Spending more time than ever in our homes in recent months has made us appreciate the importance of beautiful, functional interiors. In that spirit, we offer a visual guide to great decor, from the trendy to the timeless. Whether you are furnishing a new home, a second home, or simply reimagining your current nest, we hope these dream rooms will inspire you to craft interiors that suit your taste and your lifestyle.
Enduringly popular, Mid-Century Modern style is typified by uncluttered, frill-free interiors, ample natural light, and homages to Modernist art as well as 1960s Space Age shapes and surfaces. Furnishings and accents favor clean lines, gentle curves, and are as apt to incorporate nontraditional materials like vinyl, metal, and Lucite as they are to use organic ones like wood. Earth tones work well, but so do pops of bright color. In fact, the two are often combined.
Call it hipster traditionalism. Popular among 20- and 30-somethings, this style embraces nostalgic touches like ruffles and chintz, but with fresh, fun twists. Think needlepoint pillows with quirky sayings and antiques displayed on IKEA shelves. Grandmillennial is highly personalized and eclectic, but careful editing keeps it from going overboard into kitsch.
Japan and Scandinavia are 5,000 miles apart, but their design styles harmonize remarkably well. Both eschew fussy detail in favor of soothing simplicity, fine craftsmanship, and eco-friendly materials. All is streamlined to create an ambience of tranquility. Japandi mixes Scandinavia’s plentiful woods and whites—with occasional rustic, farmhouse pieces and cozy hygge accents—with Japan’s fondness for deeper colors and celebration of negative space.
A monochromatic makeover is among the easiest ways to make a room feel chic, spacious, and cohesive. Choose three gradients of one color family; use the lightest of the trio for large areas like walls and the darkest for select accents. To add interest, get creative with pattern, texture, and shape. Monochrome rooms needn’t be neutral: Bold hues like plum and lilac, or mango and melon, work well, too.
Reluctant to commit to a single style? Try transitional decor. It gives you freedom to meld contemporary pieces with classic ones without creating a hodgepodge—if you do it right. The secret lies in keeping all your furnishings to the same scale and resisting the urge to overdo it. Transitional interiors tend to be sleeker than traditional ones, mixing a limited number of looks or time periods and often expressing modernity with white or cream walls. Decorative accents are carefully curated and kept to a minimum.
—by Kathy Passero