Discern Living is all about helping you discover your sense of style and exploring that style with Discern Looks, décor inspiration, expert advice and trend stories. We have created a Style Quiz which helps you narrow down on exactly what kind of sensibility you lean towards which can then help you create a beautiful home more easily and effectively. We provide you with deep insight into each style and create a personalised profile for you on the app which helps you understand your style better. So what does it mean if you’re more classic versus ethnic? Well, here is our breakdown of what your décor style says about you!

At Discern, we define the Classic style of furniture and design as that which dates back to the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. It was during these periods that furniture was crafted by skilled artisans and bore intricate details and decoration reflective of that time period. While this style continues to exist in its pure form, it is also being redefined to suit contemporary tastes and preferences, resulting in a sort of transitional movement from classic origins. Colonial design refers to furniture that specifically shows elements of British, French, Dutch and Portuguese influences in India. However, European Classical design is the sense of style that one most connects to Classical design as it refers to popular Western classical styles, such as Italian Renaissance, Victorian Louis XV and XVI, Baroque, Gothic, Neo-Classical, Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Rustic design refers to Classic Vintage, French Country, Shabby-Chic, American Classic furniture which are derivatives of European and Colonial furniture, but simpler in form and detail. This style is best represented by distressed and deliberately worn-out finishes, with very little to no ornamentation, in order to create a more natural, casual and comfortable ambience in interior spaces. 

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Those who enjoy this style may not all be conservative or traditional but in fact enjoy diverse references to history, expert craftsmanship and want every piece they own to tell a story. You enjoy doing things larger than life and are very particular about aesthetics. A Classical design lover pays a lot of attention to their home and rather than mix and match, you will choose to stick with one theme through your décor. You enjoy heavy wooden furniture, bold accents and antiques and artifacts that provide a lens to a simpler, more beautiful time where the design was of one particular strain.

Classic living room
Classic Rustic Romance -
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Ethnic décor in India tends to lean toward one very particular style of design which we call the Indian Ethnic style. Here you find walnut-wood carved furniture, inlay work, Meenakari jhoolas, silver and mango wood chests and floral motifs. Ethnic design goes beyond this is that it reflects the art and architecture styles indigenous to key civilizations of the world and serves as the basis of form and inspiration for many design movements. For example, the Art Deco movement made use of Assyrian and Egyptian motifs as ornamental embellishments. French Japonism and Chinoiserie were inspired completely by Japanese and Chinese art and aesthetics; the Indo-Saracenic school of architecture drew forms from Indian and Islamic architecture and art with British architecture.


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Apart from the Indian Ethnic style, you can also look at Asian Ethnic design which includes traditional furniture crafted during the flourishing dynasties of the Far East (Ming, Qing) and design forms native to the Far-Eastern countries of Japan, Indonesia, Korea, China and so on help define what Asian furniture is. Indigenous furniture influenced by Islamic cultures from Turkey and North Africa, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, to Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, come together to define the basis of the Middle Eastern aesthetic and décor style. Afghani and Turkish kilims depicting local myths and legends, silk Persian Isfahan carpets, furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl and Moroccan lamps with filigree designs are some popular examples of Middle Eastern décor. 
These types of furniture can be ornate, detailed and very expressive which means you are a lover of the arts. Books, paintings, sculptures, film; you have a great repertoire of these and enjoy sharing beautiful things with the world. It’s clear that you have a good eye and an interest in history but more than that, you are aware of how time always comes around full circle and that we always tend to look to the past and our cultures for inspiration.
Elephanta caves -
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The Modernist design movement flourished in the mid 20th-century post the Art-Deco movement, as mass production due to industrialization gained momentum and became an everyday practice for architects and designers. This theme was a radical departure from classic forms, styles, and techniques, in which function preceded form. Mid-century design is probably one of the most popular forms of modern design, especially in India. By this, we refer to the cubist, minimalist, Bauhaus and brutalist movements that were embodied by the armchair and ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier’s chaise lounge and the Barcelona chair by Mies Van der Rohe. 

Scandinavian design is also gaining popularity steadily around the world and, as the name suggests, was developed in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands. This kind of design focuses on simple, functional and minimal lines. IKEA is a great example of functional yet beautiful Scandinavian design. When you move through the 20th and 21st centuries, you start to see contemporary modern design start to emerge. An always evolving style, contemporary design caters to living in the modern world with materials like glass, high gloss polish lacquers and metals; techniques like electro-plating; and silhouettes with clean lines, crisp edges and smooth textures.

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Being a fan of this kind of design means you love clutter-free living and find that less is always more. You are always impeccably dressed and are also very well read. You travel around the world visiting design hotels and destinations because beauty and function must always walk hand in hand! You also appreciate technology and can always be found with the latest gadgets, along with home automation that helps make your life simpler and easier. 

Modern Mid-century Living Room -
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As you can imagine, a Trendy design is based on current trends. Most trends do have some historical significance and then there are certain trends that have stood the test of time. Industrial design is one of these trends. Inspired by the factories of the Industrial Revolution, this style uses industrial equipment repurposed with distressed wood, iron and oxidised metal patinas to create a more casual aesthetic that lends itself beautifully to laid-back environments such as bars, clubs, restaurants and commercial spaces.

coffee table
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Eclectic design is another style that comes from nowhere in particular but has a very particular way of working. Anything can be eclectic if you want it to be, for example, setting a European armchair against an Asian themed wallpaper can look very trendy in an eclectic way. This style takes inspiration from all over the place including glamour, ethnic, modern, industrial and rustic themes. Glamour is another trend that is incredibly popular in India. Here you will find luxury, polish, and sophistication. Furniture forms are highly detailed, intricately designed and embellished with contemporary techniques and processes.

 If you lean toward this school then you are definitely a jet-set personality who has a taste for the finer things in life. You are always ahead of the curve whether it comes to fashion, work or your home. You enjoy being the first to know what’s going on and are always the leader of the pack. You love to entertain, socialize and learn about what’s going on in the world around you.


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Did you find this article helpful? If you have anything to add on any of the styles mentioned above or have any queries then do write to us at interiors@discernliving.com.

For more design tips, design advice and inspirations download the Discern Living App (available now on  

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Straight up, no BS. Some hand picked products that we feel you’ll fall in love with. Correction, we know you’ll fall in love with.


Bougainville Armchair - Linen Vintage Rose Country Garden

by Gulmohar Lane
Rs. 33,500/-


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Dinan Side Table - Natural

by TheArmchair
Rs. 8,516/-


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Hoshyarpur Side Table

by Essajees
Rs. 27,091/-


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Medium Cherry wood Colour CutWork Corner Table

by Ficus Fine Living
Rs. 54,674/-


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