Do you know how to define your home décor style? I don’t know about you, but one of the things that got me nervous about decorating my home was that I didn’t want to have a bunch of mis-matched décor styles. So, I’m going to share what furniture, décor and color work best for each style. From farmhouse to minimalist and mid-century modern to glam, and rustic, industrial and traditional. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different styles. So, I did some research, and I’m sharing what I learned to help you define your personal decorating style. Don’t forget to take my What’s Your Design Style Quiz.
How to Define Your Home Décor Style
Let’s start off by having you take the shorted quiz ever. It’s just one question. What do you think your design style is? Jot it down and after we go through the styles here, I’d love to hear if it’s the same!
Different Home Décor Styles
Farmhouse – this is a really popular style right now. The way to describe the farmhouse style is a blend of hospitality mixed with tradition. You’ll tend to see exposed brick or shiplap. And wide planked walls or floors. If this is your style, you appreciate that there’s a story behind each piece. So, upcycling or DIY pieces tend to work well. You can thank Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper for making this style popular.
To decorate with the farmhouse style:
- Furniture – whether stained wood or painted furniture, it doesn’t matter. What’s key here is that the furniture style is aged, distressed, weathered or upcycled. An example of upcycled furniture is using old window frames as wall décor or even a headboard.
- Décor – black or metal accents like iron are used in lighting or wall décor. An example is a large wall clock. Mason jars are also totally farmhouse! Used as a vase to hold flowers, I’ve also seen mason jars used as cups. Or l use them to hold my mosquito repellant candles when I sit on the front porch. You’ll find wire or wooden baskets incorporated into farmhouse designs. Smaller wire baskets can be used to hold items on coffee tables and larger baskets can hold blankets.
- Colors – white, cream, black and gray play a key role in this décor style. So do navy and sage. I have to say, I’ve decorated my farmhouse style basement with a sage colored sofa (an amazing hand-me-down that is the most comfortable sofa ever). And found a rug that has a green and blue pattern to match.
Minimalist – when I think of this style, I think of Kenya Moore from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. If this is your style, you prefer a space that only has the essentials. Clean lines for furniture, cabinets and light fixtures. You find beauty in simplicity and probably aren’t very interested in sentimental items. You’re more focused on form and function and absolutely no clutter.
To decorate with the minimalist style:
- Furniture – angular furniture or simplistic, steam lined shapes are what work within the minimalist style. And an open concept design is an ideal way to accentuate the clean lines of your furniture.
- Décor – first of all, the key to minimalism is not having a bunch of decorative items. But when you do, you’ll want to choose quality over quantity. And use the “keep it simple” approach. You’ll probably enjoy the artistic elements in any accent piece of glass and concrete.
- Colors – both neutral, warm monochromatic colors and the high contrast colors work well. Neutral of white, gray, cream and tan, or the high contrast colors of black and white, or pops of other colors work well with this design style.
Glam – this is the Zsa Zsa Gabor or ZGallerie of design styles, and I’m here for it! This is also known as luxury, luxe or chic. Mostly white with pastel tones as pops of color. Think pink, mink, and metallics like silver, gold or richer jewel tones.
To decorate with the glam style:
- Furniture – classic style with mirrored accent furniture, sculpted lines and luxurious fabrics like velvet. Tufted furniture, chairs, headboards, sofas, or benches. Tufted is in! To glam it up even more, try faux fur or silk fabric or acrylic chairs.
- Décor- mirrors, crystal and glass décor accents for wall décor go well with this style. Marble accents like marble counter tops and tabletops can also be used. (I’ve also seen marble cheese trays glam things up.) You’ll see bold, abstract patterned artwork with metallics, sparkle, glitz, or modern to round things up.
- Colors – neutrals of white gray, cream and tan with pops of color with pastel tones
Rustic – similar to the farmhouse style, rustic decor gets its cue from nature. So textured materials make a statement instead of color or embellishments. You’ll see a lot of organic elements like raw wood, beams, and natural stone and hardwoods. This unpolished look is similar to industrial and farmhouse, but with more of an unpolished feel.
To decorate with the rustic style:
- Furniture – typically handmade with simple designs and shapes. Designed to be comfortable and casual. Lots of weathered and time worn finishes that have rough and worn edges. May contain accents of hand forged-iron and aged copper.
- Décor – rugged, natural beauty in its most natural state. Textured, raw, natural elements, and accent pieces can be part of the home with rough cut wood stained ceiling beams or other outdoor elements like stone, brick or wood. Set these against wide planked floors, wood paneled walls and a stone fireplace spell rustic, for sure.
- Colors – warm colors like green, gray and brown
Industrial – this look is very similar to rustic, but within an urban environment. I tend to think of a downtown loft that used to be an abandoned warehouse. Get the picture? Think of exposed ductwork and concrete floors that are typically found in lofts or other urban environments. The focus is on efficiency and multiuse items and open concept spaces.
To decorate with the industrial style:
- Furniture – the style is a vintage or lived-in look of distressed furniture with raw wood accents. And function is the name of the game – unrefined and repurposed furniture have a lot of style and do double duty as storage which may have metal or concrete accents.
- Décor – described as having lots of character by highlighting the design elements of warehouses and industrial spaces
- Colors – you’ll see dark colors like black and gray, especially when it comes to metals and exposed items like HVAC ducts in the ceiling.
Traditional – think classic. Part of what people love about this style is the historic detail and stories behind each time-honored piece. Some of the architecture that stands out is heavy trim work and paneling. No desire to push the design-envelop here, you’ll find classic shapes and classic elements. Bronze and wood tones work, and floral or paisley patterns show up on rugs or curtains.
To decorate with the traditional style:
- Furniture – is typically polished and refined. You’ll see classic fabrics and upholstered pieces with patterns like damask, paisley or stripes. There’s a lot of intricate details like wingback chairs, tufted fabrics or wood carving. Wingback chairs
- Décor – described as classic and timeless, evenly stately antiques. The décor is meant to bring consistency, familiarity and order. You’ll see a lot of symmetry or porcelain accessories or brass accents. Wallpaper, patterned curtains, plantation shutters and landscape art are used to decorate the walls.
- Colors – neutral colors like beige and white or deep, rich tones like navy, burgundy, emerald green are used.
Coastal – light and airy spaces are what make this style unique. Obvious colors are green and blue to mimic the ocean. And décor tends to be textured seagrass and wicker wood details. Since light and bright is expected here it’s perfect for beach lovers.
To decorate with the coastal style:
- Furniture – should be soft and comfortable. Consider furniture made from wicker or other nature made materials.
- Décor – in addition to what I said earlier, you can decorate with nautical décor accents or shiplap.
- Colors – warm white and ocean colors help bring this style to life.
Transitional – I like to think of this style as how most people decorated in the early 2000s. It’s a mixture of traditional and contemporary. Cozy refinement might be another way to describe this style. And a blend of uniqueness, personality and history.
To decorate with the transitional style:
- Furniture – is comfortable with simple silhouettes. There’s a desired feeling of serenity. So, you can mix clean lines with a trendy feel. And use bold colors and patterns like animal print, oversized geometric stripes or bright red fabrics.
- Décor – simple silhouettes with minimal accents is common. Some other accent pieces include family photos. Feel free to get creative to get a unique mixture of other styles.
- Colors – use warm colors of gray, sand and white. Neutral colors like grey, sand and white or bold dark colors like midnight blue, charcoal and black
Contemporary – clean and open with neutral colors. You’ll use color blocks with accessories.
To decorate with the contemporary style:
- Furniture – mix clean lines with a trendy feel. Bold colors and patterns like animal print, oversized geometric, stripes or bright red fabrics or paint
- Décor – vibrant, trendsetting designs that are full of energy. Some other accent pieces include acrylic chair, colorful or whimsical pieces
- Colors – bold, bright and energetic colors like red, pink, orange and blue.
Mid-Century modern – coming to the forefront again, this makes me think of the 1950s. You’ll see natural colors, geometric lines in the furniture. There’s also heavy focus on artistic lighting. A great example of this would be Tasha’s dining room (from Kaleidoscope Living).
To decorate with the mid-century modern style:
- Furniture – even though design is extremely important, the furniture must also be functional. For example, coffee tables with concealed storage or chairs with storage pockets. A lot of the furniture typically comes with slanted peg legs. And the leather furniture tends to be a light color with maple or cognac colors being the darkest hues, much like the stained wood.
- Décor – light fixtures play a key role and are typically a focal point. You’ll see geometric shapes like globes or even mobile chandeliers. Arc styled floor lamps are also really popular right now. Geometric shapes are in prints, patterns in artwork, rug designs and accessories.
- Colors – mixed metals work within int style with brass, gold and stainless steel
The Top 10 Home Decor Styles Explained
So, now that you know more about the top 10 home décor styles, which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below and if you’d like more decorating tips, feel free to take my free What’s Your Design Style Quiz today.
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