Interior Decorating Styles

Interior Decorating Styles

Nowadays, there are so many different aesthetics and interior decorating styles, it can be challenging to know what is what.

Are you someone who likes rustic farmhouse décor? Maybe you’re someone who prefers something a little more refined like the classic?

For many, they don’t even know what their style is, or it’s a mish-mash of multiple. In the end, what matters most is having an understanding of the styles out there so you can make your space reflect your personality and reflect what makes you who you are.

When taking an interior decorating course, one of the first things you’ll be asked to learn is the different types of styles. It helps map everything in your mind and describe your vision to potential clients.

So, here are some of the different types of interior decorating styles that are out there so you can make the space of your dreams…

Classic and Traditional Decorating

Traditional Interior Decorating Style

What is the Classic and Traditional Design?

Classic and traditional interior design styles are some of the most timeless looks for any home. This look usually features elegance and indulgences in luxuries. You’re going to find richly patterned fabrics and classic furniture pieces, including pieces with ornate details, like curving armrests or gilded accents. All of those little details are what make this so classic and traditional.

What are the Characteristics?

  • Timeless
  • Luxurious details
  • Homage to older interior decorating styles
  • Elaborate finishings
  • Focus on the smallest details

How to Achieve the Look

The traditional style is often characterized by warm earth tones, like creams, browns, and blues, as well as touches of gold or silver. To achieve this look, choose timeless pieces with classic shapes, such as wingback chairs and Chesterfield sofas. Don’t forget to add some painted accents like ornate mirrors or footstools to complete the look. You can also add a touch of modernity by adding a few contemporary accessories and vibrant colors. To keep this look classic and timeless, embrace symmetry by arranging your furniture pieces in a symmetrical layout, and be sure to keep accessories to a minimum.

Minimalist Decorating

Minimalist Decorating Style

What is the Minimalistic Design?

Currently considered one of the most popular versions of interior decorating, the Minimalistic design is something called “Scandinavian” and “Modern”. Two popular types of design styles today include minimalist and modern interior design. This style is all about creating open, spacious, and functional spaces with clean lines and minimal clutter. The key components of this decorating and design style would be the lack of, or the minimalistic approach to colors, textures, and details.

What are the Characteristics?

  • Neutral color palettes
  • Subtle textures
  • Simplistic color schemes

How to Achieve the Look

When focusing on achieving this design and perfecting your minimalistic interior decorating skills, you need to focus on the mantra of “less is more”. Furniture pieces should be practical, yet stylish, and should serve a purpose in the space. Utilizing built-in storage solutions and decluttering the space can help to create a more tranquil, calming atmosphere. On the other hand, modern interior design style focuses on creating a sleek, sophisticated look with bold colors, textures, and patterns. This style is all about making a statement with bold furniture pieces and accessories, such as metallic accents, geometric shapes, and abstract art.

You’re also going to want to look into taking advantage of natural light and utilizing unique lighting fixtures that can add vibrancy and depth to the space. Most minimalistic spaces have a more holistic approach, so the main goal is to allow sunlight in, so it can brighten up the room. Creating an open-plan layout can help to maximize the space, while cleverly placed furniture pieces can add a touch of luxury and grandeur.

Coastal Interior Décor Style

Coastal Interior Decorating Style

What is the Coastal Design?

If you have a soft spot for all things nautical or want to pay tribute to the timeless, yet peaceful décor that coastal brings, then this is perfect for you! There aren’t very many interior decorating styles that focus on nature, more specifically landscapes like the coast. The décor is simply timeless, and it combines the classic nautical elements with coastal-inspired décor, this style creates a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that brings back memories of the shore.

What are the Characteristics?

  • Sense of ease and comfort
  • Colors reminiscent of the sea, sand, and grass
  • Soft patterns and textures
  • Natural materials from seagrass, jute, driftwood, shells, and wicker

How to Achieve the Look

Coastal and nautical interior design offers a unique and timeless style for any home. Combining Coastal and nautical interior design often features a palette of whites and blues, with natural décor being incorporated such as seashells and starfish. These elements create a sense of ease and comfort while providing a perfect backdrop for an array of colors, patterns, and textures.

In terms of furnishings, they are typically made of natural materials such as wood, wicker, and linen. Accessories, like wall art and sculptures, add a finishing touch to the look. By adding subtle touches—like a few coastal-inspired throw pillows or a seashell-framed mirror—you can bring the coastal and nautical interior decorating style right into your own home in a sea breeze!

Rustic Décor Style

What is the Rustic Design?

When it comes to the rustic interior décor style, it’s going to have various other styles that are similar such as farmhouse, ranch style, cottagecore, French country, etc.

Rustic is slightly vague as there are multiple categories and styles that can fall under this, but there are a lot of similarities in all of these interior decorating styles, so they can be nicely grouped together. This style combines the warmth and charm of a country cottage with modern elements and traditional materials like wood and stone. You’re meant to feel as if you’re in a secluded area, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but instead living in a simpler time.

What are the Characteristics?

  • Antique furnishings and décor
  • Natural tones
  • Vintage accessories
  • Upcycling
  • Natural materials such as wicker, wood, brick, and stone
  • Muted and earthy tones such as browns, greens, and whites

How to Achieve the Look

Since there are so many different styles that follow the rustic look, you’re going to want to first decide whether you want the more traditional interior decorating style or something more modern such as farmhouse. For instance, the farmhouse style is an updated version of the rustic look. It incorporates a mix of contemporary and classic elements, such as modern furniture, industrial lighting, and antiques. When it comes to all styles falling under the Rustic style, you can expect to find accents like galvanized steel, exposed brick, and distressed wood.

All of these bring a rustic charm and it’s up to you to provide a modern edge to it or stick with the classics. Patterns and textures play an important role in this type of style, you can expect to find textures from woven rugs to patterned wallpaper. Overall, when you want to achieve this look, the ultimate aim is to create a homey and inviting atmosphere.

Mid-Century Modern Interior Décor Style

Mid Century Interior Decorating Style

What is the Mid-Century Modern Design?

Wanting to jump back in time to the Swinging Sixties? Then Mid-Century Modern style is the way to go. This interior decorating style rose to popularity in the 1940s and is still widely adored today. In fact, it’s loved now more than ever before thanks to the ease of buying retro furniture, and sellers like IKEA selling Mid-Century Modern-inspired décor and furnishings. This timeless style is considered to be both minimalistic and effective. What helps Mid-Century Modern furniture stand out would be the furniture legs. The furniture in this style typically features low, tapered legs and an emphasis on comfort and functionality.

What are the Characteristics?

  • Neutral palette
  • Pops of bold colors
  • Clean lines
  • Emphasis on comfort
  • Low tapered legs
  • Round curves
  • Organic shapes

How to Achieve the Look

If you want to achieve this look then going for some older pieces will help make your space appear more authentic. The shapes of antique furniture and décor feature impeccable woodwork and organic shapes that are rare to find for modern furniture nowadays. You should also consider vintage accents as these bring a unique sense of style that stands out from other interior decorating styles. Think about incorporating simple geometric patterns into your space, as well as natural elements like wood and leather. This fabulous design is perfect for anyone looking to create a stylish and modern atmosphere in their home that will never go out of style.

Contemporary Design Style

Contemporary Interior Decorating Style

What is the Contemporary Design?

Are you looking for something more modern, something that screams “here and now”, then contemporary just may be your interior decorating style! Contemporary interior design styles are great options for creating a modern look and feel for any space. This style often combines modern, industrial, and minimalist elements with minimalist colors and a soft touch of bold accents. It’s all about focusing more on creating a space that is comfortable and relaxing. It often features natural materials like wood and stone, as well as clean lines and an open feel. Colors and patterns are typically kept to a minimum, while accessories, furniture, and artwork provide a bright, airy, and inviting atmosphere.

What are the Characteristics?

  • Minimalistic elements
  • Inviting atmosphere
  • Neutral tones such as white, beige, and grey
  • Focus on visual interest

How to Achieve the Look

Looking to achieve this marvelous style? To create a contemporary interior design look, it is important to include unique pieces that draw attention and create visual interest. You’re going to want to consider the scale of the space to make sure the furniture and accessories don’t overwhelm the room. This is going to include mixing textures, colors, and shapes can also help to create a modern, yet inviting atmosphere. It’s really all about balancing out a space that’s both stylish and dynamic at the same time.

What’s Your Style?

In the end, what truly matters most is what you like, and how your preferences can make a home that suits you. While there are so many different styles that interior decorating can offer, you should never feel as if you need to be limited to one or two. In the end, you can mix all of your favorite elements together to create one big style that uniquely speaks to you! Just remember, when it comes to your home, you make the rules, so make sure you style this space however you want!

Want to learn more about Interior Decorating?

Here at the Interior Decorating Institute we offer a range of interior decorating courses and an interior decorating certification.
If you’re ready to keep learning, but unsure what course to take, we’ve created our interior decorating course quiz to find out what course is right for you…

Confused about what interior decorating course to take?

We’ve created an interior decorating course quiz to find out what course is right for you…

Interior Decorating Courses

Interior Decorating Career Guides

Other Interior Decorating Blogs

You May Also Like...