My Top 10 Favorite Styles in Interior Design – Part 1

Creativity is a drug I cannot live without. ~ Cecil Demille

Jumping back to the years I spent in college to finish Fine Arts focusing on Interior Design. I recall having so much fun studying this discipline.

Over the years, most of the jobs I’ve had, is related into it one way or another, and when I’m free, I practiced it. Even at my own home.

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It wasn’t easy coming up with this, it took me days to complete my research. I didn’t mind because researching is synonymous to learning and I strongly believe that learning is an everyday thing. One of the articles that helped me a lot to finish this blog is by Maryam Taheri, she is a blogger too. Her blog about the 10 basic elements of design is so rich in information and knowledge which I need to in my content.

When I was in college, there are only 7 elements in Design: line, color, shape, texture, size (or scale), value and space [ Well, as far as I can recall! ahaha!]. Now, there’s 10: Add typography, dominance and/or emphasis, balance and harmony. However, another important thing I kept in my heart are the principles of Design which some are included in Maryam Taheri’s list.

Because Designing is a matter of incorporating things like in cooking, there are ingredients needed to make a perfect dish. And if one or two is missing, the desired result will not materialized. Or over the years, Designing has evolved too. Evolution or Innovation is truly inevitable. I’m in my 40s now, and when I was in my 20s, in principles of Marketing, it is only 4s: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Now it’s already 8s: Add People, Processes, Physical Evidence and Productivity. So I think, that’s just it, we really need to be resilient to change. =)

Just recently, I took charge of converting this shop somewhere in our town into a Rustic themed shop since it is the owner’s favorite theme and most of the products she’s selling are relevant to it. She sells wooden and carved items from Paete, Laguna.

Paete is known to be the seat of the best wood carvings you’d find in the Philippines. It’s quality just gets better and better through the years. They are open to improvements, are innovative and of course very patient and their attention to details? Is truly unquestionable. There’s a prestige if you have a piece of their artwork in your homes or offices.

My client fell in love with Rustic themed decors at a very young age, and she is just a girl fulfilling her dream. She owns now a Rustic themed shop. I, personally, loved that Rustic charm too. It is ubiquitous enough to be matched with other Interior Design themes like with my first love: the Boho Chic theme.

I am now in this process of converting my living room (and hopefully the rest of the house soon) into a Boho chic abode. And this study made me learn so much. Below is my mood board, which made me come up with the top 10 styles as my favorites! =)

My Dream board! =) <links of photos reflected at the end of this blog.>

So here’s my top 10 favorite styles in Interior Designing. Find out what are they! =)


This style is actually simple if you carefully focused on it. However, the massive use of colorful pieces, as they are fearless in using bold colors even gilded ones.

I love colors so much, in my dresses, in my room, some pieces at home and other stuff. And when it comes to colorful interiors, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Moroccan style. Which is why they are famous for some colors like the Majorelle blue. And Chefchaoen being known as the Blue city.Mastering this style would really require a lot of research and study or better yet, visit one of the most beautiful country there is, to immerse yourself with their culture and colorful way of life.

They utilize lustrous materials too, using precious stones, beads, tassels as embellishments. Lots of pillows, massive curtains, the absence of rugs (kilim is a staple) is something I haven’t witnessed yet. Its’ milieu’s almost like a fairy tale. It is pleasing to the eyes and dreamy.

Theirs is so diversed as rich as their culture being nestled between the Mediterranean and Atlantic. One of the most prevalent element you’d see in Moroccan style is the Archs on windows, hallways and doors. While the drama of their lighting comes from intricately designed lanterns. Their imagination is unlimited, exotic, extravagant and elegant. Take a look at how massive they utilize mosaic tiles. It creates a dramatic repercussion when put together all at once.

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I can’t help but look at them in awe.

Keywords:#lush #vibrantcolors #intricate #geometricpatterns #rugs #lanterns


Sometimes, it is also known as Asian Style. We know for a fact that Asia is the biggest continent in the world. So when it comes to designing, It depicts the combined cultures of countries from the East: China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea and other Eastern countries in Asia.

And to consider that there’s more influences from the South Eastern Asian countries. This design is rooted from numerous regions, colossal and is considered as eclectic too. And so it is grand with different cultures and history.

Asian style can also be categorized since some focuses only on one country. An example is the Zen style of Japan which follows the principle that “Less is more”.

Apparent characteristics of Oriental Interior Design are the attention to details. Cabinets are painted, dividers [usually in fretwork pattern] and rugs are designed intricately. Due to limited space, most furniture are multi-purposed.

It is also packed with the elements of nature: Indoor plants, fountains, wooden furniture from rattan or bamboo, materials that are readily sourced in these countries, patterns are usually evident with animal motifs like birds, dragons, butterflies and flowers.

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With respect to history and culture, animal motifs are very evident too. Figures of Buddha are also featured in most times. You’ll see characters in murals.When it comes to color, red is prominent. For the nature inspired, yellows and greens are distinct. Looking at it, it’ll speak for itself that the place was inspired by nature.

I must not forget that most Asian style Interior Design is guided by a Chinese geomancy: Feng shui. It focuses on achieving balance of energies to your abode as it will affect its’ flow in our daily lives, the term “chi” is used in the belief that it is existing in all objects. And so through proper arrangement and placements of all things at home [or office], positive outcomes can be achieved like wealth and health.

Keywords: #dualpurpose #silk #carvings #richincolors #natureinspired #decorative


Nordic style is inspired by the Nordic countries: Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Faroe islands in which all countries shared the same history and culture. Said design is also known as “Scandinavian”. They are famous for their pared backed style that depicts simplicity and functionality.

Contrasting elements are continually being used in Nordic design. For example, If the chosen color motif of the room is black, there’ll be touches of white. And vice versa. They are not so much a fan of bold and bright colors, they’d rather use soft and subdued tones, whites, grays, neutrals, monochromatic and should they decide to use bright tones, it’s just a slight burst somewhere.

Another prominent element used is texture.
I noticed that they’re fond of using different textures.
You’ll see leather chairs, sheepskin throws, accent pillows in unique fabrics, and rugs.

Combining all these, due to their climate, the intent is to maintain all the hygge. [Hygge: pronounced as hue-guh – a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being – regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture].

My favorite element in the Nordic design is their showcase
of photos on the walls which always creates drama and depth.

Keywords: #functional #simplicity #stark #softhues #elegant #sleek


Another style I find very interesting is the Nautical, it is the coolest style of design for me. It reminds me of the sea. Like I used to imagine that I’m a mermaid in another life. =) When you check on them, there are very noticeable and recurring elements and it is so easy to be identified as Nautical.

From the root word itself, nautical depicts the life or living with the sea or the coastal life. Symbols of the ship is evident everywhere, like a cardinal rule, the combined shades of blues, whites and wood are a staple. These shades represents the ocean plus the natural colors you’ll see surrounding the shore.

The over all amalgam results into a very unique flair, coastal chic and a relaxed feel. It allows you to hear the sound of the waves by just looking at it.

I have included “Do it yourself” in the keywords since most of the decors you’ll find in the actual setting of these houses in the coastline, are actually designed or done by the dwellers themselves. An example is a hanging lamp tied by a rope, a twig taken from the shore used a a decor by just placing it in a nice vase, or an old wooden anchor mounted on the wall.

And all these can be done even if you’re not living in the coastlines. =) I’ve seen a lot of interiors nowadays using this kind of style, and I really find it beautiful. To achieve that nautical look, you can try the following:

  • a blue and white striped carpet or rug
  • a miniature boat as your center piece
  • use of ropes [for planters, to hang photos on the wall, as a vase
  • an anchor on your living room wall or bedroom
  • you can also hang some blinds that are made of ropes
  • a lighthouse perhaps [my favorite! =)]
  • symbols of a starfish will be perfect
  • a framed world map perhaps [for navigation]
  • wall-mounting an over-sized compass
  • a telescope is a nautical element too
  • salvaged woods which can be found from the shore are ideal for a bench, an accent table or a center table

You see, creating a nautical look is so fun, nice and easy. =)

Keywords: #stripes #sailing #coolvibes #doityourself #bespoke #laidback


Sometimes, even if I am fan of eclectic schemes, burst of vivid bright colors, I also am inspired by simplicity. I initially get bored with it, but achieving this look and maintaining it is really something great right?

It was said that this style is more of a principle than a visual style. It is influential and have been liked and used by many.

It actually began in the 20th century and is still popular until today. It is considered as contemporary too. A style that only uses what is necessary. Some motto’s like “Less is More” is from this famous minimalist designer/ architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Here is a sample of his furniture that are still being used today. The Barcelona chair is one of my favorite, I have included this if relevant in my designs in the past.

One thing that I like about this style is the open space to move around, there is more room for floor area as clutter is a no no in this kind of style. I also like the way a “focal point” is injected. If an all white room bores me at times, one bright thing that catches my attention is all it takes for me to get rid of the boredom like a surprise coming unexpected. It gives me the jolt.

Since the budget isn’t distributed in too much decors or accessories, one can invest in a very expensive piece for a particular room like the living room or
bedroom as your focal point that draws attention. Achieving a look that is simple yet impressive.

Because this doesn’t use a variety of the colors I love, they utilize textures instead. It can be an indoor plant, a mural or an artwork, or a bewitching lamp. The nice thing about minimalist design for me is accentuating. It is really nice to look for pieces
that will complement all the elements in a certain space, it gets the attention.

Personally, minimalist design for me is masculine. And masculine can be pretty amazing too. =)

Keywords: #simple #uncomplicated #clean #controlled #immaculate


Another Interior design style that I consider masculine is Industrial. It injects clues of pieces from old factories, warehouse stuff, walls are made of bricks and lots of raw materials.

When most styles hide what’s unfinished, this style bares it all. Achieving the look of being raw is the motivation of this design.

When it comes to texture, it combines metal and wood finishes. And the backlash is transcendent.

Some thought that Industrial design is all about that unfinished look, however, this style of design is befitting other styles like Rustic and Retro. So mixing and matching can still be so much fun. Note that antique and vintage furniture is a great element to blend to this style too.

When it comes to colors, 50 shades of gray is a favorite. Even grays coming from metals that are steely and shiny. Black, white and browns, coming from different shades of bricks and pieces made of natural wood creates a masculine feel and sexy too.

Before I forget, exposed pipes and ducts is consistent.

Keywords: #massive #stalwart #raw #proud #fearless #transparent

I have to share four more of my favorites soon: Vintage, Shabby chic, Rustic and Boho chic styles. Please look out for it! What’s your favorite so far? =)