If interior design was just about the aesthetically pleasing or purely functional, we wouldn’t mind agreeing to any of its different styles. But we do. We discriminate between their appeal based on our idea of what a certain interior should represent.
And every design is basically a concept, and every interior design is representing a particular mode of being. So let’s break it down to basic concepts behind these styles and see what they’re all about, shall we?
The keyword here is comfort. Scandi is all about feeling warm and cozy wrapped up in a woolen blanket on a soft couch, probably drinking hot tea. See what I mean? Out of all the styles, this is the one best to promote the simple pleasures in life. It’s not about adventure, it’s not about excellence, it’s just being at your home, feeling secure and blissful.
The Scandinavians have a word for this: hygge. The concept of hygge seems to permeate Scandi interior design as it promotes precisely this life concept through its bright, luminous space and cottage-like coziness with smartly applied woodwork.
This is the most popular family choice, promoting togetherness, care, security, and warmth.
If we were to describe it with one word, it would be finesse. Subtlety in thought, impeccable harmony. Minimalism leaves nothing superfluous, everything is carefully thought through. This is why minimalism is the most contemplative and conceptual of all the styles, as it deals with measuring, harmonizing, balancing functionality and aesthetics.
Coming from the Japanese Zen philosophy which permeates their sense of beauty, minimalism is preoccupied with meaningful simplicity. This leaves windows to be the best decoration, open space to bring clarity to the cluttered mind, light to alleviate the pressure of the material.
Minimalism is the popular choice of those that favor order, inner-clarity, peace, but also a very sharp mind.
You would think that the vintage culture is about nostalgia, which is not far from the truth for nostalgia comes from the Greek word nostos or homecoming. This means that it preoccupies itself with what is known and close to home in a sense. But saying that, figuratively, patina is the key here as it emphasizes the value something gains with age. And would something be known to us if it were new and avant-guard, and would it feel like greeting an old friend?
Vintage retrieves its power from the former experiences. Although every style has to do with a certain culture, vintage represents the culture itself, which makes it the most playful of all. Unlike retro, vintage does not mimic but creates a modern collage of previous experiences reflected in the authentic antique decor.
Suitable to those that feel the need to communicate with the space around them as if it were a cultural dialogue, vintage proves to be a good choice for writers and sophisticated intellectuals.
What do these raw, heavy, industrial materials portray? Well, if Scandi represents the nurturing principle of nature, then the industrial interior reflects the core of the urban life prowess, the man battling nature. Baudelaire was the first modern man to describe urban industrial life, dirty streets, smoke, bars. It was not the life of comfort and peace, but of busy streets, noise, rushes of adrenaline and extasy mingled with melancholic wanderings.
Of course, we’re not living in the same cities described by modernists a century ago. But still, industrial design brings out some of this: raw, unfinished materials, exposed ductwork, parts from factory machines, bar stools and other.
Those that like to live fast, daring lives, that enjoy nightlife and bar scenes typically opt for this aesthetics.
Of course, nobody can fit the same mold, and it is always preferable to find your style in places where you can explore different possibilities, but knowing that no piece of furniture speaks for itself.
You can combine these concepts to bring out what is most important to you. It could be comfort and finesse, for example, that permeates the japandi style. Or you want to achieve the rustic patina of shabby chic. But regardless of whether you combine different elements, personalize or inhabit preexisting styles, it’s important to reflect on the key ideas you wish to bring into your life.