Defining Interior Design Styles

A close examination of the defining individual elements of a space reveal the singular threads of style that run through each category of interior design, from contemporary to eclectic. Contemporary comes with clean lines, while traditional design carries depth and texture. Farmhouse interiors differ greatly from industrial design, although both make use of raw materials. Bohemian and eclectic styles are also widely different, despite sharing similarities. And a glamorous space is at once playful and sophisticated.


Defined by clean lines and a simple aesthetic, contemporary design is fresh, dynamic, of-the-moment, and, often, monochromatic. The ever-popular all-white kitchens are entirely contemporary, as are light-filled open floor plans. This design style continues to evolve while maintaining celebrated characteristics — think minimalism, sleek surfaces, linear architecture, and neutral color palettes, too. While minimalism can feel stark, it can also be peaceful and focused due to its simplicity and by creating sculpture in the mundane.

Contemporary design with modern finishes
Contemporary design is boldly reimagined with the incorporation of modern finishings in this kitchen, with its white-and-grey color scheme, open shelving, and mid-century-inspired elements.
Image: Reid Rolls Photography
A striking space that showcases contemporary design
Modern and contemporary designs share many of the same ingredients of design. This bathroom showcases a modern approach, while utilizing contemporary components.
Image: Nick McGinn


Timeless and elegant, traditional design is, generally, the most familiar style. Crafted with an emphasis on livability and sophistication, traditional spaces incorporate texture, depth, and boldness — without being stuffy nor boring. Hallmarks of traditional design hail from the 18th and 19th centuries with heavy European influence. This design style embraces antiques, built-in cabinets and molding, plush fabrics, and art.

Traditional, contemporary, traditional and more — design styles you need to know
Bringing traditional design style into the modern day, this space wisely mixes materials and textures. The result is a sophisticated space outfitted in timeless elegance.
Image: Andrea Behrends
Interior Design Styles Explained
Wallpaper has recently seen a resurgence (more on that later), and it remains a staple in traditional design. Here, every element works together to create a fresh, classic design.
Image: Andrea Behrends
Interior Design Styles Explained
Built-in cabinets paired with all-white surroundings illustrate a modern approach to traditional design.
Image: Andrea Behrends


A dominating trend in interior design style is the combination of contemporary and traditional styles. Traditional spaces can air on the side of formal, so modern pieces are incorporated to soften the space. In transitional design, the lines are blurry, and the rules aren’t clear — which makes it fun. Modern embellishments and traditional bones work together to create a cohesive look.

Transitional design decoded
Impactful contemporary art is an easy way to modernize a space and infuse personality and pops of purple play well against the neutral color palette. The design is contemporary while also traditional.
Image: Andrea Behrends
Clean lines and minimalist finishes in a picture-perfect kitchen
Clean lines and minimalist finishes blend with notes of traditional design, resulting in a contemporary kitchen that can stand the test of time.
Image: Andrea Behrends


Known for salvaged materials, rustic undertones, and reclaimed wood, farmhouses are warm, charming, and jam-packed with character. Farmhouse style remains a dominating décor trend, but today, designers take a refined approach to the well-worn design style.

What is your design style?
Exposed brick walls, warm wood floors, and a slider barn door evoke a farmhouse vibe in this hallway designed to accommodate a spot for the dogs to dine and a farmhouse sink for flower arranging.
Image: Andrea Behrends


A style reserved for the discerning homeowner, glamorous design is at once fashionable and luxurious. Splurge-worthy and statement-making art, materials, and furniture make up a glamorous space — whether it be the living room, bedroom, or dining area.

A glamorous space to call your own
Materials rich in texture and color introduce a touch of glamour to this otherwise industrial space.
Image: Andrea Behrends
a bathroom that screams glamor
A combination of black and grey introduces drama to any space, such as this bathroom. High-end finishes and luxe materials scream glamor.
Image: Andrea Behrends


Layered touches of color and texture come together unexpectedly in Bohemian design. The California cool, laid-back style celebrates creativity and incorporates a mix of materials, art, and color. Teals, pinks, and royal blues are colors commonly associated with this design style.

What is your design style?
The easiest expression of style is through art. For example, in this bohemian design, each piece was thoughtfully chosen as a representation of the homeowner’s style.
Image: Nick McGinn
Bohemian design reimagined
A space that combines various design styles, this bathroom falls under the category of bohemian thanks to the teal chandelier that hangs above the vanity.


An uptick in renovation of old warehouses has resulted in an uptick in industrial design, predominantly in restaurants — but the elements of industrial design feel right at home in residential spaces, as well. Organic materials are at the heart of industrial design, which highlights raw ingredients, such as exposed brick, steel, and wood.

What is your design style?
Showcasing every element of industrial design imaginable, this space is at once sleek and rustic.
Image: Andrea Behrends


Eclectic design style, by its nature, is difficult to define. One-of-a-kind elements come together to create one-of-a-kind designs that express the stylistic preferences of the homeowner. Sometimes chaotic and always unique, you’ll recognize an eclectic design when you see it.

Understanding eclectic design
A combination of styles come together with artful elements in this eclectic space with modern tendencies.
Image: Reid Rolls
Pops of green bring this corner to life
A favorite corner in the Beth Haley showroom, this space undoubtedly showcases eclectic design that celebrates our favorite color: green.
Image: Leila Grossman

Ultimately, the most important thing is to find the style that works for you. What is your design style?


Discover more of our blog posts here. We cover everything from color to coffee table books to functional design.

By |May 29th, 2019|BHD Projects, Decorating, Design Elements, Design Musings, Design Trends, Inspiration, Room Designs, Trend Spotting|Comments Off on Defining Interior Design Styles|

August Newsletter – ‘What’s New’

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! As much as we like kicking back in the August, there is too much we are excited about to let it wait for the Fall!  Beth‘s trip to Dwell on Design created a distinct vibe in the office and the current mood running through BHD is “what’s new”. What’s new in design, what’s new in products, what’s new in the showroom. Everyone is curious and looking forward to projects that are currently underway and working with client’s who are just getting started. Here’s to finishing the summer strong and enjoying the freedom summer always seems to bring! 

Featured BHD Space: Our showroom!

We don’t think we’ve ever made our BHD featured space the showroom before but now that is it getting filled with new furniture pieces, accessories, and art, we thought it was a great time to share the new pieces we have to share!

Love the pairing of the minimal curved glass table with the vibrant painting by Yuri Figueroa as the beloved foo dog lamp stands guard over the front door. 

We shared this on Instagram last week but we love all the pillows that just arrived and had to share again! Pillows are honestly one of the easiest ways to change the feeling of a space. Some people might be afraid to use assorted prints but this proves you can mix it up! How did we make it work?  Keeping the content consistent with botanical prints and varying the scale and combining complementary color families. 

We couldn’t enough of this gingko print.  These have sold but more designs are on their way!

Baskets, planters, and pillows galore! We love the bright colors in Yuri’s art hanging over the mantel too!

This sideboard is a show stopper and we love this collection of Yuri’s paintings paired with Jerry Atnip’s photograph. The long neck, glass and acrylic lamp and the reflective ball sculpture finish off the monochromatic vignette!

Lastly, we have a series of photographs just in from Yuri. The bright colors are energizing the blossoms fresh feel. Just imagine how appreciated these will be when nature takes her winter break!

Featured Vendor: Gold Leaf Design Group

Gold Leaf Design is one of our favorite accessories companies. We look towards them time and again for unique pieces. Here is a collection of goodies that just arrived for one of our clients. Coordinated colors yet each item is cool on its own!


Featured Event: Tomato Art Fest

We look forward to this event every year. If you’ve never been before, it is an East Nashville tradition, filled with art, festivities, street vendors, and people watching galore! Costumes are encouraged and we hope to see some familiar faces out and about this weekend!

When: August 12, 6PM – whenever & August 13th, 9am – whenever. Click here for a program of events!

Where: 11th and Woodland is the center of the festival where you can find the Tomato Art Fest information booth. Click here for a complete map of the festivities! 

Hot Topic: Power of Design

We love when we are reminded of the power of design and its ability to speak volumes through aesthetics alone. Case in point – Architectural Digest magazine was looking beyond politics when they declared  “Wood accents, clean lines, and an all-white palette make this space instantly pinnable”. Regardless of what side of the aisle you are on or whether you watched the Democratic Convention a few weeks ago, everyone in the design community has been buzzing about the kitchen featured in Hillary Clinton’s intro video.

What made the kitchen stand out, why did it capture everyone’s attention, and why did it look strikingly familiar? First and foremost, it was a beautiful kitchen bathed in the most amazing natural light. It was perfect. The all-white cabinets, butcher block counter, and black framed mullioned windows are timeless, tasteful, and contemporary. The kitchen visually reinforced attributes emphasised in the video. It was as if the kitchen were a set and the set happened to be one of our favorite movies. Architectural Digest suggested it looked straight out of a Nancy Meyers movie. 

Nancy Meyers is a living legend when it comes to set design. Her movies are some of the most gorgeous and hilarious – Father of the BrideIt’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Intern come to mind. She creates sets that feel straight out of heaven. She harnesses the power of design to help narrate a movie. It is like her sets become the third character in the scene. 

Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes created Hillary Clinton’s video and the question on everyone’s mind is whether this was a scene scouted for the cameras or was this her actual home. All we know is we love using interior design to gesture who we are. We love projecting our client’s values, lifestyles, and taste through design, finishes, and materials. We’ve never thought of it this way but it is true, we design the backdrops of our client’s lives and we couldn’t be happier or more proud to serve!


By |August 8th, 2016|Accessories, Decorating, Happenings, Inspiration, Kate, Nashville, Newsletter, Paint Colors, Trend Spotting|Comments Off on August Newsletter – ‘What’s New’|

January Newsletter

With all the high hopes of the new year, January is the perfect month to think about organization in your home. It is not the icing on the cake of what we as designers do, but it is one of the most powerful tools we have in terms of creating functional, enjoyable, livable homes. For us, organization can be broken down into two categories: planning and styling. Organizational planning is a very specific part of the design process. From the moment we meet a new client we are trying to piece together the puzzle of what the family needs. We take everything into consideration- lifestyle, age of kids, pets, collections, hobbies, how the client entertains, etc. Styling, on the other hand, is what we do on a daily basis to keep our houses looking put together. We know life is more complicated and messy than a glossy magazine spread but with a few helpful pointers, we can help you get there.

Featured BHD Space: Organizational Masterpieces

Let’s take a closer look at some BHD spaces that nail the organization element.

We worked with our client to discern exactly what they needed in their master bathroom. Like most clients, it boiled down to storage so we designed this custom millwork piece to provide a home for every product with electrical outlets discretely hidden yet right at your fingertips. The final result is what everyone wants: a functional, clean, organized bathroom.

In another custom solution for storage, we took a rambling, awkwardly configured floor plan and converted it into a master closet. Just look at how streamlined the space is from the outside yet how the inside reveals a master level of organization. From roll-out trays for accessories to the adjustable shelves designed for scarves, hats and jewelry stands, to the custom fabricated necklace holders on the door panel, this space is hard working.

This pantry is elevated to the forefront of design. To meet the needs of the client, we combined many functions into the space, giving a proper, logical resting spot for all of life’s necessities. The kids have their cubbies, hooks, and baskets while the pantry has adjustable shelves to meet the demands of the kitchen. Design details add beauty to this high function area with bead board backing, dark stained walnut tops & wicker baskets for texture and go-to storage. The key here was proper planning!

Kitchens cabinets are all about preemptive organizational planning but this kitchen takes it a step further through beautiful design tricks and details. What do you do for a client that wants a streamlined look (aka no countertop appliances on constant display) but wants them ready to go the instant they are needed? Simple – hide them behind an operable garage style door. In addition, notice the pullout tray designed for the kitty box. Managing & organizing pet care is a common request amongst our clients. From all of our experience designing kitchens, we have found function is so much more elevated when it is truly incorporated into the design! It is details like these that create dream kitchens for clients with the perfect blend of style and high performance organization.

The last space we want to share is a vision of organization. Picture a blank, unused wall in your house and then picture it with custom built-in storage. This beautiful row of cabinets is neatly tucked into a corner in a master bath but the idea is universal. Here, we have a hamper hidden in a pullout cabinet, oversized drawers for linen storage, smaller drawers for bulky hair styling equipment, upper cabinets for products, and open shelves for display. Serenity now!

Featured Vendor: Napa Home & Garden

BHD is proud to showcase beautiful Napa Home & Garden accent pieces in our showroom! Touches of soft color and elements of nature are sure to warm our senses during the cold winter months.  We had a lot of fun featuring some of their products in our 12 Days of Christmas last month and we have a lot more to choose from. Visit us anytime!

Featured Event: Art Exhibit Estamos Aquí: 500 Years of Latino American History

Don’t miss BHD showroom artist Yuri Figeroa’s work featured at the Nashville Public Library as part of the exhibit Estamos Aquí: 500 Years of Latino American History. The show features a collaboration of artists and events that explore the ‘culture and history of Latino Americans in Nashville and the United States’. We can’t wait to see this cactus series Yuri created for the show!

For more info click here.

Featured Event: Gwyneth Paltrow at the Antiques & Garden Show

This event isn’t until next month but we are so excited to see Ms. Goop herself, we thought we would share this early so you can mark your calendars. Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog has gained momentum year after year and has managed to become ubiquitous in the design world. If you aren’t familiar with her website, here is a great article to get you started. It is chockfull of tips from top designer firm Roman and Williams. Don’t forget to plan ahead as this event may sell out!

For more info click here.

Hot Topic: Nashville Public Art

It is no secret that it’s an exciting time to be a resident of Nashville. With a new development around every corner and a new restaurant opening every week, it is sometimes hard to keep up with this great, changing city. That being said, we wanted to take a moment to highlight one particular aspect we have noticed making a major impact on the city and that is public art. Nashville has long had Musica on the Music Row Roundabout, Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks on the Cumberland River but we are so excited to see a new crop of art to feast our eyes on. There is something to be said for a city that is organized and in the position to support the arts and provide the community a source of daily inspiration and escape.

Click here for info on projects in the pipeline!