Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.

Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.

furniture styles

The Ultimate Guide to Interior Design Styles

Ever wonder why some living rooms have that effortlessly stylish vibe while others just feel… there?

The answer lies in the interior design style you choose. From the rustic charm of farmhouse to the sleek lines of contemporary design, each style tells a story and sets a mood.

Whether you’re a seasoned interior designer or someone just starting to explore their décor options, this guide will help you navigate the diverse landscape of furniture interior design styles, from the cosy charm of rustic styles to the sleek lines of modern elegance and the materials associated with these styles.

1. Retro Design Style 

Retro style is a vibrant and playful throwback to the 1950s through the 1980s, characterised by bold colours, funky patterns, and a sense of nostalgia.

This eclectic design style brings energy and fun into contemporary homes, mixing vintage charm with modern sensibilities for a lively and dynamic aesthetic.

Think of bright colour palettes, geometric shapes, and quirky accessories that create a nostalgic yet refreshing ambiance, reminiscent of classic diners and lively living rooms from decades past.

Retro design emerged as a celebration of individuality and creativity, reflecting the cultural shifts and technological advancements of its time. The revival of retro style in recent years highlights its enduring appeal and its ability to inject personality and character into any space.

modern living room style

2. Mid Century Modern Interior Design Style 

Of course, we couldn’t discuss retro without a nod to Mid Century Modern. Mid-century modern furniture, a cherished subset of retro style, remains a beloved choice, celebrated for its clean lines, organic shapes, and functional designs.

This interior design style, which emerged in the mid-20th century, seamlessly blends into contemporary settings, making it a timeless option for any home.

Think of sleek wooden tables, low-profile sofas, and minimalist chairs that look just as stylish today as they did in the 1950s.

Mid-century modern design gained popularity post-World War II, as it reflected society’s shift towards simplicity and functionality, driven by advances in technology and changing lifestyles.

Its emphasis on open spaces and integration with nature was a radical departure from the heavily adorned and enclosed spaces of the previous eras.

Interestingly, many iconic mid-century modern pieces were mass-produced, making good design accessible to the general public for the first time.

This democratisation of design is one reason why mid-century modern has such enduring appeal today.

mid century modern home

3. Vintage Interior Design Style

Vintage style captures the essence of timeless beauty, featuring furniture and decor pieces that are at least 20 years old, often blending elements from different eras to create an eclectic and nostalgic atmosphere.

This charming design style brings a sense of history and character to contemporary homes, mixing cherished heirlooms with modern touches for a unique and personalised look.

Think of antique dressers, distressed wooden tables, and vintage-inspired accessories that tell a story and add depth to any room.

Vintage design embraces the imperfections and patina that come with age, celebrating the craftsmanship and materials of the past.

Interestingly, vintage interiors often combine pieces from various periods, creating a harmonious blend that feels both curated and spontaneous. The growing popularity of vintage style highlights its timeless appeal and its ability to bring warmth, personality, and a sense of nostalgia to any space.

4. Scandinavian Design 

The Scandinavian interior design style is all about simplicity, functionality, and natural beauty. This style creates a cosy yet modern feel with its clean lines, neutral colours, and emphasis on comfort.

Think of a serene, clutter-free space with light wood finishes and soft textiles that invite you to relax and stay awhile—basically, your dream hygge haven.

Scandinavian design became prominent in the early 20th century and is heavily influenced by the region’s harsh climate, which emphasises the need for warmth and comfort.

The use of light colours and natural materials helps to maximise light in homes during long, dark winters. This style’s focus on minimalism and functionality reflects the Scandinavian philosophy that beautiful design should also serve a practical purpose.

scandi style kitchen

5. Industrial Design

Industrial style combines raw materials like metal and wood, offering a rugged, unfinished look that exudes strength and character. This style is perfect for those who appreciate the aesthetic of urban lofts and repurposed factory spaces.

Imagine exposed brick walls, metal beams, and furniture that looks as sturdy as it is stylish. It’s a bold, no-nonsense style that brings a raw, urban edge to any space.

This interior design style emerged from converting old factories and warehouses into living spaces, celebrating raw, exposed materials and structural elements that most styles would hide.

It’s the only style where it’s perfectly normal to have your coffee table look like it was salvaged from a shipyard. Plus, it’s practically an excuse to never fully finish your home renovations—just call it “industrial chic.”

industrial furniture style

6. Rustic Interior Style

A rustic interior design style draws inspiration from nature and traditional craftsmanship, making each piece feel unique and full of character.

Many rustic pieces are made from reclaimed barn wood, giving old materials new life and a rich history. This approach not only adds a sense of authenticity to the furniture but also emphasises sustainability and environmental consciousness, reflecting a growing trend in interior design.

Rustic furniture brings a warm, homey feel with its use of natural materials, rough-hewn finishes, and earthy tones. Ideal for creating a cosy, inviting atmosphere, rustic furniture often features reclaimed wood and handcrafted details.

It’s perfect for those who dream of the charm of a log cabin but prefer their wood chopped and ready for the fireplace.

rustic furniture style

7.Coastal Interior Design Style

Coastal style brings the serene and breezy feel of the beach into your home, creating a light, airy, and relaxed atmosphere.

This design aesthetic draws inspiration from the natural beauty of the coastline, emphasising a connection with the sea and sky.

Think of soft colour palettes dominated by whites, blues, and sandy neutrals that evoke the calm and refreshing essence of the shore.

Natural materials like wicker, rattan, and light woods are key elements, adding texture and warmth to the space. Furniture in coastal style often features clean lines and a casual, comfortable vibe, perfect for lounging and unwinding.

Decorative accents include seashells, driftwood, nautical elements, and ocean-inspired artwork, all contributing to the theme without overwhelming the space. Large windows, sheer curtains, and ample natural light enhance the open, airy feel, making the room feel like a seaside retreat.

Coastal style is all about creating a peaceful, welcoming environment that invites relaxation and comfort. Whether you live near the beach or just wish you did, incorporating coastal elements into your home can transport you to a tranquil seaside escape every day.

a coastal style bathroom with a tub and a mirror

8. Art Deco Style

Art Deco is all about bold geometric patterns, rich colours, and luxurious materials. This interior design style, which flourished in the early 20th century, continues to appeal to those looking for a touch of vintage glamour in their homes.

With this style you might just feel like you’re living in The Great Gatsby’s mansion, with all the opulence and none of the drama.

Art Deco’s enduring appeal lies in its ability to blend extravagance with elegance, making a statement with every piece of furniture. Its use of lavish materials like lacquer, chrome, and glass adds a sense of sophistication and timeless beauty to any space, ensuring that your home remains a stylish sanctuary.

art deco furniture style

9. Contemporary Style

Contemporary furniture emphasises clean lines, neutral colours, and innovative designs. With this interior design style, it’s all about creating a sleek, modern look that feels both fresh and timeless.

It’s like your furniture put on a sharp suit and tie—sophisticated, stylish, and always in vogue.

Interesting Fact: Contemporary design continues to evolve and often incorporates elements from various styles and periods, making it more flexible and adaptable than the more rigidly defined modern style.

Unlike modern design, which refers specifically to the early to mid-20th century, contemporary design is ever-changing, reflecting current trends and innovations. This dynamic nature has contributed to its significant growth and popularity in the 21st century.

Contemporary design’s adaptability allows it to incorporate sustainable materials and advanced technologies, making it a forward-thinking choice for the environmentally conscious and tech-savvy homeowner.

contemporary interior design

10. Bohemian (Boho) Interior Design Style

Bohemian style mixes different cultures and artistic expressions, resulting in vibrant, colourful spaces filled with a mix of patterns, textures, and unique pieces. It’s perfect for those who love a free-spirited, eclectic vibe in their home.

As an interior design style, bohemian design draws from a variety of influences, incorporating elements from various global traditions and artistic movements.

This style is known for its use of bold colours, intricate patterns, and a variety of textures, often combining vintage and modern pieces to create a space that feels both curated and effortlessly stylish.

With bohemian interiors, you’ll often find handmade items, artisanal crafts, and plenty of greenery, adding a natural and personal touch to the decor.

This approach not only makes each space unique but also reflects the personality and tastes of its inhabitants, making it a deeply personal and expressive style. Basically, it’s like living in a Pinterest board!

boho furniture style

11. Farmhouse Interior Design Style

Farmhouse furniture offers a blend of rustic charm and modern comfort. Using distressed wood, vintage accents, and neutral tones, this style creates a cosy, welcoming environment that’s perfect for family living.

With its roots in rural architecture, farmhouse interior design style emphasises practicality and warmth, making every space feel inviting and lived-in.

This style draws heavily on traditional, often handmade elements, incorporating pieces that have a story to tell.

Think of large wooden dining tables perfect for gatherings, comfortable sofas with plush cushions, and antique-style cabinets.

Farmhouse decor often features elements like shiplap walls, apron-front sinks, and barn doors, which add to its nostalgic yet practical appeal. It’s the kind of style that makes you want to kick off your shoes, sit back, and enjoy the comfort of home.

farmhouse style kitchn

12. Minimalist Design 

Minimalist furniture focuses on simplicity and functionality. This interior design style features clean lines, uncluttered spaces, and a neutral colour palette.

The goal is to promote a calm and serene living area, free from distractions and excess. Perfect for those who believe less is more, or just really hate dusting knick-knacks.

Minimalism is all about creating space for what truly matters, emphasising quality over quantity and ensuring each piece has a purpose.

Blog posts 800 x 500

13. Maximalist Interior Style

Maximalist furniture, on the other hand, embraces the idea that more is more. This interior design style is characterised by vibrant colours, bold patterns, and an eclectic mix of items that create a rich and layered look.

Maximalism encourages the use of varied textures, art, and decorative items to fill spaces with personality and visual interest.

It’s ideal for those who love to collect, display, and live surrounded by their favourite things. Think of rooms bursting with colour, where every corner tells a story and there’s always something new to discover.

In essence, minimalism is about restraint and simplicity, creating a sanctuary free from clutter. Maximalism celebrates abundance and diversity, turning your home into a vibrant, personalised gallery.

Whether you lean towards the serene elegance of minimalism or the exuberant richness of maximalism, each style offers a unique way to express your personality and make your home truly your own.

14. Eclectic Style

Eclectic style combines elements from various periods and styles, allowing for a personalised and unique aesthetic. This approach is all about mixing and matching to reflect the homeowner’s personality and taste. 

In an eclectic space, you’ll find a harmonious blend of old and new, traditional and contemporary. Picture a vintage velvet armchair paired with a modern coffee table, or an ornate chandelier above an industrial dining set.

This style is perfect for those who love to experiment and express their creativity, offering the freedom to break design rules and create a space that’s uniquely yours. 

Bold colours, varied textures, and intricate patterns come together to create focal points and visual interest. It’s like a fashion statement for your home—daring, bold, and unapologetically you.

ecletic interior design style

Choosing the right interior design style for your home is an adventure in itself. As an interior designer, I often find that a home’s personality reveals itself through its furniture and decor choices.

It’s like meeting someone new and instantly getting a sense of who they are by their wardrobe. Do you prefer the clean, functional lines of mid-century modern, suggesting a love for timeless design and perhaps a penchant for cocktails at five?

Or maybe the cozy comfort of farmhouse calls to you, with its promise of warm, inviting spaces perfect for family gatherings and Sunday roasts.

Understanding these interior design styles helps you create a space that isn’t just a reflection of current trends but a true embodiment of your personality and lifestyle.

Remember, your home should tell your story—not just look like a page out of a catalog. So, whether you’re drawn to the eclectic mix of bohemian or the structured elegance of Art Deco, let your choices be a testament to your unique taste and experiences.

After all, great design isn’t just about what looks good—it’s about what feels like home. And trust me, nothing says “I’ve got this” quite like a room that feels both stylish and unmistakably you.

Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.

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