Your Guide to 5 of the Most Popular Design Styles

It's easy to smile and nod when someone references a design style that you can't picture, but why avoid contributing to the conversation when you can be a part of it? Educate yourself with this quick primer on some particularly buzzy décor styles and click through our slideshow to see these terms in action.

Art Deco


Described in Three Words: Symmetrical, Geometric, Glamorous
Textbook Example: The Chrysler Building
Classic Materials: Mirror, Silver, Lacquered Wood
Defining Colour Palette: Silver, Black, and Grey

Hollywood Regency


Described in Three Words: Glamorous, Happy, Extravagant
Textbook Example: The Viceroy Santa Monica
Classic Materials: Mirror, Crystal, Velvet
Defining Colour Palette: Pink, Black, Gold

Midcentury Modern


Described in Three Words: Clean, Simple, Masculine
Textbook Example: The Stahl House
Classic Materials: Walnut, Leather, Brass
Defining Colour Palette: Orange, Brown, Olive



Described in Three Words: Chinese-inspired, Colourful, Whimsical
Textbook Example: de Gournay Wallpaper Panels
Classic Materials: Bamboo, Porcelain, Paper
Defining Colour Palette: Red, Turquoise, Yellow

Arts and Crafts


Described in 3 Words: Square, Handcrafted, Angular
Textbook Example: Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House
Classic Materials: Stained Glass, Wood, Iron
Defining Colour Palette: Earth Tones

Is there a design style you've heard of recently that you can't quite grasp? Let us know in the comments!

Photographs: 1. Jute (designer and source) 2. Chad Eisner photographed by Joe Schmelzer for Elle Decor 3. Madeline Stuart photographed by Roger Davies for Architectural Digest 4. Thom Filicia (designer and source) 5. Anne Coyle (designer and source) 6. Kelly Wearstler (designer and source) 7. Anne Coyle photographed by William Abranowicz for Elle Decor 8. Trina Turk photographed by Justin Coit for Domaine 9. David Netto (designer and source) 10. Photographed by Drew Kelly for Dwell 11. T Keller Donovan photographed by Bjorn Wallander for House Beautiful 12. Thibaut 13. Tobi Fairley (designer and source) 14. Clare Vivier via Rip + Tan 15. SIMO Design (designer and source)

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