Looking for some thematic decorating ideas for your new place? Have a look no further. Today, we'll discuss the most well-liked trends in residential interior design.
In practice, designers often combine features from several decorating styles, but it's important to understand the fundamentals of each approach. There are many different approaches to interior design, some of which are radically different from one another while others are more nuanced. Each, however, has its own distinct personality and aesthetic that rewrites the narrative of a given location's role as muse, historical setting, or artistic incubator.
To that end, it may be far more useful than you'd expect to understand the defining characteristics of several interior design styles so that you may select the most appropriate one for your needs and those of your project.
Though there are many other schools of thought within the realm of interior design, we shall concentrate on the most prominent of these that are now fashionable. We want to maintain this list annually, revising it by eliminating recommendations that have fallen out of favour and replacing them with fresh additions. When possible, we've also grouped items together into collections based on the following interior design themes to make it easier to browse for what you need. We are also putting together a series of how-to guides for each theme, complete with pictures of finished rooms, descriptions of the pieces of furniture and decor We used, and more! If you'd like to be informed as soon as these revised manuals become available,
Different Interior Design Styles for Your Home
1. Traditional Interior Style
The various old-school European styles that make up what we now call "traditional" interior design all have their roots in the European continent. Included in this layout are:
- Reflects vintage European decor,
- Wood panelling and ornate mouldings,
- Built-in cabinetry,
- Antiques and elegant furnishings
- Combinations of home furnishings and accents,
- Neutral palette with lively colours for furniture and accent pieces,
- Materials as varied as silk, velvet, and cashmere, to more affordable yet just as cosy materials like cotton and linen.
- Beautifully detailed tile and wood flooring
You can find examples of traditional design for every room in your house in the photo gallery that comes with our comprehensive style guide.
A traditional interior designer is one who takes much of their cue from the classic European styles that were fashionable in the 18th and 19th centuries. They place a premium on solid but elegantly designed furniture and fixtures.
Those who appreciate classic artwork, vintage furnishings, and symmetrical things would feel right at home in a space decorated in a classical style.
Traditional interiors are often distinguished by the use of luxurious materials and sophisticated colour palettes, such as dark woods and deep tones. The most defining characteristic is the use of neutral wall colours to put the focus on the furniture and other decorative elements. Wood panelling, vaulted ceilings, custom cabinetry, etc., are all things that the 'traditionalist' enjoys making.
Asymmetry is a fundamental principle of classical interior design, it is essential that all major furniture pieces, lighting fixtures, and decorative accents be paired. The aim is to have everything in the room revolve around the focal point, which may be anything from a television to a piece of art to a fireplace.
2. Modern Interior Style
Media portrayals of modern interior design tend to outstrip actual demand for such spaces. We think it looks nice and is appreciated by many, but when it comes to really living in such a stark design, most people prefer cosier aesthetics such as rustic, cottage, or traditional.
Modern components are being included by builders and architects into many homes, which is very neat, but they are being toned down with warmer materials, angles, and lines.
Modern interiors are characterised by the following features:
- Absence of ornament,
- Intentional asymmetry,
- No clutter or chaos,
- Neutrals with primary colours and bold colour contrasts,
- Geometric-patterned or plain area rugs,
Art rather than decorative trinkets; polished, smooth, and sleek surfaces; open floor plans; and metal, chrome, or glass furniture with simple shapes and lines define the modern aesthetic.
Designers working in the contemporary era are sometimes referred to as "ultra sleek" because of their penchant for minimal colour palettes and designs that emphasise sharp angles and lines. They have an extreme aversion to mess and are constantly working to clear it out of the frame.
Each and every one of the looks they come up with is modern, sophisticated, and beautifully understated. They, in contrast to modern designers, take great pleasure in embellishing rooms, but they do so with such finesse and restraint that you might never notice the "extra" detail.
These days, it's not uncommon for designers to use components and materials that are both contemporary and aesthetically pleasing. These decorators have been known for one of their defining traits: their preference for a predominantly black and white colour scheme. Their prefered palette consists primarily of black and white, however they occasionally incorporate primary colours like blue, yellow, and red as accents.
3. Contemporary Home Decor Style
The term "modern" is sometimes used interchangeably with "contemporary," but in reality, most references to "modern" are referring to current design.
Open areas, lots of natural light, clean lines, lots of glass, steel, and wood, and often non-traditional layouts are all hallmarks of contemporary design.
The Elements of Modern Architecture:
- free-flowing layouts, or open areas,
- Unusual compositions,
- Using natural light
- Colours that are neutral,
- Decorations made of metal,
- Fabric that is both natural and textured,
- Extremely light or extremely dark shades of wood, and
- An artistic statement made through the manipulation of light.
Fluidity in design is a hallmark of today's designers, who don't settle for any one particular style but instead develop works that reflect the zeitgeist. These artists also have a keen eye for what's trendy right now, which means that their work is always developing and feels thoroughly contemporary.
The legs of furniture are often left exposed in modern interior designs to make the room look and feel larger, and a lack of decorative accessories is another hallmark of today's trends in interior decoration. Even though contemporary designs tend to be sleek and cutting-edge, they are nonetheless very attractive because of the elimination or minimisation of unnecessary or fussy features.
4. Transitional Interior Design
Here's a sample of transitional living room decor — visit this link to learn more about this design approach.
Often difficult to pin down, the transitional style in interior design is characterised by a seamless blending of classic and cutting-edge aesthetics. It is now riding a wave of popularity among designers. Interior design can be difficult to categorise, especially when straddling the boundaries between the contemporary and transitional styles.
Elements of transitional decor can be found in:
- Lacquered, rounded furniture, with a modern, angular shape.
- Accessories are only used sparingly.
- Impactful art used as focal points,
- The use of a mostly neutral colour scheme with
- Wood, lacquer, rattan, glass, fabric, steel, and metal are all examples of textural features.
5. Mid-Century Modern Design Style
The aesthetic of the mid-century era comes as a whole. Some houses can have a completely different look on the inside than the outside, but it doesn't work with a midcentury design. Both the exterior and inside of a midcentury home must reflect that era.
This style is easily recognisable by its sharp angles, minimal decor, compact dimensions (though it can be much larger), and nostalgic vibe of the 1950s and 1960s.
As a lucky visitor to Palm Springs, we was able to take a driving tour of mid-century architecture and stop by a few open houses. Those things are awesome, no doubt.
These decorators transport you to the turn of the century by recreating some of the most enduring and recognisable interior looks of the era. Mid Century contemporary interior designers provide an aesthetic that is both simple and timeless. The "fuss-free" aesthetic favoured by these designers is characterised by clean lines, a lack of ornamentation, a heavy reliance on natural materials like wood and a cool colour palette that emphasises blues and greens.
These concepts are thought to be radical departures from conventional design practices that dive headfirst into the digital age.
Simple fabrications, simplified shapes, moulded plastic plywood, and furniture in organic forms like an egg-shaped chair were frequently used by mid-century modern interior designers. Their designs and fashions are frequently very flexible and fall somewhere in the 'modern' style spectrum, making the evolution seem seamless.
There has been a rise in the popularity of shabby-chic styles as people embrace vintage and do-it-yourself furniture and decor. While we wouldn't go so far as to call the shabby-chic aesthetic a fully crafted one, it does have some popular DIY features, such whitewashed floors, flowery patterns, and faded furniture. The greatest Do It Yourself Memes are now searchable and may be chosen at your leisure.
Main shabby-chic design features:
- The decor is delicate and girly.
- Fabrics & relics from another era,
- painted and distressed furniture,
- Pickled and whitewashed floors,
- Pale palettes and
- Prints of flowers.
The Shabby Chic aesthetic is heavily influenced by old decor and furniture, but the designers that work in this vein tend to prioritise a more delicate, feminine aesthetic.
The majority of the furniture utilised by these decorators has a worn, old look and feel, almost though it was recently unearthed. The goal of this style of interior design is to combine elements of modern and contemporary trends with a shabby, unfinished appearance.
Key components include a colour palette of whites and pastels, as well as linen textiles, wall hangings, and fragile light fittings.
7. Industrial Interior Design
In the 1990s, industrial design flourished as many urban cores were revitalised through the transformation of vacant factories and warehouses into condominiums and multi-unit residential structures. Developers constructed huge, open units by conserving the existing floors, walls, and keeping most of the pipes, wiring, and beam exposed. This is what is known as industrial home décor, and it is in stark contrast to the traditional approach of covering up or erasing any traces of the area.
The following are the major features of industrial interior design:
- A raw and unrefined appearance,
- A combination of greys, neutrals, and rustic tones,
- Objects of utility,
- Extended sofas,
- Lighting fixtures that are either antique or made of metal,
- Utilisation of vintage and antique industry and laboratory equipment,
- Structures made of wood and metal, and
- Having a solid concrete base.
The exposed and unfinished nature of an industrialist interior's construction is important to the design process. The moniker gives away the source of most of their creativity: an urban loft or an industrial warehouse.
The exposed flooring, towering ceilings, minimal furnishings, and metal chandeliers are defining features of these spaces. The goal of this style of design is typically to create a foreboding atmosphere. However, some decorators will utilise bold lighting fixtures or abstract works of art and photography to inject a touch of colour and refinement.
Interior designers often use phrases like "really rustic and mature" to characterise the aesthetic of industrial spaces because of the prevalence of timber components and exposed steel in these designs.
Do you already have a prefered style of home decor? It is possible to completely transform the appearance of your home by combining parts and features from several styles.
8. Eclectic Design Style
The goal of eclectic decor is to attract attention with a striking juxtaposition of styles, colours, and materials. It's easy to go overboard and make it seem ugly, but when done right, the contrasting elements can be brought together to make a beautiful whole.
Main design features:
- Combination of bright and neutrals,
- The various furnishings in the space have been coordinated through the use of paint, cloth, or a uniformly elegant or rugged surface treatment.
- characterised by its contrasts and variety.
Designers who embrace an eclectic aesthetic are not afraid to combine seemingly incompatible design elements to create something wholly new. In general, they take inspiration from a wide range of movements, styles, and eras. These creators love to experiment and play with their work in their own unique ways.
When it comes to creating something truly remarkable, designers can really let their imaginations go wild with eclectic layouts. At first glance, these patterns may appear disorganised, but there is actually a small difference between well-executed eclectic patterns and those that are haphazardly thrown together without giving any thought to recurring themes or visual aesthetics.
The term "eclectic" is often used to describe a style that features a wide variety of elements, yet a well-executed example of this type of design is actually rather harmonious and well-balanced.
9. Beach/Nautical Style
Beachy hues and patterns are used in this vibrant kitchen design.
The beach aesthetic is great for oceanfront properties, but it doesn't belong anywhere else, in my opinion. In the suburbs, a house decorated like a ship can stand out as strange. The hallmarks of this design aesthetic are the use of plenty of natural light (via windows), the inclusion of nautical elements like rope, dark wood, and other materials seen aboard boats, and the inclusion of wicker or rattan furniture.
- Light and breezy,
- Nautical-themed decor,
- Use a pure white background and take your colour cues from the sea, the beach, and the shells.
- Decorations made from organic elements and fibres,
- Rattan and wicker furniture, beds with solid oak frames, and wickerwork tools.
- Window coverings
One of the greatest ways to characterise nautical home design is upbeat. The fact that they never fail to transport you to a beachfront setting is the most compelling argument in their favour. Nautical-themed interior decorators frequently make use of marine life, vessels, and even anchors. Similarly, their colour schemes are brimming with beach-appropriate hues, which is why the nautical design is often dubbed the "beach-inspired" aesthetic.
Their goal is to make your house feel like a haven, so they use lots of light colours like white, blue, and sand, as well as affordable wooden furniture and shades of blue that evoke the ocean.
Nautical decor is easily recognised by its stylish linen upholstery on sofas and chairs, its use of untreated wood for tables and desks, and its decorative accents reminiscent of the sea, such as jute ropes, seashells, and rowing oars.
10. Farmhouse Interior Design Style
Farmhouse decor is related to rural and rustic styles but is often brighter, has more shabby-chic elements, makes liberal use of natural wood, and exudes an inviting air of homeliness.
Main style elements:
- Look good in white,
- The dominant fireplace
- Large kitchen and eating area,
- Open drawers and closet doors,
- Meeting room, family lounge,
- soft furnishings, textiles made from natural materials,
- Accessories that are vintage, reclaimed, or heritage.
- Furniture that is vintage or shabby chic with a rustic touch,
- Tongue-and-groove panelling, shiplap, and butt boards
- Even rafters made from recycled materials.
- Barn doors,
- The answer is no, and
- Floors with wide planks
11. Mediterranean Interior Design Style
Kitchen and living room are decorated in the Mediterranean style.
A closer look reveals that the Mediterranean aesthetic is not as widespread as first appears. A few years ago, we had the impression that the Mediterranean style was commonly used in residential construction, but we have since learned that this is not the case. A lot of decorative elements, such columns and arches, give it a unique look. Moreover, its colour palette stands out thanks to its use of muted, earthy hues.
Main style elements:
- Ornate features including furniture
- Tile and brick
- Earth tones
- Large furniture
- interior balconies
- Tall ceilings (not always, but it’s not uncommon)
12. Craftsman Style
Key interior design elements:
- Therefore, it is not surprising that the Craftsman style has become so common in modern residential construction. Open floor plans are much sought after.
- A plethora of custom woodwork including cupboards, mantles, bookcases, and more can be seen throughout the space.
- The ceiling beams are exposed wood, and there is plenty of other woodwork throughout the house.
- Wood, stone, brick, glass, and tile are just a few of the natural elements that may be found in use here.
- Plenty of windows.
- Colour scheme of wood and earth tones.
13. Scandinavian Interior Design
Important design elements:
- Predominantly white,
- Colourful hues blend with the dominant white,
- Mirrors, large
- Symmetry principles
- Items are practical and aesthetically pleasing without being overly modern or trendy.
- There's a lot of natural light, a lot of warm hues, and a lot of wood
- Subtle-hued rugs complement the floor's light wood finish.
- Scandinavian interior designers are known for their classic, timelessly elegant styles that are reminiscent of the Nordic countries' fjords, snow, and mountains.
They have a knack for creating spaces that are at once inviting and uncluttered, thanks to their use of a variety of textures and simple, elegant forms. These creations are works of art in their own right, but they never veer from a minimalistic simplicity. Scandinavian interiors emphasise open floor plans, few decorative elements, abundant natural light, and functional, minimalist furniture.
This version of interior decoration adheres to the so-called "Bauhaus principles," which emphasise the use of smooth curves, all-white colour schemes, wide-plank flooring, and precise object proportions. The designers also make sure to employ bright but subtle accent colours, natural materials, and curvy but not too severe shapes. Typically, Scandinavian styled products are cutting-edge, functional, and unfussy.
14. Rustic Style
Key components of rustic style:
- Ceiling beams exposed,
- Using recycled wood,
- Stone wall exposed,
- Flooring made of wood,
- Materials like cowhides, sheepskins, and other simple natural materials in neutral colours,
- Handcrafted and distressed things
- With a wood-burning fireplace
- Staircases that are prominent.
The interiors of a rustic home are commonly left unfinished, with natural materials such as stone or wood. Those who decorate with a rustic motif are inspired by the outdoors and often use materials found there as well as in other parts of the home.
They tend to accessorise with reclaimed timber flooring and possibly ceilings that are dressed up with wood beams for added drama.
Rustic interior decorators place an emphasis on authentic, natural materials that are free from artificial embellishment. These patterns are also very natural and organic looking. Many people associate the word "rustic" with a heavy and dreary aesthetic, but the "modern and contemporary rustic" movement has been making headlines because it offers a new, bright, and grounded take on the "original" rustic style.
15. Asian Design
Important aspects of Asian interior design:
- Altar-like alcoves,
- Reference to nature,
- Chinoiserie furniture,
- Natural materials,
- Clean lines,
- Circle motif,
- Orchids, and
- Use of curtain walls, door panels or Japanese tokonoma.
16. Tropical Interior Design Style
Important tropical design elements:
- open floor plan,
- Safari, jungle, or beach vibes
- Cooling using passive means,
- soaring ceilings,
- Light and airy,
- Fans for the ceiling,
- Colour scheme that is monochromatic and bright, reflecting,
- Green nuances dominate,
- Accents and furnishings crafted from tropical woods and other organic elements,
- Palm leaf or animal motif fabrics and textiles,
- Innumerable Cactuses,
- Animal figures and statues, as well as
- Red carpet over wood flooring
17. Southwestern Style
- Windows that open outward or are set back, with decorative grillwork on the exterior,
- Contrast leather and fabric upholstery,
- Vibrant, sunny hues (orange, gold, red, yellow, blue and desert-toned neutral hues),
- To adorn your home with dried flowers, candles, sculptures, animal skins, pottery, etc., all in a dark tone, cast ironmongery, etc.,
- Furniture made of painted wood on sturdy legs,
- Extensive paint jobs on the walls, and
- Brick, terra cotta tile, or mosaic floors with colourful area rugs provide a warm and inviting country vibe.
There are still numerous Victorian-era residences in the United States that are decorated in the Victorian style because their owners want to keep them around for posterity.
The following are examples of typical Victorian-era architectural features:
- Asymmetrical patterns;
- Bright colours
- Decorative edging.
- Textured wall surfaces featuring intricate designs, ranging from wall-to-wall wallpaper to luxury textiles;
- Furniture that is elaborate and huge;
- and extravagant accessories
- Some bay windows have stained-glass panes, others have a built-in bench, and still others have a walk-out style.
Minimalist interior designers, as the name suggests, are unfussy and prefer a low-key aesthetic. Using the "less is more" philosophy, they streamline some of the most minimal and effective designs from the modern era. It's not a formal design movement, but we include it because it's popular among our users. Minimalist styles include, but are not limited to, modern and mid century.
Interiors with a minimalist design aesthetic eschew extraneous ornamentation in favour of sleek, modern pieces. They also choose on-trend, neutral colour schemes that are easy on the eyes.
There is a general consensus that the minimalist movement began in the early 20th century, inspired at first by the extreme minimalism and refined elegance of Japanese aesthetics. Black, white, and primary colours are staples in every modern minimalist's colour palette. Their designs are so straightforward and beautiful that they are works of art in and of themselves.
Although it isn't as well-known as minimalism, vintage is another popular aesthetic choice that we've included in this roundup.
Vintage interior designers may appear antiquated, but they actually have a knack for adaptability, originality, and innovation. All of the pieces they make are great classics, and they all appear to have a deep background story to convey.
The emphasis of vintage decor is on a neat, orderly, and refined presentation of furnishings and accessories. These rooms are commonly accessorised with vintage frames and black-and-white images to create a timeless and elegant atmosphere. Most retro-styled interiors also feature various open shelves for displaying antiques and relics.
Bohemian decorators are noted for their penchant for using furnishings with a sense of wanderlust or an ethnic flavour. They also enjoy experimenting with strong, ostentatious colour palettes and intricate patterns.
These designers have a unique and distinctive style in that they intentionally create a chaotic appearance by randomly arranging different colours and items such as pillows, blankets, carpets, etc.
The interior's Bohemian decor is also emblematic of the daring and free-spirited attitude associated with the avant-garde movement. To that end, these designers incorporate an emphasis on these qualities into their work wherever possible.
Animal hides, metallic accents, and wooden furniture are commonplace in several popular contemporary boho designs that take inspiration from southern, Moroccan, and tribal aesthetics.
22. Hollywood Glam
It's safe to say that when it comes to cutting-edge design, no one beats the Hollywood Glam set. Their ostentatious interiors are one of their most distinguishing features. They are drawn to the dramatic and luxurious, and they use these to make a strong statement whenever possible.
Most of their designs are heavily influenced by Victorian aesthetics, which feature ornate ornamentation, ornate upholstery, and ornate, antique furniture. Here, you'll frequently find striking colour schemes that combine bright hues like turquoise, scarlet, and purple.
The Major Difference Between Architect And Interior Designer:
Here are the primary distinctions between the two occupations:
- What they do. Architects are responsible for the design, construction, and completion of a building. The goal of any designer is to make the interior of a structure look and feel a certain way.
- What their area of competence is. An architect's education and experience equip them to design and construct a building that is safe and practical for its intended use within the given constraints. While it is the responsibility of an interior designer to create a welcoming and comfortable space for its occupants.
- The essentials are what they prioritise. When designing a building, architects consider technical details such as its shape, orientation, materials, and so on. A professional interior designer pays more attention to things like comfort, ease of use, and visual appeal.
- When is a good time to initiate communication between the two parties? The necessity led to this conclusion. A professional interior designer should be consulted when the time comes to furnish and embellish a completed building. On the other hand, you should contact an architect if you have a vacant lot and are starting from scratch with a new building or major renovations. As a result, when building a new house, you'll require the services of not just one, but two experts.
- Charges. There is a degree of parity between the two experts' rates. There are those who charge a flat rate, and those who charge a percentage of the total cost of the project. The scope, cost, and nature of the undertaking also play a role. Both specialists' fees could range from 6% to 15%. The services of an architect may include those of an interior designer. Consequently, make sure you enquire!
- You should know early on what to expect from each expert and the extent of their involvement. Have we facilitated your decision in any way?
FAQs About Home Design
Designers have an eye for detail, especially interior designers. They always think outside the box and notice what things can be improved. However, they also look into products, study their form and factor, and give importance to the object's aesthetics.
For an interior design project with major changes, you'll need to determine the building's construction type, especially if the building's occupancy classification is changing. In addition, fire ratings of structural components, such as structure, openings, and floor/ceiling assemblies, may have to be changed. Sometimes, sprinklers will need to be added.
While the term "modern" is often used loosely to describe any layout with an open floor plan, up-to-date amenities, and contemporary curb appeal, what we consider modern style typically sports clean lines, minimal or no ornamentation, a monochrome colour scheme, oversized windows, and lots of outdoor living combined with indoor-outdoor flow.
The primary concept of farmhouse-style interiors is to create a one-of-a-kind, opulent, and restful abode by combining stylish features from the countryside with modern industrial materials, heirlooms, and artistic flourishes.
It would be best if you considered all the many interior design styles to choose the one that best suits your home, whether modern, classic, rustic, French country, farmhouse, minimalist, shabby chic, or mid-century modern.