Top 9 Interior Design Styles Explained

Attempting to decorate your own home can leave you frustrated and overwhelmed.   There are so many different interior design styles how do you know which one works for you.

For years I went on this journey going from one style to the next wasting tons of money as I experimented with each looking for my style.  But you need not go down that expensive path.  

In this post, I’m going to explain what makes up the top 9 Interior Design Styles. Then you will know what you are looking at and reading about on Pinterest.  

I also added a quiz at the end so that when you finish this post you can find out which one you are!  

So let’s do this!

Top 9 Interior Design Styles

So this week I researched and put together an easy to read outline of the top 9 interior design styles as listed by Pinterest.  

Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration for any project that you are working on and it never lets me down.

So many talented people sharing their ideas and projects just so people like you and I can DIY our way into a beautiful home.

So here is the list in no certain order.

 

  1. Traditional
  2. Rustic
  3. Mid-Century
  4. Bohemian Chic
  5. Coastal/Beach House
  6. Industrial
  7. Farmhouse
  8. Scandinavian
  9. Modern

The exciting thing about all these styles is you get to make it your own!

Combine a few styles together to get a look that’s completely you.  

So let’s dive in and find out just what each of these styles is all about!  

And hey if you want to skip around just click above on the one you are interested in the most and you can jump to that section.  

Have fun and congrats on starting this new adventure!

1. Traditional Interior Design Style Explained

top 10 Interior Design styles explained

Elements of Traditional Style:

  • Often referred to as timeless and classic
  • Uses antique or reproduction furniture
  • Has a more luxurious look
  • mixing textures of wallpaper and heavy drapes with trim
  • colors are rich and warm – reds, golds,
  • Rugs are patterned with rich colors
  • Celebrates the past
  • use of symmetry
  • elegant and comfortable
  • A mix of patterns – Plaid, stripes, toile, etc.
  • Looks as if it has evolved over time.
  • Furniture is ornamental with lots of leather.
  • Accessories are ornate and placed in vignettes

Add Traditional style to your home

If you love a historic look that has been handed down through your family, then traditional could be your interior design style.  

If this description makes you smile and think of what you would like your home to look like add a few of the items below to help give your home a traditional look.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Traditional Rugs

Oriental rugs often lead the charge when looking for the rug that fits the classic elegance of stately traditional furniture. Looking for more in-depth information on area rugs?  Check out my Ultimate Area Rug Shopping Guide.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Traditional Lamps

Traditional lamps are very ornamental and often have silk shades to give a look of opulence.   Use lamps in your room instead of overhead light to give your rooms a warm cozy feel.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Traditional Fabric

Classic design and elegance with rich colors are the hallmarks of traditional fabric.  The great thing about it is you don’t have to pick!  Mixing fabrics are a must so go with plaids, stripes, toiles, or paisleys.  You decide!  Just stay within the same color palette.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Traditional Artwork

Traditional style exudes elegance and luxury so when it comes to art you are looking for things with an ornate design.   Gold frames with reproduction art or antiques that have been handed down through the generations and you are right in line with this style.

2. Rustic Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Elements of Rustic Style

  • wood beams
  • wood paneled walls
  • reclaimed wood
  • repurposed antiques
  • stone
  • fireplaces
  • built-ins
  • hand-made furniture
  • Rugged natural beauty
  • nature-inspired textures and materials
  • simple earthy colors – orange, dark green, gold and brown 
  • organic, warm and charming

Add Rustic Style to Your Home

One of the cool things about rustic style is that you can add a bit of it to almost any other interior design style and it will look great!  

Rustic style adds warmth and gives your home a natural feel.  If you love natural materials.  

Rustic style could be a great fit for you!

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Rustic Rugs

With many people using rustic style to decorate their homes today, there are tons of products out there to choose from.   Rugs made of sisal, jute or wool look great paired with rustic cabin furniture.  I love the Navajo designs paired with leather sofas and rustic handmade wooden pieces.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Rustic Lamps

Rustic style lamps will be made of natural materials such as hammered metals, wood, even antlers like the ones in the picture above.  Most people think of lodge decor when the think of Rustic decor.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Rustic Fabrics

Rustic fabrics should look and feel like they have been roughened up by the elements.  Jute and animal hides or Navajo fabrics have that natural feel you need for rustic style.

Top 10 Interior design styles explained

Rustic Style Artwork

Again when you are looking for artwork to go in your rustic style home go with nature scenes.  Trees, bears, deer, horses, and the mountains.  Any combination of nature will work. 

3. Mid-Century Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Elements of Mid-Century Style

  • uncluttered clean lines
  • gentle organic curves
  • timeless quality
  • classic understated looks
  • a mixture of wood, metal, glass, vinyl, plywood, and lucite materials are used
  • wide range of colors
  • Geometric forms
  • minimal ornamentation
  • functional

 

Add Mid-Century Style to your home

After trying almost every style out there, I’ve incorporated Mid-Century modern into my current home.  

I absolutely love the clean lines this furniture has.  

Remember you don’t have to do these interior design styles all or nothing.

You can mix in a little bit of a couple of them to get the style that is completely you.  

That does take time to master but that’s what I’m here for!

If you too love clean lines Mid-Century might be for you.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Mid-Century Rugs

When looking for a Mid-Century inspired rug look for geometric shapes in colors such as teal, orange, browns, or grey.  There will often be lots of texture mixed with color to give it interest.  A great Mid-Century rug can often be the statement focal piece of your room.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Mid-Century Lamps

Sleek metals and warm woods are often blended together to design a mid-century style lamp.  Look for fun geometric shapes which are a signature of Mid-Century.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Mid-Century Fabrics

When using Mid-Century fabric you can go with a sleek tweed style fabric or have fun with geometric shapes and space-inspired designs or mix the two together.  The color palette is often a mix of orange, teal, browns, mustard, and grey.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Mid-Century Artwork

Mid-Century art is just as distinctive as the furniture, and like the furniture, the use of wood, metal, glass, and plastics is used in mid-Century art.  You will also find the clean, sleek lines and sometimes kitschy art like long neck cats.  There is a broad spectrum of art to choose from, so have fun with it.

4. Bohemian Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Elements of Bohemian Style

  • Relaxed
  • Unusual
  • Artsy
  • Warm earthy colors and jewel tones
  • a mix of patterns from around the world
  • mix and match second hand furniture
  • everything should be slightly worn
  • Globally inspired
  • One of kind unique pieces
  • cozy

Add Bohemian Style to your home

Bohemian Style can be so fun to put together.  

Blending pieces that you’ve collected from all over the world that tell a story makes your home unique.

I also love a touch of the Bohemian style in my home.  

You will see wicker light fixtures and tribal-inspired artwork and rugs throughout my home.  

It’s so fun to mix it up.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Bohemian Rugs

Actually about any rug will work for Bohemian style since it is such a mix of styles but when I think of boho I think of tribal designs or a beautiful bright colored oriental rug that makes the room bright and gives it a fun focal point.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Bohemian Lamps

Again we are looking for things that have a global influence like wicker, macrame, and beads. Mix in some wood and you have a bohemian lamp or light fixture.    

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Bohemian Fabrics

World influenced fabrics with mandalas in purples, oranges, and blues.  Don’t worry about mixing fabrics the more the merrier.  Try layering different fabrics and textures with curtains, duvet covers, throws, and tapestries on the walls to create a very eclectic look.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Bohemian Artwork

Finding furniture and art for your bohemian room is like going on a treasure hunt.  Try out second-hand furniture stores to find one of a kind treasures.  Here I’m showing a global-inspired basket on the wall but if you love macrame or weaving of any kind they will look great in this room.  Also don’t forget plants – my favorite kind of art.

5. Coastal Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design Style Explained

Elements of  Coastal Style

  • think seaside retreat
  • Light and airy
  • neutrals with spots of color
  • lots of texture to add interest
  • vibrate colors like coral, yellow, and turquoise
  • add plants like snake plant, palms, and succulents
  • play with patterns
  • Open layout
  • let the landscape guide you

 

Add Coastal Style to your home

Who doesn’t love the beach or a beach themed house?  

We bought a beach condo with our business partners a few years ago and had a blast remodeling and decorating it.  

The key to this interior design style is to not go overboard with themes like fish and anchors.  

Taking cues from nature use colors from the sea, sand, and sky.  

Coral from a beautiful sunset and tan from the sand.  

Bright turquoise from the sea.  

These colors set the mood for a relaxing vacation vibe.  

You can add in a few turtles or anchors just don’t go crazy!

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Coastal Rugs

When you are at the beach, you will be dealing with sand, so opt for carpet free rooms and use natural fiber rugs such as sisal to cover high traffic areas.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Coastal Lamps

Stick with neutral-colored lampshades and have fun with the base.  Seashells and fishermans rope like the lamp above lends a fun atmosphere and interest.

top 10 interior design styles explained

Mid-Century Fabrics

Lots of bright colors and patterns are the name of the game here.  They look great against your neutral either background.  Try to stick with a color palette here and not get carried away with too many cliche pieces like fish and shells everywhere.

Top 9 Interior Design Styles Explained

Mid-Century Artwork

Carrying on with the theme you have with fabric etc. go with abstract minimal beach-themed art.  That way you don’t go too far with outdated motifs like fish and shells.

6. Industrial Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Elements of Industrial Style

  • perfect blend of old and new
  • blend of vintage and modern styles
  • sleek
  • any room can have a dose of industrial style
  • metal accents
  • incorporate wood and stone
  • make sure the wood is distressed
  • open concept layout

Add Industrial Style to your home

Industrial Style can have a very masculine look so I suggest using touches of it in a farmhouse or rustic style home.  

But if you have an awesome loft with brick walls and high ceilings this could be the perfect style for you!  

I like adding a piece of metal in my home which I consider Modern Farmhouse but you can add it to other styles as well.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Industrial Rugs

Finding a vintage rug in dark moody colors or mixing an oriental rug in dark colors with all the metal and wood makes for a very masculine look.  Great in a big city loft!

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Industrial Lamps

DIY your own lamps made of metal and wood or Take pieces of factory machinery repurposed into a lamp works great in this style.  Also, use Edison bulbs in these lamps for added interest!

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Industrial Fabrics

Leather plays a big part in industrial style.  Its warm weathered texture is great against all the metal.  Also, add in deep moody blues and greys for a totally masquline feel.

Top 20 Interior Design Styles Explained

Industrial Artwork

Using unique pieces of machinery for artwork against the backdrop of exposed bricks or shelving made of plumbing pipes and wooden shelves are great for industrial art.

7. Farmhouse Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Elements of Farmhouse Style

  • warm, cozy and full of charm
  • mix old and new to keep from looking to kitschy
  • use of wood for walls
  • exposed beams
  • Mix in wicker and rattan furniture
  • Use slipcovers on upholstered furniture
  • chalk paint a piece of vintage furniture to give it a weathered finish
  • apron front sinks
  • stay away from too many farm animal and sunflower motifs to keep kitchen looking authentic.

 

Add Farmhouse Style to your home

Farmhouse style has become huge with the fame of Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Use a clean white background and filling it with nostalgic pieces and some black and white fabrics and farmhouse art and you’ve got the start of a farmhouse-style home.  

And don’t think you need to be on a farm to pull this one-off.  

This interior design style is super popular in the city as well.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Farmhouse Rugs

Really about any rug will go in a farmhouse style room.  But I’m showing a buffalo check one here as it is widely known as a farmhouse pattern.  Feel free to use oriental or another print. 

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Farmhouse Lamps

In farmhouse decor, we are going for a rustic mixture so make sure to mix metals like the above black metal lamp with a burlap lamp shade.  Or DIY your own lamp by taking a rustic container and making it into a cool lamp. 

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Farmhouse Fabrics

One of my favorite farmhouse fabric combinations is buffalo check and ticking stripe. But you can mix a grain sack pillow with a plaid throw. It really goes back to what would have been used on a farm whether its an American farm or a french country one.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Farmhouse Artwork

Probably the most used farmhouse wall art would be weathered signs and graphics that look like they’ve come out of a country store.  Mix these with country-inspired landscapes and botanicals to get a great looking accent wall.  

8. Scandinavian Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design style explained

Elements of Scandinavian Style

  • minimal yet cozy and simplistic
  • Use contrast like black furniture in a mostly white room
  • a mixture of textures and soft hues
  • clean lines that are simple and functional on the furniture
  • tons of natural light fills the rooms
  • add in mod furniture
  • Black and white photography
  • use of warm wood tones – sepias
  • muted colors of taupe, ivory and sage
  • mixed textures

Add Scandinavian Style to your home

Scandinavian style is bright, fresh, and clean.  

Use lots of white and warm woods mixing in some pops of bright colors and mid-century furniture and it’s as simple as that.  

Make sure to keep your decor items minimal and add plants to finish off your rooms.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Scandinavian Rugs

Since you are going for a cozy atmosphere.  Opt for a high pile rug in a muted tone like taupe or ivory.  You can use your furniture and pillows to bring in pops of color to your room

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Scandinavian Lamps

You want to make sure you are using simple decor accents so choose a lamp that has clean lines and choose a warm wood that will create a cozy ambient space.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Scandinavian Fabrics

Scandinavian countries are usually cold and so it’s important to create cozy warm spaces.   Using cozy materials such as pillows and throws will help you create this snuggly place you won’t want to leave. 

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Scandinavian Artwork

Since the Scandinavian design is very clean, simple and minimalistic, landscape art and black and white photography are widely used.

9. Modern Interior Design Style Explained

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Elements of Modern StylSimple and no fuss

  • neutral backdrop mixed with bold earthy colors for furniture and art
  • patternless fabrics
  • use of wood and earth-friendly elements like stone and leather
  • furniture has straight lines
  • open concept spaces
  • no ornate elements
  • exposed legs on furniture
  • the decor is kept minimal

 

Add Modern Style to your home

For years I didn’t appreciate the design of a modern style room but since falling in love with more clean lines and minimal aesthetics I’ve come to really enjoy it.  

Keep your decor simple and use plenty of earth tone colors combined with a neutral backdrop and you are well on your way to a beautiful Modern interior design style room!

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Modern Rugs

Modern rugs are simple and are often in neutral or earthy colors like gray, turquoise, brown, rust, and greens.  They are usually solid or very little pattern and get their interest from the texture they lend to the room.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Modern Lamps

There are very little decor items added to a Modern room Therefore the lamps and art are center stage.  The use of bold color and sleek designs help give interest to an otherwise neutral backdrop.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Modern Fabrics

Instead of pattern, modern fabrics use texture to give depth and interest to a room.  Bold colors on the lamps and art help liven up the rooms.

Top 10 Interior Design Styles Explained

Modern Artwork

Art is usually the main focal point in a modern room.  The use of bold colors and shapes make this art eye-catching.

So My Friend, which style or styles make your heart happy?

Congratulation on completing the first step of your journey!

Remember having a home that is well organized and well designed will make your home healthier and less stressful.  To read more about that check out my post here.

Now that you have a full understanding of all the interior design styles out there your next step is to find out which style or mix of styles will work for you!

I’ve added a quiz to help guide you on this path so dive right in and I’ll be ready to help you with your next steps on the other side.

Have fun!

Top 9 Interior Design Styles Explained