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Design Styles

Interior Design Style Comparison

 

When it comes to interior design, think of your home as the blank canvas on which you can pour out your personality. This individual expression can be accomplished in any number of ways. You could take inspiration from the home you grew up in, emulate appealing styles you've seen online, concentrate on statement pieces you love and build around them — or anything in between.

 

There are seemingly countless interior design style types, each with its own slight variations, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between them — like contemporary and modern styles, for example. It also gets tricky to put a finger on just what you like about a staged room in a magazine. That's why INTERIORS HOME is here to help. This interior design style guide will break down some of the most popular and recognizable design styles into their basic elements, teach you how to replicate them in your own home and even share a bit of the history behind the look.

 

Let’s get started:

 

  1. Traditional

 traditional interior design style

Origin and Inspiration

The traditional style is quite the mash-up, drawing from 18th-century English, 19th-century neoclassical, French country and British Colonial influences. It also aligns with the classic style in its preference for symmetry.

Defining Elements

The pillars of the traditional style are consistency, order and attention to detail. Far from stuffy, a traditional home is meant to feel calm and comfortable. Any edges are soft and curved, and the color palette contains muted and understated shades or patterns.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

In some cases, a person's childhood home maybe was styled in a traditional way, so that's what they end up imitating in their own living spaces. Just in general, traditional room design is suitable for those who want to keep things simple and unfussy — and for those who feel content rather than restless and bored among orderly décor.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

Because most of our budgets don't allow for purchasing original pieces, traditional furnishings are most often reproductions. Solids, stripes, plaids and floral patterns are commonly used — such as those on this living room sofa — and both furniture pieces and accents are typically placed in coordinating pairs.

 

  1. Rustic

 rustic interior design style

Origin and Inspiration

The rustic style hearkens back to the pioneers who first explored and settled this country. Its barn-inspired elements, imperfect details and way of being an extension of the outdoors make it feel like a connection to the past. This style is typically found in rural houses, such as those nestled in the mountains.

Defining Elements

When it comes to the rustic style, it's okay if furniture or accessories look rough around the edges. Pieces should shy away from a mass-produced appearance and favor the character of crude details instead. It's all about reflecting nature, so weathered materials and warm, earthy colors are some of the style's staples. To further evoke images of tree trunks and logs, rough-hewn beams could be used to frame doors, windows or fireplaces.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

If you're a history buff or your favorite activity as a child was romping around outside, then the rustic style might be for you. It isn't a requirement that you live in a rural area to pull off this design style, either. You can incorporate rustic elements in your home no matter where you're located.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

There are many little ways to give a room a rustic vibe. For instance, you could bring in a side table that features petrified wood, hang up some reclaimed wood wall art or simply use a brown sofa with an oak finish. Repurposed furnishings will fit in perfectly, and fabrics should have some texture to them, like burlap or wool.

  1. Coastal

coastal interior design style

Origin and Inspiration

Also referred to as the nautical style, coastal interior design is inspired by the ocean and aims to capture the essence of a New England beach home. When strolling through a home in the coastal style, visitors should be met with a light and breezy feeling.

Defining Elements

The main thing to strive for with the coastal style is an abundance of light. That means you should aim for sheer, airy fabrics for window treatments, crisp linens, weathered wood furnishings and a color palette of pale neutrals. Steer clear of any clutter since open space truly evokes a feeling of lightness.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

If your vacation destination always tends to be a sunny beach somewhere, the coastal style may be ideal for your home — you’ll always have the beach near. Additionally, the coastal style might be perfect for you if your general disposition is easygoing and happy and if you inwardly feel like you are one with the surf and sea.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

Start with a canvas of white and add a handful of blue and gold accents. Unobtrusive furniture pieces like a sand-colored sofa or distressed dining chairs would work nicely. Then layer in accessories that look like they just got scooped up from the shoreline, such as this starfish wall art. The trick with any decorations that follow a theme is to keep them from looking too gimmicky. Throw in all the seashells and sailboats you want as long as they look chic, not childish.

  1. Mid-Century Modern

 

Origin and Inspiration

This furniture style of interior design is based on pieces from the mid-1900's. Accurately named mid-century modern, it originated in the early 1940's and continued in popularity until as late as 1970. The epitome of this design style would be Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack in Palm Springs.

Defining Elements

In mid-century modern homes, floor plans are stripped down to their essentials with refined lines and pure forms. Lighting should play up the drama in a room, and graphic patterns should be bold with a hint of whimsy. Every area should also have a good balance of bright colors and neutrals. Many homeowners try to get their hands on iconic furnishings or art pieces from the time period as well.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

If you've always admired Sinatra's style and charm or if you want each room to make a statement, mid-century modern design is for you. This style is also ideal if you love blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors with wide windows or spacious patios, and it’s well-suited for those who like modern interiors but feel their lack of color makes them a little too drab.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

For this style, you don't need to adhere strictly to any interior design guidelines. When decorating, go ahead and mix in a piece or two from other design styles as long as you feel they fit. The main thing is to prioritize functionality while still crafting a fun living space. One way to do this is through pops of color in unexpected combinations, like deep orange, teal, plum or olive green accents.

  1. Industrial

industrial interior design style

Origin and Inspiration

Also referred to as urban, the industrial style is reminiscent of the Industrial Era at the turn of the century. It's often seen in buildings that originally housed industrial work or in converted lofts. Industrial interior design sits somewhere in between modern interpretations of the rustic style and rugged vintage decor.

Defining Elements

Rather than camouflage them, exposed structural materials are put on display and used as a feature in the home. These could be elements such as brick, rough wood or metal. Additionally, a generous amount of space is key in industrial design — as evidenced by the frequency of high ceilings and open floor plans.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

Industrial interior design is a fairly niche style. However, if you have an interest in architecture or if you love the typical New York loft as pictured in glossy magazines, it's something you'll probably gravitate toward. It's also great for those who appreciate the masculinity of the rustic style but want something that doesn't feel like a time capsule.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

If you already have exposed brick walls and steel beams, show them off! Don't blanket the walls with artwork or try to disguise the natural characteristics of your home. Cut down on excess belongings and judiciously pick the accents you use. Some common accessories include unique, non-functional objects like ladders or furniture with metallic tones like this side table. If you want to inject a little more life in a space, decorate it with plants.

  1. Hollywood Regency

hollywood regency interior design style 

Origin and Inspiration

With roots in the golden age of filmmaking and its over-the-top set designs, the interior style also known as Hollywood Glam is all about the drama and glitz. It unabashedly samples from other styles, including art deco, modern design and chinoiserie, nabbing anything that feels luxurious.

Defining Elements

Hollywood Regency style is characterized by elegance and personality, and it encourages extended socialization. Rooms frequently have a foundation of black and white, and a careful selection of strong colors is layered in. Wide stripes and bold, geometric patterns often make an appearance, but intricate designs and Asian-inspired motifs also have their place.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

Potential lovers of the Hollywood Regency style are pretty easy to peg. If you enjoy performing in theatre productions, are a fan of classic cinema, have several show tunes memorized and possess a fondness for all things glamorous, there's a good chance you'd like being surrounded by the trappings of this design style.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

There are plenty of fanciful details you could add to make your home feel like that of a Hollywood star. Just remember, guests and conversation should be at the forefront of your living space — not the furnishings. Low-profile furniture and accessories such as this low-slung chaise would be a good fit for your living room. To achieve the look in a bedroom, drape the bed with lush linens and throw pillows with tassels on top.

You can further accessorize by hanging up mirrors all around your home and displaying pieces that look original, not generic. Also, try not to push your furniture against the walls, if you can help it, because this discourages conversation.

  1. Bohemian

 

Origin and Inspiration

The word "bohemian" describes someone who thinks outside of social or political norms — or someone who prefers to live with very few rules. Bohemian interior design is meant to reflect an avant-garde lifestyle.

Defining Elements

As the description above suggests, bohemian homes don't stick to any specific interior design style, color palette or time period. Much like the Hollywood Regency style, it has an attitude where anything goes. It's an artfully messy look with vibrant colors, rich patterns and metallic accents. Also, similar to coastal interiors, natural lighting is of great importance.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

Like the industrial style, bohemian interior design isn't for everyone. However, it's a match made in heaven for those with a carefree and adventurous spirit — and with a soul full of wanderlust. If you enjoy taking lots of vacations every year, whether they are short road trips or international travels, the bohemian style is probably for you.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

With bohemian design, it's all about the nomadic vibes. Fill your home with well-worn furniture, vintage light fixtures and other eclectic pieces. Display trinkets you've collected from around the globe, and the more textiles the better — especially if they have patterns inspired by different cultures. Bursts of vivid hues are key, whether they come from a deep purple rug or a red accent chest.

  1. Modern

modern interior design style 

Origin and Inspiration

Even though it has “modern” in the name, this popular style of interior design is rooted in the architecture and streamlined furniture of the 1930s. It some circles, it may also be called minimalist design.

Defining Elements

As you might expect, modern design places an emphasis on simplicity. It hinges on clean lines, strong geometric shapes, asymmetry in the room layout and an absence of decoration. Rooms are sparse, and anything in a living space is put there with a distinct purpose. Even the color palette is kept fairly neutral.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

For some people, such a minimal style might make them miserable, but for others it'd feel like paradise. It's not ideal for families with children, but it could be a good match for young professionals or deeply spiritual adults who eschew the capitalist mindset and consumption of the present age. Modern interior design is also well-suited for smaller homes because it amplifies the illusion of space.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

If you've recently de-cluttered your life, you're off to a great start! Homes with modern interior design sidestep most bold wall colors in favor of white, avoid using too many textures and stray from excessive accessories. Any introduction of color should not be oppressive on the eyes, and items with patterns or small details won't mesh well with the rest of the elements in a room. Highlight something with a polished surface, like a coffee table, and arrange furniture to have an asymmetrical balance.

  1. Contemporary

contemporary interior design style

Origin and Inspiration

Contrary to popular belief, contemporary interior design is not a definitive style. It's actually used contextually to refer to the trends of a specific time period, which is why it often gets confused with the modern style.

Defining Elements

Much like modern interior design, the contemporary style relies on basic forms, but it doesn't feel nearly as harsh or clinical, instead emphasizing curved lines. Negative space can be just as important as objects, and though some areas may feel bare, they're also bold and inviting with pops of bright color. Smooth, geometric shapes are essential.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

Many singles and families alike appreciate contemporary interiors. The style is versatile enough to express yourself and showcase your individual tastes, yet it’s not too formal as to exclude the presence of young children.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

Anchor a room with a piece like this simple but lovely sofa, then surround it with unique, bespoke furnishings. Favor solid colors over patterns, concentrating largely on muted neutrals but introducing a few strong shades through furniture and accessories.

  1. Transitional

transitional interior design style 

Origin and Inspiration

Also known as "classic with a twist" or "new takes on old classics," the transitional style bridges contemporary and traditional interior design. It's the ideal compromise, bringing the comfort and coziness of traditional spaces along with the clean profiles and understated hues of contemporary interiors. You could say it's the best of both worlds.

Defining Elements

Transitional design possesses a deep-rooted sense of history in its feature pieces, but overall, the furnishings have been updated with cleaner lines. Nothing is too ornate, either. A lack of ornamentation and a color palette of warm neutrals make transitional spaces look timeless.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

This is another style that suits many homeowners nowadays. It's flexible enough to mix in a few pieces from other styles if you so choose, just as long as they don't detract from the casual, tailored vibe.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

Transitional interior design is all about creating gracious, streamlined spaces that feel harmonious. Rooms can have a certain sense of familiarity, broken up by fresh accents from current trends. Any groupings of accessories should be thoughtfully chosen and arranged. Feel free to insert interesting pairs of textures, such as corduroy and cotton. In addition, leather ottomans used as coffee tables are another popular choice.

  1. Eclectic

eclectic interior design style

Origin and Inspiration

When an interior design scheme is referred to as "eclectic," it's really just a fancy way of saying that it borrows from many other styles. Eclectic interiors tend to become a catch-all for every other type of design.

Defining Elements

Make no mistake, the eclectic style is not haphazard. It's quality home interior design with methodical curation that follows the fundamentals of design: contrast, repetition, rhythm, scale, composition and all those other rules you learned in art class. The goal is to tickle the imagination and evoke a sense of surprise.

Personality and Lifestyle Match

This style is perfect for parents who can't be bothered to keep up with the latest trends or individuals who refuse to be boxed in. If your music library is a smattering of every genre and your closet is full of thrift store finds, you're eclectic all the way.

How to Achieve It in Your Home

One of the only things you should avoid with eclectic interior design is too many patterns on the walls. It's better to have a clean backdrop so everything else in a room can stand out, so strive for well-balanced, cohesive living spaces. Trust your gut to decide what colors work well together, and add depth to each area with textural elements.

Mismatching is highly encouraged with this style. Prominently feature that turquoise bombe chest, and mix personal mementos with quirky items from antique shops. Even if you feel a beloved piece might stick out like a sore thumb, try it anyway!

 

Display Your Style — No Matter Where You Live

There are so many variations of design styles out there that it would take ages to explore them all, but this interior design style comparison is a good start. It covers some of the major styles found in today's homes — traditional, modern, transitional and contemporary — with a few more thrown in for extra flavor.

 

Just because you live in a tiny apartment or a house that's a bit of a fixer-upper, that doesn't mean you can't accomplish the design style you desire. Custom interior design décor can work its magic and transform your home into the stylish haven of your dreams. All you have to know are the tenets of the style to understand the furniture, colors and accents that would work best.

 

INTERIORS HOME is your source for full-service furniture interior design. With an online store that features finds for every room and the ability to sort by style, brand and finish, you can't go wrong. Shop today to bring your home one step closer to the design style you truly love!

 

 

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