A Quick Guide to Popular Interior Design Styles
How you decorate your home says a lot about who you are. Having so many styles to choose from can seem overwhelming at first, but our handy décor glossary can help you discover what looks best express your personality.
Bright paint, vivid patterns, and plenty of houseplants form the most modern take on a bohemian look. Layered rugs, rattan furniture, and patterned wallpaper can also help you achieve this freewheeling style. Don’t be afraid to pair traditional furniture with exotic textiles. For a true boho, it’s all in the mix.
Contemporary is the look of the moment, the style you’ll find in the shops right now. Brass accents, glass tabletops, and solid colors are punctuated with bright accents and graphic art. Steel, concrete, and other industrial materials add an edge. But this style is both functional and comfortable.
To add a bit of country charm to a room, look for items that have a handmade quality to them. Simple and rustic, this look is a more feminine cousin to the Western style, with florals, checks, and stripe patterns paired with exposed wood and flea market finds.
The name makes this design style (pictured at the top) sound like a hodgepodge, but it does require thought. Eclectic design blends patterns and styles — such as modern end tables paired with a classic sofa — but to make it work, you need a good space plan. A cohesive color palette also helps pull the room together when pieces are varied.
Even before the success of the TV show Mad Men, mid-century modern was gaining popularity, thanks to its clean lines and low profiles. First introduced in the ’50s and ’60s, it’s still in style today. Smooth pottery and egg-shaped chairs are just a couple of ways to add a little of the style to your space.
Modern is similar to mid-century, but it tends to be simpler, with even less adornment. Think bare floors with furniture raised off the floor (no floor skirts here!). Clutter-free with lots of natural materials, the modern look works best for minimalists.
Light wood and copper accents are the basis for this clean, calm style. Valuing form and function over knickknacks and frills, this look often features black and white interiors with soft accents like knit throws or sheepskin to add a touch of hygge (Danish for “coziness”).
One of the most ladylike looks on the list, shabby chic has been popular since the 1990s. Overstuffed furniture slipcovered in white or pastels, timeworn furniture with coats of paint showing through, and antique accessories such as chandeliers add elegance.
It was good enough for Mom and Grandma, and it still works for you, too. Antique furniture and floral patterns may not seem very modern, but they never go out of style, either. Embrace heavy curtains and curved arms and legs on furniture. Remember to keep things symmetrical with matching lamps and end tables.
Simple silhouettes and warm neutrals rule in this style that blends traditional and contemporary. Popular because it’s straightforward (and easy to freshen up with pillows and accessories), this style blends both curved and straight lines. With a simple color palette, transitional décor lets textures and subtle shade differences add interest.
Warm leather, Western prints, and cowhide rugs give the feeling of the wide-open prairie to your living room or bedroom. Plaid, camp blankets and metal accents help add a dressed-up finish to this mostly masculine style.