Below is a gallery setting out each style. Just click into it and you’ll be at that particular style’s main page. You can filter your search from there.
Table of Contents
- Interior Design Styles Quiz
- 1. Traditional Interior Style
- 2. Modern Interior Style
- 3. Contemporary Home Decor Style
- 4. Transitional Interior Design
- 5. Midcentury Design Style
- 6. Shabby-Chic
- 7. Industrial Interior Design
- 8. Eclectic Design Style
- 9. Beach Style
- 10. Farmhouse Interior Design Style
- 11. Mediterranean Interior Design Style
- 12. Craftsman Style
- 13. Scandinavian Interior Design
- 14. Rustic Style
- 15. Asian Design
- 16. Tropical Interior Design Style
- 17. Southwestern Style
- 18. Victorian
Interior Design Styles Quiz
Take our fun 10 question interior design styles quiz (may take a moment to load):
Below is a listing of 18 main interior design styles with links to photo galleries for each individual style.
1. Traditional Interior Style
Traditional interior design style stems from a variety of old-school European styles and together are now referred to as “traditional”. Elements of this design include:
- Reflects classic European decor,
- Elaborate moldings and wood paneling,
- Built-in cabinetry,
- Elegant furnishings and antique pieces,
- Pairings of furniture and accessories,
- Neutral palette with vibrant colors for furniture and accent pieces,
- Expensive textiles like silk, velvet, cashmere or comfy fabrics like cotton or linen, and
- Intricate tile and wood floor patterns
Our traditional home decor style guide includes an extensive photo gallery that includes all rooms of the home.
2. Modern Interior Style
Modern style for interiors is more popular in the media than in real life. I think people appreciate the look of it and it’s definitely cool, but when it comes to living in the more austere design, people opt for warmer home decor styles such as rustic, cottage or traditional.
Nevertheless, builders and architects are incorporating modern elements to many homes which is kind of cool; but moderating it with materials, angles and lines that add warmth.
Key attributes of modern interior design style include:
- Absence of ornament,
- Intentional asymmetry,
- No clutter or chaos,
- Neutrals with primary colors and bold color contrasts,
- Geometric-patterned or plain area rugs,
- Furniture pieces have clean lines and basic shapes, made of materials like metal, chrome, or glass and are streamlined with polished, smooth and sleek surfaces,
- Art, rather than accessories, and
- Open floor plans
3. Contemporary Home Decor Style
Contemporary design style is often confused with modern design style… usually references to modern are in fact contemporary design.
Contemporary design is current design which includes open spaces, plenty of light, straight lines, plenty of glass, settel and wood and in some cases unusual layouts.
Elements of contemporary design:
- Open spaces or open floor plans,
- Unusual layouts,
- Use of natural light,
- Neutral colors,
- Metal accent pieces,
- Textured and natural fabric,
- Very light or very dark wood tones, and
- Lighting design used as an artistic statement.
4. Transitional Interior Design
Transitional interior design style is an elusive style that spans multiple styles tying traditional or long-standing styles together with modern or contemporary design elements. It’s extremely popular right now among designers. In fact, it’s very easy to confuse contemporary with transitional and in fact for both types it’s often easy to argue a particular interior design is one or the other.
Transitional interior design elements include:
- Curved furnishings with straight-lined lacquered finishes,
- Limited use of accessories,
- Use of impactful art as focal points,
- Neutral color palette, and
- Textural elements such as wood, glass, lacquer, rattan, fabric, steel and metal.
Check out our vast gallery featuring transitional designs. Click button above.
5. Midcentury Design Style
Midcentury style is a package deal. While some homes can have a different exterior style to the interior, that doesn’t really work with midcentury. The midcentury home must be midcentury outside and inside.
It’s a distinct look with clean lines, sparsely furnished, often not terribly large (but can be) and of course give off the 1950’s and 1960’s nostalgic look.
I had the privilege to do a driving tour of midcentury homes in Palm Springs and even managed to check out some open houses of a few midcentury homes. They are definitely cool.
Shabby-chic is big these days with the popularity of vintage and DIY home decor. While I don’t want to say shabby-chic is a full crafty style, thee are definitely craft elements that people like such as distressed furnishings, floral prints and design elements and whitewashed floors… all of which are popular DIY projects in the home.
Main shabby-chic design attributes:
- Decor has a soft, feminine feel,
- Vintage fabrics and items,
- Distressed and painted furnishings,
- Whitewashed and pickling floors,
- Pale palettes, and
- Floral prints.
7. Industrial Interior Design
Industrial design became popular in the 1990’s as many North American city centers started enjoying a refurbishment by converting old manufacturing facilities and warehouses into condos and multi-unit residential buildings. Instead of covering up or removing all the remnants of the space such as brick walls, exposed pipes and electrical wires and putting in interior walls, developers created large, open units preserving the old floors, walls and keeping much of the pipes and wiring and beams exposed resulting in what is known as industrial home decor.
The key elements of industrial interior design include:
- Raw and unfinished look,
- A mix of grays, neutrals and rustic colors,
- Utilitarian objects,
- Large sectionals,
- Antique or light fixtures with metal finishes,
- Use of vintage and old factory and laboratory pieces,
- Wood and metal surfaces, and
- Concrete flooring.
8. Eclectic Design Style
Eclectic design is a showcasing of contrasting elements including colors, furnishings and materials. It can easily be overdone to look terrible, but when done well, the contrasting aspects can be tied together to create a cohesive and attractive design.
Main design attributes:
- Varied palette with a few grounding neutrals,
- Different pieces in the room are tied together with paint, fabric or a more refined or roughed-up finish, and
- Defined by contrasts and variety.
9. Beach Style
In my view the beach style should be reserved for houses on the beach. It’s kin of odd to have a nautical themed home in the burbs. This style includes light colors with splashes of bright colors such as navy blue and even bright colors, loads of natural light (i.e. windows), nautical accessories such as rope, dark wood and other items found on boats and wicker or rattan furniture.
- Light and breezy,
- Nautical-themed decor,
- All white backdrop; borrow colors from sand, surf and shells;
- Décor crafted from natural fibers and organic materials,
- Wickers tools, rattan furniture and beds with a natural oak frame, and
- Window coverings
10. Farmhouse Interior Design Style
Farmhouse is similar to country or rustic design styles except that it’s typically lighter, incorporates some shabby-chic, enjoys plenty of natural wood and gives an aura of a cozy feel.
Main style elements:
- All white look,
- Dominant fireplace,
- Large kitchen and dining place,
- Open shelves and cabinets,
- “Company” parlor and “family” sitting room,
- Cozy fabrics, natural materials and textiles,
- Vintage, reclaimed or heritage accessories,
- Vintage, shabby chic furniture with a rustic flair,
- Tongue-and-groove paneling, shiplap and butt boards,
- Even ceilings with exposed reclaimed beams,
- Barn doors,
- No to glass, and
- Wide plank floors.
11. Mediterranean Interior Design Style
Mediterranean is a style that seems more popular than it is. A few years ago I was under the impression a lot of homes embraced the Mediterranean style, but in actual fact, it’s not that widely used. It’s distinct with plenty of ornamental styling and features including columns and arches. It also has a distinct color scheme being earth tones.
Main style elements:
- Ornate features including furniture
- Tile and brick
- Earth tones
- Large furniture
- interior balconies
- Tall ceilings (not always, but it’s no uncommon)
12. Craftsman Style
Key interior style elements:
- Open floor plan: This is definitely a much desired design feature today and so it makes sense the Craftsman is a very popular design for contemporary homes.
- Plenty of built-in wood elements such as cabinetry, fireplace mantles, bookcases, etc.
- Plenty of handcrafted woodwork including exposed ceiling beams.
- Use of natural materials such as wood, stone, brick, glass and tile.
- Plenty of windows.
- Color scheme: earth tones and plenty of wood.
Important design elements:
- Predominantly white,
- Bright colors combine with the main white color,
- Large mirrors,
- Principles of symmetry,
- Furniture pieces are functional and stylish but not too trendy and contemporary,
- Use of light colored wood and warm colors, and
- Light wood flooring dressed up with rugs in subtle color,
14. Rustic Style
Important rustic design elements:
- Exposed ceiling beams,
- Use of reclaimed wood,
- Exposed stone wall,
- Wooden flooring,
- Cowhides, sheepskins and simple neutral-colored natural fabrics,
- Distressed and handcrafted items,
- Wood-burning fireplace, and
- Prominent staircases.
15. Asian Design
Important Asian interior design elements:
- Altar-like alcoves,
- Reference to nature,
- Chinoiserie furniture,
- Natural materials,
- Clean lines,
- Circle motif,
- Orchids, and
- Use of curtain walls, door panels or Japanese tokonama.
16. Tropical Interior Design Style
Important tropical design elements:
- Open plan layout,
- Safari-themed, jungle or beach vibes,
- Passive cooling,
- High ceilings,
- Light and breezy,
- Ceiling fans,
- Monochromatic and light, reflective color scheme,
- Predominant green nuances,
- Accessories and furniture made of tropical woods or natural materials,
- Fabrics and textiles with palm leaves or animal motif,
- Plenty of indoor plants,
- Figures and statues of animals, and
- Wooden flooring with a red carpet.
17. Southwestern Style
Important Southwestern design elements:
- Casement or recessed windows with ornamental grillwork facing the street,
- Mix upholstery finished and textiles,
- Bold, vibrant, warm colors (orange, red, gold, yellow, blue and desert-toned neutral hues),
- Accessories made up of dark-colored cast ironmongery, candles, dried flowers, sculptures, animal skins, pottery pieces, etc.,
- Painted wood furnishings built with thick legs,
- Large wall murals, and
- Floors made of rustic brick or terra cotta tiles or mosaic with patterned rugs.
While not terribly popular these days, the Victorian style is used in older homes by homeowners looking to preserve Victorian era homes, of which there are many in the United States.
The following sets out some key design elements of the Victorian style:
- Asymmetrical designs;
- Vibrant colors
- Decorative trim;
- Textured wall surfaces with complex patterns from wall-to-ceiling wallpapers to luxurious fabrics;
- Elaborate and massive furniture;
- Extravagant accessories; and
- Bay windows, sometimes with stained glass panels, walk-out versions or built-in bench.
Related: 32 Home Architectural Styles – this explains the different architectural styles for homes as they appear on the outside.