When you are ready to design an amazing space, it is easy to find inspiration. A quick search online, a thumb through the latest design magazine, or even watching your favorite show will have you ready to jump into your next project. You excitedly walk into that kitchen you are ready to remodel or that bathroom that needs a facelift and your enthusiasm quickly turn into panic. You found the perfect kitchen island on Pinterest but it won’t fit into your floorplan. The tile that you loved online showed a photograph of a walk-in shower, but you want to keep your tub. You are suddenly overwhelmed with this overflow of ideas and may ask yourself, “Where do I begin?”

Designing a space can be a wonderfully creative adventure for some or a daunting task for others. Many people fall in the middle of this spectrum. They have a good sense of what they like or don’t like but have no idea how to bring this style to life in their own space. We decided to ask a panel of Interior Designers how they approach this challenge. They spend years studying the art and science of interior environments, so they definitely have some great tips for creating amazing spaces.

Here is what the experts have to say about some of the most popular design styles and how they go about bringing them to life:

Modern / Minimalist

Minimalism has exploded in popularity in recent years. No longer viewed as “unlivable”, these decluttered spaces are trending in homes big and small. The key is function and simplicity. If an item does not have a function, then it will not have a place in a Minimalist design. If this clean lifestyle is something you crave, then follow these guidelines to create your ultimate retreat from the world:

  • Neutral or Monochromatic Color Palette
    Select colors that clean and calm. Avoid loud patterns and colors that clash.
  • Natural Materials
    Use woods, metals, and natural fibers in neutral tones. Choose subtle textures over strong patterns. Wood-look tiles are also a great option if you want to mimic the look and feel of the real thing, durable, and environmentally-friendly.
  • Natural Light
    Allow for natural light to be part of the design wherever possible.
  • Keep it Simple
    “Less Is More” is the mantra of this style. Concentrate the design on a handful of key elements that make a statement with form, color, and function.

Classic / Traditional

Traditional Design will always be in style. This classic approach to space includes cues taken from not years, but centuries of interior design. The attention to detail, symmetry, and appreciation of history is the definition of refined taste and remains the hallmark style of the affluent. Even if you don’t own a yacht yet, you can still live in a space fit for royalty with the following design guidelines:

  • Rich Jewel Tone Colors
    Neutral walls are often accompanied by deep, rich colors and dark woods.
  • Ornate Architectural Details
    Use built-in cabinetry, paneling, crown molding, and other decorative accents in dark woods or metals.
  • Antique Art & Furnishings
    Include opulent ornamental furniture and décor with sumptuous fabrics and finishes.
  • Details Are Everything
    In the case of Traditional style, “More Is More”! A lush visual experience is a key to this style with the beauty of a room seen in the detail of a silk damask fabric or a silk-screened tile.

Transitional / Contemporary 

Contemporary Design is a great blend of modern sensibilities with the comfort and elegance of more traditional styles. It is often defined by a subtle sophistication and an emphasis on how space is used rather than what is in it. This is one of the most eclectic and all-inclusive design styles, allowing for personal expression to guide the balance of modern versus traditional elements within a space. For the best of both worlds, take a look at the following guidelines:

  • Black and White Neutrals
    White or very light neutrals are popular, with black accents for trim, walls, and cabinetry.
  • Pops of Color & Fun
    Use bright and bold colors and materials as accents to a neutral space. Explore the playful side of designing here.
  • Natural Materials
    Woods, metals, and stone flooring in neutral tones allow for a great backdrop for color and material accents.
  • Bring Your Personality
    Contemporary spaces are designed to showcase your individuality. The art you collect, the family heirlooms you cherish, and the backsplash you love all have a home here.

Ready to Bring Your Style to Life?

When you are ready to create your space, remember to follow a few simple guidelines for success like the ones listed above, or create your own. This is a technique commonly used by Interior Designers to help them create beautifully curated and well-designed spaces, and now you have that power as well. If you are wondering whether your floor tile is right or if you should buy a certain chandelier, just walk through your list of criteria for your style and make sure that it checks all the boxes. This simple technique will have you mastering your own style and loving your space!