Finding Your Style

finding your style

Defining your personal design style, with help from eight of our favorite interior designers

Text by Jasmine Bible + Bryan Frost

There’s no denying that when you walk into a well-designed home, there’s an urge to stay a while longer—to linger a bit. But when it comes to designing your own home, it can feel overwhelming if you haven’t ever found a defined, personal style. To help you discover what resonates most, let’s take a look at seven of today’s most well-known and commonly used design styles, and designers who emulate each.

As you browse through these styles, make note of the components that speak to you. Is it a color palette, furniture arrangement, or the use of interesting artwork? All of our designer experts agree: start keeping tabs of what piques your interest. Regardless of what’s on trend or not, find what truly speaks to you. Then step back and try to identify the commonality of repetition, and narrow in on it. You might just find your personal style is already out there, just waiting for you to fall in love.

CURATED BOHEMIAN
AKA: Boho, Boho Chic, Bohemia

This is a worldly, whimsical, and free-spirited approach to design that mixes natural materials, organic textures, and often includes well-worn vintage pieces. Wicker, rattan, and macrame are cornerstones of the look. Greenery and tropical elements (hello palm fronds!) bring life to these spaces.

Designer: BRYAN FROST
Instagram: @BLACKAWNING

“My favorite bohemian elements are attributed to the countries Morocco and Mexico due to their rich artisan-based anthropology.”

 

GET THE BOHEMIAN LOOK

 

ART-FORWARD ECLECTIC
AKA: Curated, Art-Focused, Bauhaus

When art takes center stage and a room evolves around it, we can label it “Art-Forward.” The art itself becomes the focal point from which all other design elements take their cue. To retain balance, a strict color palette is derived from the artwork. Traditional and vintage elements mingle with amusing, whimsical, and expressive pieces. Welcoming, unique, and thought-provoking spaces characterize the look.

Designer: NATALIE PAPIER
Instagram: @HOME_EC_OP

“I have a strong belief that homes should be a reflection of the people who live in them: full of life, color, character, and warmth.”

 

GET THE ART-FORWARD ECLECTIC LOOK

 

MODERN AMERICANA
AKA: Country, Modern Cowboy, Farmhouse

A modern take on a bygone era, warm woods and vintage furnishings set the foundation for traditional patterns like checks, plaids, folk prints, and restrained florals. There’s a beautiful juxtaposition of rugged and refined. Classic, comfortable, warm, and inviting…with bonus points for bricks and fireplaces.

Designer: MAX HUMPHREY
Instagram: @MAXWHUMPHREY

“My style could be described as Modern Americana, Ralph Lauren obsessed, pretend cowboy, New England born, filtered through a woodsy Pacific Northwest lens.”

 

GET THE MODERN AMERICANA LOOK

  • Paint: Frozen by clare.com
  • Sofa: Chesterfield Sofa in Cortina Walnut Brown Leather, $3,690, rogerandchris.com
  • Book: Lodge: An Indoorsy Tour of America’s National Parks by Max Humphrey, $40, amazon.com
  • Wallpaper: Pacific Northwest, Traditional Wallpaper, $135/roll, chasingpaper.com

 

TRANSITIONAL
AKA: Updated Traditional, Relaxed Traditional, Modern Mix

Transitional design features a balance of traditional and modern elements, retaining the class and elegance of the past, while forgoing the stuffiness of heavily woven fabrics, tassels, or ornate lace. This style appeals to a wide audience and feels approachable, calming, and balanced. Saturated colors, tailored textures, and artwork are placed with a delicate hand, while feminine and masculine elements play in harmony.

Designer: LILY BROWN, ASSOCIATE ASID, LEED AP
Instagram: @LILYBROWNINTERIORS

“I consider myself a reluctant traditionalist. I love exploring and playing with modern and whimsical design, balanced with classical elements. I find that the tension between old and new, serious with fun, is what creates the most dynamic interiors.”

GET THE TRANSITIONAL LOOK

 

MINIMALIST
AKA: Scandinavian, Scandi, Japandi, Hygee

The sleekest of all the design styles, this clean, restrained, and strict approach takes dedication. Utilizing limited colors and objects leads to a strong visual impact. Bold angles, interesting shapes, whites, and warm woods are defining characteristics. An abundance of natural light is paramount.

Designer: KAREN YUNG + DONALREY NIEVA
Instagram: @HIGHCLIFFE.HOUSE

“Weʼre generally attracted to clean, minimal design but also like interesting shapes and fabrics that provide texture and variety. The dining room light fi xture was a splurge, but we knew it was something that would tie the room together!”

 

GET THE MINIMALIST LOOK

 

MAXIMALIST
AKA: Bold, Baroque, Never Too Much

More is more when it comes to this style. More colors, more patterns, more texture. A mixing of vintage pieces, unique one-of-a-kind objects, modern elements, and often some original creations. Loud patterns mingle with bold colors and luxe textures. These spaces make a high visual and an emotional, energizing impact.

Designer: DANIELLE McKIM
Instagram: @TUFTINTERIORS

“There is never too much in my opinion. When you walk into my home your eyes are drawn to so many diff erent things but it works and in the end, you are enveloped in a home that tells a story.”

GET THE MAXIMALIST LOOK

 

MODERN
AKA: Contemporary, Current, Industrial


A style defined by clean lines and a neutral, monochromatic color palette. Furniture is often placed in a balanced, symmetrical, and linear manner. An abundance of natural light is a defining trademark. Restraint is exhibited when it comes to accessories, opting for sculptural elements and abstract art.

Designer: MERCEDES KERRISON
Instagram: @ABODE_STAGING

“Elements of my personal design style include incorporating minimalist furnishings and abstract art combined with a bold pop of color and pattern. I tend to gravitate toward curved and sculptural furnishings.”

GET THE MODERN LOOK

  • Paint: Timeless by clare.com
  • Art: Terrazzo Print by Kara Schlabaugh, $132, minted.com
  • Pillow: Dreamscape Watercolor Pillow, 18″, $59, cb2.com
  • Chair: Jagger Dining Chair in Natural, $699, arhaus.com

 

~ From the pages of NEST…We shared this story with you in the Summer 2023 issue of NEST Magazine. To subscribe to NEST Magazine, click here  — and be sure to follow us on Instagram @NestRealty

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Posted in Asheville, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Jackson, Lake Norman, Morganton, NEST Magazine, New River Valley, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Roanoke, Shenandoah Valley, Summer 2023, Wilmington
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