Different Decor Styles

Very often, we are drawn to a particular decorating style and cannot explain why. Something about the look, the lines, and objects that make up that style that we feel comfortable with. Decor should bring pleasure and often we love the history of a period and this usually includes the decor style from those times. Whatever we like whether it is strict minimalism or an eclectic mix of colonial and rustic, our personal taste is made up of many things.

We thought it would be a good idea to explain some of the more common decor styles that people ask us to do for them and some that we tackle on our interior design courses here at Absolute Academy. Our students, whether for a day course, through to a year’s course get to know some common decor styles and how to design those looks.


Minimalist designs have an objective to create clean simple spaces. Clever storage means that clutter cannot take over and furniture is kept to a bare minimum. The surfaces of tables and shelves are kept free of objects except for one statement piece or well-chosen geometric or functional sculptures. For many, the look is too clinical and severe, for others it is a celebration of contemporary design.


Original features and period rooms are often the reason people opt for a classical look. Nothing is as effortless as a room decorated in keeping with its era as homes like these often have magnificent aspects that should be preserved. The look enhances existing classical features, for example a fireplace or original wooden floors and a defined colour scheme holds the look together. Furnishings are elegant with quality finishes and range of interestingly textured fabrics.


Many people love retro looks and often live the whole lifestyle by dressing the part too! This decorating style is inspired by the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s eras. A retro room is a statement room with an almost theatrical vibe. This look is not for shrinking violets and you have to love it a lot to live with it. Colours are bold; fabrics and furniture are in high contrast. Depending on the era you choose you could be living in a set from “I love Lucy” or suburban chic from the 70’s. Wallpaper is vibrant and in your face and accessories such as lava, lamps and original Kitchen Aid products abound. Primarily fun, elements of these looks can be added into your own contemporary home for a touch of quirkiness.

Art Deco:

The 1920’s was an era of decadence and hedonism as society kicked back against the austerity of World War I. Beautiful linear symmetry, rose coloured mirrors, animal skins, wood grains like walnut and highly polished metal makes art deco a luxurious designer dream. Art Deco designers drew a lot of inspiration from the cuboid designs of the Aztec and Egyptian era. The famous sunburst pattern seen in so many older homes along with chevron patterns typify the Art Deco movement.


Finally, contemporary decor style is similar to minimalism but differs by the use of bold touches from colourful floor rugs to splashes of bright reds, blues, and yellows on artwork bringing boldness to the minimal furniture and objects. Definitely has an impact when toned with monochromes.

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