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EWP’s Guide to Interior Design Style

Have you seen The Good Place? It’s a fantasy-comedy series about a girl named Eleanor (Kristen Bell), a pretty trash person who dies and mistakenly ends up in this ambiguous idea of heaven; It’s hilarious and I would 10 out of 10 recommend. Anyways, in The Good Place, designed for only the best of man kind, everyone receives a house that perfectly represents their style and personality, so the aesthetics alone are Pinterest-worthy.

Exhibit A: Eleanor’s Humble Home

© The Good Place/NBC
© The Good Place/NBC

Exhibit B: Tahani’s very Classic Chic living room

© The Good Place/NBC
© The Good Place/NBC

In the show’s pilot, Michael, the architect of the neighborhood, describes the style of Eleanor’s home as Icelandic Primitive and, despite having many, many interior design boards on Pinterest, spending hours on my Design Home app and years boggling over HGTV, I had no idea what that meant! I could see it but if I wanted to design an Icelandic Primitive living room, what would I even look for?! I realized if I’ve been obsessing over interior designs since middle school and I still didn’t fully understand decor styles then I’m definitely not the only one. As I’m planning to move out of my fully furnished apartment and style a place of my own, as many of you are considering summer is the busiest time for moving, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity or an Interior Style Guide!

Here are four of the most popular and least understood interior styles defined:

Icelandic

© The Good Place/NBC

At first glance this style seems like a clean, contemporary style with rustic finishes (Hello to this coffee table!). What really defines this style is that it isn’t simply bringing these pieces together; Icelandic designers style decor based off of and inspired by their surroundings. The style and art selected reflects the landscape and scene of the home. Notice how everything in Eleanor’s home complements each other.

Icelandic and Scandinavian styles are super similar. Think Ikea.

Eclectic

ig: @interior_alchemy

FYI, Eclectic and Bohemian are pretty much the same thing (Bohemian is typically described as eclectic). So how do you describe eclectic? This style is inspired by and embodies a variety of styles, colors, textures and shapes. People looking to style an eclectic home are usually worried it’ll just end up looking messy and all over the place, but if you look closely, there are some things that help guide this style.For example, a neutral color palette. Notice that while the art and decorations are full of color, the designer stuck with a neutral blue/indigo to ground the decor and tie everything together. Eclectic minimalism is my personal style preference and my favorite color is black, so I stick with really simple, neutral black furniture but I have tons of colorful paintings and throw pillows with strong black lines.

Industrial

Youtube: DreamHomes

If you’re into lofts, refurbished warehouses or older buildings like firehouses or church conversions, you’d probably describe your style, at least in part, as industrial. The name basically says it all so this doesn’t seem super misunderstood, however, it’s often confused with rusticity. The main difference between rustic and industrial is that, while they both consist of similar materials, a rustic home will contain the raw versions of these elements. For example, let’s say a rustic home and an industrial loft contain rock-like floors. The flooring of the rustic home is most likely stone while the loft is floored with finished concrete. It should also be noted that you don’t need the exposed brick, duct work and finished concrete (although who doesn’t dream of that!) to achieve this aesthetic in your Plaza Midwood or Elizabeth home. Think metal, wood and leather.

Mid-Century Modern

Photo by David Papazian

This one can be confusing, as Mid-Century and Modern seem to contradict each other, but it’s a classic and understated look where the furniture does most of the talking. Imagine you’re designing a home in the 2000’s for the Brady Bunch family, but you don’t want them to feel too out of place.

Drinking game idea: Watch House Hunters and take a swig every time someone says “Mid-Century Modern.”

Credit

Understanding your style is so important in order to really make your home feel like your home, your place that screams who you are and where you belong. If you’re into the latest trends in furnishings and art then you probably describe yourself as having contemporary style; If you like incorporating tons of wood, stone and other raw elements, then you have a very rustic taste; If your furniture has antique-style finishes, accompanied with soft textures and a light, feminine color palette, then your home is definitely boho chic. There are so many styles that could define your taste, but these are probably the hardest to identify. Personally, I was so flustered choosing furniture because it didn’t make sense that I want a vintage metal bed, a sleek and modern desk and a rustic wood nightstand until I realized my style is very Eclectic Minimalism. Once I identified my style and fondness of a variety of styles and themes, I was able to understand how to bring them together to make my home feel complete and understood.

If you know your style and you’re just looking for the perfect place to express it, check out these Charlotte listings:

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