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Popular Interior Design Styles

Do you prefer the clean, simple lines of minimalist decor, or is the shimmer and glint of the maximalist style more your taste? Are you drawn to warm, cozy traditional palettes or bold prints with metal accents? Here are descriptions and examples of some of the most popular interior design styles, including established styles and a couple of newly emerging, trending approaches. See which options are best suited to your personality and lifestyle.

1. Traditional

Inspired by the interior designs of 18th- and 19th-century Europe, the traditional style is inviting and warm. It prioritizes comfortable, functional furniture in neutral palettes accented with woodwork, embroidery, and floral motifs. Its characteristics include family-friendly layouts and understated palettes without bright or bold colors. 

A new “granny chic” movement is an offshoot of this style, giving traditional design a colorful vintage twist with chintz and floral fabrics, ruffles, embroidery and antique furniture.

2. Contemporary

Uncluttered spaces that exude effortless elegance mark contemporary design. Spacious, open layouts with sleek black-and-white palettes and comfortable furniture are accessorized with textured and metal accents and geometric shapes. Window treatments do not involve heavy drapery, and lighting is often used to make a statement or serve as artwork. This fluid style continues to evolve, and its definition is as versatile as the design.

3. Transitional

This style fuses traditional and contemporary design in a carefully measured balance. Mixed materials like wood and metal are juxtaposed to create unique contrasts. Transitional design achieves a minimal look through the limited use of accessories.

4. Minimalist

Minimal Interior Master Bath Design
Margarita Bravo

Minimal interiors showcase basic furniture, monochromatic palettes, and little or no use of ornamentation beyond pops of art. It's an uncluttered look with just the bare necessities.

5. Minimalist Zen

Japanese Aesthetics Bathroom Style

This look is inspired by Japanese aesthetics and the philosophy of “less is more.” Natural, organic materials, a serene ambience, and proximity to nature are essential elements. The Katsura Rikyu (Katsura Imperial Villa) in Kyoto is a beautiful example of this quiet style.

6. Scandinavian

Inspired by North European minimalism and functionality, Scandinavian design is a neat, fuss-free look. It focuses on minimal beauty that offers maximum functionality, dictating that everything has a purpose.

7. Mid-Century Modern

Mid Century Modern Living Room Design
Margarita Bravo

The popular mid-century modern design style is inspired by the Bauhaus movement, which emphasizes functionality. Interiors feature sleek design elements like skinny legs on furniture and a mix of contrasting materials including leather, fiberglass, wood, and vinyl.

8. Maximalist

The unabashed, bold, colorful maximalist design language makes a statement. Expect contrasting textures and patterns and accent walls in bold colors. Maximalism doesn't shy away from drama — it commands it.

9. Coastal

As the name suggests, this style boasts a cool, casual look with palettes reminiscent of Mediterranean hues. Coastal interiors are usually bathed in sunlight with natural accessories, high-performing furniture, and upholstery that can withstand coastal sand and sun.

10. Desert Contemporary

This style is known for uniting indoor and outdoor living and usually features stunning views of the desert. Natural stone like marble or onyx is complemented with earthy palettes. The use of beautiful, luxe interiors that extend into raw nature maximizes the best of both worlds.

11. Mountain Contemporary

Mountain Contemporary Home Bench Design Art
Margarita Bravo

This style celebrates the outdoors. Mountain contemporary homes usually have mudrooms for trekking gear and wear a natural look with fresh palettes and comfortable, functional furniture.

12. Rustic

Organic, natural, and aged elements, like the wood ceiling featured in the above project, are hallmarks of this style. Despite its name, this style is often elegant or luxe. Rustic design is perfect for holiday homes surrounded by nature.

13. French Country

Elegant Living Design
C. Randolph Trainor Interiors Photography By Greg West

With echoes of traditional design, French country style blends refined European elegance with ornate decor and bright-hued antique accents. Interiors have a feminine look with soft upholstery that’s warm, inviting, and comfortable.

14. Modern Farmhouse

Modern Family Room Interior Design
Margarita Bravo

This look combines modern functionality and style with a natural, comfortable farmhouse aesthetic. Open layouts, light palettes, and elegant furniture are juxtaposed with typical farmhouse decor like wooden flooring, rustic lighting, and high ceilings with exposed beams.

15. Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic Living Room Interior Design

Shabby chic is a look that is elegant and relaxed at the same time. Highlights of this style include exposed brick walls, distressed wood furniture, and a palette that features whites, neutrals, light and dark pastels, and matte finishes.

16. Bohemian

Bohemian Living Room Decor
Margarita Bravo

The free-spirited vibe of the Bohemian lifestyle is captured in this playful interior design style. Hand-made art, bright colors, and diverse materials are layered to create an unconventional look.

17. Eclectic

Eclectic design is challenging to achieve as it requires a sound understanding of how to balance disparate colors, patterns, and forms. Contrasting styles are mixed in a way that is harmonious and easy on the eyes.

18. Art Deco

This major movement in architecture and design originated in the 1920s and ‘30s, using ornate elegance to convey wealth and sophistication. It also gave us the backdrop for The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Published in 1925), which beautifully captures the era’s excess and design language.


1. Japandi

Norm Architects Ikke Navngivet Interiors
Norm Architects | Photography: Tomooki Kengaku

Scandinavian functionality and Japanese minimalism unite to create serene, calming interiors with a quiet, peace-inducing ambience. Light colors, natural materials, and clean-lined sophistication are signature characteristics of Japandi.

2. Cottagecore

Colorful Interiors Riot Prints
Image: Chris Saunders

This movement takes us away from the hustle-bustle of city life and technology to lush fields, country living, and simplicity. Sustainable materials, repurposed furniture, and vintage finds constitute the cottagecore look. Explore this style here.

Which Style Is the Most Popular?

Contemporary design is the most popular style and for good reason. It emphasizes spacious, open layouts with functional interiors that can be customized to suit the homeowner’s lifestyle – perfect for families and empty nesters. Contemporary homes are suited to entertaining, quiet time, and life with rambunctious children. The clean lines make for elegant, easy-to-clean spaces.

Which Style Is Right for You?

Interior design can influence the way you feel and experience your daily life. Choose a style that suits your personal story, and then find an interior designer who can turn your vision into a reality.