Understanding 5 Popular Interior Design Styles

When a home interior design firm tackles a project for a client, one of the first questions that needs to be addressed is what style they will use. Not everyone's a home designer, though. It can be helpful to learn about some of the popular schools of thought on interior design style and what their implications are.


The traditional style focuses on details and features. Trim and molding, for example, are very common in traditional interiors. Color choices are usually not too aggressive, so you won't see bright yellows or oranges. Furniture is what some might call a bit stuffy. Cushions are usually fairly big, and they'll also frequently feature details like buttons.


In the early 20th century, many designers broke with the traditional school of thought to de-emphasize details and focus on clean forms. This started what's called the mid-century modern style. Colors are often featured, and there aren't as many textures or details. Instead, the lines of walls, furnishings, appliances, and other items are allowed to stand strong and uninterrupted.


Decluttering is a popular trend. Bohemian style is not for the world's declutterers.

The idea behind Bohemian design is to focus on a lived-in world. Rather than making everything conform to a single style, Bohemian design embraces different elements coming together. It also revels in stuff, so people who like high throw pillow counts will be thrilled.

Bohemian designs don't ask for defined spaces between items, either. If you're someone who wants to show off a bunch of family pictures, for example, the Bohemian approach might be for you.


Modernism eventually lost some steam as the 20th Century receded into memory. Its replacement was contemporary design, a style that accepts the simple lines and curves of modernism but tries to add a few more layers and details. Textures and patterns are more common in the contemporary school, but you won't see the molding and trim that appears obsessively in traditional.


If you think of modernist and contemporary design on one end of the scale and traditional and Bohemian at the other end, transitional design is the attempt to find a happy medium. Transitional designs aren't as detail-rich as traditional ones, but they can have some trim around a doorway. It often works well for folks who don't want dated designs but also don't want their house to look too minimal.

To learn more, contact a home interior design firm.