Style Guides for Home Interiors

Pick Colors and Patterns That Best Express Your Style

Rustic kitchen with table and chairs
Dominique Vorillon/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Whether you're decorating a single room or a whole house, you can find the perfect theme and style to match. Focus in on your preferences, options, and elements that will allow you to achieve your dream room or home—even if you're revamping a cottage or a castle.

With so many products on the market, buyers traveling around the globe, and shoppers expecting more for their homes, consumers have many choices available to them.

There's an infinite array of finishes, colors, decorations, and prices. Although the sky is the limit when it comes to giving your home interior a new look, it's important to narrow down a specific theme for your project.

Start With the Basics
If you haven't identified your particular style yet, or if you're uncertain about how to proceed, you can consider four main styles to choose from:

  • Casual Style: Casual looks bring comfort, warmth, and relaxation to the home. This can be accomplished with rectangular elements, rustic design, and soft furniture with textured fabrics.
  • Formal Style: Formal styles invite elegance, symmetry, and exquisite furniture. Consider an elegant style with high ceilings, polished woods, and tall windows. Imported rugs, antique accessories, and decorative trims are a must for this type of interior.
  • Contemporary Style: Modern styles keep current trends alive. While what's hot changes, typically the contemporary look includes a fundamental, simplistic, and subtle sophistication. There's often neutral colors involved, structural elements available, and furniture pieces that are smooth and geometric.
  • Traditional: Take a look at traditional styles and compare them with some of the latest decorating trends. You'll likely find that nothing is truly new, but rather revamped. Regardless, it's fun to see how old favorite themes, fabrics, and details adapt to a fresh new look.

Gather Influences From Around the World

After deciding on a general style to follow for your design, further engage in photos and inspiration that spark your interest when it comes to influence and color.

 While each basic style can provide an individual and distinctive look, really getting into the details can make the difference between feeling like you're in a New York City loft and an Irish home on the coast. Consider influences like the following:

  • French Country Style: French country decorating usually involves mixed patterns, symmetrical chairs, chandeliers, and a pop of color in an ivory kitchen.
  • Tuscan Style: Tuscan decor combines natural stone, wood, and earthy colors. Think terracotta, open cupboards, copper pots, and rustic shutters.
  • Swedish Style: Light, clean, white, and blue is the Swedish way. The casual look is key when it comes to minimalistic surfaces with gold and red accents, straight lines and gentle curves for furniture, and simple woven fabrics.
  • Paris Apartment Style: Adding romance and mystery to your apartment can be achieved with a little bit of Paris. Think baroque, rococo, and neoclassical with rich jewel colors, luxurious silks, and large posters of French landmarks.

Choose Colors and Flair

Depending on the basic style and influence you're going for, colors will range from black and white to red, white, and blue. Consider colors and patterns that go with your theme along with accent colors, whether that includes chocolate browns, floral designs, denim blues, and more.

 For example, a colored accent wall can liven up the space or make the size of the room feel bigger. Use color theory and other techniques to choose the right one.

You can also take your interior project one step forward by expressing your own personal flair, whether it's rustic, shabby chic, tropical, or western. Consider current decorating trends, how to incorporate furniture and accessories you love, and how you want your area to feel.