20 Interior Design Styles That Every Homeowner Should Know

Home interior trends come and go, but true style is timeless.

These trends never truly age but move in cycles and are vastly influenced by social change, environment, and personal preferences. While we use popular interior design terminologies like modern or contemporary quite frequently, not many of us know what these terms actually mean.

Whether you are building a new home or buying things to redecorate your existing one, you must know which styles appeal to you. You can mix and match things to create an accurately personalized home that feels unique, comfortable, and special to you. You can consult an interior designer, architect, or contractor, but knowing these styles can help you understand and make informed decisions when it comes to fixtures, finishes, furniture, and decor.

We have compiled a list of the most popular interior design styles that can help you curate a home unique to your personal taste and intuition while also fresh and distinct. Let’s learn about the most popular types of interior design.

Photo credit: Foyr.com

POPULAR INTERIOR DESIGN STYLES

Modern

The modern decor style was born in the early 20th century and has made comebacks time and again ever since. It is defined by a clear and simple color palette. It is usually tidy and depends heavily on basic elements such as crisp, straight lines and right angles. This streamlined style generally employs shades of gray, black, and white while other primary colors are used in faded undertones to complement the bold black and white themes. With an inviting feel and fresh individual elements, this style utilizes plenty of glass and steel accents while choosing decorative features with logic and practicality in mind.

Picture from: Corecontracting.ca

Contemporary

Modern and contemporary are two style terms that are frequently used interchangeably. However, contemporary is different from modern because it describes design based on the here and now.

The primary difference separating modern and contemporary design style is that modern is a strict interpretation of design that started in the 20th century. Contemporary, on the other hand, is more fluid and can represent the present with less adherence to one particular style. For example, contemporary style may include curving lines, whereas modern design does not.

Source: Presello.com

Minimalist

Sparked by the minimalist arts movement of the 1960s and 70s, and inspired by traditional Japanese design and Zen philosophy, minimalist interiors express the driving concepts of modernism with a restrained palette.

Stripping things down to their basics, minimalism offers an aesthetic that relies on the efficiency of the design. Devoid of distractions of clutter, minimalist interiors are streamlined to maximize on bold visual impacts and the underlying use of space.

Elements and motifs are kept to a bare minimum, with concealed storage and careful details playing their due part. Colors are explored in hushed tones with an accent or two taking center stage. The repetition and movement of lines and the introduction of natural light keep these interiors breezy and dynamic.

Scandinavian

Scandinavian design plays homage to the simplicity of life demonstrated in Nordic countries. Scandinavian furniture design often feels like a work of art, although it is simple and understated. There’s functionality in the furniture along with some interesting lines, many of which have a sculpture influence.

Other common characteristics include all white color palettes and the incorporation of other prevalent elements such as form-pressed wood, bright plastics, enameled aluminum, steel, and wide plank flooring. If there are pops of color, it often comes from the use of art, natural fiber throws or fur, or a single piece of furniture.

Spacious areas, natural lighting, less accessories, and functional furniture characterize Scandinavian design.

Industrial

The industrial interior design style is all about raw materials and unfurnished simplicity. It’s often found in lofted apartments and city homes. The style is perfect for those who want an edgy and urban look in their home. Industrial decor often features exposed brick, metal ceiling beams, concrete, and mixed metals.

Source: Architeturaldigest.com

Traditional

Traditional design style offers classic details, sumptuous furnishings, and an abundance of accessories. It is rooted in European sensibilities.

Traditional homes feature dark, furnished wood, rich color palettes, and a variety of textures and carved lines. Furnishings have elaborate and ornate details and fabrics like velvet, silk, and brocade which may include a variety of patterns and textures. There’s depth, layering, and dimensionality within most traditional designs.

Photo credit: Decorilla.com

Coastal

The name inherently gives you a sense of what the style entails. It’s all about the casual atmosphere you’ll find in many homes located on the coast. The style is all about bringing the natural elements of the shoreline inside your home.

There are a lot of white washed woods, blue tones, and plenty of white to help all that beachy sunshine bounce around the room.

Picture from: Interiorsbysteveng.coma

Transitional

Consider transitional the meeting point between traditional and modern. You will typically see a number of more traditional elements (like crown molding, wall paneling, or classic rugs) paired with modern furniture, art, or lighting to create a look that straddles the past, present, and future.

Source: Foyr.com

Shabby Chic

Shabby chic interior design is a popular style that incorporates vintage and antique furniture and decor. It’s often characterized by its soft, femine look with lots of pastels and floral paints. Shabby chic design can be used in any room but it’s particularly popular in the bedroom and living room.

If you’re looking to create a shabby chic style in your home, start by shopping for vintage furniture and home decor at flea markets and thrift stores and invest in quality chalk paint.

Photo credit: Homelane.com

Rustic

Rustic design draws the bulk of its inspiration from nature, and uses unfinished, raw, and earthy elements like stone and wood to create a homey vibe. This design style incorporates outdoor elements with warm, neutral color schemes and relaxed architectural elements to create its unique charm. Many homes in this category boast reclaimed wooden floors, copper accents, driftwood and wooden beams, and natural untreated textiles.

Image from: Mymove.com

French Country

As with most things, the French have been pioneers in terms of home style. Warm and earthy hues are characteristic of French country decor. This style incorporates ornamental woods and furniture, natural building materials like brick and stone, and final touches like decorative porcelain dishes, robust linens, and rustic accessories.

Bohemian

The Bohemian interior design style, often shortened to boho, is gaining popularity for its eclectic features. Boho interior design emphasizes mixing cultures and unique artistic expressions. The boho style often includes showcasing a wide range of trinkets as decor.

Bright colors and bold patterns juxtapose and saturate a room. An emphasis on nature is also part of the boho style. Animal print textiles and various plants draw on the exotic theme.

Designers who embrace the boho style often choose furniture individually instead of a matched set. The unconventional mixing and matching and implementation of pieces in the boho design sets this style apart from the others.

Photo credit: Housely.com

Modern Farmhouse

Modern farmhouse design puts a traditional country spin on contemporary style. It’s a newer design style that’s still being refined.

This style has the charm of a country house with features like exposed wood, quilted bedding and rustic decor. However, it also has the clean lines, neutral palettes, and open space that is incorporated in contemporary style.

The key to modern farmhouse style is to blend old and new together. Think incorporating an antique table, but surround it with new designer dining chairs. The style has cozy elements while still managing to look freshly updated.

Image from: Diamondsofa.com

Glam

The glam style should automatically make you think of glitter, diamonds, and all things jewel colored. It is an extremely daring interior design style to choose, not for the faint of heart. Most notably, this interior design style incorporates fine finishings along with leather and velvet to create an elevated look.

The beautiful thing is that you do not necessarily have to fill every corner with whimsical color and materials, but can tastefully choose one or two furniture pieces to add an air of classy Hollywood to your home.

Source: Whatsontech.com

Eclectic

Eclectic interiors borrow ideas from a range of different periods, styles, and trends. Break the rules, have a little fun, and inject your personality into your decorating; that’s what the eclectic style is all about.

Still, it is important to maintain a sense of balance within your decorating. The very best eclectic interiors are a cohesive blend of old, new, color, texture, and pattern. Pay attention to how pieces relate to one another and how they relate to the room as a whole. While similar, the eclectic style is less exoctic than the Bohemian style.

Picture from: Home-designing.com

Art Deco

The booming twenties: that’s what you should envision when you think of this style. Oversized geometric furniture with designs etched into and out of it. This design also features a lot of harsh lines. Colors can be brilliant tones of red, browns, and black, dark grey, and darker tints of other colors.

Art Deco features a lot of metal embellishments, especially chrome and brass. Chevrons, animal prints, striking patterns, and wall art all contribute to the Art Deco style. Think modern, bold, elegant, and angular forms.

Source: Bp-guide.in

Urban

Urban interior design contains elements of contemporary, modern, and industrial design to create a unique style that’s a softer, more comfortable take on urban living. A perk of this design style is that it also makes the most of small spaces to create functional living areas.

Urban interior design is all about creating a lived-in yet chic home with light colors and clear finishes, minimalistic furniture with sleek lines, vintage decor, cozy surroundings, and geometrical designs. Statement pieces are key to bringing personality in a space whether it’s through a bold accent wall or an interesting art piece.

Photo credit: curatedinterior.com

Tropical

A light, bold, and colorful counterpart to coastal design features a fun and playful aesthetic.

This design style features natural materials such as wicker, bamboo, or rattan, as well as plant life, tropical leaf, and palm tree motifs, and a soothing color palette of greens and blues. When choosing fabrics, stick to lightweight materials like cotton or linen to enhance the effortless vibes of tropical interior design.

Source: atomic-ranch.com

Mid-Century Modern

Popularized by the show Mad Men, mid-century modern interior design has seen a resurgence of interest in recent years. The style is distinguishable by its classic yet understated look that focuses on clean lines, neutral tones, functional furnishings, and organic shapes. Like the minimalist design style, mid-century modern interior design follows the principle of “form follows function” where spaces are kept open and uncluttered and decor is kept to a minimum.

Image from: Thelocalflea.com

Mediterranean

Mediterranean design blends Spanish, Greek, and Italian interior design styles with vibrant colors, terracotta tile, bold patterns, and organic accents. Shades like turquoise, emerald, mustard, olive, rust, and plum make up the lively color palette.

Start with ornate wood furniture built low to the ground, exposed wooden beams, and mosaic tiling on floors, countertops, mirrors, and backsplashes. Accessorize with detailed rugs, ceramics, natural fibers, and vignettes with wine bottles, fruits, and flowers.

THREE TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN STYLE

Twenty design styles is a lot to digest and that’s without considering the hundreds of styles we didn’t get to include in this article.

To filter out the noise and decide on the right style for your home we have a few tips that hopefully will help you pick your perfect style.

  1. Search for Inspiration

You shouldn’t jump in headfirst when it comes to home design. Instead, start by taking time to research and discover what you really like.

Start with lots and lots of images and do not be specific. Maybe there are colors you like, rooms or locations that speak to you….put them all on a wall or board and step back. You might be surprised to see that a style just begins to emerge.

Scan a variety of sources for inspiration. Research Houzz and Pinterest, peruse print or online magazines, and take your phone into stores in case you see something inspiring. 

Image credit: Decoholic.com

  1. Think about How You Want to Live

A little soul searching might help you find authentic interior design style. Just like fashion, we all love so many styles, especially when it comes to interior design. But the most important thing is to find out how you authentically want to live before you choose your style direction.

Think about what kind of home you want, keep a notebook with you, and write down anything that comes to you. Let your lifestyle be part of what dictates the design that you choose.

  1. Look at Your Home’s Architecture and Layout

The design of your home might go some way to helping you find the right interior design style.

Always take a look around your home and see if any built-in components stand out in a very particular design style. A few places to check are in the kitchen and bathrooms. What’s the aesthetic? What style are the cabinets? If your home has a fireplace, it usually has some type of material that easily gives design style away.

Consider the architecture of your home first and foremost. Do a little research online to find out what elements are traditionally featured in that style. Feature your favorites along with a mix of other design styles you love. You don’t have to pick one particular

While each of the styles we discussed has its own merits and distinctive features that appeal to different people, an elementary comprehension of these designs can help in curating your personal space. You can create stimulating visions of your home by identifying different types of interior design styles to afford a framework to build a personalized aesthetic that makes you feel comfortable and at ease in your home.