Modern Interior Design Terms: Know and Use

The team at Sisal Rugs Direct has compiled a list of 20 interior design terms you should know and be able to use.

Language is the foundation for expertise in any field. If they don’t know the ABAA, then it’s unlikely that they are a rare books dealer. If someone can’t explain how to program in Python, they are not the person to ask.

If you want to be able to speak or learn about a subject, you must first master the language. You’ve come to the right place if your interest is interior design. We’ll list the foundational terms for interior design in today’s blog post.

You can explore the terms further by clicking on the categories. Let’s get started.

Furniture or Rug Descriptors


You probably know what an antique is, but you should also understand how it applies to home decor and furniture. Antique means that the item is at least 100 years of age.


It is essential to understand this term when discussing your favorite area rug style. Flatweaves do not use knots. These rugs are usually more balanced and made of cotton or wool.

Pile Height

Another rug term. Decimal points measure the pile height. The higher the number, the higher the pile. The higher the rise of a rug, the more “squishier it will be.”


This term is often used in vintage design because it is trendy. Tables and chairs have cabriole legs, which are double-curved wooden lugs. The bottom curve is concave, and the top is convex, giving it a distinct look.


This is a fun niche term, pronounced bah-besh. A bobeche, or round wax-catcher, is what it’s called. A bobeche is a round wax-catcher, usually made of glass or metal.

Club Chair

The low back of a club chair (which hits at or below the shoulder blades) defines it. Most commonly, it’s upholstered in leather.


Using contrasting materials (often tiles) creates patterns on a surface or furniture.

Schools of Design


The Bauhaus label describes a pre-WWII German school of modern architecture and design. It is often referred to by many as the beginning of contemporary design and its sleek, straight lines.

Mid-Century Modern

The Mid-Century School of Design is a top-rated and well-known design school. These pieces are from the 1950s or the mid-1900s. Minimalism, natural shapes, and an organic appearance characterize the organic style. This design style is characterized by plywood, aluminum, and molded plastic.


The industrial design is more prevalent. You will like the industrial style if you enjoy homes with exposed bricks, copper accents, and wood-metal combinations.


This is an over-the-top design style from the 1600s. This style is ornate and decorative, and it originated in Italy. Overdone elements characterize it. This includes twisted columns or moldings with oversized scrollwork. The class is sometimes called “rococo.”

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic decor is characterized by furniture and decor that looks old. This aging can be achieved by treating new items to make them look aged. This style is perfect for those who love antiques and flea market finds.

Art Deco

Design theory from the early 1900s. More specifically, between 1920 and 1930. This style is characterized by a distinctive visual style focusing on elegance and glamour. This style is defined by glamour, bright colors, glitter, gold accents, and stylized patterns.


Bohemian style is not a design that has a set timeline. Bohemian design is an interior philosophy that emphasizes mismatched items without sacrificing impact. Bohemian pieces are often found in thrift shops, flea markets, vintage shops, and other places.

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