24 Popular Interior Design Styles Explained (with photos)

24 Popular Interior Design Styles Explained (with photos)

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When it comes to interior design style and home decor in general, there are various styles to choose from, some well-known, others more obscure.

Some of the most popular styles used today include contemporary, traditional, and transitional. A Contemporary style is characterised by clean lines and a minimalistic approach, while traditional interiors are more ornate and feature classic design elements. Transitional designs sit somewhere in between and combine elements of both.

In this article, we will look at some of the most popular interior design styles that you can adopt for your own home, and explain the main points of each.

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1. Contemporary Interior Design


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The contemporary interior design style is a popular choice for many families that purchase a new build property, as it is both stylish, practical and suits the style of a modern new build.

This interior design style typically features clean detailing, neutral colours, and shiny smooth surfaces. Additionally, the furniture in contemporary interior design style is often minimalistic and more design-led than made for comfort.

You may however choose to make use of a super comfy leather sofa and simple practical coffee table in your contemporary design space. Or you might opt for a more modern interior design, with smooth black metal furniture and sleek mango wood surfaces, for example.

2. Industrial Design Style


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An industrial interior design style is a great option for larger and more open spaces, as it can give the space a unique and striking industrial look. This interior design style often features bare brick, exposed pipes, and concrete floors.

Additionally, the furniture in an industrial-style space is often simple but functional, with metallic accents and wood finishes. As an example, you could choose to use metal chairs and tables, or you might opt for vintage or rustic pieces.

Industrial design spaces also tend to have a lot of natural light, mainly due to the large windows that are often present in buildings that adopt this style of interior design.

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3. Modern Farmhouse Style Interior


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Modern farmhouse interior design is a beautiful and timeless approach to styling your home, especially if your property is located in a rural area.

This interior design style typically features country-style furnishings, exposed beams, hardwood floors, and plaid fabrics. The colour palette in a modern farmhouse-style space is often neutral, with colours like white, cream, and light blue being used.

As with any modern farmhouse interiors, you can also decorate your house with vintage finds, or purchase new pieces that fit the style brief.

4. Eclectic Interior Design Style


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The eclectic interior design style is for those who want to add some personality and create interest in their home.

This style is an eclectic mix of different design elements, and it can be tailored to fit your specific needs. For example, you may want to mix and match different furniture styles, or you may want to add some colourful accent pieces.

You can also use these eclectic interior design styles to showcase your taste, whether that be quirky and out there, or more tame and reserved.

5. Contemporary Coastal Style


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An interior design style that has become increasingly popular in recent years is contemporary coastal. This interior design style is all about creating a relaxing, beach-inspired space, that is calming and serene.

If you're looking to create a contemporary coastal design in your own home, start by incorporating plenty of natural materials such as wood and stone. Then, add in some light, airy colours like soft grey, white and blue tones, to create a sense of calm.

Finally, choose simple living room furnishings and accessories that won't clutter up the space, to keep the feeling of openness intact. With these elements in place, you will be able to achieve the perfect contemporary coastal interior design style for yourself.

6. Traditional Interior Design


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Traditional interior design styles are a classic choice for many living rooms and can give your home a timeless look.

The key features of traditional interior design are symmetry, formal furniture, and rich colours. Additionally, the traditional style is often associated with luxury and sophistication.

An example of a home that you would expect to exude traditional elegance, is a manor house or stately home. These types of properties are generally adorned with beautiful traditional furnishings, and decorated in floral patterns and rich luxurious colours.

7. Rustic Design Style


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The rustic interior design style is perfect for those who want to create a warm and inviting space. This style often features reclaimed wood beams, stone fireplaces, and cosy furniture designs. Also, the colour palette in a rustic-style space is often earthy and neutral.

You can easily add your personal touches of interior design style to the space. For instance, you could add some family photos or rustic-inspired artwork to the walls. Or, simply add some throw blankets and pillows to adorn the furniture.

8. Minimalist Interior Design Style


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Minimalist interior design styles are all about sleek crisp lines and clutter-free spaces. Minimalist interiors often follow a modern design, with gloss finishes and clever hidden storage solutions the norm.

To create a minimalist interior design style, start by decluttering your space and getting rid of any unnecessary items. Then, choose furniture and decor that are clean-lined and have a minimalistic look.

Finally, add some personal touches to give your living space character and warmth and stop it from being too cold and clinical.

9. Mid-Century Modern Design Style


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The mid-century modern style emerged in the 1940s, becoming a popular trend in the 1950s and is known for its simple, clean lines and lack of ornamentation.

The furniture for mid-century modern interior design styles is often made of natural materials such as wood and leather and features low, streamlined silhouettes.

A great place to find Mid-Century Modern furniture is on sites such as eBay, where there is a wide range available, including mid-century style bedroom sets, living room furniture, dining room sets and desks.

This interior design style is still popular among interior designers and going strong today, thanks to its timeless appeal and modern twist on an old style.

10. Art Deco Design Style


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The Art Deco style originated in the 1920s and is characterised by its use of geometric shapes, bold patterns, bright colours, and sleek lines.

Art Deco interior design style is once again becoming popular in both residential and commercial design, especially with Art Deco bathrooms, and is still admired for its stylishness and sophistication.

The unique aesthetic of Art Deco is perfect for adding a touch of luxury, elegance and interior design style to any space.

11. Scandinavian Interior Design Style


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If you want your room design to have a light, airy, and modern feel, you may be interested in exploring the Scandinavian interior design style.

Scandinavian interior design styles are very popular, for obvious reasons, in countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and are defined by clean lines, minimalism, and a focus on light and natural wood and other natural elements.

If you have never heard of Ikea (if not, where have you been!), it is without doubt one of the best places to visit for a wealth of Scandinavian-style furniture and accessories.

It has now become the go-to place for interior designers and homeowners alike to source furniture pieces that are both stylish and budget-friendly. You can also gain useful room ideas from the Scandinavian interiors that have been set up to inspire you.

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12. Bohemian Interior Design Style


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Interior design styles come and go, but there are a few that have withstood the test of time like that of Bohemian style design, which has been around for centuries.

Boho design is all about mixing and matching different elements to create a unique, yet cohesive look. Boho elements are very eclectic and can incorporate a wide range of colours, textures and patterns. These are often accompanied by a range of indoor plants and other natural accessories.

Using all of the elements of this interior design style means that you can let your personality shine through in the decoration of your space.

So if you want a property that feels relaxed and free-spirited, Boho is the perfect choice.

13. Retro Interior Design


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Retro interior design styles can primarily be described as influenced by design inspiration and trends from the past. These types of designs often incorporate bold colours and patterns, as well as vintage furniture and decor.

Retro interior design has gained popularity of late, as more people are looking to create a unique and stylish retro feel.

While retro interior design styles can be quirky and fun, they also require careful planning to ensure that the overall look is cohesive and stylish and doesn't fall into being too 'kitsch'.

14. Transitional Interior Design


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Transitional interior design styles are often described as a balance between traditional and contemporary design and combine elements of both of these styles. This interior style is not overly decorated or fussy, but it is also not known for being stark or minimalist. The key elements of a transitional style interior design are simplicity, functionality, and comfort.

While the overall look of transitional interior design styles is fairly neutral, there are still some ways to add personality and interest to the space. One way to do this is by incorporating bold colours or patterns into your decor scheme.

Another idea that an interior designer may use, is to mix and match different textures and finishes to create a more eclectic look.

15. Shabby Chic Interior Styling


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Shabby chic interior design styles combine traditional and modern elements to create a cosy, lived-in look. A shabby chic style can be achieved through various techniques, such as distressing furniture with paint and sandpaper to give it a vintage appearance, incorporating vintage-inspired fabrics and accessories, or combining different styles of furniture and patterns.

One of the key elements of shabby chic design, as shown in this living room example, is the use of distressed or worn finishes, which add character and a sense of history to the space. This style is often associated with a comfortable, casual atmosphere, and is perfect for those who want to bring a touch of vintage charm into their home.

16. French Country Interior Style


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French country interior design is about creating a comfortable atmosphere with an interior that is filled with rustic elegance and other more refined elements.

The French country style often incorporates materials like natural wood, stone and exposed brickwork. Distressed furniture, traditional country-style fabrics and a cosy rug or two, all add to the overall interior design scheme.

This interior design style is a great option for anyone who wants to create a warm and inviting space in their home.

17. Urban Modern Interior Design Style


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Modern urban interior design is all about clean lines, simplicity, and functionality. It often incorporates industrial elements like exposed brick or concrete, and metal fixtures. The goal of this interior design style is to create a space that is both comfortable, stylish and practical.

Many people are drawn to its clean and chic aesthetic and if you're looking to add a design edge to your home, then the urban modern interior design style is certainly one for you to consider.

If you wish to incorporate this interior design style into your living room, focus on aesthetic simplicity and the functionality of furniture and space. Keep your room clutter-free and focus on investing in pieces that serve a purpose and are not just for show.

Add industrial elements, such as brick or concrete walls and metal or chunky wood fixtures. Finally, pick a colour palette that is bold and modern, white walls and neutral furniture and accessories will all help to achieve this look.

18. Japandi Interior Design


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The Japandi interior design style seamlessly merges the minimalistic, zen-like aesthetic of Japanese design with the warmth and cosiness of Scandinavian design.

This design style prioritises comfort, simplicity, and harmony, resulting in a timeless and enduring style. The incorporation of light colours and natural materials, such as wood, linen, and bamboo, as well as subtle textures, contribute to the modern yet cosy feel of this hybrid aesthetic.

Additionally, the use of neutral tones within the design aesthetic adds a subtle visual appeal. Japandi Interiors offer the best of both interior design styles, creating a beautiful overall decor scheme.

19. African Interior Design Style


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African interior design is a style that combines traditional African decor elements with modern design concepts to create a warm and inviting space.

This design style is characterised by its use of various textures, colours and patterns, which work together to create a harmonious and vibrant look.

African decor often includes bold prints, natural wood finishes, and handmade art pieces from local artisans, which add unique decorative touches to any living space.

One of the key elements of African interior design is attention to detail, which can be achieved through the use of intricate carvings, brightly coloured textiles, and vibrant wallpapers.

These elements work together to establish a cohesive theme and add depth and texture to the overall interior design.

20. Art Nouveau Interior Design


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Art Nouveau interior design is a decorative style that blends the beauty of nature with modern aesthetics. It is inspired by the natural world and incorporates organic shapes, flowing lines, vibrant colours and textures into its design.

This design style is all about creating harmonious, balanced spaces that are filled with luxurious materials, comfortable furnishings, and striking artwork.

One of the defining characteristics of Art Nouveau's interior design is its intricate details and ornamental flourishes, which add an air of sophistication and luxury to any room.

To achieve this look in your own home, try mixing traditional elements such as wood furniture or classic fabrics, with more contemporary pieces like glass accents or geometric shapes.

21. Mediterranean Interior Design


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Mediterranean interior design is a luxurious and unique style that can bring an air of elegance to any home. This timeless style is recognised by its use of colours, ornate details, and antique furniture pieces.

It is inspired by the grandiose architecture and intricate tile work of old-world Europe, specifically Spanish culture, and incorporates shades such as terracotta yellow, azure blue, sand beige, and olive green.

In addition to these bold colours and tones, Mediterranean interior design styles often incorporate neutral tones and natural materials like wood and stone into furniture pieces, adding warmth and character to the space.

The versatile nature of these interior design styles can be used in a variety of spaces, from large villas to cosy coastal cottages, and are sure to add a touch of charm and sophistication to any home.

22. Baroque Interior Design


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Baroque interior design is a favourite style among those who appreciate opulence and extravagance. It originated in Italy and France during the Baroque period, which lasted from 1600 to 1750 and is characterized by highly decorative motifs, ornate details, and lavish flourishes.

It is often associated with luxury and grandeur and features elements such as grand chandeliers, intricate gold tooling on furniture, and other elaborate embellishments.

One of the most iconic examples of Baroque design can be found in the Palace of Versailles near Paris. This majestic building was once the site of some of Europe's most lavish parties and was a symbol of wealth and power for many years.

The interior of the palace is a stunning display of Baroque design, with every detail carefully considered and executed, from the way light filters through coloured windows to the precious metals and stones adorning the walls. It is without doubt, a testament to the beauty and grandeur of the Baroque style and is revered by many an interior designer.

23. Victorian Interior Design


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Victorian interior design is a highly influential and enduring style that continues to inspire modern home decor. Originating in England during the 19th century, this opulent style flourished during the reign of Queen Victoria and is well-known for its ornate furniture, intricate details, and luxurious fabrics.

Whether you're looking to add a touch of sophistication or glamour to your home, Victorian interior design can help create the perfect atmosphere.

The warm colours and lush fabrics used to create this style offer a welcoming and inviting ambience, making it an ideal choice for both relaxing and entertaining guests. Traditional elements such as floral patterns, velvet upholstery, beaded trimming, and carved wood pieces also add a timeless charm and a touch of history to any space.

Victorian interiors are a classic choice that has stood the test of time. They continue to be a popular option for those looking to bring a touch of elegance and grandeur to their home.

24. Gothic Interior Design Style


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Gothic interior design styles are classic and enduring, having been embraced for centuries. They are known for their dramatic and bold aesthetic touches, featuring dark colours, ornate accents, and luxurious textures.

Gothic design has been used in many different settings, from the opulent castles of Europe to contemporary homes of today.

Gothic decorating focuses on creating an atmosphere of grandeur and romance through the use of dark hues like midnight blue and black, as well as gold or silver gilding and accents.

Furniture pieces often have intricate carvings or elaborate details, giving them a grand regal appearance. Accessories such as candelabras, heavy curtains and ornate mirrors further enhance the moody atmosphere of a Gothic-inspired space.

Which Interior Design Style is Right for You?

As you can see from the interior design styles that I have detailed, each one has its unique characteristics that can be used to create a specific look and feel to your home. Now that you know more about some of the most popular interior design styles, it is time to decide which one is right for you.

It is important to consider the overall aesthetic of the space, and how the furniture, accessories, and decor will come together to create a cohesive look.

If you are looking for a style that is both stylish and practical, a contemporary style may be the perfect choice for you. Or, if you wish to add some personality to your home, an eclectic style may be the way to go.

By having a deeper understanding of the different interior design styles available, you will find it much easier to choose the one that best suits your interior design needs.

Regardless of which interior design style you decide on, it is important to make sure that the space reflects your taste and style, and that it works within the period and decor of the property.

Author: Matthew Chiappini

Author Bio: Matthew studied art and design at Stamford college, including interior design and colour theory. He still has a great love for art, home decor and interior design and is a keen DIYer, having worked as a carpenter after leaving school. Matthew has been writing home and home decor articles since 2020.

Find him on: LinkedIn or Facebook