We asked practicing professionals, architects, designers and decorators, to share their thoughts on how new trends in design are emerging. And describe the funniest style hybrids they’ve come across.

Jane Richards

Gap of theory and practice
It’s no secret that the world of interior design is no less prone to inventing new words and meanings than cubo-futurist poets. And many terms from the lexicon of designers and their clients (and what they mean by them) would be extremely puzzled by art historians who wrote volumes for the library. Why is this happening? There are objective reasons, including time and people. That environment of historical, social and other circumstances that contributed to the emergence of great European styles is long gone. And today, most perceive them solely as decorative patterns and sources of inspiration, of which there may be several. Hence the numerous hybrids like “American classics with elements of Provence”, “chalet with elements of Russian style”, “loft with elements of Gothic” and other “fusion”.

“There is a style that I call “minima deco,” Natalya Bazhenova gives an example. “This is when the furniture and the style of the entire interior are clearly leaning towards “minimalism”, but the accents (mostly lamps) are taken from Art Deco.”

Sophie Barfoed

agree among themselves
“In the Russian market, the concept of “style” exists for the most part more for customers than for designers – so that the first ones can roughly describe what they want in words. In practice, the concept of interior styles is very vague, which cannot be said about architectural styles. In Russia, there is a basic set of concepts: classic, modern / minimalism, country / Provence, kitsch / loft. Also, I would separately render “modern classics”. Further specification of the style is determined not by the name, but by analogues that are discussed by the designer and the customer,” notes Elizaveta Rabizo.

The customer does not care what baroque is there
If for historians of arts and crafts and culture the question of how, for example, the original styles differ from their reappearances (the same baroque or rococo came back into fashion several times) is important, then for interior customers it is often not. In addition, the perception of a given historical period is often influenced by films, fiction and other elements of pop culture, for which historical accuracy is not as important as a compelling artistic impression.

Tatiana Vakueva | Abwarten!

For a beautiful word
“Unfortunately, terminology and identification of a picture with a title are often lame in people,” notes Maria Katkova.

“Russian customers, for example, love the word “Provence”, although they often do not identify it in any way. They just like the term,” Irina Tatarnikova shares her observation. – But many rush to do it the way they understand. Although, it would seem, what kind of Provence can there be in a multi-apartment modern high-rise building?

In addition to rethinking existing terms, the industry is constantly inventing new ones. And they can baffle any architectural historian. Such insidious definitions include, for example, “glamor”, “modern classics” and even “eclecticism”, as well as other concepts in which everyone can put their own content.

For more persuasiveness
“In order to sell something well, you need to show something new all the time,” architect Sergey Startsev is convinced. – The task to surprise (in a good sense of the word) the customer is one of the main ones for the designer. After all, if he is not capable of this, it turns out that a person can make a project and repair for himself without him. Therefore, a large number of terms are used in everyday life, which are in no way consistent with the history of art and architecture, but magically act on people who have nothing to do with design.”

Well Done Interiors Olimpiada Arefieva

Art critics are confused
In classical art history, “eclecticism” is traditionally called a specific period in the middle or second half of XIX century, when applied art and architecture practiced obvious borrowings from different historical styles: baroque, rococo, gothic, renaissance and others. Different directions could coexist within the same district, one house (where there could be a Russian-style room, a Gothic dining room, and a couple of interiors in the style of different Louis), one room and even one item (furniture set or service).

KuDa Photography

Fact: Historically, the term “eclectic” has often been used as a term of abuse. And the scornful attitude towards him was not completely overcome. “Practice shows that we usually call eclectic something that, from the point of view of style, did not quite work out,” says Eduard Grabovsky.

But it is from the period of eclecticism, as many researchers of the issue believe, that the formation of the very concept of “modern interior” begins.

Michael J. Lee Photography

What is eclecticism today
Over time, “eclecticism” began to be called everything that did not fit into the framework of a single stylistic concept. In the modern interior, this term is also interpreted very broadly. Many experts are unanimous: by and large, the vast majority of modern projects are eclectic.

“If you look at the style of modern projects, professionals will easily notice the presence of two, three or more styles. To give a precise definition of a particular style, often, only the presence of characteristic elements in forms, decor and materials, for example, ethnic ones, allows. In most cases, the canons have been erased,” Mikhail Altotsky is convinced.

Pavel Zheleznov

What is modern style today
“I call it “just a good functional renovation”. What is now popular in both economy and business class. You can call the result a modern style with an art deco element, with an eco-style element, with a classic element, and so on, depending on which accent elements prevail in the interior,” Olga Rudakova offers her interpretation.

Olga Shangina | Photography

Well Done Interiors Olimpiada Arefieva

The elusive “classic”
It just so happened that in our world “classic” is often perceived as a synonym for eternal values ​​and a win-win option. This is the key to her popularity. What is meant by “classic” in the interior?

“A Russian customer, as a rule, distinguishes two styles: classic and modern. At the same time, the classic is called “modern”. Often people say that they love Art Deco, but when you show it in a book, it turns out that it was not meant at all. It takes a long time to understand the options for classical styles in order to understand what the customer’s preferences are, – says Anna Yarovikova.

Good question: How do the three Art Nouveau styles differ from each other?


Beige style
“Very often from customers you can hear the definition of “light classic”, although this style does not exist,” Galina Voroshilova shares her experience. — Under “light classic” we always present something beige with slightly classic shapes. But when we start to deal with the customer, we understand, of course, that everyone means something different here.”


The advantages and disadvantages of the “beige style” is a separate issue. He has both his supporters and opponents, who associate such interiors with a lack of imagination and an unjustified fear of trying something less “safe”.

“The most common style that customers ask for is: “We are all in beige tones.” And every time we try to dispel their ideas about a beautiful interior, offering something not at all beige, ”says architect Galina Svarovskaya.

Good question: why the colors of the South of France are inappropriate in Russia

Stef Albert

Wealth and luxury
Do not forget that under the classics in Russia sometimes they mean variations on the theme of large palace styles. “Russian customers have a “kitsch” style, which they call differently: classic or something else. “Everything that glitters” is collected there: more gold and expensive furniture, paintings and sculptures. The task of the designer in this case is to stop the client in time,” Olga Bakhareva is sure.

Nina Frolova

All our styles are Russian
Another powerful engine of progress and fantasy that should not be underestimated. The Russian customer, as professionals note, is inclined to perceive many things in his own way. Some explain this by the mentality at the junction of European and Asian. Others – the specifics of the life of the country in XX century and the Soviet legacy. Hence the whole bunch of “national trends”, and their own interpretations of famous European styles.

“All our styles are “Russian”. For a long time, designers have not maintained a well-defined style, as they want to please customers. From here we have both Russian Provence and Art Deco,” Olga Savchenko is convinced.

Some directions cause a smile, some are mostly perceived with sympathy.

Lavka Design

“There are certain established, very Russian images. Firstly, the “traditional dacha style” is the style of the old dacha villages of the early and middle of the 20th century: with white glazed verandas and Viennese wicker chairs. A bit of antiquity and a lot of comfort and summer. Secondly, it is an image of the “intelligent Moscow style”: all the best that was in the interiors of Stalinist apartments, old tenement houses, with an atmosphere of calm classics, without pretentious luxury and always with books,” notes Anna Pivovarova.

Christina Tsymbal | Kristina Tsymbal Design Studio

“Russian customers sometimes have an irresistible love for everything “their own”, “natural” in the construction and decor of the premises, notes Olga Shalygina. – A sort of symbiosis of Russian folk art in crafts made of wood and other materials and the Scandinavian style. If a competent designer works on the project, then it can turn out to be an extremely unusual, cozy and not overloaded space.”

Among other things, designers also highlight the “terem” style: a richly decorated house with pronounced Russian attributes, including many hunting accessories.

Photo “Before”

Ban Architecture

Renovation as a style of Russian 90s
Another legacy of the 90s is the unforgettable “European renovation”: a style that many designers would rather “reinvent”.

“Some things are very sad to talk about. For example, the “dashing 90s” style: a wave on the ceiling, a sofa with a wave with armrests, a corner bath, a dolphin in a self-leveling floor, live,” Olga Khovanskaya and Maria Stepanova ironically.

“There is a hated, but so far completely ineradicable “European renovation,” says Anna Lopatkina. – This is our phenomenon. Everything is predominantly in the same beige tones, with multi-tiered suspended illuminated ceilings, with furniture and accessories that are quite difficult to attribute to any style in principle.

But the “European-style renovation” could also be approached with imagination. For example, among the ads for rented apartments came across “European-style renovations in antique style” and other unforgettable options.

Renovation – a curse word or a “Russian phenomenon”?


When Habits Matter
“We still have a special business style that differs significantly from Western models,” notes Natalya Yanson. – Let’s say business style is associated with solid wood shelving and an armchair with a capitonné back. It is conceptually far from ultra-modern Western offices in light colors with glass and metal inserts.”

Lavka Design

Hobbies are another inexhaustible source of interior inspiration.

Lyons Hall Interiors LLC

“Russians have a “traveler style,” Elena Velkhli is convinced. “They love to bring items from different countries, which designers then have to assemble in a single interior.”

There is nothing wrong with this, quite the opposite: things that are close to the owners add “life” to the space. Moreover, in the Russian soul there has always been a craving, firstly, for the exotic, and secondly, for collecting. It’s just that hobbies thematically do not always coincide with interior preferences, which sometimes makes the design task more difficult. But the result is often quite impressive.


  • How to reflect the customer’s hobbies in a design project
  • How to store souvenirs so as not to add a mess to the house

What unexpected interior styles have you come across? What definitions surprised or puzzled you? Share in the comments section!