior design is still unregulated and therefore, strictly speaking, not yet officially a profession.

In ancient India, architects would also function as interior designers. This can be seen from the references of Vishwakarma the architect—one of the gods in Indian mythology. In these architects’ design of 17th-century Indian homes, sculptures depicting ancient texts and events are seen inside the palaces, while during the medieval times wall art paintings were a common feature of palace-like mansions in India commonly known as havelis. While most traditional homes have been demolished to make way to modern buildings, there are still around 2000 havelis in the Shekhawati region of Rajashtan that display wall art paintings.

In ancient Egypt, “soul houses” (or models of houses) were placed in tombs as receptacles for food offerings. From these, it is possible to discern details about the interior design of different residences throughout the different Egyptian dynasties, such as changes in ventilation, porticoes, columns, loggias, windows, and doors.

Reconstructed Roman triclinium or dining room, with three klinai or couches

Painting interior walls has existed for at least 5,000 years, with examples found as far north as the Ness of Brodgar, as have templated interiors, as seen in the associated Skara Brae settlement. It was the Greeks, and later Romans who added co-ordinated, decorative mosaics floors, and templated bath houses, shops, civil offices, Castra (forts) and temple, interiors, in the first millennia BC. With specialised guilds dedicated to producing interior decoration, and formulaic furniture, in buildings constructed to forms defined by Roman architects, such as VitruviusDe architectura, libri decem (The Ten Books on Architecture).

Throughout the 17th and 18th century and into the early 19th century, interior decoration was the concern of the homemaker, or an employed upholsterer or craftsman who would advise on the artistic style for an interior space. Architects would also employ craftsmen or artisans to complete interior design for their buildings.

who is an interior designer?

An interior designer’s role is multi-faceted, but fundamentally commences with providing accurate design advice for the optimal safe occupation of those who work, live or use an interior space. Operating across a variety of sectors with different laws for product use and specification between residential and contract use, an interior designer must be cognisant of and comply with all building, health & safety and product regulations.

A interior designer might advise on the interior layout of a building and propose various reconfigurations, as well as recommending products and surfaces. The designer may also generate 2D or 3D plans and schedules for each product, layout plans for tiles, heating and electrical socket plans for location and functions. Depending on the complexity and the commission, a designer may also be the point of contact for contractors, as well as a member of the Design Team alongside engineers, architects, electrical and mechanical experts etc.

specialist skills

Assessing the impact of an interior design

As a designer’s choice directly impacts on the wellbeing and safety of those who will occupy an interior dwelling, the advice offered must be accurate and where necessary, obtain independently verified and transparent advice to support recommendations. Inaccurate advice and inappropriate specification may breach laws, incur additional cost, generate delays or increase risks to those who invest and ultimately use the space. Error will impact on the designer, their suppliers reputation and generate industry complaints. For example, when a PC (provisional costs) price is quoted for a light fitting, additional costs may be necessary for the designer to instruct expert, independent advice so as to be confident that the design specification is compliant, as well as safe.

Consulting with specialist stakeholders

An interior designer is not only an advisor to the client, but often, also a consultant to the contractor and experts. Designers from time to time are also expected to negotiate with various industry experts in their procurement of products and installation of materials, such as structural engineers when commissioning a light fitting or Asbestos reports before commissioning wall panelling. Designers also need to consult with planners due to compliance obligations from changes generated in the design scheme. A designer must therefore possess knowledge of a multitude of skills. These skills include a strong grasp of mathematics for measuring, calculating dimensions, quantities and budgets for financial control. This is regarded by SBID as ‘basic knowledge’ and is a tested requirement of experience to obtain full SBID Accreditation status.

This multi-faceted profession of design specialisms and the specific laws that apply to each is not simply ‘a flair’ as many assume, but it requires practical training and experience. Find out more about membership requirements and training opportunities.

Providing the interior design service

A professional designer’s minimum task is to define the space and safety performance of the interior, as well as produce plans to demonstrate proposed layouts for clients to review before agreeing to the design. This is known as the design scheme. The designer should also include schedules of the materials required to procure the design scheme, including CAD drawings and tested ability or use codes. When the scheme is approved by the client, the designer generates specification schedules which the client approves before declaring ‘design freeze’.

Some designers also act as the Project Manager by giving instructions to the contractor and specialists, this is a different role to interior design and should not be confused as part of a designers role. Interior Designers should plan the space to maximise the function and safe movement within it as well as take airflow, heat, extraction, electrical and plumbing regulations into account.

what is duplex design?

Duplex is a term used for a household with different unit configurations. This term is used in different countries to convey different meanings. In densely populated areas such as Manhattan and Downtown Chicago, it refers to a single household unit spread over two floors. This is the category of Duplex design we will focus on in this article.

There are two major steps in designing a Duplex

  1. Conducting a casestudies of Duplexes
  2. Designing

Designing can be further split into three phases:

  1. Conceptual Sketching
  2. Developing Single line plans
  3. Developing Double line plans

Four things you would need for the design of Duplex:

  1. Willingness to do the live casestudies of duplexes
  2. Online research
  3. Paper, Pencil for conceptual sketching
  4. CAD software

We need to conduct case studies of individual duplexes or apartments that house duplexes. You might wonder, why is that required? Let me remind you that case studies are the backbone of our design. When we design, we begin with listing out requirements. For example, if we are designing a building and have no clue about its requirements, we might have difficulty getting the functional aspect of the design right.

what is ecotech architecture?

Eco-Tech: Sustainable Architecture and High Technology

Eco-Tech is a compilation of better known High-Tech buildings of the ’90s from around western Europe, writes Barrie Evans. Of the 40 projects by 17 architects, half come from the old firm of Foster-Rogers-Piano-Grimshaw. They include Duisburg, Channel 4, the Cy Twombly Gallery at Houston, and Waterloo International Terminal.

Catherine Slessor briefly outlines six themes for grouping the projects: structural expression, sculpting with light, energy matters, urban responses, making connections (transport buildings, not construction) and civic symbolism. Not surprisingly, since the author is deputy editor of The Architectural Review, projects get an ar-type treatment. One-to-three spreads for each project with 500 words of broad-brush text, excellent photographs and clear drawings, though not necessarily chosen to tell a particular story. It is a tasty picture book.

There is a critical job still to be done, looking at the environmental and ecological aspects of the work of Thomas Herzog, Piano and the rest. In this book the ‘eco’ does not extend far beyond the title. There is a problem Slessor acknowledges early on, that ecological aspects of buildings are not necessarily discernible on the building surface. So a book focused on presentation rather than criticism is inevitably limited in what it reveals.

louis kahn biography

Louis I. Kahn Biography


Louis Isadore Kahn was born Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky in 1901 on Osel, an island off the coast of Estonia. His family immigrated to the United States when he was four, settling in Philadelphia, where they had relatives already living nearby. In 1915, upon becoming naturalized citizens, his parents “Americanized” the family’s names, taking the surname Kahn, which had been chosen by a relative who had immigrated earlier.

From an early age, Kahn displayed a gift for drawing, but his parents were too poor to buy art materials, so he improvised and sketched with burnt twigs and matches. He favored the quality of the charcoal line so much that even after he had become a celebrated architect he continued at times to draw with burnt matches. His obvious intelligence and early talent for art prompted his teachers to enroll him in competitions for gifted students throughout his public schooling. Despite winning a full art scholarship from the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, a required course in architectural history during his final year in high school led him to study architecture.

Kahn received Beaux-Arts training at the University of Pennsylvania, where one of his teachers was the French-born and French-educated Paul Philippe Cret, who practiced a brand of classical modernism noteworthy for its dignity and restraint. An inspiring teacher, Cret instilled in his students a reverence for the form-giving potential of Beaux-Arts principles and the harmonious power of proportion. Kahn became a devoted disciple, later working on one of Cret’s most famous buildings, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Coincidentally, Cret also designed the elegant United States Courthouse in Fort Worth in the “classical moderne” style in 1933, the Fine Arts Pavilion (later the Dallas Museum of Art) in 1936, and the master plan for the University of Texas at Austin in 1941.

Kahn came to hold the first Paul Philippe Cret chair at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught his own idiosyncratic modernism, which would engender the heterogeneous “Philadelphia school.”


Kahn’s architectural career was slow to take off. He was thirty-six years old when he established his own office during the Depression years and then focused mostly on low-cost public housing. While he was deeply interested in urban issues, particularly those of Philadelphia, he took these commissions largely because they were some of the few available to an unknown architect at the time.

His work during this period was very much in the International Style, influenced by LeCorbusier and public housing in Germany and Holland. It wasn’t until years later, in 1950–51, when he enjoyed a brief sojourn in Rome as an American Academy fellow and traveled in Italy, Greece, and Egypt, that he developed his own singular philosophy of architecture, provoked and shaped by his emotional response to the ancient ruins that he had studied in school and had previously visited in 1929. He had sketched them before, but this time he was especially affected by the way the Mediterranean light played upon the haunting, silent, and monumental forms. His emergent ideas about space, light, and structure would help shape his first major commission, an extension to the Yale University Art Gallery. He received the commission while in Rome in 1951 and designed it when he returned to Yale, where he had begun teaching in 1949.

Completed in 1953, the building was revolutionary in terms of American museum architecture, and it gained him instant national recognition. Situated amidst collegiate Gothic structures, the museum—constructed out of brick, concrete, steel, and glass—presents a windowless facade to the street and features open interiors with flexibly partitioned galleries. A honeycomb-like tetrahedral concrete ceiling contains air ducts and light fixtures in an ingenious arrangement. Impassively modern as the building is, in its scale, materials, and solemnity it subtly references its historical neighbors.

Kahn went on to design in 1957–62 the Richards Laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania, a building that would be bedeviled with functional problems. Nevertheless, it quickly became a mecca for architects, who came to study its austere and imposing duct towers; the abstract, rhythmic interplay of its glass, brick, and concrete facade; and the elegant articulation of its served and servant spaces. (“Servant spaces” is Kahn’s term for utilitarian realms like corridors, stairwells, restrooms, and mechanical rooms.) It was also the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that brought international attention to Kahn.

Kahn was more successful in his design for a scientific facility in 1959–67 with the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, which its namesake, Jonas Salk, hoped would be the most beautiful and stimulating research center in the world, attracting the most brilliant and creative minds. Kahn’s powerful sequence of twin structures is skillfully oriented to avoid the glare and winds of the hot coastal climate, while framing spectacular views of the distant ocean below. A small water feature running through the courtyard between the buildings speaks of the sharing of resources, including inspiration and ideas, which is promoted by the flexible laboratories within. The courtyard was originally to be a garden, but Kahn turned it into a communal space “open to the sky.”

Kahn’s most ambitious projects, where he would most eloquently express his ideals regarding a transcendent architecture of universal forms, were realized primarily on the Indian subcontinent. In 1962, he received commissions to design the newly established Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India, and the capital building Sher-e-Bangla nagar in Dhaka, the first city of East Pakistan when the project was commissioned, but by the time it was completed, the capital of a recently independent Bangladesh. The Institute of Management is constructed out of exposed brick, while Sher-e-Bangla nagar is made of cast-in-place concrete. Both epically scaled works are marked by elemental geometric forms: circles, squares, and triangles. Each features huge open spaces that the architect, a true believer in civic democracy, thought would encourage freedom of thought, especially in Bangladesh, where the people proudly use the complex as a vast public park.

Kahn also built several masterworks in the U.S., including the 1972 Kimbell Art Museum and yet another museum for Yale, the 1974 Yale Center for British Art. Like the Kimbell, the four-story Yale Center is designed around courtyards and features diffused natural light via skylit rooms, so that museumgoers may, on most days, experience the art on the upper floors without artificial illumination. While the building’s exterior is an imposing surface of matte steel and reflective glass, its galleries are intimately scaled and comprised of a muted palette of natural materials—travertine, marble, white oak, and Belgian linen—a palette like that of the Kimbell.

Kahn did not live to see the completion of the Yale Center for British Art, nor his projects in India and Bangladesh (although the Indian Institute for Management was essentially complete when he died). In 1974, on his return home from the subcontinent, Kahn was overcome by a heart attack in the men’s bathroom of Penn Station in New York City, where he died tragically alone at the age of seventy-three. After his death, five Kahn buildings “of enduring significance” received the impressive Twenty-Five Year Award from the American Institute of Architects: the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale Center for British Art, Exeter Academy Library, Jonas Salk Institute, and Kimbell Art Museum. His oeuvre may be small compared to other architects of his stature, but it is all the more impressive for the influence it has had—and continues to have—on contemporary architecture.

alvar aalto biography

Alvar Aalto, in full Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto, (born Feb. 3, 1898, Kuortane, Fin., Russian Empire—died May 11, 1976, Helsinki, Fin.), Finnish architect, city planner, and furniture designer whose international reputation rests on a distinctive blend of modernist refinement, indigenous materials, and personal expression in form and detail. His mature style is epitomized by the Säynätsalo, Fin., town hall group (1950–52).

Early work

Aalto’s architectural studies at the Technical Institute of Helsinki were interrupted by the Finnish War of Independence, in which he participated. Following his graduation in 1921, Aalto toured Europe and upon his return began practice in Jyväskylä, in central Finland. In 1927 he moved his office to Turku, where he worked in association with Erik Bryggman until 1933, the year in which he moved to Helsinki. In 1925 he married Aino Marsio, a fellow student, who served as his professional collaborator until her death in 1949. The couple had two children.

The years 1927 and 1928 were significant in Aalto’s career. He received commissions for three important buildings that established him as the most advanced architect in Finland and brought him worldwide recognition as well. These were the Turun Sanomat Building (newspaper office) in Turku, the tuberculosis sanatorium at Paimio, and the Municipal Library at Viipuri (now Vyborg, Russia). His plans for the last two were chosen in a competition, a common practice with public buildings in Finland. Both the office building and the sanatorium emphasize functional, straightforward design and are without historical stylistic references. They go beyond the simplified classicism common in Finnish architecture of the 1920s, resembling somewhat the building designed by Walter Gropius for the Bauhaus school of design in Dessau, Ger. (1925–26). Like Gropius, Aalto used smooth white surfaces, ribbon windows, flat roofs, and terraces and balconies.


The third commission, the Viipuri Municipal Library, although exhibiting a similar dependence on European prototypes by Gropius and others, is a significant departure marking Aalto’s personal style. Its spatially complex interior is arranged on various levels. For the auditorium portion of the library Aalto devised an undulating acoustic ceiling of wooden strips, a fascinating detail that, together with his use of curved laminated wood furniture of his own design, appealed both to the public and to those professionals who had held reservations about the clinical severity of modern architecture. The warm textures of wood provided a welcome contrast to the general whiteness of the building. It was Aalto’s particular success here that identified him with the so-called organic approach, or regional interpretation, of modern design. He continued in this vein, with manipulation of floor levels and use of natural materials, skylights, and irregular forms. By the mid-1930s Aalto was recognized as one of the world’s outstanding modern architects; unlike many of his peers, he had an identifiable personal style.

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Finnish pavilions for two world’s fairs (Paris, 1937; New York City, 1939–40) further enhanced Aalto’s reputation as an inventive designer of free architectural forms. In these designs, both chosen in competition, he continued to use wood for structure and for surface effects. Also during this period, in 1938, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City held an exhibition of his work, showing furniture that he had designed and photographs of his buildings.

Aalto’s experiments in furniture date from the early 1930s, when he furnished the sanatorium at Paimio. His furniture is noted for its use of laminated wood in ribbonlike forms that serve both structural and aesthetic ends. In 1935 the Artek Company was established by Aalto and Maire Gullichsen, the wife of the industrialist and art collector Harry Gullichsen, to manufacture and market his furniture. The informal warmth of Aalto’s interiors is best seen in the much-admired country home Villa Mairea, which he built for the Gullichsens near Noormarkku, Fin.

Mature style

The decade of the 1940s was not productive; it was disrupted by war and saddened by his wife’s death. In 1952 he married Elissa Mäkiniemi, a trained architect, who became his new collaborator.

Aalto’s commissions after 1950, in addition to being greater in number, were more varied and widely dispersed: a high-rise apartment building in Bremen, W.Ger. (1958), a church in Bologna, Italy (1966), an art museum in Iran (1970). His continuing work in Finland, however, remained the measure of his genius. Many of his projects involved site planning of building groups. Two such projects were the master plans of colleges at Otaniemi (1949–55) and at Jyväskylä (1952–57). Aalto’s experience in planning originated early with such industrial commissions as the Sunila cellulose factory (1936–39, extended 1951–54), which included workers’ housing and was a triumph of comprehensive planning.

The single work that epitomizes Aalto’s mature style is perhaps the Säynätsalo town hall group. Modest in scale in its forest setting, it nonetheless asserts a quiet force. Its simple forms are in red brick, wood, and copper, all traditional materials of Finland. Viewing it, a person feels the achievement of a perfect building, in that the essence of the time, the place, the people, and their purpose is brought into focus by the awareness of the architect.

Aalto received many honours. He was a member of the Academy of Finland (Suomen Aketemia) and was its president from 1963 to 1968; he was a member of the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne from 1928 to 1956. His awards included the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture from the Royal Institute of British Architects (1957) and the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1963).


Aalto, whose work exemplifies the best of 20th-century Scandinavian architecture, was one of the first to depart from the stiffly geometric designs common to the early period of the modern movement and to stress informality and personal expression. His style is regarded as both romantic and regional. He used complex forms and varied materials, acknowledged the character of the site, and gave attention to every detail of building. Aalto achieved an international reputation through his more than 200 buildings and projects, ranging from factories to churches, a number of them built outside Finland.

Aalto’s preliminary plans were freely sketched, without the use of T-square and triangle, so that the unfettered creative urge for inventive shapes and irregular forms was allowed full play before functional relationships and details were resolved. The absence of theoretical rigidity revealed itself in his final designs, which happily retained the spontaneity and individuality of his early sketches. As a Swiss art historian expressed it, he dared “the leap from the rational-functional to the irrational-organic.” Since Aalto’s staff was small (some six to eight architects), all of the work bore the imprint of his personality.

Aalto wrote little to explain his work, but his architecture conveyed a variable, lively temperament, free from dogma and without monotony. His work was said to express the spirit of Finland and its people, primitive yet lyrical. His friendships with such artists as Fernand LégerJean Arp, and Constantin Brancusi may have nourished his fondness for curvilinear shapes. While his work was never compulsively innovative, neither was it static. His late designs showed an increased complexity and dynamism that some regarded as incautious. In particular, his work of the late 1960s and early 1970s was marked by splayed, diagonal shapes and clustered, overlapping volumes. Energy and imagination were ever present.

stone use in interior design

Natural stone is a building material suitable for your interior design. It will bring warmth and charm to your home. For example, granite is one of the hardest and densest natural stones which helps maintain its luster and resist staining for longer than other materials. 

Interior designers prefer green and natural materials. A timeless decoration is key if you want your interiors to last. Sustainable products such as natural stone tend to top the list of everlasting styles. Your first step is to choose a material that fits best with your personal style. For a classical and sleek look, think about choosing marble or travertine into your design. Once you know which material works best for you, think about how it should be worked into the space.


Natural stone for interior design












Every stone countertop has a different granit with a pattern that varies by the area from which it was harvested in the quarry. You can consider picking up on the finish variation in your sandstone flooring and incorporating it as an accent color in your interior design. Natural stone is a nice idea for wall decoration in the living room, creating a feeling of comfort.

For example, if an interior space opens out onto a garden, you can create an infinity look using the same stone inside and out. This design creates a feeling of space by drawing the eye through the interior space to the outdoors beyond. Choosing a darker stone will make an interior space stand from the rest. Slate is a popular choice for kitchen floors as the dark shades look great in any home. The wide variety of colors from greys and blacks to greens and brown make this stone a versatile material. Using renewable materials such as natural stone in your interior design is good for the environment.

Plants, soil, wood, water, fire… these are the things that stone contrasts with all around us in nature. Why not bring that beauty into your own home. If you can tame it, you can achieve fantastically bold designs!

evolution of interior design

With the profession of interior design clocking in at just over 100 years old, we’re looking at the roots of interior design history and the seven legendary decorators who made a name for themselves as the industry started gaining momentum in the early 1900’s. From the Ancient Egyptians to the dawn of modern interior design, here’s everything you need to know.

It may seem a bit elementary, but let’s start with the basics of interior design services. Interior design is defined as the art and science of enhancing the interior of a space in order to create a polished and more aesthetically pleasing environment. An interior designer is someone trained to execute plans, research, coordinate, and manage decorative projects with authority. The profession of interior design is varied and includes space planning, conceptual development, site inspections, programming, research, communicating with the clients, project and construction management, and of course the execution of the desired design.

Before the profession rose to prominence, interior design came in instinctively to strictly coordinate with the architecture of buildings. The profession of interior design came with the rise of middle-class society and the complicated architecture that rose to popularity during the industrial revolution. The quest to make the best use of space, along with the attention to user well-being and functional design continues to push the development and life-enhancing possibilities of today’s iteration on the interior design profession. That said, the profession of interior design is distinctly separate from the work of an interior decorator, a moniker more commonly used across the US. The term interior decorator is less commonly used in the UK where the profession of interior design remains unregulated and sadly, not yet considered an official profession to this day.

As far back as ancient India, architects used to double as interior designers to fully develop their complete vision. This can be noted from the references of architect Vishwakarma – one of the gods featured in Indian mythology. Those references feature sculptures illustrating ancient texts and events seen in palaces constructed in 17th-century India.

Throughout ancient Egypt, “soul houses” or models of houses were gifted in tombs as vessels for food offerings. From these evocative trinkets, it’s possible to decipher cues about the interior design of various residences throughout several Egyptian dynasties, including updates to ventilation, porticoes, columns, loggias, windows, and doors.

art deco interior design themes

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and into the first part of the 19th century, interior decorating was an exclusive concern relegated to the homemaker, or a professional upholsterer or craftsman who could securely advise based on their artistic eye for a home’s interior design. Incidentally, architects would also turn to craftsmen and artisans to create interior design for their buildings.

The practice of interior design harkens back to the Ancient Egyptians, who decorated their naive mud homes with basic furnishings enhanced by animal skins, simple textiles, graphic biographical and spiritual murals, sculptures, and painted urns. Ornate gold ornaments found in Egyptian tombs (such as King Tutankhamen’s) and trinkets highlighted the need for more distinctively rich decoration to symbolize the more wealthier and powerful Egyptians.

Roman and Greek civilizations advanced the Egyptian art of interior designing and accessorizing by celebrating civic pride through their invention of domed-roof public buildings. For their homes, elaborate Greek wooden furniture featured intricate ivory and silver decoration while the Romans concentrated on marrying beauty and comfort, with both civilizations home interiors designed to reflect wealth and social and political status. Roman furniture was often made of stone, marble, wood, or bronze, and was made comfortable via cushions and expressive tapestries. To elevate their homes, both Romans and Greeks brought in vases and created mesmerizing mosaic floors, and wall paintings and frescoes to make their spaces unique to them.

the history of interior design

Following this period of decorative ornamentation, there was a sudden movement to exactness due to the grim ongoing wars throughout Medieval Europe and the rise of the Christian church. Coined The Dark Ages for good reason, interior design history of the era featured somber wood paneling, minimal and solely practical furnishings, and stone-slab flooring. Even wealthier patrons of the era stuck to muted, sobering colors when adding decorative extras like tapestries and stonework.

After The Dark Ages, Europeans were once again inspired to introduce color and decorative ornamentation into their homes. During the 12th century, darkly romantic Gothic style was created to make the best use of natural light and freshly popular open interiors.

interior design history breakdown

Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, the French Renaissance started a renewed focus on art and creativity in interior design. Architects of the time began creating homes with substantial decorative notes including marble floors, ornate inlaid woodwork, paintings, and furniture made with the finest materials. A quick look at the eras royal palaces, villas, and chapels is certain to highlight the best of Renaissance interior design.

Following the Renaissance, intricate and complex Italian Baroque designs took a hold over Europe. The Palace of Versailles in France for instance made remarkable use of Baroque interior design elements like colored marble and stone, stained glass, ornately painted ceilings, and spiraling columns. By the 18th century, European interior designers made Rococo style increasingly popular while taking influence from Asian stoneware, floral prints, and furniture inlaid with exotic details like ivory and mother-of-pearl. Then came the Neoclassical look of the late 18th century, a distant take on the celebrated design elements found in ancient Rome with its use of brilliantly colored silk, satin, and velvet.

From the early 1800’s and on, more freedom and eclecticism was often found in interior design in Europe and America. And over the next two centuries, a slew of innovative and modern interior design movements would come and go out of style as the times changed including Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Victorian, and industrial Bauhaus style. The 19th century saw, however, the ultimate in appreciation and the popularization of interior design. No longer exclusive to royal compounds and homes of wealthy citizens, the possibilities of life-enhancing interior design began to reach critical masses in the later part of the 1800’s.

interior decorators history

And by the 20th century, functionality became a key component in the approach to interior design as the growing presence of home appliances such as stoves, washing machines, and televisions prompted a new challenge for interior designers, who had to design spaces with more than aesthetic reasons in mind.

And as the 20th century turned, novice designers and numerous publications were increasingly working to defeat the hold that large upscale retail outlets had on the world of interior design. Before that, feminist English author Mary Haweis produced a series of popular essays in the 1880’s where she ridiculed the excitement of an aspiring class of bourgeoise people looking to furnish their homes hastily around the strict yet bland confines offered to them by dictating retail outlets. Her response was that people should seize the opportunity in creating a particular take on a design style uniquely tailored to address their needs and lifestyles. “One of my strongest convictions, and one of the first canons of good taste, is that our houses, like the fish’s shell and the bird’s nest, ought to represent our individual taste and habits,” she wrote.

The slow transition towards the decorative arts being seen as an individual artistic profession aside from the salesman’s wisdom offered by manufacturers and retailers was boosted in 1899 with the launch of the Institute of British Decorators; with John Dibblee Crace acting as its president. The institute represented over 200 interior designers around the nation. And by 1915 the London Directory saw an increased listing of 127 individuals working as professional interior decorators, of which only 10 were women. Rhoda and Agnes Garrett were the first recorded women to be coached professionally as home designers in 1874. The importance of their design work was considered at the time to be parallel with the legendary interior maestro William Morris. In 1876, their guide – Suggestions for House Decoration in Painting, Woodwork and Furniture – further cemented their authority and spread their takes on artistic interior design approaches to a design hungry middle-class.

traditional dining room interior design

“Until recently when a man wanted to furnish he would visit all the dealers and select piece by piece of furniture ….Today he sends for a dealer in art furnishings and fittings who surveys all the rooms in the house and he brings his artistic mind to bear on the subject,” as The Illustrated Carpenter and Builder wrote in 1900.

Back in America, Candace Wheeler, considered one of the first female interior designers, encouraged a completely new take on American interior design. She was a key figure in developing the first interior design courses for women in a number of major American hubs and was celebrated as the definitive authority on home décor at the time. Another prominent influence on the newly categorized profession of décor was The Decoration of Houses, a widely read and consulted guide on interior design written by Edith Wharton and master architect Ogden Codman in 1897 stateside. In the popular book, the authors deemed Victorian-style interior décor and interior design irrelevant. No longer viable were the cold, dark, and moody homes decorated with heavy furnishings, Victorian accessories and tufted, overstuffed seating. They considered the design style having put too much importance on upholstered furnishings instead of sensible space planning and architectural details, making rooms dreary, uncomfortable, untouchable and therefor all too precious. Their book is still regarded as a seminal moment and their success propelled the rise of professional interior designers adopting similar stances.

As you can see, the world of interior design has come a remarkable way since the Ancient Egyptians as designers today have unlimited access to an endless amount of design movements, furniture styles, and influences from the past. But it’s really the seven interior designers we’re focusing on here that truly changed the way we approach interior design for the better.


Stone Age 6000 to 2000 BC

The first sign of an approach to interior design was noted in prehistoric dwellings featuring flora and fauna. Those dwellings were made of mud, animal skins, and sticks.

Neolithic Europe 2000 to 1700 BC

In comes the first defined handmade pottery that was used for both practical and decorative reasons.

Ancient Egypt 2700

The rise of royal families saw for the first time people living in structures besides mud huts. The new structures boasted murals that portrayed their history and beliefs. And they had basic furnishings and decorative objects like vases and sculptures – seen for the first time.

Greek Empire 1200 to 31 BC

Advancements in civilization and lifestyles saw citizens decorating their homes in their own unique style for the first time ever with wealthier Greeks possessing furnishings inlaid with ornate ivory and silver details. Iconic and statement-making pillars and columns were key motifs during this era and the Greeks also created standard rules and procedures for building construction.

Roman Empire 753 BC to 480 AD

An austere age when royals weren’t able to evoke their wealth simply through their homes. The Romans decorated their homes with murals and mosaics, and furnishings featured clawed feet.

The Dark Ages 900 to 1500

The Dark Ages saw disinterest in interior design with people opting for simple paneled wood walls, minimal furnishings, and stone slab floors.

The Byzantine Empire 500 to 1500

During this period grande domes and decadent décor took center stage.

The Renaissance Period 1400 to 1600

The beauty of interior design was a major feature during the Renaissance period with grand furnishings and art realized in vibrant hues and luxurious textiles like silk and velvet along with marble surfaces. And since carpets were too precious and expensive for even the wealthiest of patrons, they were used as wall art when possible.

Gothic 1140 to 1400

In response to the dark ages, decorative ornamentation and bold colors were once again prominent interior design features. Two hallmarks of the era carried over through to today are more windows for brighter homes along with open floor plans.

Baroque 1590 to 1725

Ostentatious and ultra-rich artistic elements made for a recipe of sumptuous interior designs featuring stained glass, twisted columns, colored marble, painted ceilings, and gilt mirrors and oversized chandeliers.

Traditional 1700 to Today

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Embodied by a formal spirit, traditional interior design is still a mainstay to this day. Traditional interior design is a broad term that highlighting varied design styles and movement’s that aren’t nailed down to one locked direction or spirit.

Traditional design celebrates the illustrious, rich history of the past by contrasting it with decidedly modern elements for an elegant spin on beautiful design while highlighting 18th and 19th-century European decor. It’s a timeless design style that evokes easy glamor and comfort and is a great direction for those who appreciate antiques, classic art, symmetry, and design rich with history.

Rococo 1700

A hyper elegant and lavishly detailed design style taking cues from botanical silhouettes, Rococo interior design featured unique elements like tortoise shell and pearl embellishments alongside Asian porcelain.

The Industrial Revolution 1760 to 1820

industrial style home design

Throughout the Industrial Revolution interior design was available for a wider audience and was easier to access for the general population than ever before. This is in large part due to easier printing processes creating a wide distribution of fashion and lifestyle publications and the fact that luxury items became increasingly attainable.

Neoclassical Style 1780 to 1880

Taking inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman cultures for architectural details and motifs, this era saw furnishings rely heavily on the use of bronze and gold metals, and soft furnishings featuring silk, velvet, and satin. The trend of matching wallpaper and furnishings also took hold.

Tropical 1880’s to Today

As the British empire swept through countries like India and territories like the West Indies, they combined interior design elements from their home country and the regions they were occupying to create a heady mix of the traditional and the extoic.

Aesthetic Movement 1800’s to Today

With ‘art for art’s sake’ in mind, the Aesthetic Movement was a way for radicals to express their dislike of current, tired interior design. The key here was in practicality and function taking importance before beauty.

Tuscan 1840’s to Today

Taking a cue from the charming and calming nature of Tuscany in Italy, the focus of interior design during this period was of straightforward simplicity with hints of luxury for good measure.

Arts & Crafts 1860 to 1910

In order to highlight their opposition to mass-produced ordinary items due to the innovations of the Industrial Revolution, people turned to traditional crafts and classic elements to produce furnishings.

Rustic 1870’s to Today

rustic decor textiles

Rustic interior design features handmade furnishings and large, open rooms boasting wooden beams and columns.

Rustic decor provides the perfect combination of comforting, fuss-free design and practical, functional decor, put together to create a warm rustic interior. Natural materials work as the foundation and starting point for creating enviable rustic home decor celebrating the authentic beauty of natural materials to create a cozy, beautiful space.

Modernism 1880 – 1940

The modernist movement stressed simplicity, clarity of form, and rejected noise in design. Some of the movement’s leading figures in include Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Eero Saarinen, whose signatures seen in his forever popular Saarinen table and Saarinen chair are the epitome of the design style.

Art Nouveau 1890 to 1920

The enthusiasm behind the Art Nouveau movement was in bringing in natural silhouettes derived by botanical elements that lent the era its signature curved lines and organic shapes.

Colonial Revival 1905 to Today

Popular in the U.S and spurred by the centennial, the Colonial Revival found inspiration from the Neoclassical and Georgian historical styles. By far the most popular style of the time up til WWII, some believe that the launch of the automobile helped to spark people’s interest in historical references as they were able to freely visit documented landmarks.

Eclectic 1900’s to Today

eclectic interior design

Some historians point to the rise of needing interior designers who understood how to mix different design styles with authority for the sharp increase of designers in the industry as eclectic style took over aesthetic inspiration.

Eclectic style is all about harmony and the coming together of disparate styles, juxtaposing textures, and contrasting colors to create a cohesive, beautifully realized room that wouldn’t be out of place in a home décor magazine as this is one design style that takes verve and a great eye. And since eclectic interior design is all about experimentation and play, do have fun with the freedom it allows.

Modern 1918 to 1950

With a focus on sparse interiors and bold primary colors, Modern interior design eschewed the typically ornate and over decorated design aesthetic trending at the time.

Bauhaus 1920 – 1934

Celebrated to this day for its grand yet minimal and beautifully executed gestures, and founded by German architect Walter Bauhaus, who also created the Bauhaus school of art and design in Weimar Germany, the movement quickly produced some of the most influential architects, sculptors, graphic designers, furniture makers, and design mavericks of the mid to late 20th century.

Country 1920 to 1970

beautiful modern country design ideas

With notes lifted from traditional farmhouse settings, country style was practical but with quality, vintage inspired furnishings.

Today’s take on the modern country style of interior design is an idyllic classic. Stepping away from a purely traditional country design style; modern country allows for more playful and nuanced aspects along with minimal notes.

Art Deco 1920’s to 1960

art deco interior design materials

This movement features an intoxicating blend of early 20th century design styles including Constructivism, Cubism, Modernism, Bauhaus, Art Nouveau, and Futurism. One of the most well-known interior design styles, Art Deco represented modernity, everyday glamor, and elegance.  The era relied heavily on clean lines, fuss-free angular shapes, bold color, and stylized patterns like zig-zags and optical figures. For added glamor, ornate embellishments and metallic surfaces were also hallmarks of the era.

Materials used in art deco interior design are slick and reflective for everyday glamor in the home. Plenty of metallics are present in this style; from gold to silver, stainless steel, and chrome. They lend any room an elegant and luxurious feel, and they can be used everywhere. Imagine a modern art deco living room with a glass topped gold coffee table, chrome lamps, and a bold geometric patterned rug in black, gold, and white. Glass is also a frequently used material in art deco design; whether that’s through mirrors, glass-topped tables, sculptural elements or an art deco vase or lamp, as glass adds to the elegant feel of an art deco room.

Mediterranean 1920’s to Today

To evoke the feel of coastal European countries, textures from terra cotta, stone, and patterned tiles were heavily featured along with wrought iron, and aquatic hues.

Surrealism 1925 to 1930

Surrealists like famous artists included Salvador Dali, André Breton, and Max Ernst used this avant-garde movement to free people from their associations of what was normal and ultimately predictable in design, music, art, and even interior design.

Mid-Century Modern 1930’s to Today

mid century modern bedroom interior design

Though the term mid century modern wasn’t coined until the mid-80’s, and though no one really knows it’s true timeline, the era represents a combination of post World War II practicality, 50’s era optimism, 60’s era earthiness, and 70’s era tones and textures neatly wrapped up in a stylish ode to Scandinavian simplicity.

Call it a reaction to the decadence and gilt adorned stuffiness of interior design and architecture through to the 40’s if you will, as at the time of its inception, mid century modern decor was a complete rebuttal and restart for the senses.

The vibe is fresh and poppy, retro-tinged, and completely alluring with its dedication to comfort and practicality wrapped up in beautiful design that never goes out of style. Unlike other aesthetic movements, mid century modern decor is streamlined in design, as form follows function while highlighting the materials used, rather than making them something they aren’t.

Scandinavian Modern 1930’s to Today

best scandinavian interior design tips

This movement highlights the virtues of beautiful designed, practical objects that are both easily affordable and accessible, which is why the movement remains popular to this day.

Belonging to the school of modernism, Scandinavian interior design is a design movement characterized by a focus on functionalism and simplicity. It also includes the use of natural materials, such as leather, wood, and hemp. Furthermore, a Scandinavian interior design is often influenced by a connection to nature, which combines natural shapes, abstraction, and the use of natural elements.

Transitional 1950’s to Today

transitional mix interior design

With the invention of the television and its prominence throughout most homes across the U.S, the interior design of sets helped feed the masses appetite for décor more than ever.

Transitional style refers to a mix of traditional and modern furnishings, fabrications, and decorative features that lend you more freedom when looking to decorate your home with ease as there’s no end to the directions you can take the design style. In essence, transitional interior design is the combination of various design styles brought together simultaneously to create a cohesive design in one room.

Postmodernism 1978 – Today

This movement born as a challenge to what people saw to be the generic blandness of the Modernist movement. One of its main figures was Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, with his signature playful shapes, abstract prints, and powerful color stories.

Contemporary 1980’s to Today

contemporary interior design

Contemporary interior design is classic yet thoroughly of the moment and timeless thanks to a light-handed, spare take on decorating to ensure it will never feel dated.

While modern decor can feel cold, limiting, and overtly minimal, contemporary style is calming and serene, and is peppered with a focus on architectural elements, decorative details, attention to bold scales, and a concise color palette to create a warm space with easy sophistication.

Simplicity, clean lines, plays on texture, and quiet drama are fundamental in achieving a perfectly balanced contemporary style home.

what is building maintenance?

Building maintenance includes a wide variety of tasks depending on the particular business or organization. It encompasses a great deal of “behind the scenes” work to ensure that a facility or building remains functional and comfortable for its users.

Building maintenance includes cleaning common areas, removing trash regularly, and repairing items that are broken. It can involve inspecting, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and other utility services.

In some cases, building maintenance extends to the outdoor property as well and includes sprinkler management, lawn care, and landscape management.

Types of building maintenance workers

Workers are typically divided by experience and responsibilities.

  • Janitor: These individuals typically handle the cleaning of a building or facility. This includes mopping floors, vacuuming carpets, cleaning bathrooms, and washing windows and glass doors.
  • Maintenance technician: These team members perform the inspection, repair, and maintenance of building systems including HVAC, electrical, and water. Tasks are typically assigned by work orders and maintenance workers report to supervisors who oversee their tasks.
  • Maintenance Supervisor: Supervisors plan, assign, and manage a team of maintenance workers for a particular shift. They review incoming work orders as well as short- and long-term objectives to prioritize the maintenance department’s work for the day or week. Maintenance supervisors also handle personnel issues such as interviewing, hiring, and training maintenance workers.

Example of building maintenance

A building maintenance department handles all the systems, repairs, and ongoing tasks to keep a facility running each and every day. Often, other employees of the business take much of the maintenance team’s work for granted. They simply expect that the building will be kept clean, the snow will be removed in the winter, and the air conditioning will be on in the heat of the summer.

An apartment complex is one example of a business that has varying needs. Management requires regular lawn and landscape care of the property as well as cleaning and repairing units as residents move in and out. Residents themselves initiate work orders with appliance repair requests or pest control problems. Common areas also require cleaning.

Organizations that use building maintenance

  • Businesses: Just about every business requires building maintenance services. Smaller organizations tuck these responsibilities under general operations and outsource services themselves. Larger businesses maintain an in-house maintenance department to manage these needs.
  • Residential complexes: Apartment or condominium complexes maintain a team of building maintenance workers to inspect, repair, and manage all the indoor and outdoor maintenance needs of the entire complex.
  • Government: Municipalities utilize building maintenance teams to ensure city buildings, post offices, and libraries are in good working order to serve the needs of the public.