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Style 101: Your Guide to Interior Design Styles - Megafurniture

Style 101: Your Guide to Interior Design Styles

How can you find your unique interior design style?

We'll walk you through the different interior design styles that are popular in Singapore and give you some tips for achieving them.

When buying furniture or decorating your home, you always choose the pieces that appeal to your taste and support the look you envision for your space. But how do you maintain the cohesiveness of all your furniture and decorations? The most basic way is to have an interior design theme. Deciding on a specific style will make your home more defined with furniture pieces that complement each other and elements that build a certain ambience that you want to achieve.


What is Interior Design?

Interior design is about bringing together furniture and design elements to create a visually pleasing and comfortable home. The furnishings you choose, the colours you pick, and the way you arrange everything all play a part in achieving the style you want.

But it's not just about aesthetics - the ultimate goal of interior design is to make a space functional and comfortable for the people who live there. In Singapore, interior designers work closely with clients to understand their needs, preferences, and budget, and then come up with a design that meets all of those requirements.

Interior design can be applied to all sorts of spaces, from HDB and BTO flats to condos, home and commercial offices, and public areas. There are tons of different design styles to choose from, ranging from traditional to modern and Scandinavian. To get the best results, it takes a mix of creativity and technical expertise.


Popular Interior Design Styles in Singapore

Traditional Interior Design

Traditional Interior Design

Traditional interior design takes cues from the 18th and 19th centuries, featuring natural elements and materials, generous art pieces, and rich historical details to create a calm space. Traditional style revolves around a dark and warm colour palette, ornate furniture with lots of tufted detailing, and carved pieces. Symmetry is also a big thing in traditional design. 

Key Design Details:
  • A clean and orderly arrangement of furniture and decorations
  • Dark and warm colour scheme
  • Heavy furniture with intricate details that are fit for royalty
  • Grand accessories like chandeliers
  • Well-defined architectural elements like columns and crown mouldings
Furniture Choice:
  • Furniture pieces with intricate details and wood carvings
  • Tufted or patterned upholstered sofas
  • Homey and well-curated tables and chairs for the dining room


    Transitional Interior Design

    Transitional Interior Design

    Based on its name, transitional interior design combines traditional design and modern elements. It presents a balance of classic features and the luxury of modern detailing. The transitional design focuses on creating a cosy space with well-curated furniture and decorative pieces.

    Key Design Details:
    • Functional, large-scale, and comfortable furniture pieces
    • Minimal accents with crisp lines
    • Neutral base colour palette
    • Natural materials
    • Less is more approach
    • Geometric mouldings
    Furniture Choice:
    • Sofas with soft and prominent cushions
    • Large furniture pieces
    • Cabinets made with natural materials and metallic accents


      Modern Interior Design

      Modern Interior Design

      Modern interior design was born in the 20th century. The modern style focuses on a monochromatic colour scheme, minimal furniture and decorations, geometric forms, and efficient storage. If you want to focus on a highly functional space with effortless details and lots of storage, a modern design is perfect for your taste. Also, if you're a fan of Eames Chairs, you'll surely fall in love with other modern furniture styles. In this design, furniture pieces and design elements serve essential purposes other than bringing a decorative appeal to the space.

      Key Design Details:
      • Few curves on furniture, and emphasis on straight lines
      • Low, horizontal, and unfussy furniture 
      • Inviting natural light with minimal window treatment
      • Lots of natural materials and furnishings
      Furniture Choice:
      • Fusion of natural elements and manufactured materials
      • Tables with a clean top and simple leg designs
      • Simple furniture with lots of straight and angled lines
      • Revolutionary furniture made with moulded plastic


          Contemporary Interior Design

          Contemporary Interior Design

          Contemporary and modern interior designs are probably the most interchanged and misused terms on this list. Although these two are related by definition, they talk about different things when it comes to interior design. While modern style focuses on the elements of a specific design era, contemporary style offers today's trends. 

          Contemporary style is also focused on minimal detailing and the use of textures. Its main goal is to keep the space open by using minimal and functional furniture on top of black, white, and neutrals. Some splashes of bright colours are welcome to create a varied space.

          Key Design Details:
          • Lots of prominent lines and curves
          • Furniture has exposed legs and refined upholstery
          • Accent lighting creates depth and an additional source of warmth
          • Metal and stone furniture like marble and sintered stone are adorned
          Furniture Choice:
          • Combination of lines and curves
          • Playful and irregular sofa designs
          • Coloured accent furniture
          • Furniture pieces with clean silhouettes


              Mid-Century Modern Interior Design

              Mid-century Modern Interior Design

              From the 1950s to the 1960s, a mid-century modern style was created to bring the purpose and appeal of outdoor elements into your home. Natural tones and solid wood furniture are the main features that make up a mid-century modern design. 

              Key Design Details:
              • Combination of natural and manufactured materials
              • Minimalist approach that focuses on functional pieces with a vintage statement
              • Greenery and natural elements on top of some manufactured furnishings
              • Nature-inspired hues like greens, wood tones, blue, brown, orange, or yellows
              Furniture Choice:
              • Function meets form
              • Organic materials and geometric detailing
              • Furniture pieces with contradicting textures
              • Nature-inspired materials like wood and marble


                Minimalist Interior Design

                Mnimlist Interior Design

                One of today's most popular styles, minimalism focuses on the "less is more" mantra. Minimalism strips down furniture and essentials to their most basic and usable pieces to maintain the space and cleanliness of the home. A minimalist home involves multifunctional furniture, closed storage, and open-floor designs.

                Key Design Details:
                • Clean and uncluttered space
                • Neutral colour palette
                • Multifunctional furniture with built-in storage
                • Uncomplicated furniture choice and arrangement
                • Flat, smooth surfaces with an emphasis on form rather than intricate detailing
                Furniture Choice:
                • Simple and clean-lined furniture pieces (no to highly patterned furniture)
                • Monochromatic colours for accent furniture
                • Monochromatic scheme and minimal accent colours
                • Generous storage solutions


                  Maximalism Interior Design

                  Maximalism Interior Design

                  In contrast to minimalism, a maximalist interior design approach welcomes lots of details, patterns, and colours. If you want an intimate space that features all the things that are personal to you, a maximalist style is an excellent way to showcase your personality. Perfect for adventurous homeowners and designers, maximalism turns chaos into a welcoming space with lots of personalities. A maximalist style does not hold back in detailing and quantity of furniture and decorative pieces.

                  Key Design Details:
                  • There are no rules in maximalism
                  • Welcomes freedom of self-expression with joyous details and generous use of colours
                  • Use of wallpaper and solid colours
                  • Nostalgic details
                  • Timeless furniture and decorations that are here to stay
                  Furniture Choice:
                  • Intricate patterns and colours are welcome
                  • Glossy lacquered furniture pieces
                  • Contrasting furniture to achieve balance


                      Rustic Interior Design

                      Rustic Interior Design

                      Rustic interior design is known for its rough and natural look. This style features lots of wood and stone detailing. Think coastal and farmhouse styles under the "rustic" umbrella. This style can go from warm tones to light to dark hues, depending on the ambience you want to create. 

                      Key Design Details:
                      • Earthy design elements like wood and stone
                      • Earthy colours
                      • Embraces the simplicity of rural architecture with a modern twist
                      • Wall panel doors
                      • Bare and imperfect finishes
                      Furniture Choice:
                      • Distressed furniture
                      • Generous use of wooden items
                      • Unique and hand-made furniture is welcome


                          Industrial Interior Design

                          Industrial Interior Design

                          The industrial theme involves highly creative design and openness. If you love a more stripped-down look and utilitarian area with lots of space and personality, you might want to try a rustic interior style. This theme includes wood, metal, and stone furniture and exposed structural details. 

                          Key Design Details:
                          • Open space
                          • Exposed bricks, wood, metal, or concrete details
                          • Edgy style with metal fixtures and 
                          • Neutral colour palette with beige, brown, reddish-brown, and grey
                          • Functional statement furniture is usually a combination of wood, metal, or stone materials
                          Furniture Choice:
                          • Furniture made of wood, metal, or concrete
                          • Rugged and edgy-styled furniture pieces
                          • Neutral and warehouse-looking pieces


                              Scandinavian Interior Design

                              Scandinavian Interior Design

                              Scandinavian style is always linked with mid-century modern and minimalist styles because of similar elements. While modern and minimalist styles focus on the less is more approach, Scandinavian interiors still feature a bright design with bold graphic elements and a cosy feel. 

                              Key Design Details:
                              • Focuses on the simple, light, and bright look
                              • Sleek and functional aesthetics, combining modern and retro elements
                              • Natural light is maximised
                              • Wood details and greens
                              Furniture Choice:
                              • Light furniture
                              • Wooden furniture, including storage solutions like cupboards
                              • Clean-lined furniture
                              • Simple and cosy accents


                                Urban Modern Interior Design

                                Urban Modern

                                If you're into clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic, but also love the edgy, eclectic feel of urban living, then urban modern interior design might just be your thing. It combines the simplicity of modern design with the unique vibe of city living, making for a really cool and stylish look.

                                The key features of this style are minimalism, sleek and simple furniture, and an emphasis on open spaces and natural light. It's especially popular in urban and HDB areas where space is at a premium and a modern look is often preferred. You'll often find it in many HDB spaces, loft apartments, city condos, and modern homes, but it can really be adapted to any budget or design preference.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Emphasises clean lines, simplicity, and functionality
                                • Use of a neutral colour base and bolder accent colour
                                • Open spaces and natural lighting
                                • Spare use of artwork and decorative accessories
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Sleek, modern furniture pieces
                                • Multi-functional furniture pieces, emphasising minimalism
                                • Metal, concrete, and glass furniture materials


                                Eclectic Interior Design


                                With eclectic style, you have the freedom to mix and match different themes, colour schemes, and furniture choices to create a highly individualised and creative space. This style is perfect for people who love to collect unique pieces and appreciate the diversity and richness of different design styles. Plus, it allows for a lot of personal expression and creativity, making it a really fun way to decorate.

                                Whether you're living in HDB, a condo, or a landed property, the eclectic style can be adapted to suit your space and design preferences. It's a great way to inject some personality into your home and make it truly your own.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • A mixture of various interior styles, colour schemes, furniture, and decor choices
                                • Highly creative and individualised interior design approach
                                • Features lots of decorative pieces such as collections and artwork
                                • Balancing common design elements to create harmony among varying interior designs
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Furniture pieces with bold colours, patterns, and materials
                                • Statement furniture pieces with remarkable aesthetic appeal
                                • Statement accent furniture


                                Art Deco Interior Design

                                Art Deco

                                Art Deco interior design is a style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, characterised by bold geometric patterns, luxurious furniture and decorative materials, and a focus on modern technology and industrial design. It is a highly decorative and glamorous style describing the optimism and prosperity of the era.

                                When we think about Art Deco interior design, luxury and opulence often come to mind since it's frequently used in high-end hotels, restaurants, and theatres. It can also be adapted to HDB and BTO interiors. If you have high ceilings and large windows, the bold and decorative elements of Art Deco interior design can be fully appreciated.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Luxury and opulence
                                • Symmetrical designs and bold color contrasts
                                • Rich textures such as velvet, silk, and satin
                                • Use of mirrors, metallic accents, and exotic elements
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Angular and streamlined furniture pieces
                                • Furniture with bold upholstery design
                                • Furniture featuring geometric shapes


                                Farmhouse Interior Design


                                Farmhouse interior design, based on its name, draws inspiration from the simple and rustic charm of traditional farmhouses. A warm and welcoming atmosphere, natural materials, and a blend of vintage and contemporary elements make up this relaxing interior design. This focuses on natural materials and textures, such as wood, stone, and exposed brick. The colour palette is typically neutral, with white and beige being the dominant colours, and natural wood tones and black accents are often used as contrast.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Emphasises cosy and comfortable style
                                • Lots of natural materials and textures, such as wood, stone, and exposed brick
                                • Neutral colour palette
                                • Plenty of textiles to  add warmth and texture to the space
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Mix of vintage and modern furniture pieces
                                • Sturdy and functional furniture pieces
                                • Furniture pieces with weathered, worn look


                                Coastal Interior Design


                                Coastal interior design draws inspiration from the seaside and the beach. This fresh and breezy style is characterised by its light and airy colours, natural textures, and a relaxed, casual feel. It also emphasises connection to nature, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a laid-back and calming aesthetic.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Light and neutral colour palette, with shades of blue, beige, white, and grey
                                • Simple and functional interior design, with a focus on comfort and relaxation
                                • Features seashells, driftwood, and other beach-inspired accessories
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Furniture pieces made from natural materials
                                • Comfortable seating with light-colored fabrics such as linen or cotton, and often have slipcovers
                                • Natural materials such as bamboo, seagrass, or rattan can also be used for coastal furniture pieces


                                Bohemian Interior Design


                                Bohemian interior design draws inspiration from the artistic and unconventional lifestyle of Bohemian culture. It is a colourful, eclectic, and often whimsical style that celebrates self-expression and creativity. The boho style celebrates individuality and creativity and is often associated with a love of travel, art, and music. It focuses on creating a warm, inviting space with a relaxed and casual atmosphere.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Rich and vibrant colour palette, with jewel tones and earthy hues
                                • Lots of patterns, ethnic prints and florals
                                • Use of textiles such as rugs, throws, and pillows to add colour and life to the space
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • A comnination of vintage or second-hand furniture pieces
                                • Mix of furniture styles and eras
                                • Bright upholstery and vibrant prints


                                Japandi Interior Design


                                Japandi interior design is a really interesting style that fuses together the design philosophies of Japan and Scandinavia. It's all about combining the functional and minimalist elements of Scandinavian design with the natural and traditional features of Japanese style. This creates a really unique look that's both simple and serene, but also expressive.

                                In Japandi style, you'll see a lot of minimalist furniture options, along with natural elements like wood and stone. The colour palette is often neutral, with pops of muted or pastel colours for a bit of visual interest. If you're someone who appreciates simplicity and clean lines, but also wants to incorporate some natural and traditional elements into your home, then Japandi interior design might be the perfect option for you. It's a really beautiful and calming style that can work in a variety of spaces and with different budgets.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Sense of calm and serenity
                                • Use of earth tones and neutral colors like white, black, gray, and beige
                                • Use of natural materials, such as wood, bamboo, and stone
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Furniture pieces with pieces with clean lines and simple shapes
                                • Pieces made from natural materials, incorporating the elements of Wabi-sabi
                                • Ergonomic furniture pieces that are both charming and functional


                                Hollywood Glam Interior Design

                                Hollywood Glam

                                Also known as Hollywood Regency, Hollywood glam takes inspiration from the glamour and luxury of Hollywood's golden age in the 1920s and 1930s. It is characterised by bold colours, luxurious materials, and glamorous accents. This can be seen in using geometric shapes and bold graphic patterns.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Features bold colours such as deep blues, emerald greens, and rich reds
                                • Luxurious materials such as velvet, silk, and satin
                                • Use of mirrors to create the illusion of space
                                • Design inspirations from the Art Deco movement
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Furniture pieces with bold and expressive upholstery
                                • Furniture made from velvet, metal, or mirrored surfaces
                                • Pieces with curved lines and rounded edges


                                Shabby Chic Interior Design

                                Shabby Chic

                                Shabby chic interior design embraces a vintage and worn-in look, incorporating distressed or antiqued furniture and decor to create a comfortable, cosy, charming atmosphere. It is often associated with a romantic and feminine aesthetic characterised by soft colours, floral prints, and vintage-inspired details.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Soft and muted colour palette, including pastels such as pale pink, baby blue, and mint green
                                • Use of floral prints in upholstery, bedding, and curtains
                                • Romantic and feminine design elements
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Vintage or antique furniture and accents
                                • Furniture pieces made from natural materials such as linen, cotton, and burlap, as well as rustic woods and metals
                                • Pieces with distressed or worn-in look


                                Naturalist Interior Design

                                Naturalist Interior Design

                                Naturalist interior design focuses on bringing the beauty and tranquility of nature into your HDB space. The goal is to create a space that feels organic, warm, and inviting. This includes the use of natural materials, textures, and lots of curved lines.

                                Key Design Details:
                                • Use of colours inspired by nature, such as greens, browns, blues, and neutrals
                                • Soft, warm lighting to create a cosy and intimate atmosphere
                                • Natural shapes and forms, such as curved lines, soft edges, and asymmetrical shapes
                                Furniture Choice:
                                • Furniture made from eco-friendly furniture materials like wood, stone, and wool
                                • Lots of wood, woven pieces, and natural fibres
                                • Furniture pieces with natural curves and less angles


                                How to Choose Your Best Interior Design Theme

                                How to Choose Your Best Interior Design Theme

                                Consider Your Lifestyle

                                Your interior design should reflect your lifestyle. If you have young children or pets, for example, you may want to choose a theme that is durable and easy to clean. On the other hand, if you love to entertain, you may want to choose an interior design style that is sophisticated and elegant.

                                Take Inspiration from Your Surroundings

                                Your HDB or BTO's architecture, location, and natural surroundings can provide inspiration for your interior design theme.

                                Consider Your Colour Palette

                                Colour can play a major role in your interior design theme. Consider the colours you're drawn to and how they make you feel. Neutral colours like beige, white, and grey are timeless and versatile, while bold variations like red and purple can add drama and energy to your space.

                                Aim for a Cohesive Space

                                Your interior design theme should feel cohesive and flow seamlessly from room to room. Choose elements like furniture, lighting, and accessories that complement each other and work together to create a well-balanced look.

                                Don't Be Afraid to Mix and Match

                                While it's important to have a cohesive design theme, don't be afraid to mix and match elements from different styles. What we love the most about interior design is when we express ourselves through our space.


                                Tips to Achieve Your Best Interior Design Theme

                                Tips to Achieve Your Best Interior Design Theme

                                Achieving your best interior design theme takes time, effort, and careful planning. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect look for your home:

                                Start with a Plan

                                Before you start buying furniture and accessories, create a plan for your space. Consider your overall design style, colour palette, and the function of each room. This will help you create a cohesive look throughout your home.

                                Consider Your Lighting

                                Lighting plays a significant role in the look and feel of your home. Make sure to consider the natural light in your space and choose lighting fixtures that complement your design style. Consider adding dimmer switches to control the ambience of your space.

                                Mix Textures and Materials

                                A mix of textures and materials can add depth and interest to your space. Mix soft fabrics like velvet with hard materials like metal or wood to create a dynamic look.

                                Use Art and Accessories to Add Personality

                                Art and accessories can help bring your interior design theme to life. Choose pieces that reflect your style and add a pop of colour or texture to your HDB or BTO space.

                                Invest in Quality Pieces

                                Quality furniture pieces in Singapore will last longer and will help your space look and feel more polished. You can never go wrong by splurging on key furniture pieces like a comfortable sofa or a statement dining table.

                                Edit and Declutter

                                Less is often more regarding interior design. Edit and declutter your space regularly to keep it looking fresh and organised.


                                  Get the Best Furniture Pieces Based on Your Chosen Style

                                  Get the Best Furniture Pieces Based on Your Chosen Style

                                  Now that you know the essential interior design themes choosing the right furniture for your home can be easier. Once you select the vibe and schemes you want to achieve, you can shortlist your choices and buy the best pieces for your home!

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