CoCreative Interiors Glossary of Design Terms

Jun 9, 2022

Kilim? What’s that? And what’s the difference between Grandmillenialism and Maximalism? 

You’ll likely hear a lot of terminology and industry speak when working with an interior designer. The terms used can seem like a foreign language if you’re unfamiliar with them. Don’t know what a term means? Here’s a handy CoCreative Interiors glossary!

Art Deco: Short for Art Décoratifs, is often thought to be the same as Hollywood Regency. Art Deco features similar luxury but does not have the same eclectic feel. This style’s artwork, geometric lines, and structure are easy to spot and add a distinct touch to elevate any design.

design terms

Bolster Pillow: A long, narrow, cylindrical pillow filled with cotton or fiber for back support. It can be used as a decorative pillow in a bed or sofa and offer back support when sitting in bed or on the sofa. 

Coastal: This design style replicates the breeziness of the beach by using natural light, soft tones, and a clean aesthetic. Choosing a beachy color palette and light and bright accessories makes the coastal aesthetic feel like summer year-round without being too themed. 

A new trend known as Coastal Grandma is also on the rise on social platforms like TikTok. Coastal Grandma utilizes what you have available to you in the form of heirlooms and mixes them with elements that encourage relaxation and calm. This style blends well with our favorite design style, Grandmillennialism.

Duvet: A type of bedding that is a soft, flat bag filled with down, feathers, wool, or a synthetic material. It can be protected and dressed up with a comforter cover that fits the style of your space. 

Eclectic: A style that includes a variety of periods and styles. All of the elements are brought together through color, texture, shape, and finish. 

Floor Plan: A drawing or a visual representation of a home’s interior from above. Showcases the placement of walls and includes essential elements of the house like doors, windows, stairs, and main “foundational” furniture pieces. 

Grandmillenial: A modern twist on the classic design of the past: structured drapery, interesting wallpaper, floral prints, and colorful palettes. Rather than following trends, the Grandmillennial style incorporates elements that reflect interests and personality, combining them with a cozy, comfortable design. Short for “Grandma Millennial” and sometimes called “Granny-Chic,” this style is rooted in the past but adds a fresh spin with bright color, curated collections, and mixed materials. 

Hollywood Regency: A style inspired by the 1930s golden age of cinema. Also known as Regency Moderne or Hollywood Glam, it rose to popularity between 1920 and 1950. Pulling inspiration from this style means turning up the glam in an eclectic yet sophisticated way. Metal accents, lush fabrics, and deep jewel tones are true Hollywood Regency style hallmarks.

Inlay: A decorative pattern created with pieces of different woods or bones set into the surface of a furniture piece or elements such as flooring.

Jute: Type of natural textile fiber made from the jute plant. Jute is often used to make rugs and upholstery fabric for durability. It’s often featured in its natural color, ranging from light tan to golden brown, but the material can also be dyed to almost any color.

Kilim: A type of rug that is flat and thin with no pile. This type of rug is a great option for homes with kids and pets.

Layering: Created by covering a space with various elements that cohesively blend with each other and add depth and personality to the room. 

Maximalism: Showcases personality and experiences through a seeming mishmash of elements, Maximalist design showcases a curated collection of existing pieces paired with bold colors, layered patterns, and busy accessorizing. True Maximalism is characterized by adding items that enhance a design rather than simply adding elements.

Niche: A recess in the wall for displaying a sculpture or other decor.

Ottoman: Upholstered stool that sits low to the ground. Often used as a footrest, storage, extra seating, or a decorative accent. 

Palm Beach Chic: Characterized by vibrant hues and textural materials, Palm Beach Chic is a mix of Grandmillenial, Hollywood Regency, and Art Deco elements. This design style feels fun, airy, and playful. Clean lines and a bright white palette base provide a foundation to ensure cohesiveness and serve as the basis for most Palm Beach Chic designs. 

Roman Shade: A fabric window covering that can be raised or lowered with the help of a cord system and rings sewn on the back of the fabric. There are a variety of styles of roman shades to suit any design style. 

Sconce: A light fixture mounted to the wall instead of hanging from the ceiling. Unlike other types of light, a wall sconce typically points the light upward. 

Tufting: An upholstery technique created by tightly stitching layers of fabric together to form evenly positioned indents throughout. Depressions are often secured with a button, knot, or ribbon, although a more modern take is to leave them bare.

Upholstery: The materials, including fabric, padding, webbing, and springs, that make up the soft coverings of chairs, sofas, and other furniture.

Vintage: Using furnishings, accessories, and color palettes from older periods. The vintage style works well in Grandmillennialism, Art Deco, Maximalism, Palm Beach Chic, and Hollywood Regency design. 

Window Treatments: A covering placed over the interior of a window for both decorative and functional purposes. There are various types of window treatments to suit the style of any room. 

There are thousands of words that relate to interior design, but these are some that we explain to our clients often. 

Interested in learning more about any of the topics listed above? Check out the articles from our blog archives: 

Book your complimentary discovery call today if you are working on a design in your Charlotte, NC, or Lake Norman home and need some guidance! We love helping our clients create a design plan and find the perfect pieces to bring the room to life. You can also grab our FREE design and project planner to use as a resource for starting your design adventure.


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