A Beginner's Guide to Home Design Lingo

A home designed and built by John Kraemer & Sons.
Don’t be left in the dark by design lingo.

For those contemplating a living space makeover or a move, combing through the vocabulary used by designers and home builders can be confounding. Let’s unlock some of their precise meanings. 

Biophilic design: Architectural approach that aims to connect a building’s residents more closely to nature

Bespoke: A custom-made product made specifically to a person’s stipulations

Contrived patina: A weathered-looking surface, formed naturally or not

Eclectic: Term for mixing a variety of styles, periods and trends in one space

Fenestration: Design, construction and presence of any openings in a building, such as windows and doors

Feng shui: Chinese practice of harmonizing one’s energy with one’s home’s energy to create a welcoming space

Hollywood regency: Embracing glamour and comfort of 1930s Hollywood with a bold use of color and contrast

Hygge: The Danish way to live well in a home by using cozy comforts

Modern farmhouse: A mix of rustic and refined styles through airy interiors and original details

New traditional: A modernization of the English country style, mixing formal furniture with casual accents

Parquetry: The use of wooden inlay bandings for decorative effect by repeating patterns in furniture or flooring

Sustainable design: Reducing or eliminating negative environmental impacts

Wabi-sabi: The Japanese world belief is also a designer trend, focused on finding beauty in imperfection

Wainscoting: An application of wood molding up to the middle or lower half of a wall

Zero net energy: Homes that consume only as much energy as they produce by renewable means