Determining the ideal interior design style is vital when designing a home or building. You’ll need to consider the combination of colors, patterns, shapes and materials you’ll use to create your desired look and feel. There are many options, so you can find the best one for you or combine styles to develop a unique look. 

Here are nine popular interior design styles and how to use them in your space. 


Traditional design is exactly as the name suggests. It incorporates classic styles of the past, particularly from 1700s and 1800s European homes, although there have been adaptations over the years. Today’s traditional style features symmetry, elegance and harmony between rooms. 

Many rich colors and intricate details found in traditional interiors and furniture were inspired by Victorian homes. A house’s architecture also plays a prominent role in a traditional interior, and crown molding, high ceilings, and wainscoting are common features. 


Modern interior design focuses on styles from recent decades. 

A contemporary interior focuses on current trends, combining the most popular styles in recent years. This style is light on textures, has simple, clean lines, and includes touches of sophistication. 

Midcentury modern uses muted tones, shapes, and a combination of natural and synthetic materials. 


Transitional design combines elements of traditional and modern styles. 

Many homeowners prefer a combination of both designs, with neutral colors and brighter accessories. Choosing neutral walls and floors with more traditional furniture and decor is popular, but any variety of these methods serves as a transitional design. 

Feng Shui

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese design practice that focuses on energy. The belief is that design influences how well chi flows within a home, bringing you prosperity. 

Feng shui focuses on four elements connected to the world around you: 

  • Earth: Earth helps you feel grounded and centered. Crystals, clay pots or vases, landscapes, and earth tones represent it in interior design.
  • Fire: Fire represents expression, passion, and energy. It’s inspirational and leads to transformation. Red or orange colors, throws, pillows, and art will add verve to any room.
  • Water: Water represents clarity, wisdom, and serenity. The element promotes human connection with blue tones and reflective surfaces. 
  • Metal: Metal represents flexibility and adaptation. You can incorporate it through gray and white decor and smaller accent pieces, such as artwork or bookends.
  • Wood: Wood is the element of flexibility and growth. It’s a typical material for interior design, and there is such a thing as too much in feng shui. Instead of paneling, consider adding plants or wood furniture with natural colors like green and blue.

Feng shui is about connecting to the energy around you and finding peace when life seems chaotic.


Minimalism is a “less is more” approach to design that’s quickly catching on. 

This style involves bright and clean spaces with minimal clutter, a restrained color palette focusing on black and white, and sparse, simple artwork. 

It’s appealing since it removes unnecessary items from the space, helping residents clear their minds after a stressful day and creating more room for enjoyment. 



 Maximalism incorporates layers of color, texture, and decor to create a larger-than-life feel.

It’s an incredibly bold design, with your eyes constantly finding something new to look at. Maximalism doesn’t mean cluttered but focuses on using the walls and shelving to incorporate standout patterns and decor items. 

When you choose a maximalist design, it’s important to have a color or element tying the room together so you don’t get too overwhelmed by it. 

Art Deco

Art deco emerged in the 1920s, and the style is identifiable in multiple ways. 

Art deco includes plush fabrics, rounded edges, jewel tones, and brass accents. Current design trades symmetrical design for asymmetrical curves, emulating waves. The rounded portions reflect the art deco style of the early 20th century and the updates bring the look into the modern area. 

Art deco also utilizes patterns throughout its design, from chevrons to sunbursts. 


Naturalism focuses on incorporating nature into your home with organic fabrics, wood, and stone features throughout. 

Like feng shui, this style incorporates elements from the earth. Modern-day naturalism also focuses on contrast throughout the design and pays tribute to the imperfect shapes and textures found in nature. 

Both styles follow biophilic design principles, which is a sustainable way of designing your home to be more in sync with nature. 


Industrial design focuses on incorporating the bones of a home into its style. The look was inspired by factories during the Industrial Revolution and features exposed brick and ductwork, embracing a building’s building blocks. 

Various wood and metal elements, utilitarian objects, and open spaces mimic the look of a warehouse. 

Choosing the Right Interior Design Style

There are many options to choose from when designing, each helping your space stand out in different ways. 

Choosing the style that speaks to you or combining elements of different looks to fit your desired aesthetic can transform your home into one you love.

Rose Morrison

Rose Morrison is a home-living writer with over five years of experience. She is the managing editor of, a home living site where she loves to cover home renovations and decor to inspire everyone to live their best DIY life. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth. For more articles from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.

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