It seems there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t hear of a new interior design style. From shabby chic to the modern farmhouse, to shabby industrial chic, the list seems to go on forever. If you’re looking to recreate your home or you’re going to be working with an interior designer, it’s best to understand the lingo before you start.
Interior design styles are the first place that most people get stuck. All those names and concepts can start to blur into one, messy, disorganized vision. To give you a better grasp of classic interior design styles, here is a list of 15 classic interior design styles for 2019:
This broad term encompasses homes that are designed with a focus on crisp, clean styles with simple color palettes. The modern design implements a lot of steel, glass, and high-shine finishes like polished marble and hard edges. While it may seem unwelcoming, modern design can look exceptionally clean, fresh, and crisp. Modern designs pair well with lush, green environments, which is why many modern homes use large windows to overlook the outdoors, as the home’s style is meant to draw focus to the outdoor space.
Often interchangeably used with modern, there is a difference between these two styles. What separates modern and contemporary design style is how strict modern design aesthetic is, while contemporary design can be a lot more fluid. Contemporary style can have lots of curves and a bit more softness than traditional, modern design.
Modern design can mean anything from the 1950s on, while the contemporary design is more of the moment. Contemporary style was created in the latter half of the 20th century, and it encompasses a range of styles with a lot of tone-on-tone color palettes. Contemporary can be tricky to pull off, but we love this interior design company’s portfolio for some great examples of how it can be done.
The industrial design draws a lot of aesthetic inspiration from converted industrial spaces, like warehouses and lofts, which were popular in the early 2000s. To get an industrial design style, exposed beams or brickwork is often used. If your home doesn’t have a lot of architectural details like this, people build them in using hollow beams.
Industrial lighting often has exposed lightbulbs in cages and large floor lamps and uses a lot of task lighting. This is because a lot of industrial spaces traditionally do not have overhead lights. The colors used in industrial lighting are a mix of grays, neutrals and rustic tones.
Minimalism is a style of design that is defined by its austerity, and it’s “less is more” approach to home decor. It makes use of functional furniture in geometric shapes, a stripped down color palette, and an aversion for knick-knacks and clutter. Minimalism veers away from heavy draperies, overstuffed furniture, and throw pillows, and instead uses things like vertical blinds and sleek, streamlined couches to give a clean feel to space.
White walls, wood floors, and modern furniture are all critical components of the Scandinavian design. This far-reaching style has been popularized across the world by the mega furniture store IKEA. Scandinavian style is a bit Art Deco, a bit modern, with some softness thrown in for that perfect amount of ‘hygge’ atmosphere to get through those cold Scandinavian winters.
The Scandinavian design makes use of a lot of simple lines and white space, so don’t feel like you have to crowd every shelf or wall with artwork. Instead, choose a few interesting pieces and let space breathe.
Mid-century modern design incorporates clean lines, soft, organic curves and a love of different materials. Popularized from the 1930s to the 1960s, this timeless style makes it as attractive to modern homeowners as it did to home designers of the past. The mid-century modern design follows functionality with little ornamentation and an uncluttered, sleek look.
The warmth of a French country kitchen draws in everyone, which is why French country decor is so popular! This particular type of decorating is rich and opulent and uses lots of colors. Look for bright yellows, warm golds, burnt siennas, and fiery reds. French country style also uses lots of warm wood tones and rough textures, like brick and stone.
Traditional design is approachable, calm, and orderly. Rooms designed with traditional decor are not ostentatious but are actually more casual. They invite people in and encourage lounging and conversation. It’s a familiar feeling room for any age group. Traditional rooms avoid neon colors, very trendy furniture, and any jarring combinations.
Incorporate natural fibers like jute or antique wooden trunks into traditional spaces. Look for furniture with natural lines and add throw pillows to encourage softness. Hardwood floors add warmth and are broken up with large area rugs. Crown molding and wainscotting in bright white helps finish and anchor a room.
If you love the warm, rough-hewn appeal of a ski lodge in the snow, but aren’t lucky enough to spend your days in one, then you can incorporate that style into your home. Rustic home design is about stripping a house back to its base elements to expose its natural beauty. However, if your home doesn’t have any of those architectural details, you can draw inspiration from rustic home design ideas.
When designing rustic, look for inspiration from natural materials such as leather or suede, wrought iron, stone, and wood. Rustic interiors should feel bold and grounded with simple, earthy colors. Rustic interiors also benefit from large light fixtures that catch the eye.
Bohemian interior design channels the colorful, laidback hippie vibe. It’s an eclectic blend of fun colors and cozy spots to curl up. Bohemian style flies in the face of minimalism and modern design and announces the owner’s personality to the world. Bohemian style lets you mix patterns and colors and different designs. It’s a freeing design style that uses plenty of plush fabric, drapery, and unique lighting.
Bohemian has a lot of worldwide inspiration and likes to showcase designs and styles from around the world. It should look slightly worn, but not threadbare.
Transitional style is about the meshing of modern and traditional elements (hence the transition aspect). Transitional style is hot right now since more and more clients are interested in combining different style elements in their homes. Maybe they want to put wainscotting up but have modern furnishings, or they would prefer a mixture of classically feminine and masculine designs in their bedroom: all of these is why transitional style is so popular with clients of interior designers.
Coastal design or nautical design is reminiscent of cedar shake-clad Nantucket beach homes that overlook long, windswept beaches. The style should inspire thoughts of wide open skies and roaring oceans, which is why most homes with coastal design are open-concept. The color palette is often bright and fresh with lots of greige, off-white, and pale blues and greens. Use lots of light colored wood like maple or beech, which are reminiscent of the pale softness of driftwood.
Since the coastal design is all about light, make sure you do everything you can to make your space bright and airy. Use long, white sheers for window coverings and lots of lights to bring a feeling of openness to your space.
Shabby chic homes are about effortlessly combining comfort and style. You’ll see elements of French country style and Traditional style in these homes with lots of mixing and matching of different finishes, colors, and eras. Shabby chic is about reclaiming the old, or the cast out, which is why you’ll see tons of vintage or vintage-inspired elements in shabby chic homes. Reclaimed fixtures and hardware are popular, as are pastel colored cabinets. Shabby chic has lots of traditionally feminine elements, with lots of curvy mirrors, chandeliers, and loads of white bedding.
Who doesn’t feel some envy towards the Hollywood stars of old, with their perfectly coiffed hair and their opulent homes always filled with glamorous friends?
If you want to channel some Hollywood glam into your own home, go for drama! Large, oversized gilt mirrors and artwork adorn the walls, and crystal chandeliers hang in the bathrooms. Furniture should be overstuffed and tufted, and nailhead trim is also popular. The color palette has a surprising amount of restraint with lots of pastels, golds, and silvers and creamy neutrals. Looks for mirrored furniture, faux fur throws, and sculptural pieces to give your home that Hollywood dazzle.
Art Deco home decor is all about drawing in the glamour fo the roaring 20s. You’re looking to channel The Great Gatsby (hopefully without all the heartbreak). Streamlined shapes and a refined color palette are the first things you will notice about Art Deco style. Mercury glass is also quite popular and is often used on furniture to bring in that glam vibe. Art Deco home decor also has plenty of geometric shapes, which you will see channeled in everything from furniture to accessories, to the artwork.