Find Your Interior Design Style: 13 Popular Styles Explained

Whether your home is collected or ordered from Rooms To Go, knowing your design style can help you keep everything cohesive and visually appealing.

By Paula Gallagher4 min read
Pexels/Ksenia Chernaya

My husband and I will be moving to a new house later this year, and this new start is the perfect opportunity to refresh our home’s style. We’re saying goodbye to a lot of hand-me-down furniture and picking the colors, pieces, and styles that we want in our new space. 

We already had a general idea of what we liked (bright white, calming greens, darker woods, leather, big windows) and what we didn’t like (modern art, clutter, bold colors, plastic). To help us really hone our style, and to give us Google search keywords, I did some digging on YouTube into the design styles available today. Once we nailed down our preferred style – rustic farmhouse – I hopped on Pinterest and created a board of homes in that design style to give us inspiration and help guide some of our choices. 

Now, design styles, just like fashion, can be adjusted to fit your comfort level (well, maybe except for maximalism) and your house or apartment (although farmhouse style tends to feel more authentic in a house that actually looks like a farmhouse). You can jump into the deep end of boho or just sprinkle some of it into your existing space. Or you can blend two styles together, which is what transitional does. However you want to go about styling your home, it’s up to you! Here are the basics of 13 design styles that you can do in any home, along with visual aids:


The boho (short for Bohemian) design style is meant to be inspired by a gypsy-like traveling lifestyle. It’s an eclectic mix of objects gathered from around the world layered together artistically. Things don’t have to match, and they’re often vintage. The vibe is relaxed and carefree. Boho can be neutral with whites, creams, beiges, and browns, or it can be very bright, bold, vibrant, and colorful. In either case, there are lots of plants, textures, floor cushions, tassels, pompoms, macrame, woven materials, and rattan. 

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern originated in the 1940s-1970s, so it has a retro look. It uses clean lines, simple shapes, and a function-first style, but it also embraces bold colors like blue, green, and orange and geometric patterns, so it comes off as full of life and youthful. Mid-century modern often has plastic furniture or furniture with tapered legs or metal hairpin legs. Wood furniture is typically walnut or other darker woods. It also encompasses Sputnik lighting, large bulbs, and gold/silver/chrome features.


Perhaps one of the most easily recognizable design styles is the modern farmhouse style. The main design elements are shiplap, Xs on furniture, chalk-painted/distressed furniture, apron sinks, exposed wooden beams, matte black hardware, rustic decor, and lots of white. You will also usually find signs purchased from Hobby Lobby.

Modern farmhouse’s less cheesy sister is the rustic farmhouse style. Rustic farmhouse is characterized by charming, nostalgic, and rustic design elements. It draws inspiration from the simple, functional homes of rural areas and emphasizes a warm and cozy atmosphere. It uses authentically weathered natural materials and woods, and it heavily relies on greens, browns, and natural tones.


Scandinavian style is inspired by the Nordic lifestyle in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland. It blends the simplicity of minimalism with hominess. The main color palette is high-contrast black and white, with lots of natural light wood and jute. There is also a big focus on textures that evoke coziness and warmth, like fur and wool. Scandi style doesn’t have a lot of decor; it’s more about space and natural light. In fact, large windows are a big feature of Scandi style, often with minimal window treatments to let in as much light as possible during the long winter months. Lighter interiors are also used to brighten the rooms, as are statement lighting fixtures. 


The modern design style doesn’t actually mean what’s popular right now. Modern style comes from the early to mid 20th century. It’s all about clean lines, large windows, and flat, sleek, streamlined furniture. A modern home might have flat cabinets, square edges on countertops, and a glass staircase railing. Modern style elements include minimalism, black, white, grey, neutrals, marble, steel, chrome, and glass.


The traditional design style is inspired by the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s fancy, refined, and elegant, but by being rooted in the past, it aims to create an atmosphere that feels comfortable and familiar at the same time. Traditional design style utilizes ornate features like crown molding, chair rails, arches, and gold details. Furniture is more formal, like wingback chairs and diamond-tufted upholstery, and you will find traditional patterns like damasks and floral prints. Oil and portrait paintings are popular art in this style. Symmetrical layouts are another common feature. 


Transitional design style mixes modern and traditional together. It typically stays within a neutral color palette and is formal but less fussy. A transitional home might mix a modern rug with wingback chairs. Transitional style is very flexible – you get to take what you like from both modern and traditional and blend them together.


Industrial is one of the few design styles that requires a certain type of building. You typically find industrial style in a converted warehouse or factory, often as a loft apartment. Industrial usually has an exposed ceiling where you can see the ductwork and huge windows with steel mullions between the glass panes. Other industrial style elements include leather, Edison bulbs, steel, concrete floors, and tall ceilings. It embraces raw, unfinished material like exposed brick and exposed wood, as well as utilitarian aesthetics.

French Country

French country design style is like rustic farmhouse’s fancier European cousin. It’s light and airy, typically with a soft color palette and low contrast decor. The muted color scheme is complemented by linen furniture and grounded with large stone fireplaces and traditional furniture. A dramatic chandelier, crown molding, chair rails, and panel modeling are some fancier features of French country style.

Art Deco

The Art Deco design style emerged in the 1920s and 1930s. In reaction to the nature motifs and sweeping curves of early 1900s Art Nouveau, Art Deco turned to geometric shapes and a strong emphasis on symmetrical design. Becoming popular during the Roaring Twenties, it fittingly combines modern and traditional elements and uses a lot of marble and onyx, jewel tones, and luxurious details. Art Deco can easily be styled today to bring more color, character, and luxury to the modern home.


Maximalism celebrates boldness and abundance. It uses vibrant colors, pattern mixing, eclectic decor, and a layered approach to styling. Maximalism is expressive of the owner, and there is typically lots of storytelling in this style.


On the other end of the spectrum from maximalism is minimalism, which focuses on simplicity and eliminating unnecessary elements. Minimalism uses clean lines and a natural color palette. It has a clutter-free aesthetic, where everything in the home has a reason or purpose for being there.


The contemporary design style is based on what is trending now. This style would be a good fit for those who like to embrace what’s currently popular and who don’t mind revamping their home every couple of years to keep up with the new trends. That being said, many contemporary style homes start with a modern style foundation and add unique and trendy pieces to stay in vogue. 

The contemporary style is grounded in clean lines, natural materials, and minimalism. It uses a more neutral color palette, carved wood, mixed metals, soft fabrics, statement lighting, streamlined silhouettes, geometric shapes, and the occasional pop of bold color from art or textiles. Because you're adding flair with what you like from what’s popular right now, contemporary allows for a high degree of individualism.

Closing Thoughts

Our homes are where we celebrate our victories and seek comfort during our hardships. We want our homes to both represent who we are and make us feel safe and comfortable. And we never want to be ashamed to have guests over. Finding and applying the design style that resonates with us can help us make the most of our home and our time in it. 

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