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Interior Design Styles: The Guide

Modern, contemporary, industrial, farmhouse, traditional…the list goes on and on, but with so many interior design styles, it is often hard to push through the words and understand exactly which style defines your living space.  With a wide vary and often interchangeable design terms, it can often be daunting to decipher which style works best for your space. A great starting point for any interior design project is to understand the style and how they differ from each other.


Modern designs refer to the designs of the 20th century, where furniture and designs are that of clean, crisp lines and a simple colour palette. Materials of choice for designers of a modern home are that of metal, glass, and steel.  There is a sense of general simplicity in its design, where the décor is kept minimal with minimal to no soft furnishings and often has monochromatic colour scheme, where the design of the room speaks for itself. 

Modern Collage


When referring to contemporary designs, it is often about current trends which will evolve as the 21st Century progresses through the decades. The term contemporary literally means ‘happening now’ which revolves around the style of today, popular trends or colours which are present now.  There is a sense of fluidity in contemporary design, where the use of different materials, features and aesthetics create interesting and clean spaces. Furniture used within this décor space is that of exposed legs and clean-cut lines to provide a light and airy feel to the room.  The colour palette of choice is often neutral or monochromatic tones which feature against textured fabrics and colours to contrast.

Contemporary Collage


Inspired by the snowy mountains of the Nordic countries, the Scandi design is becoming increasingly popular interior decor style for younger generations. Its timeless style means it can blend perfectly throughout the home from kitchens to living spaces to bedrooms and bathrooms.  The main structure within Scandi design is that of glass or wooden frameworks, which are then layered with wools, fabrics, and neutral colours to create an effortless look. Clean lines combined with an art for cosiness and texture make the Scandi style very hygge.

Scandinavian Collage


At a quick glance, one would think that the eclectic interior décor style is a mix of items which really have no right to be together, they are simply thrown together and shaken.  Breaking the rules, this fun interior decor style uses bold colour schemes and focuses on high energy furnishings together with a style of rich culture. Yet, it is not just about going wild, contrasting neutral tones maintain the balance whilst furniture and soft furnishings are full of colour, interesting shapes, and designs. In eclectic interior designs, a cohesive blend of old, new, texture and pattern are combined for a rich quirky style.

Eclectic Collage

Art Deco

Iconic in style and design, the art deco period is often interlinked within the eclectic design style due to the bold designs and patterns used.  Art Deco is however, elegant and functional yet modern. Its style is thought to date back to the 1920s era which reclaimed existence in the 1970s with the help of Versace print. Angular, geometric forms such as chevrons, zigzags and stepped patterns are all popular pattern designs of the art deco period. Often highly polished shine finishes, such as brass, chrome and gold provide soften tones to the harsh angled lines to create a romantic tone. 

Art Deco Collage

This interior décor style is full of rich history and culture. Taking inspiration from the industrial revolution period, large factories became trendy loft spaces and residential buildings.  This style is all about the exposed raw materials of pipes, brick walls and large circular air vents which take up most of the ceiling space.  Harsh materials like brick, concrete and stripped back floorboards give a nod towards the industrial trend.  Statement focal points, such as large light fixtures and bold furniture, will help soften the otherwise cold space.  The colour palette used within industrial designs are often guided by the materials seen around them.

Industrial Collage

Mid Century:

Taking inspiration from the 1950s and 60s, the mid-century interior design focuses on elements of minimalism with fuss free zone which features organic shapes, colours, and textures.  Juxtaposing sleek lines, like peg legs on tables and dressers, are combined with more organic shapes like the iconic egg-shaped chair. Some of the mid century interior decor styles could be classified as futurist due to its unique shapes and harsh bold corners. A popular style for millennials as it combines both modern and vintage styles.

Mid Century Collage


For some, traditional interior design styles might mean predictable, boring, stuffy, and old, as it incorporates a lot of antiques and dark materials. However, with the right colour scheme and soft furnishings, this space can be highly effective in Victorian homes. Inspired by cues from the 18th and 19th century, the traditional design incorporates classic art, antiques, and pieces within history.  However, the traditional interior design style does create a calm, orderly space, where symmetry is key with matching furnishings. Typically, within this interior design style, the colour palette features dark warm tones, contrasted against neutral walls.

Traditional Collage

Shabby Chic:

Combining a mix of antique furniture with pastel colours, lace and feminine florals, the shabby chic interior design is often regarded to as vintage chic or country farmhouse. Often soft and dreamy in style, shabby chic features upcycled, or antique furniture finished in minimal colours like whites, tans, and light browns. Soothing natural tones with floral fabrics make for a sophisticated artisan look. The colour palette revolves around off-white and creams, distressed wood materials, subtle stripes, or floral patterns.  The rustic appeal of this scheme will incorporate natural wooden materials like oak, cotton, and linen.  Simple layered accessories give this style, depth, and dimension.

Shabby Chic Collage

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