8 Types of interior design styles


If you’re interested in finding the right style for decorating your home, then you’ve come to the right place.

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When you’re thinking about decorating a house, the first step is choosing the right style, and by this I mean the style that suits you best. There are several types of interior design styles, and it is important to pick up the one you like most of all.

Many times you may wonder which are the trends in interior design, how you should make your room look like or what materials you should use.

In case you don’t want to choose either an extremely classic or a very modern style, there are a lot of great styles in between, that would make your house look like a new one immediately.

I will show you several of these styles, trying to cover up the main aspects and characteristics of each, so that you can easily understand which of these styles would suit your home best.

These being said, let’s start. 😀


Types of interior design styles

Art Deco appeared in the mid ’20, when it was associated with luxury and elegance.  It is similar to Art Nouveau, but it’s a bit more modern when it comes to aesthetics. When it comes to interior design, Art Deco is recommended to people who are independent and love art, but also to those who are willing to make their house a beautiful, elegant place.

Here are the most important elements of this style:

  • Geometric, similar and simple shapes
  • Elegant lines, that make the room seem luxurious
  • Bright colors, prints and positive contrasts: chrome, blue
  • Materials like polished wood, laquer, steel, leather are perfect for a stylish atmosphere
  • Accessories include mirrors, glass and chrome objects, old clocks, small sculptures or statues, chinaware, exotic decorations, symmetrical and asymmetrical paintings, antiques
  • Chandeliers made of glass or crystal
  • Carpets and rugs with geometrical shapes, circles, lines or squares



Types of interior design styles

If you want a modern, fresh home, with nature inspired elements, then Art Nouveau style is perfect for you. Though it appeared in the 20th century in France and immediately spread across Europe and America, it still remains very popular even in these days, especially among nature lovers, thanks to its decorative and ornamental style.

The main characteristics are:

  • Curved lines, that remind of plants and buds
  • Stylish nature motifs: flowers, herbs, insect shapes, birds
  • Colors are quite light and sober: brown, olive, mustard yellow
  • Materials are usually wood, glass and metal
  • Stained glass is common in decorations
  • Round, elegant furniture pieces, some can even have flower motifs
  • Ornamental prints and shades on the walls or wallpapers: flames, flowers (especially lilac and poppy), leaves, fruits (usually grapes), branches, corals, birds, dragons, shells
  • Accessories include curved chandeliers or lamps, stained glass, clocks, mirrors with bronze or wooden frames, jewelry boxes, chinaware



Types of interior design styles

A travel back in time, a cosy home, decorations that have their own story, a cheerful atmosphere – these are all characteristic of the Vintage style. This is an unique style, thanks to the combination between old and new, that creates a warm atmosphere, which reminds of the past.

A Vintage decorated home should have the following elements:

  • The general impression is that of elegance and antiquity
  • Pastel shades are usually chosen, but an object that has a bright color can easily get the attention, in a positive way; you can choose red, blue, beryl green
  • Flower prints on decorations or wallpapers
  • The furniture pieces can be old, with small defects, that would make them original; you can also go for curved, elegant furniture
  • Without may polished surfaces
  • Dark wood or hardwood flooring are the best choices when it comes to floor



Types of interior design styles

Based on the concept “Less is more”, Minimalist style brings on a less conventional approach when it comes to interior design. According to designers, a less crowded room seems much more comfortable and relaxing than an luxurious one. Though the style seems a bit cold, masculine at first, it’s actually great for busy people, who want to have a relaxing place at home, but also easy to maintain.

Minimalism gives up all the useless things and decorations, so it is perfect for small houses or apartments. In case you’re thinking about decorating in a minimalist style, take a look at the following aspects:

  • Clear, simple lines
  • Neutral, solid colors: walls are usually white, other suitable colors are grey, black, beige
  • Massive furniture is replaced by a simple, low furniture, as little as possible
  • Open space, very few internal walls
  • When it comes to floors, hardwood is the most popular, but it could also be laminate flooring or floor tile
  • Many windows and lightnings, because light is very important
  • Furniture should be polished, made of wood, glass or any other similar material
  • Decorations are almost absent or in the best case very simple, like a big vase
  • Little to no photos or paintings

If you decided to stick to the essentials and you want to transform your home into a minimalist residence, my article 6 Simple Minimalist Bedroom Tips will tell you everything you need to know about this topic.


Types of interior design styles

Rustic style is more and more common in interior design. This could be because of the charm and the glow of this style, that combined with modern facilities, brings both nature and past inside the house. Choosing such a design style shows creativity, originality but also courage.

The most important elements of Rustic style are:

  • Warm, natural colors: cherry, black, brown, without many pastels or bright colors
  • Wood and stone materials
  • Old furniture or modern furniture with rustic accents
  • Decorations shouldn’t be polished (they seem new), there only needs to be a little shine in the middle of these solid textures, like a vase made of glass in the living room
  • Vintage or collection objects suit Rustic style very well
  • Old stuff can be recycled and transformed into something else: a basket can be recycled into a lightning fitting, old buckets can become stools
  • Strong textile materials for curtains and pillows, like cotton, wool or sackcloth
  • Carpets made of leather or fur



Types of interior design styles

Bohemian Chic, rather know as Boho Chic, is a style specially designed for creative, adventurous people, who are imaginative and full of ideas, but don’t have a huge amount of money to spend on interior design. The good news is that Boho Chic is one of the most permissive styles, with no rules or constraints when it comes to colors or decorations.

So, if you’re a positive, optimistic person, Boho Chic will help you enjoy a Moroccan or Indian atmosphere right at your home, thanks to its nonconformist elements:

  • The purpose is creating a very artistic scenery
  • Powerful, bright colors: green, violet, red, orange, blue
  • Geometric, flower motifs, traditional Indian or Moroccan prints
  • Decorations can be quite anything: from handmade objects, souvenirs, paintings or different forms of art, to carpets, colorful curtains or plants
  • The contrast is very important
  • Can also contain many vintage elements
  • When it comes to furniture, we often find massive pieces, bookcases, wallpapers and tent beds
  • Furniture can also be pretty different: chairs, sofas and armchairs from different sets, that mix together
  • Decorative pillows with ethnic textiles are also very common

You can read more about this style in my article 6 Hot Bohemian Window Curtains For Your Bedroom.


Types of interior design styles

Many people love the glamorous and playful Retro style. Rather full of energy than well organized, Retro designed rooms have a certain sense of humor and many of the objects have their own story. Generally, Retro can be described as a style that brings on a lot of elements from the past decades, managing to create a cheerful, yet modern atmosphere.

There aren’t certain standard elements when it comes to Retro, but still everyone recognizes this style. Let’s take a look at the most common elements:

  • Combination between classic and modern, contrasting colors and different shapes
  • Bright colors, full of life: yellow, violet, red, blue, green, orange
  • Flower motifs, curved lines and geometric shapes
  • Furniture includes leather sofas with wooden borders and vintage pieces
  • Decorations can be very different: classic lamps, lace blankets, bright wallpapers, mirrors with iron frames, models of bathtubs with feet
  • As an accessory, paintings would be a great choice



Types of interior design styles

Whenever you want to make a good impression with a room, to make it look elegant, choose the Victorian style. This was named after Queen Victoria, and it preserves the luxury and elegance from the royal halls. The excess of glamour is definitely the main characteristic of the old Victorian style.

Today, however, things have changed a bit. This style is still associated with luxury and wealth, but there are no excesses. Anyway, Victorian style is certainly not for everyone, as it needs a huge amount of money, especially if you want high-quality materials.

The common aspects are:

  • Strong colors, luxury and glamour
  • Luxurious textiles, like velvet and damask
  • Dark, hard shades and colors: ruby red, dark green, mahogany brown with golden accents, walnut, plum, blue
  • Walls are often decorated with complicated patterns
  • Massive, luxurious furniture, usually made of dark wood, like mahogany
  • Decorations are opulent: china, lace ornaments, paintings and sculptures, strained glass
  • Velvet or cloth sofas, dark wood pavements
  • Curtains, lamps and furniture pieces are sometimes decorated with purls


To conclude

These are the most common types of interior design styles. So, to sum up, if you want to transform your house into a relaxing, artistic place, choose either Art Deco or Art Nouveau. A warm, both old and modern atmosphere would be perfect with a Vintage or Retro design.

While Minimalism asks you to give up every useless thing and get more space, Boho Chic insists on filling out the room with all the possible decorations, making the atmosphere very friendly and positive.

If you want to create a beautiful connection with the past, Rustic would be great for you, and if you plan to impress everyone with glamour and luxury, then you might wanna invest in a Victorian decorated home.


Which of these styles would you choose for you house? What are the reasons for your choice?

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17 Responses

  1. Daniel Lara says:

    Hi, Anne! Thank you so much for the thorough explanation of different styles of interior design. I have just moved into a new apartment, and even though there is some furniture in it it’s the first time me and my wife have had to decorate. Neither one of us has a lot of experience, so it’s been a little tough. We checked out the article and found out that we are both fans of the minimalist style, so this will be a good guiding point for our decisions. Great job and keep the interesting posts coming!

    • Anne says:

      Hi, I’m glad you found some useful info.

      Minimalist is a pretty simple style, so I’m sure you’ll do a great job decorating your apartment. 🙂

  2. Diana Worley says:

    Hi Anne,
    I really enjoyed you websites explaination of styles. We are moving into our empty nest quarters soon and are really looking for a change. A smaller space with simpler decor that allows foe more free time and less work. Tire of too much stuff.From your descriptions, I am thinking that minimalist is the way to go.
    We’ll be watching for more hints as the time get closer!

    • Anne says:

      Hey Diana, I’m happy you found it useful.

      Thanks for reading my blog, I’m sure minimalist will look great in your home. :

  3. Sim says:

    Hey Anne! First of all, really nice website. I loved my experience here.

    Your article is easy to read with the bullet points and everything. That’s something important for me.

    That being said, I sure learned a lot about the styles of interior design. I’m far from being an expert so this was insightful.

    I always thought I was more into minimalist, but one that I just discovered (because of you) and that seems interesting is the Boho Chic. Never heard of it before and I find it really interesting.

    I’ll be looking into it on my own.


    • Anne says:

      Hi Sim, thanks for all these kind words, I really appreciate it 😉

      Yeees, I also love Boho Chic, and although it’s not really on my list of the most common interior design styles, I really had to include it here because it’s always so original and exotic. Unfortunately, there aren’t many people who want to go for Boho in their homes because it’s a bit too extravagant for most (even for me sometimes), but it’s still a very strong and cool style.

      Thanks for reading my blog 🙂

  4. Jeff says:

    love this post, and the photos look great making the choice harder than i first thought.
    i would think the design of a room has to reflect its surroundings. A modern style house wouldn’t suit a rustic room, just like a country retreat wouldnt suit a modern building.
    the design of my own room doesn’t fall into any category is that such a bad thing? My furniture is all quite modern with a cosy feel, carpets instead of floor boards that type of thing. Everything matches colour wise as well.
    Next time we are decorating i will swing past for some ideas and inspiration.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Jeff, I agree with you, there’s no point decorating a very old house in a minimalist style, it may look good but it won’t look natural.

      No, don’t worry, I also have some rooms in my house that can’t be defined by a certain style, they’re rather combinations of elements from multiple styles. But the thing is that they look well together so that’s all that matters.

      I actually plan to write some articles about combining styles in rooms in the future, so make sure you follow my log if you want to check it out.

      So you don’t have any reason to worry about, as long as everything seems to blend together well, your room looks just fine. 🙂

  5. David says:

    Hi I love this website. Very close to my heart as I studied interior design a college many years ago.

    There are some lovely ideas on this site and the site is very well laid out. I will continue to look and read any new posts you put on.

    I have a property advice website and one of the pages is for interior design ideas. I wondered if you would be interested in me including a link of your site on that page?

  6. Ciandress says:

    I really really enjoyed this article. I have vague familiarity with the terms to characterize various interior design styles, but this article truly made the various types plain and simple. I think my style is a blend of art deco, art noveau mixed with a tad of vintage. In my early twenties my style was more minimalist but it’s definitely evolved over the years. Thanks for sharing this article. I’ve bookmarked it for future reference.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Ciandress, thank you for reading my blog 🙂
      I know many people who can’t say they love a certain style, but rather a combination of them, so I’m glad to see you’re one of them. I can say I am too.

      Art Deco and Art Nouveau go really well together, the first one brings a lot of elegance while the last one is fresh and gracious. No to mention Vintage, that really brings in a specific air. So your choice is really good 😀

      Minimalist is very practical and easy to maintain, but I wouldn’t choose it for my house either, I also prefer something that isn’t so simple and cold. I do believe that there are some people whose houses (and personalities) would be perfect for Minimalism, while there are others that would hate a home in that style.

      So it’s all about personal preferences 🙂

  7. Carolyn says:

    I just repainted the walls of my kitchen, dining room and living room. It’s an open area but it’s not very big. I love the pictures you provided! I’m looking for some ideas to make nice aesthetical changes while keeping it practical. Is there a specific style you think I should look into? Minimalist lacks some warmth to me. I really like the Art nouveau picture you showed. It looks welcoming and bright! That hand rail is gorgeous!

    • Anne says:

      Hey Carolyn, I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed reading my article 🙂
      You’re totally right about Minimalism, I also have the same feeling, that it’s a really cold, sober style and I usually need something more welcoming.

      Art Nouveau is probably my favorite style when it comes to interior design, because it somehow manages to bring together all those elements I love and that a warm home would need: colors, elegance, grace and nature. So I really recommend it for your living room, especially if you like how it looks.

      For the kitchen you could go for the same Art Nouveau pattern or you could choose a Rustic decor, that is more and more popular in kitchen these days. I’ve written an article called The Best 7 Rustic Log Kitchen Chairs For Any Budget where there are a lot more details about this style and what exactly it implies, especially in my kitchen.

      I hope this suggestions help 🙂

  8. Joanne says:

    This is a great description of styles – thanks!
    I’ve been a lover of antiques just about my whole life (worked in an antique shop for many years as well), so am familiar with some of the terms you used – art deco, art nouveau, vintage and rustic. I’ve never heard of Boho Chic – interesting but not my personal style.

    My house at this point is I’d say “vintage”, but want to start letting go of things and make my life a little simpler. I’ve very interested in Rustic but long for that Minimal feel.

    I’m not sure what to do, but I feel change coming!

    ps – I absolutely love your site and am bookmarking
    – thank you

    • Anne says:

      Hi Joanne, I’m very pleased to hear these words from you.

      If you feel change coming, you will probably be going for something new, right? 😀

      You know that it’s not necessarily to follow a certain style, you can actually combine several and get a really original decor in your home. To tell you a secret, most homes don’t even respect the criteria of one decorating style, but they actually contain pieces and elements from different styles. And putting all these together actually makes the house even more beautiful. So keep this in mind, okay? 🙂

      Rustic and Minimalist are 2 styles that can hardly be combined, but it’snot impossible, so if you can’t decide on one and you try to get a combination on both, who knows? You may get an amazing decor, so it’s worth trying.

      Thank you for reading my blog, and remember you’re always welcome here.

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