Interior decorating styles: 5 types of interior design

Looking to update your home but not sure where to start? There are many different design styles to consider when giving your home a makeover, from Scandinavian home decor styles and modern house interior styles to minimalist and contemporary.

So whether you’re embarking on a large-scale home renovation or just giving your kitchen a refresh, having a strong sense of various interior decorating styles can give your home a polished and cohesive look.

Here, we take a look at 5 popular types of interior design.

1. Scandinavian (Nordic)

Scandinavian interiors are somewhat similar to both Russian and rustic design styles. It can be defined by its simplicity, use of clean lines and earthy materials. Wall-to-wall carpets are rarely seen in Scandinavian homes – instead, hardwood floors are used in every room except the bathroom.

The floors are always light in color, as is the rest of the home. Walls are typically either white or gray, and blue textiles are used on sofas, rugs and bedding to bring a splash of color into the home.

Minimalist Scandinavian furniture and architecture feature clean and simple lines. Nordic fireplaces are typically the grand focal point of a room to warm the interior and offer a cozy contrast to the muted colors.

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2. Contemporary

Contemporary style is often interchanged with modern design – however, there are a few differences. Unlike its modern counterpart, contemporary style borrows from various time periods, creating an eclectic environment. For instance, sleek, simple furniture and art can be combined with detailed molding around walls and windows.

Contemporary style also takes a note from minimal home design, as layouts are open and airy with no clutter in sight.

Furnishings have sharp, 90-degree angles and are upholstered with simple fabrics such as wool, cotton and linen that have no ornamentation or patterns. Instead, sofas, chairs and stools are covered in neutral colors like black, white and tan.

No fringe, skirts, trim or tassels can be found on contemporary furniture, as all legs are exposed.

Light fixtures are made up of sleek materials like glass, ceramic, polished nickel or stainless steel.

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3. Minimalist

Minimalist homes are free of any clutter, only displaying items like couches, tables and light fixtures that are essential for functional living. Minimalist interiors have a focus on simplicity and effortless beauty. Character is brought forth not through detail, but through natural materials and essential items.

Rooms are monochromatic, usually featuring subdued neutrals. Walls are kept simple with only one or two decorative pieces, like a canvas or a mirror.

All surfaces, from the kitchen to the bathroom should be completely cleared off. Furniture features clean lines with very little detail, and they often double as storage, like ottomans that open up to reveal space.

Architectural minimalism is influenced by Japanese Zen philosophy and the aesthetic principles of Ma and Wabi-sabi, which appreciate the value of empty space and absence of ornamentation.

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4. Modern

Modern homes share similar characteristics with minimalist interiors. The focus is on simplicity, cleanliness and absence of decor or detailing. Furniture offers smooth, clean lines inspired by architecture from the 1930s. It’s this testament to the sensibilities of the Bauhaus movement and Scandinavian design principles that sets modern interior design apart from contemporary style.

Color palettes are typically made up of neutral shades, such as whites, creams and beiges. However, unlike minimalist interiors, these homes contain splashes of bright colors like oranges, pinks and turquoise on items such as dinnerware, curtains and rugs.

All electronics in modern interiors are streamlined, so living rooms contain built-in DVD players and kitchens have small flat-screen televisions. Plastic and plywood are frequently utilized in modern style furnishings.

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5. Transitional

 

Transitional interior design blends a variety of different styles together to create a timeless look that’s all its own. Because there is a mix of both traditional and contemporary design, furniture can feature straight and sophisticated lines, or have rounded lines with ornate carvings. Pieces like chairs, tables and sofas balance both masculine and feminine attributes to create a welcoming ambiance.

For the most part, however, furniture has much less ornamentation than what’s found in most traditional styles. Furniture is upholstered with graphic patterns and textured materials like creamy white cotton, smooth leather and corduroy.

Lighting is sleek, much like couches, tables and chairs. Wall sconces, pendants and table lamps are equipped with straight lines with a modern feel. Colors are similar to traditional design – you’ll see dark browns, taupes, tans and creamy whites.

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