There are so many different types of Interior Design styles, it hard to keep up. So I have outlined some of the most common (and some of my favorite) styles to help you narrow down your favorite style!
The mid-1900s produced some of the most iconic pieces in modern design. Often referred to as Mid-Century Modern because it derives its influences from the modern art movement that preceded modern design, it is characterized by refined lines, minimalist silhouettes, and natural shapes. Woods, plastics, glossy metals including stainless steel and glass are common materials found in Mid-Century Furniture.
Tip: I would recommend mixing in elements from other design styles to keep your home looking fresh.
Industrial design is popular for decorating lofts and old buildings converted into living spaces, although it can be used for traditional apartments and houses too. What you need for this style is to create an illusion of rough surfaces and materials that suggest an industrial past. The simplest way to show roughness is to leave some walls or surfaces unfinished. Exposed bricks, steel beams or columns, exposed concrete, unfinished wood, and stainless steel work well for this style. In addition to some rough metal elements that will create an industrial atmosphere, you are looking for old industrial-looking objects that are made from steel, metal or wood. These items are preferably worn down or have been salvaged and recycled. Your color palette should steer clear of bright, bold colors; instead you should look for warm, neutral tones to fill your space. Shades and tones of gray work well when mixed with white to add a crisp, clean look.
Tip: Industrial decor ranges from modern rustic with cleaner lines to rugged vintage with elaborate ornamentations. Depending on your tastes, you can opt for a lighter, chic look or a darker, antique design.
Not sure what natural coastal looks like? Think New England beach house and you would be on the right track; unfinished or light color woods, white furnishings, soft linen fabrics, woven-wicker decor. Accents often include found objects from the beach like seashells, glass, jute rope, sailboats, navigational maps, and even rowing oars. This interior design style is based on white or sand colored foundation, with a range of blues as the accent colors.
Tip: Don’t go overboard with any theme. Pick a few keys pieces for each room and let those pieces nod to your style. Your room doesn’t need to scream “Under the Sea!” when you walk in, otherwise it will feel like you are at a theme park.
Traditional Design covers anything from 1700’s-1900’s and includes many different styles like French Victorian and Baroque, Greek/Roman, Italian Tuscan, American Colonial- all of which reflect classic European decor. Trademarks of this style generally include deep wood tones, architectural details, and elegant furnishings. One of the most important facets of traditional interior design is the silhouettes, also called the lines, of the furnishings. Wing-backed chairs, claw footed tables, and curved furniture pieces are examples of this. Common models for such traditional furniture are pieces attributed to the Queen Anne or Chippendale styles. Antiques are also often integrated into this design style, but many companies sell new pieces that mimic the lines of the old. Dark woods like cherry, maple, and mahogany are typically used in furniture pieces of this style. These are often carved and lacquered to give them a luxurious, elegant feel. Wood floors are also considered a standard for this decor, although tile and carpet are often used as well. Architectural embellishments are widely used in this type of interior design. These can include elaborate moldings, beveled wood paneling, and intricate tile and wood floor patterns. Arches, columns, and built-in cabinetry are also frequent features of this type of design.
Tip: Traditional Design is all about creating a sense of charm and history through old eclectic pieces. By adding antiques, collectibles, flea market finds, and estate sale items you can develop a vintage atmosphere.
Already have traditional furniture, but want to give it an update? Simply change the fabric to a more modern print or solid, or paint the frame a color- perhaps bright green, or maybe just white, you pick!
An off-shoot of the mid-century movement, Scandinavian design was introduced in the 1930’s. Although most people associate it with IKEA, there are a variety of subset looks within Scandinavian design itself. there are two interior design styles that are Scandinavian design: Scandinavian Modern interior design is centered around warm functionality, clean lines, flawless craftsmanship and understated elegance. Whereas Scandinavian Country interior design (Sometimes referred to as Belgian Interior Design to differentiate it from the Modern Scandinavian style) is a mixture gentle contours, playful accent colors, and a balance of engineered and organic materials. Many Scandinavian-styled homes are characterized by the use of earthy muted tones, natural materials and minimal ornamentation.
there are two interior design styles that are Scandinavian design:
Tip: To stay truly Scandinavian stick with light colored woods, minimal metals, strong lines, and neutral colors.
Bohemian decor captures the free spirited, adventurous collector’s lifestyle. It features rich patterns, vibrant colors, and layers of textiles (tapestry, pillows, throws, rugs). The furniture is often handmade or vintage and has a history or story which makes it uniquely personal to whomever possesses it. Often these types of furnishings are ethnic or tribal inspired like Moroccan, Southwestern, or Indian.
Tip: Look for color-rich textiles, a variety of wood tones, animal hides, and warm metallic accents like gold, copper, or brass.
Rustic Shabby Chic Farmhouse
This style is known as several styles: Rustic, Shabby Chic, and Farmhouse. It is mainly cabin-inspired, with some traditional French Provence elements mixed in. The furniture is characterized by family heirlooms, flea market finds, DIY projects, folk art, collections, found items and vintage pieces. Often the wood furniture is distressed wood or covered in sanded milk paint to show signs of wear and tear. The fabrics are often neutral color linens and cottons.
Tip: Get some dried lavender bunches and other greeneries and place them in vintage vases to add a little charm and great scent to your home. The rustic shabby chic farmhouse look often features wooden beams and columns as well as hardwood or stone flooring. If you don’t have these elements in your home, it is possible to put up faux beams or columns to achieve the look.
One of the most important elements in modern interior design is form. Modern design uses geometric shapes, including rigid squares and rectangles along with smooth curves (“clean lines”). Perfect circles and ovals are also common in modern interior design. Walls are minimal and often empty, and colors are usually very neutral with a few pops of color. Art is also usually very large in scale and minimal. The less furniture the better! Think of which furniture can be eliminated without sacrificing comfort and livability. Floors can generally be anything (hardwood, concrete, etc.), but should be completely clean with one rug to add color and create a focal point for the room. Modern Design is all about spare and streamlined while still being inviting, so the less clutter to wade through and mentally process, the more beauty of each piece of furniture really starts to stand out.
Tip: Choose a general muted color to be the default of your space, and an accent color or two to highlight furniture and other accessories. Keep your space very minimal, keep only the essentials and store everything out of sight. This means you will most likely need to get creative with storage. When you are out shopping think of all the “hidden” places you could put storage containers – under the sink, under the bed, under the sofa, etc. Keep all surfaces clear and free of clutter.
Ethnic Design refers to anything with strong tribal patterns including Native American, Mexican, Indian, Moroccan, and many more. All of these ethnic styles have a common use of rich colors, dynamic contrasts, traditional patterns, and the unique decorations and accessories. Exotic plants, tiles and textured walls all tie the experience and “ethnic” atmosphere together. These styles can often be found blended together in Bohemian Interior Design.
Tip: The quickest way to incorporate ethnic interior design is by using bright and colorful wool rugs, kilims or thin large rugs with traditional geometric patterns. Stick to deep, burnt shades rather than bright, bold colors for a warm look. Also use fabrics that integrate pattern and textured into your space.
This style is mainly associated with the World War I to World War II time periods, this style embodies the essence of the Roaring 20’s, exuding bold and flashy elegance. The most defining aspects are polished and shiny chrome or brass fixtures, geometric shapes, angular patterns, and bold curves. The furniture was often dark lacquered wood, and glossy paint combine for a slick and gleaming effect, sometimes with mirrored pieces attached to the surfaces. Fabrics were usually a mix of vinyl, silk and sati.
Tip: Choose rugs, carpets and upholstery with geometric, rhythmic motifs.
A Mixture of all the following styles: Traditional, Mid-Century, Transitional, Bohemian, Hollywood Regency, Modern, Industrial, Rustic Shabby Chic Farmhouse, Natural Coastal, Contemporary, and Scandinavian.
This is the most popular style in America. It is the type of furniture that you find most commonly at Pottery Barn and Ethan Allen. It is a refined take on traditional shapes with round, soft curved lines.
Contemporary Interior Design consists of straight lines, sharp corners, wide curves, sphere shapes, bold monochromatic solid colors, high contrast, minimal walls, and mixed metals. It has refined the shape of traditional furniture so much that it borders on Modern design with its simplified shapes. This style is the second most popular style, next to transitional, since these furnishings can go with just about any design.