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Decoding Interior Design Styles: Rustic, Scandinavian & Traditional

Updated: Apr 24, 2022

Learning about various design styles is a crucial step to attaining the interior you love. This is because being able to put your preferences into words helps you refine your search and simplifies your decisions.

To help get us all up to speed, we’ve initiated a series on understanding various interior design styles. And for today’s blog post, we’ll be decoding another three famous styles: Rustic, Scandinavian, and Traditional!

(Click here to read our previous post of the series, shedding light on Art Deco, Boho, and Mid-Century.)


Having its roots in the 19th century, the Rustic design style is all things rugged, natural, and aged. It features a relaxing atmosphere and abundantly uses organic elements, such as wood, bricks, and stones, for its materials.

However, too much of one organic material can create a space that looks dark and heavy. So, to balance out the effect, the Rustic design style often uses warm, earthy tones (in addition to heavily swinging towards neutral shades) in its colour palette.

Credit: Decorilla

Lighting in the rustic style features pendants and chandeliers with a vintage structure. For furniture, the pieces should be large and solid. Furniture items made from reclaimed wood with a vintage touch are also popular in this design style.

To introduce hints of the Rustic design style to your interior, incorporate decor pieces with natural, organic shapes and worn-out appearances. You can also take inspiration from the colour palette of this style and mainly use wood for your furniture.

Credit: Decor Aid


Featuring clean lines, sleek geometries, and functionality, Scandinavian style takes a minimalist approach to decor. It emerged in the 20th century in five Nordic countries, including Sweden.

The materials used in Scandinavian decor revolve around nature and its elements. As such, they include lots of wood and natural textiles, such as wool and fur. Houseplants are also a major part of Scandi-style decor.

The colour palette features monochromes and neutral hues, with white, grey, and cream being particularly famous. You can also find punches of colour through dusty pink, forest green, and pale ice blue — basically all shades drawing inspiration from Mother Nature.

Lighting in Scandinavian interior design is nice and bright, and heavily relies on the utilisation of natural light. In that regard, massive windows, light colours for the walls, and the usage of mirrors help with allowing natural light to enter and then reflecting it.

Credit: Zpzpays.Top

Scandi-style furniture pieces are mostly contemporary and made of natural elements, such as wicker. Featuring sleek lines and symmetrical shapes, the furniture must be very practical and minimalist. Because this design style is big on functionality, pieces with hidden storage compartments are all the rage in Scandinavian interior design.

To incorporate the Scandinavian style into your interior, implement the “less is more” concept. This means decluttering the space and keeping it minimalist when choosing paint colours and furniture.


The Traditional interior design style draws its inspiration from previous eras and design movements. It mixes the rich history of the past with modern elements, creating an elegant and sophisticated interior.

The materials used in Traditional design are classic and ornate. High-end fabrics, such as velvet and silk, are preferred in this style. In addition, plaid and paisley patterns complement the luxury textiles.

Credit: Decor Aid

The colour palette is mainly neutral for the walls, with pops of colour added through textiles and accent pieces. Greens and browns are commonly found, whilst warm jewel tones also make a statement in traditional decor.

Traditional lighting is soft and laid-back. You can find traditional chandeliers in addition to ceiling and pendant lights, but the overall ambience should be calm (and not overly bright). This design style may also have traditional architectural features, such as crown mouldings.

The furniture in Traditional interior design features intricate details and vintage elements. For the decor, floral arrangements and sophisticated vases play an essential role, whilst book collections and framed art are also popular.

To incorporate Traditional style into your space, pick furniture pieces with patterned upholstery, or hang a statement Traditional-style chandelier.

Final Words

Whether or not you like any of these styles, we hope it’s helpful to learn about them, so you get closer and closer to knowing what you love and don’t love. Who knows, maybe you’ve been a fan of a style without even knowing it!

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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