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10 Styles You've Probably Never Heard Of

Singaporeans home owners are no strangers to styles of minimalism, Scandanavian-inspired, or industrialism. However, have you heard of French country, shabby chic and the mid-modern century designs? The size, structure and layout of local homes often discourage extravagant styles whose beauty shine through expanse and opulence. This time, we seek inspiration from Europe and the abundance of design ideas. Admire the aesthetics of these obscure and highly underrated styles!



  1. Bohemian

What comes to mind when you think of the word bohemian? The Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen? The Coachella festival? Both instances embody the carefree and adventurous essence of the relaxed hippie style. Rich patterns and saturated colors are the hallmarks of this design, with tie-dye and paisley being quintessential examples. Fixtures in the interior often adopt a soft (and languid) look, to grant the abode a warm, ambient glow that envelopes its inhabitants in a nurturing embrace. This can be achieved through the draping of textiles and hanging of pictures and lightings. As such, organza bed canopies, rugs and throws upon the sofas would fit into the aesthetics perfectly. Dangling trinkets and petite pendant lights or fairy lights would turn your home a dreamy landscape devoid of the banality or harshness of real life.


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  1. Shabby Chic

This style is similar to the Bohemian style, as the common thread of relaxedness, softness and beautiful messiness run through them both. As its name suggests, the shabby chic style creates an elegant and graceful appearance through the ironic use of grunginess and disarray. As compared to the Bohemian style, this style exudes rich femininity, and also employs more vintage accessories. Antique-style finishes, along with frills and tassels, and Victorian furniture are favored. Against the soothing palette of off-whites, cream and pastels and occasional chrome trimmings, add a light peppering of flora enliven the abode with an exquisite touch of girliness. Furnishing your home in this style would fulfill your childhood dream of living in a dollhouse, except that it is now permeated with the scruffiness of a busy, modern lady living in the present age.


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  1. Mid-Century Modern

At face value, this phrase itself seems to be a paradox. “Mid-century” harkens to the 1950s and 1960s, while “modern” seems to points towards the here and now. Here comes another myth to be debunked. “Contemporary” and “modern” are not synonymous in interior design. In fact, the former does refer to the here and now, while the latter correlates to a set of clean linearity, a fuss-free color palette and a flagrant employment of metal and glass. Nonetheless, this does not seem to reconcile the concepts of retro and crisp aesthetics.


This style borrows ideas from each term without amalgamating each of them in their entirety. It combines the modernist’s love for cleanliness and simplicity, while imbuing it with a nostalgic retro flair. As such, think of clean-cut furnitures such as rectangular timber cabinets and round wooden coffee tables. Plastic chairs, hair-pin legs and structured leather seats are also indispensable in a true-blue mid-century home. Another unique characteristic is the smooth blending between the outdoors and indoors to usher in some breeziness and tranquility.


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  1. Transitional

This is a style that traverses the old and new world to create a perfect fusion. It weaves a balance between the orthodox traditional and sleek modern to shape an interior that is warm and comforting but yet chic and up-to-date. What’s the secret formula? Warm neutral hues such as khaki, gray and taupe, refined furnishing, simple lines to achieve polished but muted sophistication! Transitional fixtures emphasize more on shape and silhouettes rather than pattern and ornamentation. Therefore, have a good blend of curved and straight silhouettes for a mix of the masculine and feminine in the home space! Keep prints subtle and minimalist for a mellowed look.


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  1. Art Deco

Did you know, that art deco is regarded as an artistic form in France, heavily molded by the French Art Noveau? It enjoyed the height of its popularity between the roaring 1920s and 30s. With its elements glamorous, opulent and elegant, art deco presented an opportunity for home owners to flaunt their cultured artistic palates. It’s a playground for all things ostentatious- high-gloss metals, pearl and tortoise-shell finishes, shiny fabrics and mirrors. Fans reviving this design often go for shine through lacquered and glossy surfaces for an expensive and exquisite appeal. Strong geometry is a common motif on furniture, mirrors and ornaments as well, giving the abode a grand and formal quality.





  1. Urban Modern

Both words, “urban” and “modern”, bring to mind an abundance of metal and glass, sleek designs and cold tactility. However, this style is a cauldron of styles, ranging from contemporary, minimalism and even industrialism! In fact, this style was conceived as part of an initiative to provide comfort and respite to cosmopolitans living in the urban jungle.

The greatest influence on this style would be the industrial style, However, the furnishing details here would be more refined and polished as compared to the stripped-down, rugged and unfinished aesthetics of conventional industrialism. Take the exposed brick walls and tough timber of the industrial style and revamp them with a softer approach! Soft edge furniture, plush cushions and cream shades achieve this effect. Similar to the Scandinavian and coastal concept, the urban modern leverages natural light to relax an environment. Therefore, wide windows that invite both fresh air and sunshine is a must-have here.


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  1. Traditional

Depending on the geographical context, culture and history of any country, the word “traditional” can take on various valences. In Europe, the traditional style often points towards classical European aesthetics during the 18th to 19th century, with bright mahogany wood tones, dark, rich colors, intricate architectural details and polished furnishing. It is a style that fans of antiques, classical art and literature would adore. As contrasted with the laissez-faire nature of the bohemian and shabby chic styles, the traditional style is much more conservative, taking pride in its harmony and order of elements. Furnitures are likewise heavy-set and sumptuous, with upholstery being a common theme.

In Singapore, however, one can pay homage to their Peranakan roots with pretty Peranakan mosaic designs that illuminate the home with a whimsical retro charm!


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  1. French Country

If you ever dreamed of cottage living, this one is for you. Here, earthy hues of brown, along with accent tones of deep maroon and mustard yellow characterize the style. Décor with flora and animal motifs add to its charm as well. “Weathered” is definitely a keyword that summarizes the appeal of the French Country. We don’t mean weathered as in being in a battered condition after going through rain and shine, but rather, a quality that exudes the goodness of age and experience. Think about the display of beautiful and exquisite family heirlooms passed down the generation, ornamental china dishes and big, soft cushions slightly faded in color. This style that radiates the nurturance and warmth of grandparents is set to soften the hearts of the most hardened individuals.


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  1. Coastal/ Hamptons

The Hamptons is a string of seaside communities renowned as a popular summer destination for wealthy New Yorkers. This style is highly similar to the nautical design, with both borrowing the lush colours and elements of the beach to create a relaxed, sun-kissed cove. Here, weathered wood, palettes of cream, blue and green, along with fresh linen fabric create a bright and airy interior that melts away all stress from urban life! Brown, reminiscent of the sand tree barks and jute ropes, is also a key player in materializing this coastal-inspired abode.


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  1. Maximalism

If there is an anti-thesis to the much-loved minimalism, this is it. No, this isn’t a witty joke, it’s actually a real up-and-coming pattern that is expected to trend this year! In the arts scene, it is a reaction against contrived minimalism and its reductiveness, and can be summed up as the aesthetics of elaborate excess. According to Sasha Bikoff, a New-York interior designer, it is a careful concoction of “aggressive colors, bold patterns, rich fabrics, and eclectic knick-knacks”. In a single space.

What’s the method to the madness? First, start with the selection of colors/textures for large areas such as the walls and floors. Thereafter, decorate this background with pieces that vary in color, print and material. However, establish connections between these pieces, tying them into cohesion in order to avoid a cluttered and overwhelming look. That said, maintain a healthy dose of juxtaposition between styles and design- the element of unexpectedness would bring a breath of fresh air into the abode. Lastly, keep your belongings organized! You wouldn’t want the messiness caused by disorganization to add to the excessiveness of maximalism.