The Design Guide - Affordable Art | 55MAX



The Design Guide

Posted on August 14 2015

Are you about to embark on a redesign? Or maybe you've just moved house and thinking of going for a contemporary look? Or perhaps you want your living room to have more of a retro feel? Whatever it is you are planning, understanding what interior designs represent should help you make some of them all important design decisions. So here at 55MAX we have put together a list of distinctive interior design styles especially for you! We hope it helps!


You don't have to be an interior designer to have heard the words "contemporary" and "modern" used to describe everything from architecture, to furniture, to overall home designs but do you know the difference? Although contemporary and modern terms do have overlapping characteristics, the two styles are actually quite different. If you are a lover of no-frills, clean lines, and neutrals, then modern design may be just the style for you! 

The modern art movement preceded the trends of modern design. In painting, modernism began with the impressionists and others who used abstract in their work. Modern interior design grew out of the decorative arts, notably art deco, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and modern design is defined more by its own trends, which have gone largely unchanged for several decades. 

Check out our beautiful Gatsby Collection wallpaper which was inspired by the refined patterns of the 1920's and art deco.

The Design Guide and Affordable Art from 55MAX



A contemporary design on the other hand refers to what is popular or used right now. The definition means “existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time.” Contemporary design can be very eclectic for that reason, because it is ever changing and borrows pieces and styles from all different eras. For example, furniture and art from the modern era are often used in contemporary design and that's why some people confuse the two.

Right now a contemporary home might incorporate large windows, unique or odd shapes, open plan and harmony with the surrounding landscape. The finishes would use a lot of natural elements too. 

Check out this image, which was hand selected by world famous Interior Designer Tara Bernard who was asked to oversee and update the Centre Parcs lodges to give them a more luxurious, contemporary feel. The forrest wallpaper gives each lodge a really unique, wow finish.

The Design Guide and Affordable Art from 55MAX


Retro is the style of ’50s, ’60s or ’70s. Go back any further and you're looking at more vintage styles although the two styles can frequently cross over. Retro style interior has a lively feel to it. From the psychedelic prints of the seventies to the fifties appeal of oversized light fixtures and bubbly forms, retro usually has a fun, lively feel to it, with bright colours, wild designs and an overall sense of "flair". Prints with geometric shapes, lines, plaid or printed with illustrations belonging to the Pop Art style is where it's at! Need some inspiration? Check out these retro tin toy robots available at 55MAX!


Vintage Interior Design' is about 1940's glamour and is all about creating a sense of charm and history through old eclectic pieces. By adding antiques and collectables to a room, you can develop a vintage atmosphere. Vintage interior design is about embracing the things of the past and enjoying them just as they are by repairing or refinishing them. Why not get a vintage print like this Rolls and red canoe, which is part of our platinum collection. 

The Design Guide and Affordable Art from 55MAX




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