Have you ever seen a photo of an Instagram-worthy home that you fall in love with the look of, and would love to recreate the same style in your own home, but just don’t know exactly where to start? Or maybe you know what you like when you see it, but you aren’t sure how to define your interior design style. We’ve rounded up the most popular interior design styles and trends to give definition to your favorites, and provided some pointers on how you can bring that to life in your own home.
You might accidentally use this interchangeably with the term “modern,” but they are, in fact, not the same. Contemporary features clean lines, lots of solid colors (mostly neutrals with pops of bright colors), and strong materials like wood and metal. Often furniture is sleek, utilizing metal frames with low, angular profiles, and artwork and accessories tend to contain graphic and abstract elements. To update your own look, swap that older, oversized leather couch for a sleek, angular sectional in a neutral color, add pops of bright colors in pillows and accents. Opt for a new coffee table with sharp lines made of metal or stone and accessorize with a couple of modern art books to complete the look.
Think loft, city apartments or new urban restaurants – the industrial style typically has exposed elements like metal beams, brick walls, pipes and duct work. With open floor plans, large windows, and neutral colors typically on the darker end of the color spectrum, you might incorporate deeper-toned woods and leather furniture. An easy way to bring this style home is with metallic, multi-lobed pendant lighting over your dining area or in your kitchen. Light fixtures with structural details of oxidized hardware are a nice touch.
Known for its nod to the 1950s and 60s, midcentury modern is still very alive today, loved by many for the simplicity of the style. Tones like oranges, yellows, olive greens, and chocolate browns are the most popular color palettes, and you will often see more sleek round shapes in furniture. Chairs, couches, and coffee tables are easy pieces to bring this style into your home in an instant.
Modern styles tend to be more minimalist, accompanied by geometric shapes, asymmetry, and polished surfaces. Often neutral colors of greys, blacks, and whites are the predominant focus. Kitchens tend to be easy and good places to bring home the modern style, utilizing features like a sleek subway tile paired with clean lines of black and white chairs against stainless steel appliances, with an overall monochromatic look and minimalist approach.
Think old English, British Colonial, French Country, all wrapped up into one. Softer colors and fabrics, wall treatments (hello, trending wallpaper), and soft, curved lines dominate this style. Make sure to keep it fresh and new when incorporating this style by staying in the same color family while using patterns like florals or ornate décor to make a statement.
The in-between for those who like both Traditional and Contemporary design, Transitional is one of the most common styles. It’s an updated silhouette of traditional looks with pops of color and the more sleek lines of the contemporary style. Neutral colors like soft greys and beige are most common and evoke a clean, serene feeling to the space. Try adding some metallic accessories, textured pillows, and soft accents in cool blue or green tones.
This one can be tough to master – it’s a style that appears that you’ve thrown anything and everything together and made it somehow look good. But it’s more than that – using color, patterns, textures, and space ties everything together in one cohesive look, even though it might be hard to imagine with some unexpected contrasts. One common and easy way to pull off this look is with a gallery wall as your center focus. When features run through multiple aspects of the room, such as finding cohesion through hints of gold in frames on the gallery wall to pendant lamps and accents in furniture, the room will feel tied together.
Whether you’re simply looking for a refresh in your home or building new construction from scratch, it’s important to know your style and how to apply it. Hiring a professional is of course always helpful, but even being able to help them understand what you like can make the process smoother and easier.