You don’t have to be an industry insider to appreciate the character and influence of a kitchen or living space with a clear, well-developed design identity. But, as beautiful as Instagram-worthy homes can be, in a much deeper sense home designs aren’t about the home at all. They’re about the people who live there.

They’re about you.

Is your home an ornate, welcoming, traditional or farmhouse space? A sparse but sophisticated modern gallery? A contemporary or transitional sanctuary? Or something even more exotic?

These choices and the way you build your home and the spaces within it matter. And while you can certainly pick what you like as you go, settling on an overarching design language up front, before you build or remodel, can have a unifying influence on the entire process and help you (or your design team) craft a result that is perfect for you and who you are.    

So, with all that behind us, here’s a brief rundown of the primary design styles you’ll find here in West Michigan in 2023 and why they’re so well-loved.

Traditional Homes

Traditional home design takes its notes from classic, luxurious furnishing and architectural features that were popularized around a century ago or before. This means elegant, elaborate, old-world inspired décor heavy on ornamentation and artistic touches.

Traditional homes have more than enough freedom to incorporate wallpapers, chandeliers, traditional artwork with ornate frames, wainscoting, patterned upholstery, and ornate baseboard, cabinet face, and crown molding designs.

While traditional spaces do run the risk of feeling cluttered or stuffy, and they can take more work to deep clean, when done right they can be among the most elegant and impressive home designs out there.

Modern Homes

Modern, in interior design terminology, doesn’t refer to the present day. Instead, it points back to the early to mid-20th century, a time when designers boldly and freely experimented with materials, shapes, colors, and concepts of all kinds. 

Traditional ornamentation using wood and upholstery gave way to cutting-edge manufactured materials with bold colors, clean lines, and smooth, sleek surfaces. Chrome, metal, glass, vinyl, veneer, and even polished concrete were used to full effect in new and unique ways.

Today, modern-style homes may have a distinctly retro feel to them, along with a distinct sense of sophistication and creativity. And, with modern also often incorporating Scandinavian and European design notes, there is plenty of room for a modern home of the present to incorporate natural materials along with a functional, comfortable minimalism. .

Contemporary Homes

While other design styles look back to the past for inspiration, contemporary designs are popular interior design language of the present day. And it shows.

Most contemporary designs emphasize sleek simplicity, with each element slimmed down to basic, beautiful elements and complimented with a very balanced overall use of space. Clean lines and modern materials are contrasted with open space, natural materials, and ample natural lighting to create a relaxed, open, and luxurious feel that’s intended to give off a sense of luxury and refinement.  

Contemporary designs look great in photos and can absolutely impress home buyers. And the clean lines and emphasis on form as well as function can make cleanup and maintenance in contemporary homes easier as well.

Transitional Homes

Like contemporary designs, transitional designs are another in the moment design style. But transitional homes aren’t too bothered by being current or fashionable. They go with the flow, building a very flexible middle ground design language that embraces both the timeless comfort and warmth of traditional elements and the openness and cleanliness of contemporary features by using each of them freely and in combination.

This can make transitional spaces hard to define, as they really are a blending of the current and the classic. These unique homes have been described as a marriage of comfort and elegance, and if you just want to put together a home that speaks to you, a well-designed and balanced transitional space is a great way to go do it.

Farmhouse Homes

A time-honored favorite here in West Michigan, both traditional and modern farmhouse designs are all about bringing a timelessly rustic feel into your space. This usually means a central use of natural materials like wood, brick, or stone, as well as the use of distinctive elements like farmhouse tables, barn doors, wooden beams, shiplap, wide-plank floors, signature lighting, shaker cabinets, apron-front sinks, open shelving, or freestanding cabinetry.

Farmhouse homes tend to feel delightfully dressed down and homey, putting function first and always working hard. And, unlike some of the more minimalist, gallery-like design schools, a farmhouse-themed house will always feel like home.  

Make It Your Own!

There are many other design styles out there to choose from and play with, including (and certainly not limited to):

  • Shabby chic
  • Southwest
  • Industrial
  • Minimalist
  • French Country
  • Scandinavian
  • Coastal
  • Art Deco
  • Mediterranean
  • Bohemian

But the ones we’ve covered above are generally the most common and may be the easiest to work with here in Grand Rapids.

Of course, you are always free to decorate and design your home however you want. But while drapes, chairs, tables, and picture frames can do a lot, for a truly cohesive space you may need to go deeper, remodeling your space’s architecture and features from the ground up to build a more comprehensive whole. And that’s where we come in. If you have a vision for your home or you need help designing and putting one together, contact our interior remodeling team here at Amber Valley Construction and let us help you bring your West Michigan dream space to life. Reach out today!