7 Basic but Brilliant Home Decorating Styles

When it comes to Design 101, there are countless types of design styles to choose from. From Art Deco to Coastal, it feels like there's an infinite number of styles of home decor out there, and it can be confusing to know what each one really means. To simplify things a bit, we've broken down seven of the more popular categories of home design. The first step in a cohesive decor scheme is settling on the style that suits you best.

  • 01 of 07

    Traditional

    Traditional kitchen with dark brown cabinets

    Instagram / olive.hill.interiors

    By far the most popular design style, traditional is a mix of beautiful, timeless and well-defined elements, as shown in this kitchen from olive.hill.interiors. Never cluttered, standoffish or stark, traditional style is all about comfort and coziness. Envision calm colors, understated furniture with classic lines and an emphasis on symmetry.

    The traditional style offers comfort, orderly decorations, and predictable rooms. Furnishings air on the side of classic rather than out-of-the-box, so as to keep things simple, matched and consistent. If you want a place that feels homey and welcoming, consider a traditional style with wood furniture, crown moldings and accessories like framed prints and china vases.

  • 02 of 07

    Contemporary

    Contemporary style shower with bamboo ceilings

    Instagram / dudiduarte

    Many people imagine contemporary interiors as being sleek and cool, but there are actually many types of contemporary spaces. Contemporary homes feature clean lines, a deliberate use of texture and a modern look that doesn't feel trendy or risk quickly going out of style. Contemporary rooms usually contain an element of surprise, and those who like their homes to make artistic statements often lean toward a contemporary aesthetic.​

    In this contemporary bathroom from dudiduarte, elements like metal, stone and glass really complement the space. If it appears too dark, you can always add textured fabrics, two-toned prints and large plants to select rooms.

  • 03 of 07

    Eclectic

    Bathroom with bold wallpaper and pink sink

    Instagram / eclectic_twist

    Think of eclectic as the decor style for those of us who can't really decide on a single theme and are drawn to different approaches. Often mistaken for an anything-goes way of decorating, the eclectic style is actually a very purposeful and well-thought-out mode, as seen in this bathroom from eclectic_twist. This is a perfect choice for those who love to mix styles but desire a cohesive look—rather than imagining eclectic as cluttered, consider it as a careful gathering of interesting elements that all work well together.

    Celebrating contrasts and using handmade items will bring an eclectic feel to the home. Select patterns, shapes, textures, finishes and colors that go together to bring in the whole look. Don't be afraid to take chances when it comes to an eclectic style.

  • 04 of 07

    Midcentury Modern

    Midcentury modern dresser

    Instagram / zigzagstudiodesign

    Broadly defined as the period of design from the mid-1930s through the late 1960s, Midcentury modern is a style that leans heavily into the retro and the streamlined look. Over the past decade, Midcentury has made a massive comeback in the design world, and today you'll find replica Midcentury pieces in nearly any furniture store. The traditional definition of Midcentury includes pieces that look futuristic but not contemporary, with function and form acting as primary drivers in design choices.

    Focus on sleek, tapered legs and clean lines, as seen in this image from zigzagstudiodesign, with a few pops of accessories in retro colors—such as oranges, greens or reds in bold designs throughout the space.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Boho

    Boho style living room with a lot of plants

    Instagram / thebohoabode

    Bohemian style is similar to eclectic, but focuses a little more on natural elements such as bamboo and wicker, as well as bringing the outdoors inside with lots of plants. It's a very carefree style that takes chances, and most rooms will feel incredibly relaxed, like this space from thebohoabode. Boho colors tend to be earthy, such as hunter greens, natural woods and creams, with a few pops of color throughout the space. It's a great style for anyone who wants a laidback home that emphasizes a maximalist aesthetic.

  • 06 of 07

    Modern Farmhouse

    Modern farmhouse living room

    Instagram / bailey.banker

    You can thank everyone's favorite shiplap fan Joanna Gaines for the rise of modern farmhouse style. A slightly upgraded take on the traditional "shabby chic" look, modern farmhouse decor uses a lot of reclaimed wood materials, salvaged pieces and country or barn details throughout the home. Think sliding barn doors instead of closet doors or wide-plank floors instead of narrower floorboards.

  • 07 of 07

    Coastal

    Family room with blue walls and light colors

    Instagram / melanielissackinteriors

    When it comes to coastal decor, think warm whites, natural light and soft, ocean-inspired hues. Materials such as wood and terra cotta are common in coastal-style homes, and much of the design focuses on blending indoors with out. Focus on soft colors and mix in a few natural elements like palms or driftwood.