What’s Your Design Style?

When decorating your home, it’s helpful to have a clear direction of which style you are trying to incorporate. Since there are so many styles to choose from, it can get overwhelming. I’ve gathered together an overview of some of the most popular design styles so you can determine your favorites. Remember it’s okay to mix a few styles together to create a style in your home that suits you perfectly.


A transitional style kitchen with white cabinetry and wooden floors.

Transitional style is a mix of traditional elements with contemporary lines and textiles. It is a great option if you find traditional too safe but contemporary outside your comfort zone. When implementing the transitional style, keep accessories to a minimum. Stick to accessorizing with area rugs, throw pillows, and blankets.

Transitional can be a combination of multiple styles. It’s a mix of masculine and feminine. The style can include curved furniture along with wood, rattan, steel, and lacquer finishes.


A traditional style bedroom with carved wooden chest at end of bed.

Traditional is one of the most well-known design styles. This design style calls for tables made with dark wood and ornate details. The design gets its inspiration from 18th and 19th century England and France. This explains the silk, velvet, and linen fabrics prominent in this design. These fabrics can be visible in everything from upholstery to window treatments. Popular patterns in this style include damask, florals, stripes, and plaids. 

This style is all about consistency which is why matching furniture sets are not uncommon. You can add a sense of glam to this design style with a crystal chandelier. Neutral color palettes are common for this style. Designers usually ad pops of color with oil paintings or floral arrangements.


A modern style interior with view of living room and kitchen.

Many people confuse modern and contemporary as the same thing. However, modern refers to a specific time period. The current modern style is mid 20th century. It’s a mix of Scandinavian, mid-century, modern, and post-modern. Characteristics of modern furniture are clean lines and smooth, sleek surfaces.

Common elements used in modern design are metal, chrome, and glass. The decor is minimal except for artwork. In addition, most modern spaces are neutral with bold, colorful accents.


A contemporary style living room with gray sectional and reflective coffee table.

In contrast to modern design, contemporary design refers to anything of the present moment. This means it’s ever-evolving. This style borrows from various time periods while creating a timeless environment that’s sleek and simple. It often involves detailed moldings and open layouts. The design is all about creating a light and airy feel. Exposed legs and clean lines can create this atmosphere. Common textures include metal and glass. This style uses neutral color palettes and textured fabrics.


A minimalist style bedroom with a neutral color palette and blue chair accent.

The minimalist style is inspired by the Japanese design philosophy “less is more.” It is characterized by uncomplicated forms, clean lines, and simple finishes. This design uses a lot of negative space. It mainly involves neutral color schemes with primary colors as accents. Patterns are not used and texture is a necessity to create dimension and visual interest.

The minimalist style heavily relies on functional furniture. Since visible items are kept at a minimum, storage is important. Hidden storage is common for minimal design.

Mid-century modern

A mid-century modern style dining room with wooden tables and chairs over a rug.

The mid-century modern style started in the 1950’s and 60’s. It was a rebellion against the ostentatious Art Deco period that preceded it. Many popular furniture staples were born out of the mid-century design era. These pieces include the Eames lounger, egg chair, and wishbone chair. A lot of rich, warm woods like teak, rosewood, and walnut are used in this design style. Common color accents are yellow, chartreuse, and avocado. Mid-century modern is a seamless and understated aesthetic.


A bohemian style interior with dark navy walls, tufted couch, and eclectic items hung on the wall.

If you’re someone who is free-spirited, the bohemian style might be perfect for you. It mixes different cultures and artistic expressions together. You can think a little more eclectic and outside of the box with this design. It’s normal to style things unconventionally, like hanging a rug on a wall. Bold patterns and bright colors are common. This design also has an emphasis on nature. It can make you feel like you have been immersed in another culture. Different elements that are used to modernize a bohemian style include animal hides, metallic accents, and rich wood.

Modern Farmhouse Style

A modern farmhouse style living area with a rustic look and wooden beams.

If you like a rustic, old-fashioned look, the modern farmhouse style might be for you. Some of its core design elements include exposed wood beams, brick fireplaces, and rough hewn surfaces. This style has an irresistible charm and earthy feel. 

These are just a few of the many design styles available. I hope you were able to pick out a few favorites from this list. Pick the styles that you fit your personality the best. After all, the design of your home should be a reflection of who you are. Which design styles were your favorite?

Now that you know the different styles, can you spot which styles you see in Dream Home Makeover or this home tour of a this Malibu Mansion?