What is an interior design style?
All the objects from a room (ex. like furniture, appliances, fabrics, paintings, flooring, lighting, architectural elements and wall colors) and the way they connect and relate to each other, in order to provide unity, represent the style of the room.
How styles can help?
Choosing to decorate your home according to a particular aesthetic or by combining different styles (to better express your personality) can be very helpful in many ways. Providing guidelines and rules, a design style or theme can help you narrow down all the possible choices to a reasonable number of combinations which can be dealt with easier. Such guidelines can help you with major tasks, like coloring or layouts, and even with specific details, like fabrics or using aesthetic objects. Another feature of any design style is its age. Used over time, styles are enriched and improved with ideas discovered by designers in their attempt to create unique designs. You can enrich your knowledge about a particular aesthetic by reading about it or analyzing applied examples of that style. Combining these methods will lead you to a better style awareness. Style theory will help you understand the symbolism of every design element and its placement inside a room; while practical examples will help you visualize how design rules are applied.
A few style examples
Styles can get their names from the historical period they when they were used, such as contemporary style, retro or vintage style, modern style. From the geographical region of their origins, such as French Country, Tuscan, Swedish. From the occasion types they must serve, like casual style or formal design.
If you really like a particular design of course you can go with it from one end to the other of your decoration endeavor, but making the most out of the infinite choices available today can be done by combining different styles. Use different styles for different rooms or even for the same room. For example, have your study room in the Victorian style, for a more sophisticated atmosphere that seems transposed over time, your kitchen with Swedish design to utilize and accessorize it better and for the living room a combination of minimalist and Feng Shui design for a greater relaxing effect.
Define your own style
After studying your favorite designs for a while, you will unconsciously start developing your own method. You will make subjective selections of what you like and dislike from each design. The sum of the elements you like will define your design style. Before applying your own ideas, is always better to ask a professional to make sure you won't spent your money on something that doesn't fit well together. For example, it might not be a very good choice to place a Gothic design element inside a room with a predominant minimalist design. To be sure you're doing the right thing, have your ideas reviewed by a professional designer.
If you want to develop your own interior decoration style, start studying styles which cover basic and major design features first (Casual, Formal, Contemporary, Country, Traditional) followed by styles that feature influences around the world (French Country, Tuscan, Swedish) and for the last touch styles covering flavor providing elements (Rustic, Tropical Chic, Western).