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Decoding Interior Design Styles: Modern, Farmhouse & Industrial

If you’ve been following our blog, you’d know that we are on a mission to decode interior design styles, one-by-one. This week we are tackling three further styles: Modern, Farmhouse, and Industrial.


Modern design is a style that arose in the twentieth century. It features minimalism, clean lines, natural materials, and natural light. It’s easy to confuse modern and contemporary design styles, but there’s a distinct difference between both.

The Modern style celebrates the aesthetics of a specific historic moment (the twentieth century), whilst the Contemporary style refers to the evolving styles of the current era. As such, the Contemporary design style is not rooted in a specific era and is constantly evolving — it may also include elements from the Modern style, too!

The colour palette of the Modern design style is largely monochromatic. White, grey, beige, black, and pastel tones are commonly found in this style.

Natural materials, such as metals, leather, wood, and natural fibres, are extensively used. This means the Modern design style also encourages the incorporation of plants and nature.

The lighting follows a similar pattern, too. Natural light is allowed to illuminate the space, entering through large, unadorned windows. For artificial lighting, fixtures are typically sleek or angular.

Credit: CGI Furniture

Furniture in the Modern design style is low-slung and long. Leather and fabric upholstery and glass are popular elements of Modern furniture.

To achieve a Modern interior, allow natural light to enter, and make the most of it by using reflective surfaces (such as chrome). Incorporate low furnishings with clean, straight lines, and avoid curves where you can.


The Farmhouse interior design style originated in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, then spread to the US in the 1700s. As such, it features dependence on available (or you can say, natural) materials, such as wood, iron, and steel.

Farmhouse design defines practicality and comfort. It celebrates mismatched designs and imperfections, and makes room for knickknacks and antiques.

Credit: Decorilla

The colour palette of the Farmhouse style relies on shades of white and earthy neutrals. Accent colours can be muted or bold, ranging from reds to blues.

Credit: Shoonya

The materials used are nature-based, including leather, cotton, suede, and linen fabrics. Exposed wood beams, shiplap, and wood floors are also commonly found.

The light fixtures in Farmhouse decor give an opportunity to layer mixed metals. Fixtures with vintage looks and colours help create visual interest in this style.

Credit: Decorilla

The furniture in the Farmhouse style features rustic charm and simplicity. It reflects rural architecture and embraces modern comforts.

To create a Farmhouse interior, incorporate wood finishes (for example, for the walls and countertops), display vintage items, and inject personality through photographs and knickknacks.


Industrial interior design draws inspiration from the factories of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a flexible style, focusing on unique textures and minimalist, open spaces. Industrial style is defined by architectural elements. Instead of hiding piping and ductwork, it makes these the focal point of the space creating an ambience that is raw and almost unfinished.

The colour palette of the interior design style focuses on white, brown, grey, and black. Earthy tones are also welcome, such as burnt orange and dirty green.

The materials are inspired by factories and workspaces — reclaimed wood, brick, concrete, steel, and iron are particularly famous. You can find a blend of clean lines and curved edges, as well as uncluttered, open spaces.

Credit: Decoraid

The lighting of the Industrial design style features an appealing and timeless style. Typically, fixtures are made of dark-toned steel and wood and can be unfinished and distressed. Exposed bulbs and metal shades are also widely used.

Credit: Modsy

Vintage furniture is famous in the Industrial design style. It abundantly uses metal and wood and places great focus on functionality.

Credit: Decorilla

To create an Industrial interior, display vintage photographs and abstract paintings. Allow unfinished items to make their statement, and repurpose old pieces — such as an old chest as a coffee table. You can also toss in plants for a punch of freshness and colour.

Final Words

Every interior design style has its own roots, colour palette, furnishings, and decor elements. And learning about different styles before choosing the one that connects with your personality results in a successful design project.

If you’ve missed out on any of our previous blogs from the style series, head over to our blog and read them today!

Need some help to define your style and translate it into your space? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on how to achieve an interior that you love.


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