What are interior design styles and how do I pick one for my home?

There are many different styles of interior design for your home, ranging from transitional or traditional, from contemporary & mid-century to boho and eclectic, just to name a few. Design styles can become popular for a few years only to fall out of favor just as quickly as they gained popularity.

Knowing what your style is important to help you not only create a home that you love and reflects your style and personality, but it will help create a home that is cohesive and flows from one room to another throughout the house.

There is no right or wrong when choosing your style. Your style needs to reflect your personality, your family needs and of course, the architecture of your home will play an important role in determining your design style.

I personally believe your design style can change over time depending on your stage in life. For example, your design style in your 20s as a singleton, is likely to be different if you’re married with kids, or if you’re retired in cottage country. Also, its possible that you may like more than one style. And your partner may have a different design style than yours. Do you have to choose just one? It is possible to blend styles with intention to create a look that you will love for your home.

Contemporary Interior Design

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Photo: Lush Interiors

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Photo: WTOP

Contemporary design is also a current popular design trend. Contemporary evolves as the current trends evolve. Contemporary is sleek and simple. hen you look at interior design styles throughout history contemporary interior design is the one style that is always evolving. The contemporary design style will most likely continue to change over the course of the twenty-first century. Contemporary refers to anything of the present moment.

Traditional Interior Design

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Photo: My Decorating Tips

Traditional design is called classic and timeless for a reason. Its elegant, classy and sophisticated. This style includes antiques and classic designs, gorgeous fabrics like velvet, damask, florals, stripes and plaids to name a few. You will find glam lighting like stunning chandeliers in a traditional design.  

Transitional Interior Design

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Photo: HGTV

Transitional Interior Design is just that. Its a blend of traditional and contemporary. If you find either style extreme, then this is your happy medium. You can see from our picture above how both styles of traditional and contemporary are blended together her. Transitional is a very popular style for families.

Modern Interior Design

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Photo: MyDomaine

Modern design is quite often confused with contemporary design but modern design refers to a specific time period specifically the early to mid 20th century. Like contemporary design, modern design has evolved and reflects the current trends which is currently a mix of Scandinavian, mid-century modern, and post-modern design.

Mid Century Modern Design

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Photo: Style by Emily Henderson

Mid-century interiors started in the 1950s and ’60s in post-war America. The style is characterized by clean, straight lines accentuated with curved, bright colors and modern materials. The iconic furniture of that time that we still see around today is the Eames lounger, the egg chair, and the wishbone chair.

Mediterranean Interior Design

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Photo: PHC Architecture via The Spruce

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Photo: Foyr

Mediterranean design style is similar to coastal in that you will find light neutrals on the walls for interiors, and exposed wooden beams. However, when it comes to Mediterranean décor its ornate with colorful ceramic tiles, arched walkways, colorful ceramic tiles and baroque styling of lighting and furniture.

Eclectic Interior Design

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Photo: Elle Décor with Rita Konig

eclectric-interior-design

Photo: Elle Décor with Eric Piasecki

Eclectic Interior Design feels like Mid-Century meets Art Décor. Its a collection of modern mid-century furniture layered with colorful textures of throw cushions and rugs, complemented by a modern collection of artwork you would see on display at an art gallery. You will see both neutral interiors and bold colored exhibiting a beautiful arrangement of artwork.

Coastal Interior Design

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Photo: Architectural Digest

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Photo: Everyday Wholesome

Coastal interior design is inspired by the beach and nature. Its color palette focuses on crisp whites, blues and natural tones. Furniture is typically sleek and streamlined furniture. You will find wicker, wood and glass for furniture. Accessories will often include a nautical theme.

Modern Farmhouse Interior Design

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Photo: Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network

Joanna Gaines’s name should come to mind when you say modern farmhouse as she was instrumental in creating the farmhouse modern style. Modern farmhouse is simply modern meets farmhouse. Modern farmhouse interiors have many characteristics of what we know as traditional farmhouse design. The look is more simplified and clean without losing their character. 

Farmhouse Interior Design

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Photo: Featherglass

Unlike modern farmhouse, country is the more traditional and a classic take on the farmhouse look. It’s defined by rustic woods in flooring and furniture, antique and vintage furniture, neutral or muted colors for walls and furniture. Fabrics are typically gingham, stripes, plaid or dainty florals. You will also see vintage signage, barn lighting, or reclaimed wood in this design style.

Glam Interior Design

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Photo: Pinterest

Glam interior design is luxury at its finest. It includes high ceilings with stunning chandeliers, luxurious furniture and accessories in velvet, leather and fur. Colors can be neutral like ivory, cream, grays and beige. OR you can also see bold colors in furniture and on the walls. You will see lots of glass and mirrors used in furniture. Glam design started in the 1920s and 1930s during the Hollywood glam period. The style has evolved to modern design glam that you would see in high-end homes and the Hollywood glam that you tend to see in, Hollywood of course.

Bohemian Interior Design

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Photo: MyDomaine

Bohemian design is a free-spirited aesthetic that mixes different cultures and artistic expressions into an eclectic style that thinks outside the box. A laid back boho atmosphere places an emphasis on nature. However, it’s common to find bold patterns and bright colors for furniture and accents. You tend to see boho style in college dorms or the 20 something crowd. Not that its limited to that demographic but that appears to be the trend.

Scandinavian Interior Design

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Photo: Lindye Galloway Studio

Scandinavian design can be describes as functional, clean lines, natural materials, neutral colors, natural light, white or light neutral walls and distinct textures like sheepskin rugs, mohair throws, etc.

Industrial Interior Design

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Photo: Artiss

What is industrial interior design? Its a style that is inspired by warehouses, factories and industrial spaces. It started in the 1950s when many New York factories closed and the factories were turned into lofts and condos. You will find bare bricks, metals, visible beams, wood, iron, concrete or wood floors in Industrial Design.

The colors lean towards the neutrals of white, cream, dark gray, brown and black. You will see these colors on the walls and used in furniture. Furniture tend to be leather, old wood and stainless steel. You will also see metals used like bronze, steel and iron.

Minimalist Interior Design

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Photo: Elle Décor

Contemporary design and minimalist design have a lot of the same qualities. Both have clean lines and simple finishes, and are free from lots of busyness in a room. Uncomplicated forms, clean lines, and simple finishes is what defines minimalist design. Minimalist decorating style is inspired by Japanese design and concentrates on the principle that less is more. Minimalist design loves empty space and it can almost feel institutional or hotel like.

The above are the most common and popular interior designs. There are also other interior designs like Rustic Interior Design, French Country Interior Design, Southwestern Interior Design, Art Deco and Asian or Zen Interior Design that also other considerations but not as popular as the ones mentioned above.

Photo: Wayfair

How to Choose Your Design Style

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The next step is to search for example pictures of your favorite interior design styles on Pinterest or Google. On Pinterest, you can search for these designs on their search bar and create a board right in the app.

Look at many examples of different styled room in the design style you like. Look at living rooms, bedrooms etc. This will help you get a good feel of the design style to see whether you really like it or not, and also importantly, what you don’t like.

Try to find 5-10 pictures of rooms in each decorating style or styles that your like, and take a close look at the colors, furniture styles, fabrics, colors and the design features in the room. Which group of pictures do you like the most? Which style feels more like you? Which decorating style can you picture in your living room or bedroom?

Where you live will also influence your design style. In an urban townhouse, my style was contemporary, in an older home it was transitional, and in our house on the river, our style is coastal.

Can You Combine Design Styles?

Yes it is possible to combine design styles. If you like one or two styles, OR if you find you and your partner like different styles, you can mix styles with intention. For example, if you like industrial but live in a coastal home, you could have a few industrial pieces as accent pieces or accessories for example. Here are just a few examples below:

Traditional Design + Modern Design

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Photo: Wayfair Canada

In our home above, you will find a traditional styled home with modern furniture.

Industrial Design + Contemporary Design

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Photo: Good Homes

In our photo above, we find Industrial Design meets Contemporary Design. The style of the home is definitely Industrial with its concrete wall, concrete flooring and wood accent feature. The furniture is a mixture of Industrial & Contemporary.

Mid-Century + Bohemian

what-are-interior-design-styles-how-do-I-pick-one-for-my-house

Photo: HGTV

Mid Century meets Boho, in our photo above from HGTV. The furniture leans towards mid-century while the accessories like the cushions and wall art is definitively Boeheim or also known as Boho.

Finding your decorating style, and knowing how to use it in your home, is key in creating a home that flows in style, a home that looks great, and a home that reflects your style and your home’s architecture as well.


DO YOU NEED HELP?

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You’re not happy with your current living room, bedroom or office. It’s dated.  It’s not working for your family anymore.

You have some ideas but you’re not sure where to start or how to pull it all together.  Some or all of the furniture needs replacing but you’re not sure what to replace and with what. Regardless, you just need a change and need some help and guidance.

Taking into consideration your design style, personal preferences and wishes for your room, you will receive:

  • you will receive 2 mood boards with my recommendations of furniture & accessories based on your photos & questionnaire that you sent me 
  • floor plan using the furniture & accessories as agreed upon and links to recommended furniture & accessories that you may purchase
  • paint color recommendation + trim based on questionnaire & furniture and accessories choices
  • recommended repairs/renovations of the room
  • unlimited messaging
  • you will receive a follow-up e-mail to go over any questions you may have.  Making sure you’re happy with your consult is important to me.

Check out my Room Makeovers e-design consult here

Debi-Collinson-Designer-Color-Consultant-Real-Estate-Investor-Add-Value-to-Your-Home

I help busy homeowners, just like you, to style their house to make it a stunning retreat, where they can live and enjoy their home. I help homeowners, make money beyond their wildest expectations from the sale of their house by guiding them when they’re getting their house ready to sell.

Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Color Consultant & Real Estate Investor. 

I grew up looking at blue prints, going on construction sites and helping my dad, an Engineer|General Contractor and Co-Owner of a Design|Build|Engineering firm pick out paint colors for his buildings. Since 2006, I have been styling & staging hundreds of homes to make them look like they belong in a magazine page whether the client is styling to stay or staging to sell. 

In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently looking for my 10th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time! 

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