GLOSSARY

We understand that interior design terminology can become confusing or overwhelming at times, so our expert designer, Danielle Langlois has come to the rescue and defined some of the more commonly used terms when discussing interior design and interior decoration.

Aesthetics

The visually appealing properties of design elements (e.g. movement, colour, shape, pattern and so on).

Alcove

A section of wall or room that is recessed.

Arabesque

An Islamic decoration style utilising abstract curvilinear motifs and intertwining foliage to create patterns.

Architrave

A decorative and functional moulded frame around a window or doorway.

Armoire

A movable cabinet that's usually larger than a wardrobe and features shelves and hanging rails.


Art Deco

An art style from the 1920s and '30s characterised by bold colours and geometric shapes.

Art Nouveau

An international style of decorative art characterised by flowing curves and complex linear designs.

Backsplash

Vertical material placed behind a sink, stove, or counter to protect the wall from splatter.

Banquette

An upholstered bench built on or placed along a wall for seating.


Bauhaus

A 20th century school of design, architecture & arts who were influential in minimalist contemporary design where "form follows function".

Bedhead

Fixed to the head of a bed, a bedhead is an upright panel or board.

Bespoke

Bespoke refers to something that is uniquely created for a particular client.

Bolster

A long, narrow cushion or pillow used to provide body support.


Brocade

Shuttle-woven silk fabric with elegant raised patterns created during the weaving process.

Bureau

A writing desk or dresser containing drawers for storage and a hinged flap.

CAD Drawing

A CAD Drawing brings the visual components of 2D and 3D projects to life.

Cantilevered

A beam or structure that is projected and supported at one end only.

Centrepiece

The focal point or feature placed in the middle of something (usually a dining table).

Chaise Lounge

An upholstered sofa shaped like a chair with a lengthened seat.

Cold Materials

Cold Materials have cooler shades and colours leaning towards blues, purples and some shades of green.

Combination

When two design styles are combined in harmony, it falls under the category of combination.

Contemporary

A design style that is simple yet sophisticated, focussing on clean textures and lines.

Corian

A common term for a solid surface type that contains natural, polymer minerals.

Daybed

A daybed is a smaller bed to be used more casually in a home and is not restricted to being in the bedroom.

Design Identity

This is when the importance of style, space planning and practicality create the foundation of a meaningful interior design transformation.

Eclectic

An adjective for décor featuring a diverse mixture of textures, trends, styles, and other elements.

Floor Plan

A technical drawing to scale, showing an above view layout of a building interior.

Flow

This refers to the cohesion and liveability when rooms are positioned well, and what their relationship is to one another.

Fluted Glass

Glass that is textured with vertical grooves.

Focal Point

The area where the eye is first drawn, such as a centrepiece on a table.

Functionality

Something that makes common human activities or experiences easier.

Gallery Wall

A wall exhibiting a collection of photos, artwork and decor.

Hamptons

A design style that is beachy, bright and features a lot of blues and whites.

Hard Finishes

The permanent materials found in a home (e.g. cabinetry, floors, walls etc).

Industrial

A design style adopted from the aesthetics of industrial spaces and factories.

Interior Design Styles

There is a broad range of Interior Design Styles, each with different style characteristics that contribute to an overall theme.

Island Bench

The centrepiece of a kitchen — the Island Bench offers additional space for meal prep, entertaining and more.

Layered Textures

This is when you bring different textured materials into one space to create interest and visual appeal.

Liveable

A space that is a pleasure to live in due to its helpful features.

Material Palette

This is used to determine all the materials that will be brought into your home, from curtain fabrics to wall colours and more.

Maximalist

A design style that is bold, colourful and believes busier is better.

Mid-Century Modern

Drawing on style elements from the 1940s, featuring clean lines and high functionality.

Modern

A simplistic, sleek design style kept minimal and elegant.

Modular Sofa

A sofa that is made up of main and additional sections, such as a chaise or arm pieces.

Mood Board

Ideas for an interior design or decoration project are visualised in a mood board.

Moroccan Tadelakt Finish

A Moroccan technique for wall surfacing, using lime plaster and soap derived from olives.

Mudroom

A second entryway to the main space of a home, allowing you to remove outwear before entering.

Multi-Functional

Something that has more than one use.

Niche

A shallow wall recess used for display or storage purposes.

Open Plan

Usually separate areas in the home that flow on from one to the other without walls in between.

Ottoman

A stand-alone piece of furniture, traditionally used as footstools or tables in living rooms.

Palm Springs

A coastal design style with a touch of glamour.

Patina

A weathered or tarnished finish on furniture or décor.

Pavilion

A pavilion is a separate outdoor living space where you can unwind or entertain guests.

Personality

When your own personality is brought into the home through design and decoration elements.

Perspex

A clear acrylic material.

Project Brief

In Interior Design, the Project Brief is the vision of the client/homeowner as they explain it to the Interior Designer whom they have hired.

Rammed Earth

Walls are made from a mixture of earthy materials, such as sand, gravel and clay.

Reconfiguration

This is when you change the structure or elements within a home.

Renovate

Taking something old and giving it a new look!

Roman Shade

Fabric window coverings that raise and lower with a cord system.


Runner

A narrow length of carpet or cloth used to decorate and protect flooring or furniture.

Rustic

A design style that celebrates natural materials, with a fondness of metals and ruggedness.

Scandinavian

A design style that strays away from clutter and focuses on meaningful, simple features.

Sisal Rug

Eco-friendly rugs that are made from Agave sisalana - a cactus plant!

Skirting

A protective board that runs along the border of the floor and interior wall.

Soft Furnishings

Delicate fabrics found in the likes of sheets, cushions, table linens etc.

Splashback

A piece of material that protects walls and surfaces from splashes.

Trundle Bed

A smaller bed stored under a larger bed, which can be pulled out and used for guests or as another bed.

Variegated

Something that is made of different colours, with unique patches and streaks.

Veneer

Multiple thin layers of timber bonded with adhesive to create decorative sheets with a wood finish.

Wainscoting

Interior panelling covering the lower part of an interior wall for decorative and protective purposes.


Wallpaper

A decorative paper used to cover plain walls.

Warm Materials

Warm Materials have warmer shades and colours leaning towards reds, oranges and some shades of yellow.

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