5 home décor styles

Many of us swoon over beautiful pictures in home décor magazines and websites, but when it comes to decorating our own homes, we are often not sure how to go about it.

The task becomes a little easier once we understand the basics. A good starting point is to identify your favourite décor style. Then do some planning, and finally shop for furniture in the style that matches your inclinations, your space and your budget. Consider these five popular home décor styles.

Beach style

Think breezy, light, open and airy! The distinctive traits of beach or coastal home décor are aqua hues, blue and white stripes, decorative accents that incorporate sea shells, driftwood, paintings or photographs of seascapes, ships or lighthouses.

If you love this style but feel it would be out of place in every room of your home situated in a busy city with no body of water in sight, go for a compromise and give the beach-style look only to your bathroom.

Scandinavian style

Simple, warm and cheerful are the adjectives that best describe Scandinavian style. To achieve the clean and spacious look that is the hallmark of Scandinavian style, go for natural light-coloured wood and simple geometric lines. Choose a neutral colour scheme (cream, beige, blond, white and grey), but do not forget to add some bright accents here and there. And pay special attention to lighting! Make use of natural light to make a space feel bigger and brighter and install a variety of light sources to achieve the same atmosphere when night falls.

Minimalist style

Minimalist style is not about having less, but about showing less. Furnish your home only with the essentials, and keep everything else out of sight, in the cabinets or boxes. The final look should be simple and streamlined. The furniture is typically in geometric shapes, with clean surfaces. The colour scheme is either black and white or a single neutral colour theme, with just one or two paintings and perhaps a rug to add colour. As for ornaments, either do not have any, or have one or two strong, minimalist-design pieces.

Open spaces are de rigueur in a minimalist home. To achieve that look, reduce the number of walls and have lots of light pouring in, from natural and artificial sources.

Industrial style

An open floor plan is the optimal layout for an industrial style home. Embrace the raw look and feel: unfinished walls, aged brick, metal pipes, exposed beams and bare windows. Industrial-type floors are concrete, wood, or other pragmatic material. Colours are natural, muted shades of browns and greys. Keep the furniture simple, without excess frills or adornment. You can add some colour with plants, rugs, abstract art or old traffic signs.

French country style

French country style blends elegance with simplicity. It draws its charm on the basis of the contrast achieved by placing the rough, rustic and raw elements next to the ornate, intricate and elegant details. In fabrics, go for a variety of textures and patterns. Mix toile and gingham and put stripes and floral designs side by side, making sure to keep things harmonious by coordinating colours within the patterns.

Country-friendly themes such as representations of roosters, olives, sunflowers, grapes and lavender are a wonderful addition to any space decorated in French country style.

If you feel that any single style stifles your freedom of expression, feel free to mix and match. An antique cabinet or antique sofa can look great in a Scandinavian or minimalist room, or a Persian rug in a n industrial-style space. Anything goes, as long as it creates a space that pleases you.