When we talk about ambience of a place it refers to the character and atmosphere of a place and the impact it has on the visitors. People talk about colonial ambience which means that the interiors and the decor remind them of the colonial days. There are no set rules as such that say that a certain style is the best . What is important is that any interior should be pleasing to the eye and create a favorable impression on the viewer.

What does style have to do with ambience ?

I remember reading somewhere that the relationship between ambience and our surroundings is about finding the inspiration and the guidance outside to enhance our lives on the inside. Also according to them, the beauty of any change is that it is impossible to predict the outcome so one has to have the conviction and courage to undergo change in life, be it with your own personality, dressing style, hair style or your interiors. Ambience and Style are interlinked because without style there is no atmosphere or any special character to any place.

Most of the interior designers tend to go by and follow the set rules rather than be different where colors and patterns are concerned except a few who like to be different. They are self taught and applaud originality and be free of the traditional restraints when it comes to decorating. They are not afraid to mix the old with the new or the formal with the informal and get a fusion that is often different and when it becomes a trend followed by others.

Through experience I have learnt that the best interiors come from the heart and from a passion for collecting and having an eye for detail. Stylish interiors need not be expensive or carry any brand name with it. In a way style and ambience do go hand in hand one complementing the other.

Many different styles of interiors and the ambience they create

We can see that the decorating styles have evolved over the centuries in response to the changing tastes of various groups of people and also based on cultural changes. Every style that evolves is an outcome of a change or an evolution, which has benefits to the people who enjoy their home atmosphere for many years to come. 

Many styles were born out of previous existing styles and have evolved into a distinct type of decorating for a certain feel for a certain taste. All the different  interiors are to do with life styles of different category of people.

I am listing down some of the more popular styles of interiors and how they create an ambience of their own...

 Contemporary style of interiors and Ambience

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Most interior designers prefer to use this style since it is time tested and safe as far as they are concerned. It also may be because it is more popular the style is well documented and is easy to follow. The most noticeable design features under the contemporary styled interiors include solid colored furniture and accessories matched with contrasting blank slate of walls and floor. The furniture normally has sleek, straight lines with sharp corners. Everything is neat and tidy with just a few accent pieces being used, which leaves a clean and open look for visual appeal – May be just a flower vase on a corner table or a painting that is neither too loud nor too ethnic! This kind of interior brings in a feeling of being prim and proper and somewhat severe!

In effect contemporary style doesn't have ruffles, fringe, floral prints, or furniture with fussy carved details. It is all about clean straight lines and absolutely no room for clutter. So the good news is that if you are naturally a messy person, you may also have to keep in mind that you may need to change your lifestyle.

Classic Contemporary style of interiors and Ambience

A classic contemporary style is a little like contemporary style but much more informal. In Classic contemporary style of interiors , softer color on the walls contrasts with matching brighter colors in the furnishings , with a highlighting feature like an artwork on the walls as the visual emphasis. Unlike contemporary style , the furniture here is rounded ,offering an appealing and warm setting that draws the visitor to sit and rest awhile.

It is much more informal in looks while compared to the prim and proper contemporary style and the colors are complementary and blend into one another , instead of contrasting to draw the entire room into focus without an abrupt focus on one single element only !

Traditional style of interiors

The ambience created by a traditional style of interior is very striking and is becoming very fashionable these days. A formal home setting is the most appropriate choice for this style. Most old time homes have this style of interiors which have been faithfully passed down through several generations. It is this journey through many time periods , that create a sense of timeless tradition in a home that is decorated in the traditional style.

The choice of color is normally in rich tones including gold, silver, honey and copper. A lot of Silks, Taffetas, brocades and satin fabrics are used in this style of decorating. The art works are rich and often intricate with rich detailing set in ornate frames. All in all, Traditional style of interiors remind me of the good old days of royalty and aristocracy, which the new interior decorators are now trying to recreate and some of the interiors are breathtaking!

Eclectic Style of Interiors

Eclectic means composed of elements drawn from various sources. As the term conveys, the Eclectic decorating style is varied and can develop into a room that resembles any number of the other decorating styles. What it means is that it is an individual style developed by a person by mixing many styles. Colors are strictly up to the taste of the person who will live with the interiors and may or may not please the others. Most people who choose this style do so because they enjoy certain aspects of all the other styles and want to have a little of everything !!

Tuscan style of interior and the ambience it created

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Tuscan style as the name suggests originated in Italy. the original Tuscan style was developed by the tradesmen and the farmers that lived throughout Italy’s countryside. It is made up of solid wood furniture, many cup boards used for storage, warm colors and generally a cosy place to relax amidst one’s family. This style of designing was liked by the Americans who popularised it and gave it a name – The Tuscan style.

The colors that were popular included natural hues like beige and off white accented with rich reds ,copper tones and ocher found in the landscape. Muted tones were usually used for the walls, floors were made of rough unpolished marble since it was available in plenty and with the sturdy furniture , the ambience it created was that of a soothing setting that fills with warmth and welcomes everyone.

Ethnic Interiors

Ethnic means , relating to aparticular region, but when it comes to design ethnic has now become global since there is a lot of mix and match between different cultures and sub groups. We can see an Ethnic South  Indian home having features like an African vodoo mask or a Japanese painting on the wall, below which one can find a traditional urli with flowers floating in the water. They do blend in somehow inspite of the different styles.

Ethnic these days has become truly global and we see many different styles blending together and merging with one another to create a look that is traditional and many a times crowded with details, but definitely attractive . I have seen European homes that have clean straight almost contemporary style of interior having a traditional Indian Brass lamp on a side table and a few Chinese painting on the walls and a bonsai. It looks good and more informal, unlike the severe look that most contemporary homes have.

India has many ethnic styles of interiors , each one complete in its oown way, like the Rajasthani style, Chettinad style, kerala style of interiors, Gujrati style and so on.They are all distinct in their look, but occassionally we get to see a blend of these different looks as well. If it is tastefully done it can look good.

Natural look or Garden look

There are some homes that remind us of open spaces with greenery and other elements of nature . Such interiors are called garden style of interiors .Most homes decorated in the Garden style will normally have a sun room filled with plants built onto an exterior wall like they have in Swiss chalets. One can find lots of house plants, accompanied by landscape pictures that enhance the garden and nature look.

Normally such houses have Large windows which allow for sweeping views of the landscape outside . The curtains are sheer so that a lot of light and fresh air comes into the house. Interior and outdoor furniture are  used inside the home as well, They are mostly made of cane and wrought iron and many rooms in the house lead to a verandah or a patio. Colors are vibrant and natural to bring the outdoors into each living space. This style is normally found in farm houses and holiday homes and some people who love the outdoors also adapt this style of interiors in their own homes.

The minimalistic Japanese interiors

The traditional Japanese interiors were minimalistic with open floor plans and were made of natural materials and had very mellow neutral colored interiors. It had a zen like quality which inspired people to tread with caution and talk in soft whispers. The interiors were aesthetically appealing and had an open look about it. The materials used are light and again straight from nature like bamboo, dark wood , stones and natural rocks and iron fittings.

The rooms were almost bare with only the bare essential furniture like a mat or a low table and tatami mats on which the guests and the family sat and had their meals. Of all the interiors Japanese interiors embrace nature and they believed in opening out their homes like the open space that surrounded them, that's why there are no walls. The rooms are divided at bed time or when there is need by shoji screens or traditional rice paper screens and a bowl of chrisanthamums or a sprig of orchid or any other seasonal flower. Everything is subdued and in impeccable taste.

Less is more, is the motto of Japanese interiors that make use of nature's colors and nature's materials.

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 Shabby Chic interiors

This is a modern British look or style that incorporates several different ooks. The walls are normally all-white or off white or any pale color, floors too have the same shade as the wall. The ceilings are stilted like in modified lofts and accented with vintage items .One can find a lot of wall art and paintings and pictures on the walls placed in a planned haphazard manner.

Soft pastels shades are used for cushions since the furniture is modern and may consist of a huge sofa bed or a divan . This is a style adapted by students, bachelors and working couple who want a fuss free practical style of interior that is easy to maintain.


It ultimately comes down to what your needs are and what your  life style is. Most people are happy to live within interiors that are neither here nor there, but seem happy to do so. Basically, when you evolve as an individual with knowledge and a broader vision, you want to have something better and this sort of aspiration in human beings has led to different styles of interiors that add to the ambience, character and the mood of a place. 

( All the pictures that have been used are from wikimedia images gallery)

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