RMM - July-22 - Ingrid Boyd

JULY 2022

Biophilic Design:

Creating a Home that Grows with Your Family Page 4



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courtesy of: Ingrid Boyd

Do you constantly feel overwhelmed and stressed, even when you’re in the comfort of your own home?

Your home should be a place where you can unwind, make memories with your family, and get away from the busy world outside. If your home doesn’t currently serve this purpose, it might be time to make some changes.

This month’s issue of Home Sweet Home Magazine is all about prioritizing your well-being. You’ll find an article about how to create a soothing, self-care sanctuary in your home — a space where you can relax, read a book, listen to a podcast, and just get away from the troubles of the world.

You’ll learn how to build a relaxing water feature in your backyard, so you can enjoy the sounds and sights of nature without leaving your home.

You’ll also find two articles about crafting the perfect interior design for your home, including an article about biophilic design — which incorporates plants and other natural elements to create a true indoor oasis.

And of course, if you or anyone you know is looking to make an even bigger change, I’d be happy to help you sell your current home and move into a space that checks all of these boxes and more. Contact me today to get a free home value estimate and take advantage of the hot summer selling market.

Best Wishes,

Ingrid Boyd Axe Realty NYC

917-946-8740 ingridb.yes@gmail.com www.ingridboydrealestate.com

209 W 242nd St, Bronx, NY 10471




The term biophilic is derived from biophilia, which translates from ancient Greek to life (bio) and love (philia). Biophilic design is rooted in a love of life. The guiding principle of biophilic design holds that people have an innate need to form and feel a connection with nature. SACRED SELF-CARE SANCTUARY: 8 STEPS TO CREATE A SPACE FOR SELF-CARE The term “sacred self-care sanctuary” might sound fancy, mysterious, over-the-top spiritual, even elitist. But at its simplest, a self-care sanctuary is a place or space completely dedicated to your rest, comfort, creativity, nurturing, and self- care, filled with items that help you feel good. MAKE A SPLASH: BIRDBATHS, FOUNTAINS, PONDS & OTHER WATER FEATURES Want to add beauty, dimension, and value to your backyard? Just add water! Special water features can transform a boring backyard into a glorious outdoor oasis. Learn how to create a space that will shield your yard from surrounding noise pollution, plus attract birds and other wildlife. WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN STYLE? TIPS FOR CREATING YOUR PERFECT INTERIOR SPACE Interior design plays a big part in how you feel when you’re in your home. Likewise, the colors, materials, finishes, details, metals, shapes, and even the number of items in a room tell a story of who you are as a person to anyone who enters your home.





Biophilic Design:


What is Biophilic Design? The term biophilic is derived from biophilia, which translates from ancient Greek to life (bio) and love (philia). Biophilic design is rooted in a love of life. The guiding principle of biophilic design holds that people have an innate need to form and feel a connection with nature. Scientific studies have shown that when people are surrounded by nature, they experience increased cognitive performance and an uplift in mood, as well as a significant drop in stress levels. Research also reveals that biophilic design is beneficial for physical and mental well-being. Lynne Clark and Eliza Barnett, owners of ClarkandClarkInteriors. com in Charlotte, N.C., specialize in biophilic design. This mother- daughter team believes your home should be a refuge that reflects your personal priorities, values and goals. People tend to live and focus on the demands of the present, and the future — even five to 10 years ahead — can seem far away. As Clark observes, “There are so many evolutions we do as we

Lynne Clark and Eliza Barnett of Clark and Clark Interiors.

still in the process of purchasing or building a home, since “a from-the- ground-up approach works well with biophilic design theory and the need for harmony.” Biophilic design is found in three core areas: architecture, interior design and outdoor spaces. By working with clients as they choose the structure of the home and what outdoor areas they intend to incorporate into their living and entertainment space, designers can create a natural flow that continues throughout the environment.

go through time that we cannot imagine that our needs are going to change because we’re living in the moment.” At the beginning of each new project, Clark and Barnett create “hyper-customized” interior design plans centered around an acknowledgment of the current needs of each client and their family, while simultaneously creating a space that will evolve as individual and functional needs change.

Clark explains that she often accompanies clients when they are


Nature as Inspiration

science, leading to the discovery of its ability to create a health- conscious, productive environment.

whether you look at the shape from close up or far away, the pieces that make up the shape are extremely similar to the shape as a whole. Examples of fractals in nature include plants such as ferns, leaves, clouds, snowflakes, scalloped seashells, pineapples and even animal skins. Clark points out that fractals surround us in our homes in brickwork, backsplashes and other elements we are not necessarily conscious of in our everyday lives. Yet, they work in harmony with other design elements to create a balance that makes the home an inviting place to be.

The concept of biophilic design as we know it today is credited to American biologist E.O. Wilson, who penned the book “Biophilia” in 1984. However, a look into world history shows that ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, often drew upon the flora and fauna to create decorative themes and symbols used in everything from architecture to pottery. Research shows that people find inspiration from forms and patterns seen in nature. It is only in the last few decades that biophilic design has been explored as it applies to

Elements of Biophilic Patterns

Along with color palettes and motifs inspired by nature, certain patterns are core characteristics of biophilic design.

These include the following: ▶ Fractals: Complex

mathematical shapes that form a pattern that continues to repeat. Another distinguishing quality of fractals is that


▶ Geometrics: Geometric

it stimulates the eye and draws attention to items or places in the space that are meant to be focal points, while also providing subtle differences in light and shade that align with our natural circadian rhythm to create an atmosphere that is both interesting and soothing.

the time to create a space for everything.” This is important because while biophilic design has a positive effect on overall well- being, clutter can be detrimental and lead to depression and a lack of productivity. Clutter also makes it impossible to maintain harmony and balance, the core tenets of biophilic design. Barnett takes this thought a step further, noting, “People tend to buy smaller products; so naturally, they end up with a bunch of small things. In turn, this creates clutter and tension versus creating a balance. Having a scale change between items in a space allows for the room to be filled in different capacities, creates contrast and allows the eye to connect the items while still [recognizing them as] individual pieces.” To facilitate a look made up of varying, yet complementary scales, Clark and Barnett encourage clients to “go bigger” when choosing lamps and rugs. This provides anchors for the space, creating that sense of connectivity so essential to biophilic design. Large-scale items also serve to mirror the expansiveness we see in nature. Remember, the key to biophilic design is balance. To maintain the proper balance, Barnett cautions clients to “Avoid any disjointing elements such as a lack of proportion.”

patterns are a staple of biophilic design and are inspired by shapes that appear repeatedly in nature, from the sphere of the sun and the crescent moon to stars and even the hexagon shape of a honeycomb. ▶ Biomorphic shapes: These shapes are often bulbous and frequently have curvy lines. These shapes are similar to and inspired by organic shapes found in nature. Prominent examples of biophilic fixtures include Tiffany lamps with motifs taken directly from nature and a fractal or repeating pattern. Claw-foot bathtubs and scalloped sinks are also classic examples of biophilic fixtures. Dynamic and Diffuse Lighting Using dynamic and diffuse lighting accounts for the fluctuation of light and shadow that occurs naturally as the day progresses into night and light falls into darkness. Diffuse lighting is effective on ceilings and walls and provides a soothing setting. Accent lighting and other light sources can be layered to focus interest on a particular area and add depth to a space.

Low Light Solutions

If you are in a home that does not have access to a lot of natural light, Clark and Barnett suggest employing a layering effect, using a combination of dimmers, the right paint colors, and adding textures such as velvets to create nuance. To create a lighter atmosphere, Clark and Barnett advise painting in lighter colors and using mirrors to reflect and disperse any available light. As Clark explains, “The correct combination of light and color creates energy spots.” Why It’s Better to Go Bigger with Your Décor Choices Clark encourages clients to avoid clutter “by being honest with yourself about where your bottlenecks are...and then taking

Combining dynamic and diffuse lighting serves a dual purpose:


A Renewed Need for Harmony and Balance

Challenges Related to Biophilic Design Barnett notes that biophilic design is really coming into its own with data to back up the fact that there is a healthy response to the environment it creates. She explains, “We as humans have a response to nature because it creates a level of stillness and calmness for the nervous system.” Despite the proven benefits of biophilic design, there are still challenges designers face when implementing it. According to Clark and Barnett, a common objection comes down to material selections. Homeowners often

to reinvent space and incorporate more outdoor space into living areas to increase functionality.


With the proper balance achieved, harmony follows. Living or working in an environment conducive to positivity and stability brings tranquility to our lives by meeting our innate need to feel a connection to our surroundings. The COVID-19 pandemic brought this need to feel a link to the outside world to the fore. Barnett explains, “The value meter on space went up because the home became the office, as well.” As a result, people began looking for innovative ways

Biophilic design is inherently environmentally conscious. Clark and Clark Interiors embraces sustainable, ethical standards in all aspects of the design process. This can be achieved by making sure the wood used in furnishings, cabinetry, etc., is either reclaimed wood or is sustainably harvested in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council.


differently, in what is known as attention restoration mode. This experience results in higher cognitive function and a feeling of relaxation.

throughout your home. 2. If allergies or plant maintenance are a concern, choose quality artificial plants or trees. 3. Bring a bit of nature indoors by displaying stones or seashells in a decorative glass bowl. 4. Hang paintings or pictures in your home that depict landscapes, seascapes or animals. These depictions of nature are known as “mimicry,” but they are effective. Research

prefer to use products that are maintenance free and non- sustainable such as plastics versus natural materials like marble, stone and raw wood. Tips for Incorporating Elements of Biophilic Design into Your Home:

5. Choose colors that occur in

nature — from rich earth tones such as greens and browns to neutrals and sky blue.

6. Select fabric and wallpaper patterns with fractals or

geometrics that are reminiscent of patterns and shapes repeated in nature.

shows that after looking at an image found in nature for 40 seconds, the brain begins to process information

1. Place living plants and/ or seasonal, fresh flowers


Sacred Self-Care Sanctuary:

and drinking wine, or going for a pedicure or massage. This is more about pampering, and while there’s nothing wrong with pampering, it’s quite different from self-care. Pampering is more about wants , while self-care focuses on needs . Whether you’re single or partnered or living with children, pets or roommates, everyone needs time alone to focus on themselves.

A “self-care sanctuary” is simply a place or space that is completely dedicated to your rest, comfort, creativity, nurturing, and self-care, filled with items that help you feel good. Having this kind of sanctuary can help you develop the discipline to devote time to your physical and mental well-being. Self-care is important, and it’s more than, and even different from, giving yourself a “night out,” taking a bubble bath, lighting candles

The term “ self-care sanctuary” might sound fancy, mysterious, over-the-top spiritual, even elitist. However, it’s a fairly straightforward (and important) concept. Think about all of the rooms and spaces in your home and yard: they all serve a purpose, right? Your kitchen, your bedroom, your bathroom, your closets, etc. But do you have a place that reminds you to slow down, be present, nurture your soul, and do things you enjoy?


For example, you might need art supplies and storage to keep them organized. You might need a spot for your musical instruments; incense and a yoga mat for yoga and meditation; enough floor room and some basic exercise equipment for working out; a bookshelf and books with a comfy chair and blanket for reading; a desk and writing materials for journaling or writing. You get the idea.

worries, and focus on yourself and the present moment. Whichever space you choose must be conducive to that.

Your sanctuary can be anywhere you choose. No, you don’t need to dedicate a separate room in your home. It’s often more practical and feasible to find space within an existing room, and dedicate that to your self-care. This could be in your bedroom, your basement, your bathroom, your office, an unused closet, or an outdoor space in your backyard.

Step 3. Clean & Declutter the Space

Step 1. Establish the Intention

Once you’ve chosen your space, you need to clean and declutter it — and then keep it that way. Get rid of any unnecessary items and clean it thoroughly. Use natural products as much as possible to avoid overusing harsh chemicals. To keep the air clean, to keep the area smelling nice, to promote healing, and to enhance the feeling of calm and relaxation, you can use essential oils and a diffuser, incense and candles. Houseplants can also purify the air and add to the aesthetic quality of a self-care sanctuary. If your space is outdoors, plant some flowers and greenery.

Step 2. Choose the Right Spot

Before you can select the right spot for your sacred self-care sanctuary and outfit it accordingly, you should decide on the specific intention of your special space. If you don’t know, take some time to think about it and plan. Will you use it for naps? Art? Crafts? Music? Yoga? Meditation? Exercise? Reading? Writing? Perhaps it will be a multipurpose space. There’s no right or wrong answer or reason; it’s all based on what you need most. Regardless, your intention for this space will determine everything that follows. Your space should be a place that you not only want to be, but need to be.

This is the second step in creating a self-care sanctuary: finding the right place within your home or yard. Without it, you won’t use the space and won’t develop the important self-care rituals and routines that you need. Consider a space near a window so that natural light is allowed to flow in. If possible, you should choose a space where you already enjoy spending time, and somewhere that elicits comfort, relaxation, and an escape from the everyday. You will need to be able to completely let go of the world and your current stresses, past mistakes, and future


Step 4. Ensure Comfort

with fans or an open window. White noise or background music might be preferred and necessary so you can focus and not become distracted from outside noise.

nice touch to your space. If there’s a window nearby, use it to your advantage, whether that means keeping it open for the view and natural light, or adding visually appealing curtains, window coverings, sun catchers, or hanging plants. You might also want to keep a basket of soothing skin care products, such as lip balm, hand cream, foot cream, moisturizer, and facial mist nearby. Make sure you outfit your space meaningfully. Don’t just use random décor because it’s “pretty.” Use personal, meaningful objects. Again, when decorating your space, remember your intended purpose . Note: Plants add a nice touch, regardless of purpose. If you’re not an avid gardener, fear not. There are plenty of plants that are low maintenance and resilient, and that you’re unlikely to kill.

& Promote Relaxation

Don’t forget to keep in mind your intended purpose .

Any self-care sanctuary space needs to be both comfortable and relaxing. Furniture (if applicable) and accessories will be important here. There are many options, and they’ll depend on what type of space you choose — as well as its size. A comfy chair, sofa, lounger, or daybed could work. Or consider something a little less conventional, such as a hammock. Accents include different types of pillows, as well as blankets of various textures and weights. Also, think about temperature and changing seasons. For some people, comfort means generally feeling cozy and warm, with lots of blankets and perhaps a plug-in heater or electric fireplace nearby. Other people prefer cool and breezy,

Step 5. Add Visual Appeal

In order for your sacred self-care sanctuary to do its job, it must not only function in comfort and relaxation, but also serve as a place of beauty and inspiration. You can have all the cleanliness, privacy, and comfort in the world, but without visual inspiration, the picture is not complete.

For example, unique artwork, special photographs, and inspirational posters can add a


Step 6. Keep It Simple Even though you’ll want your sacred self-care sanctuary to be comfortable, relaxing, conducive to your intention, and visually appealing, you also don’t want to go overboard. So keep it simple and streamlined. Be as minimal as possible. Too much “too muchness” will only distract you and hinder your ability to transition into a self-care mindset. It will create “mind clutter.” Think about your sanctuary’s feng shui for energy flow. An open, spacious area will lead to an open, spacious mind and experience.

Step 7. Create Boundaries

Step 8. Use Your Space Regularly After all the thought, time, energy, and effort you’ve put into creating and maintaining your self-care sanctuary, don’t forget to actually use it! Life is busy and messy, and stress can easily get in the way. But this is exactly why you’ve created this special area for self-care, remember? So don’t ignore or neglect your sanctuary. Honor the intention you’ve set for it. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Use it daily if you can. Start with five minutes a day, and choose a specific time to use the space. Put it in your calendar. Set reminders on your phone and around the home. This will help you get into the mindset and to establish the habit of using your space regularly to get the most out of it.

Remember, this is your sacred space, so you’ll need to set some boundaries, especially if you live with other people and/or animals. For most people, this is not a shared space; it’s their very deeply personal space. For others, it can be a shared space that includes some friends and family. However, if it’s meant to be yours and yours alone, be sure this is communicated clearly and ask those who live with you, and those who visit you, to respect this area and your personal self-care time. If you have young children, build your sanctuary somewhere that’s not easily accessible to your children and plan your self-care time when your kids are asleep or being watched by a partner or caregiver.


Make a Splash:

Many homeowners neglect their yards and don’t turn them into outdoor livable and enjoyable spaces. If you want to add beauty, dimension, and value to your backyard, just add water! Special water features can transform a boring backyard into a glorious outdoor oasis.


your mental state, mood, and energy through sound and sight. It’s true most backyards don’t contain long flowing streams and full waterfalls, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reproduce the concept in a smaller, more manageable, and budget-friendly format.

butterflies) in your neighborhood. In fact, many species of birds prefer birdbaths over bird feeders. Plus, there are a wide variety of designs to choose from, such as the classic pedestal, fountain designs, misted birdbaths, heated birdbaths for year-round use, and even a hanging birdbath. Also, if you have the budget, why stop with just one? You could place a variety of sizes and unique styles throughout your backyard and garden. Of course, you want to keep in mind the safety of the birds. Your birdbath should have gradually sloping walls, slip-resistant surfaces, and water that is fresh, shallow and free of chemicals.

So why add a water feature in your backyard when you could simply focus on keeping a well- manicured lawn or growing a garden full of colorful flowers and fresh vegetables and herbs? Water features: ▶ Set your home apart ▶ Make your backyard a more dimensional, attractive, and enjoyable space to spend time ▶ Provide a calm, cooling, soothing oasis ▶ Shield your yard from surrounding noise pollution ▶ Create and support a small

Here are some ideas for water features that will complete your backyard aesthetic:

#1. Birdbaths

Birdbaths are, without a doubt, the most common backyard water feature. They’re classic, simple and easy to install, with the added benefit of providing drinking and bathing water to the birds (and

“microclimate” by attracting birds and other wildlife and pollinators

Finally, featuring water as a focal point can add to the salability of your home should you decide to put your home on the market one day. In the meantime, your water feature can make your yard an even more enjoyable space, providing a sort of escape from the everyday. And this leads to perhaps one of the greatest benefits of having a water feature in your backyard: psychological.

It’s been proven that being near moving (versus still) water improves


#2. Water Fountains

Fountains come in different shapes, including tall, spherical, and tiered. There are also lots of different materials, including stainless steel, cement, and even brass and copper. One contemporary option is a rain fountain, which mimics the soothing sound of rainwater and suits any size of backyard, thanks to its flat design. If you have limited space, consider a hanging water wall fountain.

different types of ponds, but you want to be sure to consider location first and foremost. No matter which type of pond you select, make sure the pond won’t get too much sun or shade in your backyard. Balance is critical. Ponds need about four to six hours of sunlight during the day so they remain clean and algae- free — especially if you choose a koi pond or other pond that includes goldfish, other fish, and/or tropical plants such as lilies, zebra rush, and pickerelweed. Your pond should also be free and clear of runoff rainwater, which could disrupt the pond’s natural ecosystem.

Fountains are one of the more popular and user-friendly options for backyard water features. There are all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles of water fountains, so you can easily find one that suits your tastes, budget, and size of your backyard. On their own, fountains can make quite the dramatic statement. However, they can also accent your garden, patio, pond, waterfall, etc. Many people don’t want their water fountain to be too overwhelming, so be sure to consider your overall space and aesthetic before making your choice.

#3. Ponds

The miniature pond is another popular choice, but requires more work and maintenance, as well as time and money. There are few


You need a pump, a pot (any size will do), preferably with a hole for the pump, and a fountain or source of water, and boom! You’ve got constant bubbling water in your backyard or on your deck. You can also find pre-packaged and freestanding, ready-to-go options. Your bubbling container should be near an outdoor outlet, so consider that when you’re choosing its spot. Consider also adding a few goldfish to your pot (just remember to take care of them), as they can eat mosquito and other insect larvae. Bubbling containers are easy to work with and can be plenty of fun, so use your imagination. For example, you could buy a handful of different sizes and heights of pots and cluster them together decoratively. Other ideas to look into for backyard water features include Japanese water gardens, which are very soothing and quiet; rock ponds and rock gardens; small garden creeks; outdoor showers; classic backyard pools; spas; and special water features for stairways.

You can build a waterfall that flows into a pond or have a free-standing structure. Many homeowners add waterfalls as extensions of their ponds (or have them installed together). However, these traditional waterfall- pond combination installations are often complex, expensive, and high-maintenance. In “pondless” waterfalls, water flows down rocks or a wall onto a bed of gravel, which covers a basin that catches the water and pumps it back up. This type of waterfall is easier on the budget, easier to install, easier to maintain, and lends itself as a better option for those whose backyard space is limited. Water walls or fences are particularly appropriate for small backyards and can even work well on balconies.

Most ponds should be a minimum of two feet deep and three feet wide, though the width can be expanded if you have a bigger backyard and if you would prefer a larger pond. So how do you start building your pond? After determining the location and size, start digging. It’s a good idea to create a shelf along the edge for planting any vegetation and lining the area with waterproof plastic. Then fill the hole with water! You might also wish (or need) to install a pump. An easy alternative to digging is sinking into the ground large containers, such as tubs, and then filling them with water. One type of pond is a koi pond, which is akin to an outdoor aquarium. They’re essentially large outdoor ponds for koi fish to swim in. You can buy koi pond installation kits or hire a landscape designer. Koi ponds are peaceful and playful, but require careful installation and regular maintenance, so make sure to do your research first.

#5. Bubbling Containers

If your square footage is limited, consider a bubbling container (also known as bubbler fountain), which is probably the most compact water feature available. These compact recirculating water fountains are also recommended for small spaces like city decks and patios.

#4. Waterfalls

Waterfalls can be absolutely mesmerizing. You can create your very own makeshift waterfall in your backyard to create a soothing experience, create shade, divide up your backyard, and add dramatic effect.


What’s Your Design Style?

Interior design plays a big part in how you feel when you’re in your home. Likewise, the colors, materials, finishes, details, metals, shapes, and even the number of items in a room tell a story of who you are as a person to anyone who enters your home. Interior design can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know where or how to start. Nobody wants to spend time and money making changes they won’t like in the long run. Before you begin revamping your space, consider the outcome you’re hoping for by understanding the design style that most appeals to you.



floor plan with copious natural light. There are no unnecessary items, and the few pieces that are chosen will most certainly serve at least one purpose in the space. If the concept of ‘less is more’ resonates with you, minimalism may be your design style.

Are you into rustic appeal, or do you prefer minimalism? Perhaps you’re more traditional or vibe with characteristics of boho. You can find inspiration in magazines, books, and online. But when you find a look that speaks to you, you’ll want to know where it falls in the interior design spectrum. It’s much easier to filter searches online and communicate your furniture and textile needs when shopping in person. These are some clearly defined styles to help you identify your own design preferences: Minimalist/Zen A minimalist interior design style focuses on only the essentials. The trickle of water, clean lines, and clutterless spaces are central elements of the minimalist trend. Minimalism is about being able to move freely without being weighed down by stuff. Minimalists understand that a zen atmosphere feeds creativity and personal growth. With that in mind, furniture is functional, and the color palette is mostly neutral with whites, grays, bieges, and browns. Minimalist design typically embraces an open

It layers in the texture of heavy wood, eye-catching curved designs, engraved leaves and other tidbits of nature, and a touch of floral from the boho realm for endless combinations that range from Victorian to aristocratic. Shabby chic design gives you the opportunity to mix and match family heirlooms with quilts, a stainless steel tea set, and ornate mirrors, but it’s also a way of expressing a love of nature. French country signifies everything that combines a touch of glamor with rustic appeal, along with the warmth of your great grandmother’s home. Industrial If the name conjures up images of a warehouse, you’re not completely off track. Although this design style can be stark and mechanical, industrial can be softened with materials that counterbalance the typical metal, concrete, rustic wood, and leathers central to the design. Industrial architectural design is defined by exposed brick, ductwork,

Shabby Chic

The hugely popular shabby chic style, also known as French country, combines an assortment of elements from other design styles. In fact, shabby chic effectively captures and combines tidbits from hundreds of years of design. It’s an interior design that leans into vintage furniture and furnishings, antique lighting, rustic accents, and distressed finishes. In a bit of contrast, ornate carvings in the baroque style find their way into the mix. Even reflective metallic pieces have their place. Shabby chic also includes feminine touches like lace, historically associated with Victorian or country design. The color palette includes soft shades of pink, blue, cream, and rose. Natural fibers and live plants soften the edges of other statement

and pipes, along with large windows for natural light,


Traditional Traditional interior design is based on classic designs that speak to the original look and feel of furniture. It’s probably the single most popular design style due to its foundation in 18th- and 19th-century European styles. Traditionally decorated rooms benefit from a timeless appeal that never goes out of style. They’re not attention grabbing or ornate. Instead, traditional interior design offers a comfortable and conventional look that is familiar. You won’t find Instagram trends here. Just universally neutral upholstery, matching tables and furniture sets in a simple design, and pieces that are inviting and functional.

embellishments or ornamentation. Lighting fixtures is where industrial design really “shines.” If copper, oil rubbed bronze, iron, pulley systems, brass, or ribbed glass appeals to you, industrial might be your style. Contemporary Contemporary spaces are marked by many of the same elements as minimalist design, including sleek furniture, a highly organized space with simple decor, and lack of clutter. Contemporary style embraces grays, beiges, and shades of white, and eliminates bold colors, textures, and prints. Contemporary design can feel like an art gallery and often features high-end art pieces in sculptures and wall art. Think of it as minimalist plus.

open floor plans, and large beams and columns. This interior design style got its start with these spaces, when they were converted into residential lofts many years ago. Interior design components that match the industrial style include powder-coated light shades, leather furnishings, industrial metal accent pieces, hammered tin or copper finishes (even on the ceiling), rolling doors, and the use of upcycled materials. Furniture features clean lines with visible metal frames, and a sturdy and durable vibe (nothing dainty here). Tables may be concrete or a combination of wood and metal with proudly exposed hardware. They often feature rustic elements such as welded edges. Industrial tables are all about function and sleek design. There will be no


Coastal Close your eyes and imagine the waves of the ocean lapping outside your living room window. That’s the feel of a coastal theme. Colors are often associated with the blues and greens of the water, beige of the sand, and natural whites and creams. Furniture is comfortable, perhaps of linen or a similar fabric, and may be overstuffed. Soft, lightly patterned throw pillows and blankets invite cozying up to a fire or an ocean view. Accent pieces include shells, driftwood, wind chimes and nature art. If natural materials such as jute, rope, hemp, and glass catch your eye, the coastal vibe might be your design style.

Boho or Bohemian

Furniture is functional but also makes a statement. This is a themed style, often reflecting features in homes from the ’50s to the ’80s. It’s a colorful mixture of shapes and forms that aim to make a statement. Your design style might be retro if you’re obsessed with classic appliances, bright shades of couch fabric or a booth table from a ’50s cafe.

Boho is a design style all its own. It’s all about color, contrast, texture, and enticing visual appeal throughout the space. Bohemian interior design is playful and vibrant. It relies heavily on natural and organic materials such as cane, rattan, and bamboo. Fabrics are colorful, often including a range of reds, oranges, yellows and greens. Contrasting and overlapping patterns are all welcome. A boho space will not be defined as sleek, minimalist, or contemporary. Instead, it embraces the free spirit of whatever inspires it. Retro/Kitsch The retro or kitsch interior design style comes from combining a variety of patterns, textures, and colors to create a classic look.

Modernism/ Futurism

Heading into the other end of the spectrum, some interior design is strictly focused on the future. This is an easy design style to pick out, distinguished by long lines that create a sense of speed and urgency. It might feel like walking into a spaceship or ultra-modern restaurant.

Mid-century Modern

It’s a style that never really seems to go away. Mid-century modern is all about the types of furniture that were common throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Look for tufted couches, dark tapered legs on chairs, curved coffee tables, and geometric design elements. MCM is mostly a focus on functional elements with clean lines and pops of color.


Farmhouse and Modern Farmhouse


creams, pale greens, muted yellows, and vintage style floral patterns. Accent pieces can be anything from floral throw pillows to rustic elements like a teapot, a log holder, a quilt rack or a basket with knitting supplies. Part of the appeal of cottagecore is that it doesn’t represent real life. If this is your style, you may be drawn to romanticized versions of rural life with small twinkling lights, candles, incense, and soft decor like cozy blankets and decorative pillows. Think linen and lace tablecloths, floral dishware and cotton curtains with dainty roses or vine patterns. Furniture can be blocky, heavy, and dated. They are often thrift store finds, or pieces handed down through the generations. If your dream room is made up of mismatched side tables next to an aged white bed frame coupled with a quilt and a few carefully selected books like Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, and Little House on the Prairie, this is your design style.

Cottagecore is a relatively new interior design style that is characterized by a combination of pieces from different eras. It includes lace and flowers, antique furniture, wallpaper, distressed pieces, metal, and wood all in the same space. When discussing what Cottagecore is, it’s almost more about what it is not. It’s not contemporary or urban or techie. It’s not bustling or hectic or modern. Cottagecore is about creating a space that repels the hustle of daily life. The colors and textures of cottagecore are aimed at simplicity, minimalism without starkness, and a sense of a prior era before technology. A little bit rustic with a dash of English and a healthy serving of country, Cottagecore expresses the romantic countryside minimalism that marks the design. The interior design theme of cottagecore incorporates animals, nature, plants, and peaceful colors. The color palette revolves around

For the past 10 years or more, the farmhouse style has resonated everywhere from the city to the suburbs. Perhaps it’s a way to bring the farm into the urban lifestyle or maybe it speaks to our need to incorporate elements of the outdoors into the home, but there’s just something homey about the farmhouse style. Distressed wood, old picture frames, chicken wire accents, chalkboard walls or signs, and wire baskets are all popular choices here. The idea behind farmhouse interior design is to create the feeling of simplicity associated with remote farm life. Farmhouse interior design is monochromatic with beiges and creams, along with black and gray. Modern farmhouse adds more white to the mix, updating the classic look. Both styles rely on the use of natural materials in furniture and accessories, such as wood, cotton, wicker, and stone. Farmhouse features practical design elements combined with rustic appeal. It’s a look described as cozy but stylish and is achieved with a mixture of vintage pieces alongside modern selections. Yet all pieces are chosen for comfort and function.


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