As a NJ interior designer I work with two types of clients: the ones who know their style but need help with the finishing touches and the ones who don’t really know their design aesthetic. This is where I come in and together we research the many interior design styles, looking at hundreds of rooms and products.

This process educates our clients on the various styles, decor and elements of design, helping them to conceptualize and discover what feels right for them, their family and lifestyle….because they all factor in. The good news is many of the of the antiquated rules of design no longer apply and now you can and should mix different period furniture styles for a unique and interesting look. For example if you like contemporary, but have a few family antiques, they add interest and variety to the room. Conversely, if your a traditionalist, add some contemporary elements, fabrics or sleeker lighting for a more updated look. Today’s traditional isn’t your grandmother’s!

What’s trending right now in the world of design? Reclaimed barn wood, the industrial look of the 1920’s to the 1950’s, Greek key anything, garden stools, chevron (zig-zag) prints, Moroccan poufs, large scale accessories, sheep skin throws, cowhides and mirrored furniture. If you don’t redecorate for long periods of time, I suggest only adding a few trendy elements like pillows, art, paint color and accessories. For the most part stick with classic furnishings that are timeless.

Here are some of our favorite trends right now which blend seamlessly with any style…

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Below are are 8 examples of different interior design styles. (There are many more like Tuscan, Old World, Country, Victorian, ect.) but I limited this blog to traditional, transitional, contemporary, Mid-Century Modern (which is becoming increasing popular), shabby chic, Hollywood glam and modern.

Which style suits you and your home’s architectural features? For example you can’t (or shouldn’t) put very modern furnishings in a traditional style home – they don’t marry well. Which leads me to another rule of design – not every home is suited for every decor style. You’ll see what I mean as you look at the collages below…

Today’s traditional is lighter, brighter with updated fabrics on classic European inspired furniture from the Queen Ann and Georgian era. You’ll still see timeless Chippendale settee’s, bergere and wing back chairs, but long gone are heavy window treatments, thick gold frames, dark fabrics and over sized furniture…

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Shabby Chic can be difficult to pull off. If not done right you’ll end up with just shabby – not the look you’re going for! This style embodies romanticism and is is more suited for older homes with lots of character, charm and traditional architectural details. Antique fireplaces, built-ins, crown and floor molding, even floors are painted in white with very light colored furnishings with a hint of wear. You’ll see floral and striped prints, crystal chandeliers and re-purposed furniture like doors used for a headboard or an outdoor table used inside…

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Transitional is now the most popular style in America. I call it updated traditional because it incorporates contemporary elements like updated lighting, fabrics, contemporary art and larger scale accessories. You will still see classic European inspired furniture like bergere and wing back chairs but in updated fabrics. This look works best in traditional style homes….

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Mid-Century Modern is becoming increasing more popular with young adults. This style comes from the iconic furniture built between 1920’s to the 1950’s, but today the colors are lighter and brighter. You will still see iconic pieces of furniture like the Wegner Shell chair, molded plywood and Eiffel chairs, tulip tables, Noguchi coffee tables and shag area rugs…

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Contemporary:  you’ll find large accessories, sleek, sharper lines, trendy fabrics, more metal with a crisp look. The furniture is more modern with sectionals, platform beds and pops of bright colors. If you like antiques, carved wood, darker colors, this is not your look…

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Modern is a distinct design style (11%) and not suited for traditional homes with lots of architectural details. This style is sophisticated and chic, but not cozy. Moreover, it doesn’t work well with children and pets because it’s sparse with lots of white furniture and shape edges. This style often feels cold and subscribes to “less in more” with few accessories, sleek metal fireplaces, glass and chrome furniture, simple, yet large lighting and large, colorful modern art. Below are examples (in my humble opinion) of modern done right…


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Eclectic is another word for almost anything goes, but it still has to maintain a common theme. You can mix different furniture, but it still it should maintain a cohesive look. This style is the perfect solution when two people don’t share the same design aesthetic. Unlike traditional, this style is less symmetrical – no matchy-matchy. Use different lamps, chairs, end tables, baskets, trunks and a fun focal point like a sunburst or fun art…

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Hollywood Glam – is another distinct style in that it’s very feminine and glitzy with lots of mirrored and brass accent furniture, contemporary art, crystal chandeliers, custom window treatments, pastel or white area rugs, light fabrics and of course a lot of bling. This style is best suited for traditional homes with many architectural details (crown molding, paneling, fireplaces and  large windows).

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It’s reported that only 5% of people have the “gift” and vision for interior design. Most people either settle, decorate like their friends or family or buy furniture sets from one store (BIG MISTAKE!) Creating a room is a thoughtful process and takes time. We we shop at many different stores from antique shops, to popular stores with mass appeal like Restoration Hardware (one of our favorites) Ballards Design, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn,  ZGallerie, Room & Board, West Elm, HomeGoods (where you will find amazing deals on high-end products.) We also work with consignment stores, fabric sources and whole sale rug vendors along with boutiques for one-of-a-kind accessories.

If your home isn’t the sanctuary you deserve let us help you create it within your budget and time-frame. Call Elite Staging and Redesign at 201-602-2562 to start the process today! We transform entire rooms or help you with the finishing touches and everything in between.