The thought of buying a house and styling it just the way you want to is an exciting thing to think about, but when it comes to it you realize that you don’t actually know where to start. Before you know it, you’re left with a jumble of furniture and decor pieces that clash with each other and make your room look a mess.
You’re not the first person to do this, and you certainly won’t be the last. That is why we’re creating this ultimate guide to interior design styles. There are a lot more than you’d first think, and it can be difficult to determine what all of them are off the top of your head. From modern to minimalist, industrial to traditional, it’s easy to mix and match styles and get confused with what your original vision was.
However, the most cohesive and aesthetically pleasing rooms are filled with items from the same style. Choosing and sticking to one style for a room or even your whole house will allow you to fill it with items that perfectly match and complement each other with the least amount of hassle possible.
As well as looking at the popular established styles, we’ll also be looking at the most popular 2020 style trends so that you can see what other people have been loving so you can perhaps gain some inspiration from them. With this guide, your interior design task will get a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.
The Most Popular Established Styles
Of course, putting a few pieces of furniture together can be interpreted into a new style that you’ve come up with yourself. However, people new to the interior design world often prefer to use an established style that is widely used by people all over the world. Not only is this easier, but the guesswork and hoping that all the different pieces look good together is diminished.
Some established styles are more popular than others, so we’ve only chosen to look at the seven options that are best suited to most people. This way there is sure to be at least one style that you fall in love with.
Nordic countries, such as Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, are full people who thrive on the simple life, and this is exactly what the Scandinavian style attempts to capture. The furniture should be uncomplicated and look effortless, and every object should have a purpose. This means that there is very little clutter and all the lines are crisp and clean. The Scandinavian style makes your room look like a work of art.
In terms of color, Scandinavian styled rooms are typically white or have a very light color palette. Natural materials are often incorporated, such as wood and metals, but these are also often light in color, either naturally or through coating. Feel free to add a pop of color to the room, but keep it to a minimum. A brightly colored rug, piece of art, or some throw pillows will suffice in a Scandinavian styled room. You could even add a bright-colored piece of furniture, but this should be the only colorful item to ensure you remain true to the style.
The bright color palette will make the room seem much bigger than it actually is, along with the lack of clutter and the minimal amount of furniture pieces. Lots of natural light is also advised to get the most out of the room. Make sure everything has a purpose to complete your Scandinavian room.
The minimalist style was heavily influenced by Japanese design in the early 1900s, and it works on the principle that less is more. We’ve all heard of this term, but did you know that it can be related to interior design as well? Minimalism isn’t only an interior design trend, either, as many people are trying to incorporate it into their daily life.
Minimalism is a lifestyle that requires you to only own the necessary items that you need for everyday life without any added materialistic things. This will give you a fresh and clean room that will not only look beautiful, but also clear your headspace as well. A cluttered and messy room can lead to a cluttered mind, which is why creative people prefer a minimalistic style to help them think, design, and create.
Like the Scandinavian style, minimalist design involves no clutter items and only features pieces that are essential to everyday life. You need to strip away everything that is not deemed vital for living to create empty spaces. These bare spots of the room are actually one of the main features of a minimalist room. Where you’d usually stick a plant or a basket, you leave completely empty to make a statement.
Minimalist rooms are also often stripped of color to preserve the simplicity of the design. Shades of black and white are often used instead of bright colors, but if you want to add some variation into the room, use a primary color scheme. A plant is another great way of adding some color into your minimalist room, but don’t include too many to detract from the minimalism.
The traditional style is one of the most commonly used styles because it’s been around for the longest time. It incorporates dark-toned woods and fine details to achieve the look and feel of the past, some dating as far back as the 1700s and 1800s. Traditional style items are usually inspired by the pieces that could be found in France and England at the time.
Due to the origin of where the traditional style gets most of its inspiration, the fabrics used within these rooms were often regarded as expensive and luxurious back in the day. For this reason, make sure to include fabrics such as velvet, silk, and linen. Easy placements of these fabrics are on chair cushions, curtain rods, and throw pillows.
Patterns are also highly used within traditional styled rooms, the most popular ones being floral, stripes, and plaid. Crystals are also not avoided, with chandeliers often being used as a statement piece.
One of the most noticeable features of the traditional style is that almost all of the furniture is matched together. If you wanted to choose this style, we’d advise you to find a furniture set that matched the style as this is the easiest and most efficient way to find a match all your furniture together.
The color palette is usually quite neutral and adopts colors such as beige, cream, and white. If you want a pop of color, flowers are often used. However, if you want a more long term alternative, oil paintings are also commonly used. Read our guide on what color ceiling fan you should pick to go with your room.
Modern is another very popular style to opt for, and it aims to celebrate modern creations and architecture. The furniture used should be efficient and authentic to incorporate the style properly into the room. The modern style was first created in the early 1900s on the back of the modernist art movement.
Instead of the common traditional style, more people began to use their space more efficiently and stopped using empty spots just for the sake of it. Aesthetics are important in modern rooms and everything has to look cohesive. Pair this with the fact that everything needs a purpose and you’ve got yourself a purposeful room rather than just a meaningless space.
Modern rooms may look simplistic and easy to achieve, but there is actually an art form to this style. Everything is placed carefully for maximum efficiency, and the lines of the room are all well thought out and clear to see. The color palette is neutral and incorporates a lot of black and white. Popular materials to use are glass and metal. You’ll rarely find wood in a modern room.
Don’t put any clutter in a modern room. Accessories are generally minimal and only extend to monotone artworks and flower arrangements. The room must be visually appealing, functional, and simple at the same time. This is actually much harder to achieve than you may think, so this is the ideal style for someone who wants an interior design challenge.
Modern decor often goes hand in hand with bright airy spaces. Read our guide to find a ceiling fan with the brightest light to help bring coolness and light to your room.
The rustic style attempts to showcase a room that you created yourself, gaining most of your inspiration from nature and the elements. You want your furniture to look like you’ve made it in a workshop yourself with a minimal skill set. Materials such as wood and stone are highly used in rustic rooms as they give the feeling of nature instead of manmade metals.
Wooden beams are very popular among rustic rooms, as well as wooden floorboards. Rustic rooms usually feel homey and perhaps similar to a farmhouse. They aim to showcase the beauty and charm that nature offers, and it is not uncommon to see a large fireplace as the focal piece.
You can use textures such as sheepskin and cowhides to accentuate the rustic vibe, however, you can really use any material that doesn’t offer too much in the way of patterns of noise. While metal is not usually integrated in rustic styled rooms too much, an industrial light fixture that resembles scaffolding can be used to tie in small metal accents such as table legs.
The color scheme should be a mix of natural colors, like white, cream, and beige, and dark wood tones. Repurposed accessories and furniture will help the rustic style, just as much as handcrafted pieces. The aim of your rustic room is to make it look as though it has been well lived in, with weathered furniture and a warm feel.
Contemporary style is an interesting concept, as it is actually always changing and evolving. The contemporary style of the twenty-first century is different from what it was for the twentieth century, and the twenty-second will be different still. This is because contemporary alludes to anything in the present, which obviously is always changing.
Choosing to style your home with a contemporary theme is really picking and choosing your favorite pieces from the current moment and pulling them all together to create a timeless piece.
While this style is never the same for too long, a good general rule of thumb to follow is to keep the room simple and stylish. Space is a large part of the contemporary style, which is why bare legged furniture is popular. Large windows are also desired as they open up the space and make the room look at large as possible.
The materials used are usually things like glass or metal due to the fact that they reflect light well and this also makes the room look larger. All the lines in your contemporary room should be clean and obvious. Moving onto the color scheme, you cannot go wrong with a lot of neutrals. Too many bright colors will make the space look busier and smaller, which is exactly the opposite of what the contemporary style calls for.
Different textures allow you to add more dimension to a contemporary room without filling the space up too much, which is why mix and matching different fabrics is very popular when styling contemporary spaces. As this particular style can sometimes feel cold and empty, using warm fabrics such as linen and velvet can add just the right amount of comfort without compromising the style.
Last but not least comes the industrial style, which is heavily influenced by industrial buildings such as warehouses and urban spaces. These rooms are raw and give off the impression that they’re unfinished, while still remaining to look complete and impressive. A juxtaposition we know, but that is what makes the industrial style all the more captivating and intriguing.
Exposed material such as brick and wood is a common theme among this style, with high ceilings and bare light fixtures. Industrial rooms are often very open planned with perhaps the kitchen, living area, and dining room all in one room, with the furniture spaced far apart to mimic the feel of different rooms just without the walls. The color scheme is neutral with different shades of woods, with the only real pops of color coming from artwork or plants.
The industrial style actually originated from when factories in western Europe closed down after the second industrial revolution, which left a lot of the factories useless and empty. Instead of bulldozing perfectly good buildings, the growing population actually decided to turn them into residential buildings.
We think that ceiling fans with Edison bulbs are a great choice to go with industrial deco.
These rooms are hardy and look like they could take a beating. There are no soft or comfortable vibes coming out of industrial styled rooms, with the exception of cozy textiles like chunky knit blankets of oversized throw pillows. It has to be liveable, after all.
Big statement lights are another important feature of the industrial style, and the lightbulbs are often colored warm white to add a little warmth into an otherwise cold space. Industrial rooms are typically considered masculine and as a machine for living rather than a cozy home.
BLENDING STYLES TOGETHER
What happens if you like the sound of more than one style but you want to keep your house cohesive and consistent throughout all of the different rooms? Well, hope is not all lost as you can actually blend certain styles together to ensure that your home remains similar all the way through while incorporating other similar styles.
For example, if you’re looking for a mixture between old and new, you can mix together aspects from traditional rooms and modern styles. It’s important to keep the main style at the forefront of every room. For example, if you wanted your house to be mainly modern, you could pick a few traditional pieces of furniture and paint them white or black to fit in. Alternatively, you could incorporate a few fabrics from the traditional style into your modern room.
Similarly, the modern style will fit with almost any other style that you have your eye on, including minimalist and contemporary. Just remember that when you’re blending styles, you want to remain firm on one main style for your whole house. This keeps a consistent theme through each room so that it doesn’t look like a jumble of different styles.
For example, if your main theme was Scandinavian and you wanted to incorporate the industrial style, if you go too heavy on the latter you may find that half your rooms look industrial and half looks Scandinavian. This will leave your house messy, busy, and not how you envisioned it at all.
To avoid this, we’d advise to only use small amounts of alternative styles in your home. This will be taking away from your main theme anyway, so it’s best to keep it simple and to a minimum really. This will keep some order around your home so that your chosen style remains obvious.
USING ONE STYLE THROUGHOUT YOUR HOME
Now that you’ve settled on your favorite style, we bet you absolutely cannot wait to transform your home. You may have all these ideas in your head of what color swatches you’re going to pick up, what the statement pieces are going to be in each room, and the look on everyone’s faces when you unveil your masterpiece at the grand party.
However, we want to ensure that you have taken into consideration the effects of using one style throughout your whole home. Using only a singular style can create a bland look that strips your home of any life. Take the minimalist style for example – using monochrome colors throughout the entire house can leave it somewhat lacking. On the other hand, styling every room in the house traditionally might be overpowering and simply too much.
Don’t get us wrong, there are some styles that can be used throughout a complete building without stripping it of its personality, such as the modern style, but it is very difficult to do so while keeping it livable and beautiful. While we don’t think modern and rustic styles necessarily work together, there are a few styles that you can use together to keep your home more interesting.
If you don’t want to blend your styles, like we mentioned earlier, and you’re set on a particular theme, there are a few ways that you can do so while still switching it up throughout the different rooms. One easy way to do this is to change the color scheme of each room. You can choose one neutral color to be cohesive throughout every room, such as white, black, or cream, and include accent colors in each room.
Using one color as the main constant throughout your home will ensure all of the rooms fit nicely together. For a lot of the styles that we looked at above, white or a pale color will suit the theme well. Then all you have to do is choose different accent colors for each room. They don’t need to be bright and bold reds and greens if you’re going for a minimalist or modern vibe, but rather you could have one room including peach colors or baby blue.
Another way to differentiate between the rooms of your house, if you want to use a minimal color palette, is to do so with materials. Using different materials can draw people to their favorites and drastically change the feel of a room, without being too glaringly obvious that each room is different. This is a great way to switch it up without compromising your chosen style.
Some people love the look of one style throughout their whole home, and some others find it a little dull and repetitive. If you are one of these people, there are definitely ways to work around this so that you can still have a cohesive house. Changing small details within every room goes a long way in ensuring that they each have their own personality. It may not look like it to the naked eye, but the tenants will surely be able to feel the difference.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST STYLE FOR YOU
While you may find one particular style especially mesmerizing and intriguing, realistically it may not be as achievable to implement into your home as another style. This could be for a number of reasons, and you may find it particularly frustrating. Sure, you could always ignore the fact that it doesn’t suit your lifestyle and use it anyway, but this could prove useless and waste you a lot of money.
For example, if you love the idea of a minimalist home and want to create your own minimalist space, you must consider whether it is livable for you and your family. Modern homes are full of glass and metal, which can be dangerous for rambunctious children who like to run around the house while playing. Moreover, it’s not even worth thinking about the white rug, couch, and throw pillows when they’re around young children and their juice boxes.
Similarly, if you want to redesign your home using the traditional style, but don’t have enough room for the extravagant furniture pieces and thick drapes, you may want to rethink your choice. Otherwise, you might find yourself with barely any room to walk around your own house which will spoil the novelty of the style very quickly.
The number one factor to consider when determining which style is best for you is whether or not it is achievable for your current situation. This could include the size of your house, the number of people in your household, how many necessary pieces you need in the home, and whether or not you can have potentially dangerous accents in your space.
Read our guide on how to measure a ceiling fan to make sure you get the right size fan for your room.
Another factor to consider is your budget. If you’re wanting to go for an industrial style and need to strip the walls to place an exposed brick wall in its place, you may find that a large chunk of the budget is already gone. Alternatively, if you want to purchase a whole new furniture set, this might also blow a good portion of the budget all at once.
Having said that, it’s important to pick a style that suits your personality and that you enjoy the most. You can always tweak little things to make the style safer and more child-proof, so just remember to do so. There has also been an influx of cheaper furniture stores that you can get cheaper alternatives to remain within budget. Of course, there is always second-hand stores.
Remember that it is almost always achievable to style your home the way that you want to, as long as you’re prepared to make the necessary exceptions and maybe put a little extra effort in. Your dream home might seem unachievable now, but a little persistence and out the box thinking goes a long way.
2021 DESIGN STYLES
Now that we’ve gone through the most popular styles for interior design, let’s look at the three most upcoming and promising style trends of 2021. If you’re looking to spruce up your interior design this year and want to know what most people are doing, then look no further than this section of our article.
While interior design can be unique and a creative outlet for you to showcase your own individual personality, sometimes you need a helping hand to get you started. Whether you’re a beginner to interior design or just want to keep up with the current trends, these below trends are sure to get your friends jealous of your high trend abode.
Japandi gets its name from the fact that this style is a blend of Japanese and Scandi styles. Both of these styles have become very popular over the past years, so what better way to style your house by using them both? A quick research into this style will make it clear as to why Japandi is one of the hottest interior design trends of 2020.
Let’s dissect this and look at both of the styles individually. Firstly, Japanese style is all about spiritual design and quality. It’s important to remember the ethos that comes with this style – that nothing is perfect or permanent. This style makes your room peaceful and a space for reflection, giving you the ideal space for self-improvement and peace.
Similarly, Scandinavian design promotes minimalism and simplicity while keeping everything functional and necessary to everyday life. There is no clutter in Scandinavian rooms, allowing you a space that is only filled with things vital for living. The Scandi style makes your room look like a work of art rather than a well-lived home.
Combining both of these styles together gives you the best of both worlds, with a functional room that allows plenty of space for working on yourself and mindfulness. Your home will be minimalistic and bare while remaining welcoming and homey, so that everything has a purpose while keeping that feeling of comfort and safeness that you should feel from your home.
Wabi-Sabi is another popular trend of 2020, and for good reason. With everything that has happened so far this year, a lot of people will find the need for a Wabi-Sabi home to keep their headspace clear and down to earth. Moreso a philosophy rather than a decorative theme, Wabi-Sabi is an art form in its own right.
This style is all about a neutral color palette and natural materials, such as wood, rattan, and wicker. The main thing to remember when picking items for a Wabi-Sabi styled room is simplicity and nature. These two factors are of the utmost importance to keep the ethos alive.
Natural items are encouraged and you should steer clear from luxury items to keep everything in the theme. Luxurious items don’t only mean expensive artwork or antique ornaments, it can sometimes also mean basic furniture such as tables and chairs. Instead, some Wabi-Sabi styled rooms only feature cushions on the floor as a seating area.
You may be thinking why is it necessary to reach these extremes? Well, the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi is that it’s actually a form of poetry which encapsulates the passing of time and ever-changing world. This style celebrates imperfections and different characterizations, with a nod to the fact that nothing in this world lasts forever.
Removing the non-essential items, such as chairs, and stripping your space back to the bare minimum will really help you to appreciate the fact that nothing is permanent even more. If you’re looking for an interior design style that is going to require you to reflect on yourself and the world around you, Wabi-Sabi is an excellent choice.
The last trending style of 2020 that we’ll be looking at here is Boho Chic, which is considered a style without limits. Unlike the other style trends that we looked at above, this style prefers to encapsulate and allow freedom and endless expression. This is done by actually mixing different styles together to create the room that you want and enjoy the most.
Sounds crazy, right? To end this article, where we have explicitly been looking at individual styles with very set features and designs, with a style trend that actually allows you to mix them together. Well, who’s to say that you cannot have a rustic rug with a modern bedframe, or a Scandinavian couch with an industrial light fixture?
Boho Chic is all about mixing and matching your favorite patterns and colors from different styles. A floral pattern from here, a different material from there – there are almost no rules. This gives you the creative freedom to run wild with the design and create a space that really shows off your personality and interests.
Unlike a lot of the styles and trends that we have explored above, Boho Chic is a style that embraces color and vibrancy rather than neutral color schemes. Feel free to use pink and blue together without worrying about them clashing, as this is all a part of your chosen style trend.
Boho Chic aims to give you the ideal space that perfectly represents you as an individual, while keeping the stylishness and elegance of the different styles that you’ve taken inspiration from. We’re not saying to use one aspect from every single style available to you, but it is rather all about finding that perfect balance between them all.
To conclude, interior design is an art form and something that is not to be taken lightly. You may think that putting a few grey and black pieces together will create the perfect style of your home, but in reality, there is much more to interior design than just the color scheme.
You will have to live in your house indefinitely once you finish designing it, so you have to make sure that it suits you enough to be liveable. There is no use designing your home to be of a minimalistic style when you’re likely to need a lot more items than the bare necessities, or perhaps have little children who like to paint near all of your white furniture.
There are so many styles for you to choose from, including industrial, contemporary, and traditional, that it can all get a little overwhelming. It can be difficult to choose only one style to use through your whole house, which is why blending more than one style can be achievable if conducted correctly.
To use more than one style throughout your home we’d suggest choosing one primary style and incorporating smaller details from other styles into each room. These could be fabrics or textures that are more common in different styles rather than your primary choice, or even pieces of furniture that you have adapted to fit the primary theme better.
Using one theme throughout your entire house could leave you with a cold and lifeless home. However, having a consistent style throughout your whole house keeps it cohesive and well designed. This is why you might choose to tweak little details in each room without compromising the style. You can change the colors or fabrics in each room so that there is a different feel to different rooms, however, the main stylistic choices still remain the same.
Every year brings new style trends that are particularly popular for the entire year, and 2020s choices are all great ones. Japandi aims to offer you a space for growth and reflection with every piece in your home having a purpose. This removes the clutter from your house and leaves you with a clear headspace as you are only surrounded by pieces with a purpose.
Wabi-Sabi aims to show you the importance of nature and how everything is always changing and that nothing lasts forever. This philosophical style trend keeps you humble with only requiring the bare minimum furniture and a lack of ornaments and luxury items.
Finally, the Boho Chic style trend of 2021 throws all of the rules out of the window and gives you free rein to create your own unique style by picking and choosing different items from all of the different set styles. This style trend aims to give you your ideal space while reaping all of the benefits from each of the different styles that you’ve used.
Overall, there are many different styles and trends that you can use or take inspiration from. You don’t necessarily have to pick one and stick to it religiously, however, jumbling too many styles together could leave you with an uncertain space that clutters up your life and headspace. Your home is supposed to be the one place that you can go and relax, so make sure that you don’t add any more hecticness to your life.
Well, there you have it – our ultimate guide to interior design styles. We hope that you have learned something valuable about the most popular styles to choose from and have gained some inspiration from the hottest interior design trends of 2021. Thank you for reading our guide, but now it’s time to start planning the new look of your home!