From art deco to mid-century modern, come explore some of the design world’s new (and time-honored) movements.
By: Tracy Donohue
When it comes to defining new and classic interior design movements in our country, it often starts with the traditional design aesthetic, which is rooted in rich, elegant, more formal decor from 18th- and 19th-century Europe, and branches out from there. With the power of social media and the internet today, information, ideas, and inspiration move quickly across the globe — and our home design choices and environments reflect this eclectic global influence.
With the convergence of seemingly unlimited ideas, your living space has the potential to become a truer statement of your individual personality, values, creativity, and lifestyle today more than ever before.
So, whether you’re looking to make a high-impact splash or just freshen up your home decor — or are somewhere in between — there’s an interior design movement that can be adapted for nearly every taste and preference to help create your own personal haven. Assisting on this quest, Annie Kordas, principal designer and owner of Annie Kordas Interiors in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, offers up advice on how to interpret many of these trends and stylishly incorporate elements into your own home.
Lovesac’s new Cocoa Tartan SuperSac Cover is a cozy-chic example of this season’s Cabincore trend.
SuperSac Cover in Cocoa Tartan Phur, $650, Squattoman Cover, $150, Lovesac. Inserts sold separately. SuperSac Insert, $700, Squattoman Insert, $150, Lovesac.
An updated, cleaner version of shabby chic, cabincore is the newer and cool-weather interpretation of this trend. It is inspired by the symbiotic lifestyle of a warm and cozy rustic mountain retreat and embraces natural materials, soft flannels, rustic furniture, and warm, woodsy earth tones.
Julian Lennon: “Vast Horizon” for General Public, $2,920, RH.
When considering a wintertime cabincore update, Kordas says, “Think slip-covered sofas, knotty pine, and painted furniture. A daybed suspended from the ceiling may be a welcome, functional piece for this design style.”
Ubud Bench, $1,849, Arhaus.
The evocative vintage vibe of the grandmillennial design style — sometimes referred to as maximalism — relies on a well-edited approach to this layered, cozy look to avoid looking cluttered and overdone. With generous doses of pattern and texture, this trend highlights traditional design with a modern twist that has been embraced by millennials looking to create comfortable, non-cookie-cutter living spaces. This movement embraces color, floral wallpaper, patterned upholstery, heirloom furniture, and vintage accessories (like grandma’s china) blended with a few modern elements to create a sentimental, homey space.
Interlocking G Tartan Cushion, $800, Gucci.
Kordas advises, “Don’t be afraid to mix colors and patterns, and be sure to create layers, such as lamps and sculptures in front of mirrors and art, needlepoint rugs on top of larger sisal rugs. Think patterned wallpaper with a different-pattern drape, even!”
Cashmere Silk Throw, $1,100, Gucci.
Art deco is an opulent yet modern design style that was popular in Europe and the United States during the 1920s and 1930s that influenced fashion, interior design, architecture, automobiles, and the arts. Visualize The Great Gatsby, the Roaring Twenties, and the Jazz Age. Highly stylized, art deco features clean lines, bold colors, and geometric patterns with an emphasis on balance, symmetry, and harmony — with all that to offer, it’s really no surprise that this retro movement’s eclectic sophistication is making a comeback.
Harlow Indoor/Outdoor Washable Mat, $49-$149, Pottery Barn.
When you’re considering adding a dash of art deco glam to your living space, it’s best to select a signature piece of furniture (or two) and a few well-curated statement accessories, such as monolithic-patterned pillows or a dramatic geometric vintage vase.
Brass Geometric Vase Collection, $100, RH.
Mid-century modern (MCM) is an American design movement influencing products, graphic design, architecture, and interior design that was popular from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s but has had a resurgence in popularity over the past decade due to its timeless visual appeal. MCM incorporates elements such as clean lines and mixed textures along with bold geometric patterns.
Thaddeus Curved Chair, $3,596, RH.
This modern yet nostalgic look can be easily woven into your existing home decor with stylish vintage accessories or clean-lined furniture with tapered legs. “A whole room of Knoll, Saarinen, and Milo Baughman may bring you right back to the ’50s, but a few pieces here and there mixed into a more traditional space can be a pleasant surprise for today,” advises Kordas.
Aero Wood Round Dining Table, $2,060, RH.
The rising Japandi trend (also called Scandinese) fuses two simplistic design aesthetics that emphasize comfort, calm, function, and minimalism: traditional Japanese and rustic Scandinavian. Fueling this trend is the desire for simplicity and calm in the busyness of modern life. To achieve the Japandi style, focus on reducing clutter and creating open spaces using muted colors and decorating with a well-curated mix of dark and light hues in sustainable natural materials.
Kroy Cane Back Barstool, $849, Arhaus.
The addition of house plants adds a welcomed natural green element. Together, these two styles create a warmer, cozier functional living space. Kordas says, “Clean lines, less is more, and go for symmetry and purpose. Keep woods and ceramics in the design to retain warmth and sophistication.”
Ezra 57” Buffet, $1,299, Pottery Barn.
Biophilic interior design honors the human desire for connection and harmony with nature by bringing the natural environment inside. In 1973, psychoanalyst Erich Fromm popularized the term “biophilia,” which he described as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.” Ways to create a calm and relaxing nature-based haven in your home include allowing an abundance of natural daylight in, cultivating large quantities of house plants, and selecting colors found in nature — especially shades of green.
Faux Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, 5.4 feet, $199, Pottery Barn.
To incorporate biophilic design into your home, Kordas suggests, “Leave large windows undressed. Keep paint colors neutral to allow for a seamless transition from the outside to in. Incorporate natural textures like sisal and rattan, and always flood the home with greenery.”
Woven Rattan Vases, $129 each, Pottery Barn.