Curious about what home design style is best for you? Check out these 14 popular types of interior design. Don’t be confused or intimidated by all the different design terminologies. Learn what the types of design styles are in this article.
Are you thinking of giving your home a new makeover? Planning your next room refresh? You must be looking for something that is in fits your home design style.
While exploring the design styles on the internet and Pinterest, you might have come across terminologies like ‘Minimalist’- ‘Contemporary’-‘Boho’- and several others.
Have you ever asked questions like “what are these types of interior design” or “what design style is for me”?
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to find out the types of interior design and choose the decor style that fits you best!
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Types of interior design: introduction
For starters, home decor style is somewhat like clothes. It is something that simply resonates with you, something that reveals your personality. It truly doesn’t feel like “home”, until it feels like “you”, right?
Each type of interior design has unique characteristics, furniture, color schemes, finish, vibe, and experience. This article will help you differentiate what each of the types of design styles means, so you can make your home purposeful and a deliberate statement about yourself in your home.
As you are in the process of finding your style and transitioning your home and the decor to a style that represents “you”, remember that more than likely you’ll be drawn to more than one design style and that is totally ok!
In fact, I’d say “my signature style” is a combination of modern boho transitional….that’s 3 wrapped up in one!
Let’s explore the top decor styles to find the interior design style that fits you best!
1. Traditional interior design style:
Let’s start with one of the most well-known and timeless styles. Traditional interior style predominantly takes inspiration from 18th & 19th century Europe.
The name is what it echos: elegant, warm, not overly fancy, and comforting decor style that evokes the traditions of the past without being specific to any particular period.
- Usually has old art pieces with an interesting story associated with them that can be a great conversation starter. It can be a chandelier collected from a palace auction or an antique candle holder adorning the coffee table. Etsy and Chairish are great places to find vintage and antique pieces for your home. See what traditional pieces are available right now on Chairish here!
- Sober and classy color scheme.
- Dark wood finishing to the furniture and floors.
- Furniture usually matches and is perfected in a furniture set, rather than mixed and matched.
- Fabrics feature a neutral or subtle pattern and include silk, velvet, heavy cotton, and wool.
The core idea of traditional interiors is to create a familiar and inviting space. Homeowners who appreciate antiques and arts over eccentricity will be drawn to the traditional style.
2. Transitional interior design style:
The transitional style is an interesting take on the traditional decor style by incorporating modern & contemporary elements in a way that looks effortlessly timeless.
The most distinctive feature of the transitional decor style is that it balances both masculine and feminine elements aesthetically.
- A neutral color palette like cream, grey, or beige.
- Comfortable, modern furnishing, like cushioned accent chairs.
- Natural textiles and fabrics.
- Minimal accessories with an aesthetic touch.
This design is perfect for you if the traditional is too dull or cluttered and the modern is too boring or sleek. It balances luxury with comfort, and antiques with functionality, adding glam and a modern twist to the elegance of the classic. The result is sophisticated.
3. Modern interior design style:
The modern interior design evolved in the early to mid-20s. After being infused with Scandanavian, mid-century, and post-modern elements, we have our current distinctive features of the “modern” decor trends.
- Furniture has clean lines with smooth and sleek surfaces.
- Incorporates a lot of metal, chrome, and glass surfaces.
- Not many tchotchkes or clutter. Design and style are usually brought in with art instead. My favorite places to find affordable modern art online are Minted and Artfully Walls.
- Bold color contrasts or monochromatic color palettes.
- Incorporates a lot of natural light.
- Black and white dominate the color palette with some faded blue, green, or yellow shades.
The modern design gives a sense of minimalism and simplicity in the entire furnishing. For a fresh and elegant look in the interiors, this style wins over the hearts of many people.
I totally love the modern style, but the best way I’ve found to may it work in my home is by mixing it with another design style. We accomplished this with our modern and vintage master bathroom renovation.
4. Contemporary interior design style:
Most people often think Contemporary is the same as Modern decor style. Although the designers often use them interchangeably sometimes, they differ from each other.
Contemporary decor style refers to the trends that are popular now at the very moment. For example, the contemporary decor style in the 90s is not necessarily contemporary now.
Contemporary styles are a bit harder to nail down because they are always changing!
- Natural light is used.
- Neutral colors.
- One particular pattern is followed for the accessories.
- Clean geometric shapes are used for texture.
- Large and dramatic plants in a simple container are used as a statement piece. You can do real or faux! Here’s the best places to find budget-friendly faux houseplants.
5. Mid-Century interior design style:
This decor trend (or should I say resurgence) started during the mid of ’90s. Due to the practice of indoor-outdoor living, the homes seem to have a breezy and uncluttered flow.
The mid-century style brings back the styles that were popular in the middle of the 20th century (1945-1970ish). If you’re struggling to think of what the mid-century style looks like, think of major Mad Men vibes.
This modern yet retro style has a fresh twist, timelessness, and a comfortable feel.
- Furniture is made with rich and luxurious woods like sandals, rosewood, teak, and walnut.
- Organic and geometric styles with many windows.
- Angeled or tapered legs at the bottom of furniture are common. Similar to the style of the table we have in our dining room!
- Accents with mustard yellow, and bright red for a pop of color
6. Minimalist Interior Design style:
Originating in Australia (some say Japan), it is one of the latest designs that come with a minimal number of accessories. From functional yet simple furniture to neutral color palettes, everything is simple and streamlined. No flamboyancy, no excess.
- The color pattern is simple, consisting of no more than two colors.
- Furniture with hidden storage or multiple uses. For example, a sofa bed, like this, or a coffee table with drawers.
The design is for those who like free space and simple elements.
7. Farmhouse Interior Design style:
The Farmhouse Interior Decor style is a type of Rustic decor style with a lot of organic and natural elements designed accordingly. While it tends to emphasize the rural architectural vibe, it also embraces modern comfort.
Made super famous by the “Queen of Farmhouse”, Joanna Gaines with the viral popularity of the HGTV show, Fixer Upper, this style became a huge decorating trend around 2015 and is still very popular.
- Reclaimed wood, like barn wood and pallet wood, is used frequently – whether for furniture, decor, or wood feature walls.
- Furniture and accessories are big and comfortable having distressed finishing with a raw look.
- Architectural salvage is common – think large shutters or windows on the wall for decor or corbels used at bookends or up on the top of cased openings.
- The color palette is mostly neutrals, with an emphasis on black contrasts.
- Mixing in kitschy vintage decor is popular as well.
8. Boho Interior Design style:
Boho decor style has been in fashion in recent times. It resembles the aesthetics of the 60s and early 70s.
In essence, a representation of a free-spirited, individualistic lifestyle that is a mix of different cultures resulting in an eccentric type of interior design.
- Bold patterns and bright colors for furniture and accents. However, the popular “boho chic” or “modern boho” style typically focuses on a more neutral color palette.
- Multiple textures brought in through things like rattan furniture, baskets and layered rugs.
- Accessories remind us of a variety of cultures around the world.
- A bold statement piece. People usually opt for big plants for a natural and calm vibe.
9. Industrial Interior Design style:
A common misconception among people is that the Industrial Decor style is for factories, warehouses, or something related.
- It has a prominent masculine appearance to it.
- Loft-style vibes have high ceilings, metal light fixtures, and old timbers.
- The color palette is neutral and usually dark, with rustic shades.
- Pieces of furniture are made with raw, unfinished, and unpolished materials – like pallet wood.
- A dash of color can be added using a piece of abstract art.
10. Rustic Interior Design style:
The rustic interior decor is a style that revolves around natural, earthy, organic, and aged elements. The focus is to display the majestic beauty of nature.
- Calming, traditional, and neutral colors like beiges, browns, whites, and grays are essential.
- Most of the furniture is made with real wood.
- A lot of textural variety is due to the use of natural elements. Rough wood with grains and chairs made with jute, raw fireplaces, or woolen rugs are common elements.
- Fabrics do not have bold colors or loud patterns. The entire look is very sophisticated.
11. Scandinavian Interior Design style:
One of the easiest decor styles to recognize, the Scandinavian design is a combination of various styles that is predominant in the five Nordic countries. Sometimes called “Scandi”, this style is very popular right now.
This decor style pays homage to the minimalist, highly functional, and simple lifestyle of the Nordic people.
- Encompasses the Danish concept of hygge for a cozy, comfortable vibe.
- Almost all-white color palette with ashy or light blue tone to the wooden accessories.
- Wood, especially light wood, is a distinctive material for floors, furniture, and statement pieces.
- Big windows for maximized natural light and airy space with typically no window treatments. Usually always white painted walls, which emphasize the natural light.
- Wood furniture usually has warm tones, gentle lines, rounded and/or tapered legs, and curves.
- No visual clutter. Less is more approach to decor.
- Greenery ushers some life inside the rooms. Multiple houseplants are essential. If you’re a black thumb, philodendrons are the best ones to start with! Learn how to care for a philodendron here!
12. Coastal Interior Design style:
You do not have to stay by the beach to enjoy the beauty of the beach. The Coastal style is designed to experience the aesthetics of the ocean and sand indoors.
Not to be confused with the natural decor, this type of interior design has a very distinctive theme of its own.
- Color palettes usually contain light shades of white, tan, blue, and green. Walls are usually painted in white, which is paired with beige to mimic the sand. Additionally, pops of blue in other elements mimic the water and natural blue sky.
- Accessories made of natural elements, like shells or driftwood, are very common.
- Sisal or jute rugs are popular.
- Lightweight fabric or gauzy linen with faded shades of blue, white, or beige curtains.
- Windows are glass-covered for a see-through, breezy view.
- White-wash wood or light wood furniture is typical.
13. Shabby Chic Interior Design style:
Originally famous for its rustic, relaxed spirit, today’s approach to the Shabby Chic decor style has a more modern vision.
It is predominantly a vintage-loving style having antiques with a modern contemporary touch with laid-back vibes.
It has evolved this way by the tradition of older generations passing down their possessions to the next generation, and the latter putting their unique touch on them.
- Wooden/neutral furniture with colorful accessories (cushion, rug, cover).
- White painted and distressed or weathered antique furniture is quintessential Shabby Chic.
- Neutral wall colors like pale green, blue, or white for an uncluttered vibe.
- Use of natural fabrics like wool, cotton, and linen.
- A soft pastel color palette, with an emphasis on light pink and muted teal green, is common.
- Worn and lived-in look.
- Rose print patterns, vintage decor, decorative bird cages, quilts, and chandeliers are all popular.
14. Hollywood Glam Interior Design style:
Hollywood glam interior design has been popular in California since the mid-twenties. As the name suggests, this type of interior design is infused with a high-glamour luxurious vibe. It is a dramatic blend of art-decor and mid-century ultra-modern styles.
- Bright color combinations like pink & yellow, occasionally black & white.
- Reflected, designed, shiny marble floors for smooth elegance.
- Satin, silk, leather, fur, metallic and shiny accessories. Focus on things that look and feel “expensive” and luxurious.
- Dark and moody colors work well with this style.
- Large statement lighting is the star of the show.
This type of interior design is for those who want to experience the Hollywood glamour of red-carpet and fancy movie sets inside their interiors.
There are so many types of interior design and each is unique and complicated. Choosing the design styles that mirror your personality is an overwhelming task. Having a great sense of your likes and dislikes is a great starting point, but there is so much more to it for that perfect outcome.