A rundown of the most popular and familiar interior design styles and trends.
This guide includes short but succinct descriptions, plus the elements to pull off each style.
From Abstract to Wabi-Sabi Style.
There are links to more detailed posts on some popular styles.
Take our style QUIZ and see if we can guess yours.
Art Deco Style
- Egyptian elements from the discovery of King Tut’s tomb
- the Machine Age and the advent of air travel
- Hollywood’s golden age
- the rise of Modernism, among others.
- vertical lines
- stepped lines
- zigzag, etc…
Dive deeper into Art Deco Style in this post. Includes checklist and Amazon finds.
It’s also mentioned in the post Retro Family of Interior Design Styles.
Art Moderne / Streamline Moderne Style
Art Nouveau Style
Arts and Crafts Movement & Mission Styles
- ceramic ware
- stained glass
- surface design in wallpaper and textiles, among others.
Atomic Age & Space Age Styles
- atomic-shaped bubble branching chandelier
- Sputnik chandelier
- organic shapes that referred to atomic levels in living organisms
- plastic furniture pieces
See how these styles are related to Mid-Century Modern Style
and why it belongs to The Retro Family of Interior Design Styles.
Baroque / Neo-Baroque Style
The ostentatious style most famously associated with King Louis XIV of France.
Uses at lot of:
- curved forms
- angel and cherub figures
- high relief carvings resulting in dramatic interplay of light and shadows
- twisted columns
- gilding everywhere
- upscale natural stones like marble and granite
- expensive fabrics such as damask, velvets, brocades
Furniture leg form is primarily heavy, square and tapering.
The style of origin of many other glam styles.
More examples on Pinterest.
More on Bauhaus in The Modern Family of Interior Design Styles – A Definitive Guide
and it’s also included in The Retro Family of Interior Design Styles.
Bohemian Style in different interpretations
Classic Bohemian Style
True Bohemian Style is the ultimate eclectic and maximalist style.
Related to the Hippie Movement, it requires individualism and confident disregard of all that’s conventional.
It emphasizes a back-to-nature, carefree, relaxed, artistic and nomadic lifestyle.
Uses earthy, subdued colors that are layered into furnishings from different places, eras and styles.
It exhibits unabashed use of embellishments, patterns and textures.
Though busy in its overall look, these Bohemian spaces are meant for unplugging and unwinding.
More examples on Pinterest.
Bohemian Chic Style
The more glamorous version of Bohemian Style.
It is also eclectic and maximalist in nature.
It also uses plenty of colors, patterns & textures.
Some general differences from true Bohemian:
- uses bright or jewel toned colors instead of earthy tones
- has a more formal or traditional furniture arrangement versus true Boho’s sometimes too random layout
- use of more blings like crystals versus almost none in true Boho
- use of shiny metallics versus dull metallics in true Boho
- an overall more refined look than original Bohemian
Modern Bohemian Style
White Bohemian Style
Dark Bohemian Style
Black and White Bohemian Style
For a more in-depth post on the BOHEMIAN FAMILY OF STYLES plus free checklists, click here.
See The Retro Family of Interior Design Styles where Boho Styles is included.
Check out our post on Bohemian pillow combos.
Brutalist / New Brutalist Style
Brutalist Chic Style
- area rugs
- warm metallic colors
- velvet fabrics
- luxurious furniture pieces, among others.
Check out our Amazon finds below with the molten metal look that exudes an “apocalyptic” vibe.
Side tables and candle holders.
These are affiliate links. #ad #aff
- Chinese patterns
- lacquered furniture pieces
- blue and white ceramic pottery and table ware
- Chinese landscape arts, etc.
- vertical and horizontal lines, that make squares and rectangles
- primary colors blue, red and yellow
- non-colors gray, white and black
See how De Stijl influenced many of today’s styles in The Modern Family of Interior Design Styles – A Definitive Guide .
Check out why we also consider De Stijl as a Retro Style.
- Machine Age and the Streamline Era – use of horizontal chrome strips in its furnishings
- Pop Art – use of colors and Hollywood stars
- Atomic and Space Age Styles – use of patterns, atomic chandeliers.
- aspiring for smaller ecological footprint
- using less resources. Example: by using white paint in interiors. To keep space bright and save on electricity
- using less toxic materials, processes, etc.
Greek Mediterranean Style
- exposed beams and arched entryways
- white stuccoed walls
- stone-tiled floor
- mosaic tiles everywhere
- wrought iron in furnishings, etc.
Hollywood Regency / Hollywood Glam Style
- classic columns and moldings
- shiny metals
- expensive crystals
- sumptuous velvet
- soft suede, etc.
Industrial Design Style
- having pallets as bed platforms or
- wine barrels as table pedestals
Industrial Chic Style
- using less of salvaged furnishings and more of fresher and comfortable pieces
- using shiny metals, crystals, carpet
- adding classic details like herringbone wood flooring
- luxurious materials like velvet, fur, etc.
Vintage Industrial / Machine Age Style
Soft Industrial Style
- painting the brick walls or
- replacing weathered wood planks with more polished ones.
Steampunk / Alternative History Style
- air travel using blimps
- deep sea travel in submarines
- time travel.
You can find a more detailed post on
INDUSTRIAL STYLES here.
Check out URBAN STYLES too as they are largely related to one another.
Japandi / Scandinese Style
- great respect for nature
- use of natural materials
- principles of functionalism and minimalism.
- distinct Scandi statement pieces + Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy of embracing the imperfect
- or the reverse – craggy furniture pieces of wabi-sabi + clean look from Scandi influence
- or just a combination of their features.
- bright palette of Scandi to
- earthier-tones for wabi-sabi vibe.
- minimalism and
- zen – the relaxed, peaceful, worry-free approach to everyday living.
- it uses lightweight materials
- has open interior space and uses portable partitions instead.
Memphis Style - Postmodernism
- unexpected forms
- graphic patterns, clashing colors
- cheap materials like plastic.
Check out this post where the Memphis Style is included in The Retro Family of Interior Design Styles.
Traditional Mexican Style
Modern Mexican Style
Mid-Century Modern Style
- MidMod is bolder in colors and patterns and
- darker in overall color scheme.
Here’s our ULTIMATE GUIDE to MID-CENTURY MODERN & our guide to choosing Mid-Mod area rugs.
See how this style figures in
The Modern Family of Interior Design Styles – A Definitive Guide.
Modern Glam Style - Colorful Palette
- gold finishes
- plush area rug
- crystals and others
Modern Glam Style - Neutral Palette
- fur, mirrors, plush area rugs,
- gold finishes, marbles, crystals
- simplified classic details like moldings, panelings, columns, pilasters, etc.
White Modern Glam Style
Black and White Modern Glam Style
More examples of Modern Glam Styled interiors here.
We also designed an entire condo in modern glam and here are some shoppable glam mood boards.
Moroccan / Moorish Style
- pointed, scalloped and horseshoe arches, onion domes
- surface decoration with arabesque and geometric patterns
- intricate metalworks and leather works
- tapering, straight fluted legs
- mechanical, geometric oval and rectangular back rests for chairs.
Pop Art Style
Classic Preppy Style
- hand-me-down quality items from different eras, as heirloom pieces from previous generations
- book-filled libraries and shelves
- collections brought home from travels
- expensive area rugs, layered on top of one another
- symmetry, owing to the style’s traditional roots.
Preppy Eclectic Style
New Preppy Style
Country Preppy Style
- exposed ceiling beams
- black iron details on furniture and furnishings
- overstuffed sofa and chairs, etc.
Coastal Preppy Style
- Chinoiserie blue and white
- trims, pipings, pleats
- exposed nail heads.
Renaissance / Renaissance-Inspired Style
- domes, arches, high and coffered ceilings
- columns, pilasters, balustrades, wall panelings, moldings
- murals, niches and carvings.
The style that flourished during the reign of King Louie XV of France. It overlapped with the Baroque Style, hence their similarities. It also has carvings but to a lesser extent. Furniture are smaller and daintier.
Key differences from Baroque:
- Rococo’s shell motif
- curvy cabriole legs for furniture instead of straight
- use of chinoiserie (Chinese motifs) and singerie (monkey motifs) in decor as interest in the East increased.
Rococo Style is lighter, more feminine and simpler than the Baroque Style. It’s also more comfortable and practical.
More examples on Pinterest.
Country Chic Style
Modern Country Style
Classic Farmhouse Style
Modern Farmhouse Style
Cabin / Lodge / Log Style
- Native American
- Cowboy / Southwestern
- Coastal or Farmhouse, among others.
Modern Cabin / Lodge / Log Style
Coastal / Beach Style
- skirted sofa
- farmhouse-inspired chairs
- wicker furniture
- exposed beams.
Coastal Chic Style
Find tips on decorating in SCANDINAVIAN STYLE here.
Getting a sofa for your Scandi project? We have tips for that, too.
Shabby Chic Style
Southwestern / Santa Fe Style
Spanish / Spanish Mediterranean Style
- earthenware, clay tiles, metal works, wrought iron in furnishings.
- Majolica and Azulejo tiles.
- tooled leather, nail heads, turned legs.
Modern Spanish / Spanish Mediterranean Style
- Roman, horseshoe and pointed arches, in simplified forms
- graphic tiles
- wrought iron in furniture and furnishings
- Oriental rugs
- a few furniture pieces with carvings, turnings, leather upholstery
- or any piece that has clear reference to the Classic Spanish Style.
- using classic furniture pieces with simplified silhouettes
- mixing simplified classic pieces or elements with obviously contemporary pieces.
Tropical / Botanical Trend
- using wicker furnishings or overstuffed sofa upholstered in green fabric
- or a mix of the above
- use real, live plants or have them on wallpaper, pillow covers or art works
- Or use tropical-themed accessories as accents for a more subtle vibe.
Urban Industrial Style
- maximized and multi-use spaces – owing to smaller-sized city homes.
Urban Modern Style
- maximized, multi-functional spaces,
- but is still comfortable to come home to after a tiring day.
- clever use of space
- smart storage systems like built-ins, bookshelves, etc
Urban Chic Style
A style associated with elegant city living.
“Urban” is this context can mean “industrial.” On the other hand, it can also mean “city life” which means comfort and amenities that modern times have to offer. It can also mean having to deal with small city spaces.
CHIC means some elegant and luxe elements are thrown in. The result being a mix of many styles.
And it doesn’t have to be in industrial loft / warehouse.
Key elements: INDUSTRIAL + COMFORT + ELEGANCE + SPACE SOLUTIONS.
More examples on Pinterest.
See a post where URBAN STYLES are discussed at length.
INDUSTRIAL FAMILY OF STYLES is recommended for related reading.
- embracing things in their most authentic form
- finding beauty in all things natural and simple
- appreciating the character that comes with aging.
- raw and craggy natural stones
- unfinished, weathered wood planks with cracks and other natural defects
- the art of Kintsugi, where damaged pottery pieces are repaired with precious metals
Take or STYLE QUIZ and find out which style suit your next decorating project.
16 thoughts on “Your Guide to Interior Design Styles”
Atomic and space age should not be combined given their distinct aesthetics… Shame on you for relegating two of the most sublime styles while paying lip service to only-slightly different subsets.
Hi, John. I agree with you that Atomic Age and Space Age are two distinct styles. Thank you for your comment. It has inspired me to create my own images that depict their individuality. They’ll be up in the future if not sooner. 🙂
Really awesome. Only experienced professional can do this.
Thank you, Subramanyam! Glad you appreciate it.
Wonderful explanation about interior design styles. Thanks
Thanks for sharing your interior design style. Good information.
Its a great post ! Thanks for sharing
Glad you appreciate it. Thanks!
Well written, thanks for the obvious effort and time you put in this article!
Many thanks for your comment, Orly. You’re right! Months of research went into this. Happy you appreciate it.
thanks a lot!! i love this article because it gives me enough understanding of each style. not too long, not too short. hope you can continue provide content like this in the future 🙂
Thank you for your comment, Winny. It means a lot! If you have any particular topic you want to see here, feel free to let me know. If you haven’t yet, please take our style quiz. Hope it manages to guess your style correctly. 🙂
A brilliant and really interesting breakdown of all possible styles…interesting too that maximalism didn’t get a mention, though appreciate that this can present itself in any number aesthetics xx
Thanks very much, Sarah. You’re right. I have Minimalist Style here but not Maximalism. I’ve never given it a thought until now. And yes, I agree with you that maximalism is a trait of a number of styles, such as Classic Boho, Classic Country, Hollywood Regency, Postmodern, Preppy, Baroque, among others. Minimalism has just been the rage in the past years that it has taken a life of its own as a style. I’ll keep an eye out for maximalist interiors without obvious leanings on other styles. And maybe I could add it in. Thanks again for your insight. 🙂
love it it has helped me understand the different inteior designs.
Thank you for taking the time to comment, Natasha. Glad that this guide has helped you. 🙂