Interior Design 101: Basic Styles

February 23rd, 2018

While there are infinite ways to express yourself through interior decor, sometimes it’s helpful to start with the basics and create a vocabulary for the more commonly known styles. Every theme from modern to bohemian has its own tone, aesthetic, and color palate. So if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, check out these 8 basic interior design styles. Feel free to stick with a singular theme, or blend together to create a home that’s uniquely you!


Traditional style is all about contrast and symmetry. Keep the major pieces of furniture simple, but feel free to add in any homey details. Wood that is rich in color is incorporated in both the flooring and furniture. Top this off with plenty of layers, colors, patterns, and textures. Think cozy, but orderly.


Modern design is clean and linear in style. It optimizes on geometric shapes and a minimalist outlook. Steer clear of wood-based furniture if you’re opting for a modern theme. You’ll want to utilize glass and metal instead. This is the anti-decor of design: keep things sleek, and minimize extraneous details.


This country-inspired design brings elements of nature right into your home. Think farmhouse or log cabin in overall tone and essence. Pair softer textures with the wood-based pieces to create contrast. Whites, beiges, and cream colors work well in this style. Add a feminine touch by incorporating floral patterns, or use bold stripes for a more masculine feel.


Scandinavian design is both simple and artistic. If you’re not sure what direction to go in with your apartment, this is a great place to start. The style often features a white color scheme, with pieces of accent colors. While Scandinavian design pays attention to detail, it is focuses on functionality first.


Bohemian design is an ode to the carefree lifestyle. Don’t worry about staying on theme or making sure colors match. Be adventurous with colors, textures, and patterns. This is a warm design, that is both cozy and eclectic. It’s the perfect option to incorporate that bold tapestry or throw rug you found at a flea market during your last trip abroad.


This nautical-based design is a reflection of a beach house. The coastal style is inspired by the sea, so the color palate will be comprised of whites, blues, greens, and perhaps a hint of gold. Opt for light bedding and sheer window treatments.


If your apartment has exposed brick, an industrial theme may be the way to go. This style optimizes on urban life, leaning toward an unfinished tone with distressed wood and exposed steel fixtures, similar to that of a warehouse. Industrial style combines rich base tones with neutral accents, and perhaps a piece of abstract artwork for decoration.

Shabby Chic

Get ready to go antique shopping with this style! Shabby Chic is all about incorporating vintage design. Think classic, soft, and feminine. Stick with light tones and pastels. Overall you’re going for a bright, airy feel (similar to French decor.)