Modern design is rooted in minimalism. Function is the focus, so lines are clean, decorative elements are subtle and accessories are kept to a minimum. A modern space is likely to feature a neutral color palette, polished surfaces, strong geometric shapes and asymmetry.
Order, symmetry and balance are the key elements of classical interior design. Classic spaces are often built around a focal point, like a bed or a feature fireplace, that forms the center around which a visual balance is achieved. In addition to the mirrored setup, classic design is characterized by natural colors, elegant fabrics, and natural flooring or wood, stone or marble.
If you want to live in a cottage without having to deal with that pesky "actually living in a cottage" thing, give your pad a country makeover. This is your chance to scour flea markets and antique shops for rustic furnishings and handmade decorative doodads. Country style is cozy and comfortable but sometimes cluttered, so it's not ideal for a small space.