A Brief Guide To the Most Popular Interior Design Styles

When it comes to decorating your home, you know what you like—but you may not be sure what to call it. If you don’t know how to identify an aesthetic, you can get an overview with this brief guide to the most popular interior design styles.


This style gets confused with modern, but it’s more casual and comfortable, with room for trendy innovation. Here’s how you’ll recognize it:

  • Strong, clear lines
  • Low-slung furniture
  • Black, white, and neutral tones
  • Bright, color-blocked accents and abstract patterns
  • Track and recessed lighting

French Country

Inspired by the more rustic parts of France, this style combines elements of shabby chic, traditional, and farmhouse. Its popular characteristics include:

  • Ornamental flourishes
  • Classic patterns like stripes, florals, checks, and toile
  • Mismatched furniture
  • Distressed wood finishes
  • Casual elegance


You see it most often in restaurants and loft apartments that have visible ductwork and brick walls that inform the décor. A few other elements:

  • Large, unadorned windows
  • Furniture that uses rustic wood, leather, and metal
  • Oxidized hardware
  • Neutral color palettes
  • Exposed ceiling beams and open shelving


The atmosphere in this design style should make you feel as though you’re visiting a rustic village in Spain, Greece, or Italy. You’ll see touches like:

  • Raw stone walls and exposed beams
  • Velvets and linens with baroque patterns
  • Humble materials like knotty wood
  • Heavy furniture with elaborately carved legs and feet
  • Warm autumn colors in intricate rugs


It actually dates back to the 1930s, but the modern look is still part of many fashionable interiors and celebrated architecture. Among its hallmarks are:

  • An absence of ornamentation
  • Neutral color palettes
  • Strong geometric shapes
  • Clean lines and right angles
  • Solid pops of vivid color


You’ve seen this aesthetic if you’ve visited Sweden, Denmark, or Ikea. With a minimalistic structure and a light spirit, function is more important than decoration. Here’s how to get the flavor:

  • White fabrics and bedding
  • Pale wood stains
  • Serene palettes in pastel solids
  • Hardwood floors, not carpets
  • Plants and other forms of greenery


The 18th and 19th centuries still influence this décor, which you can see in full effect on Downton Abbey. A few characteristics:

  • Rich, deep jewel tones
  • Plaids, florals, and chinoiserie
  • Ornate carvings on wood furniture
  • Elaborate chandeliers and lighting fixtures
  • Symmetrical formality

There are endless other styles to explore—eclectic, bohemian, minimalist, Asian, mid-century modern, coastal—but this brief guide to the most popular interior design styles will give you a great start. Experiment with mixing and matching elements of them all until you’ve created your own unique aesthetic.

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software