Finding your decor style can be a fun process, and just like your life changes each year, you might find your decor style does, too! Whether you are discovering what type of home decor you like best for your first home or evaluating your style to spruce up your existing home, a little inspiration can go a long way in helping you find the looks and pieces that fit you and your home perfectly.
One quick and easy way to decide which styles you like or don’t like is to look at the different categories that are out there. There are several popular decorating styles, but you can tailor each of these to your own personal preferences. Having a general idea of what the style consists of, or its general vibe, can help you decide on whether it’s right for you.
Modern decor is actually a style that can be a little confusing. Don’t mistake it for a contemporary look. In design, “modern” usually refers to a decorating look that began at the beginning of the 20th century. This simple style was largely popular from the 1920s to the 1950s and has roots in Scandinavian and German design. Characteristics include simple, straight lines rather than curved pieces, inclusion of structural elements in decor, streamlined and functional furnishings, and use of materials like natural woods, metals, and leather. If you like simplistic and uncluttered looks, this might be the design look for you.
Rustic can apply to a wide range of different decor looks, but it has a few basic elements at its core. Natural and unfinished looks are hallmarks of rustic decor, so decor pieces using natural wood and reclaimed woods are common. Although wood and logs are often used in furnishings for this look, raw stone is another material you’ll find. Rather than perfectly polished pieces, rustic styles often have a bit of texture to them (think natural fabrics and woven baskets). Common colors for rustic decor include warm, natural colors, especially shades of brown, gray, deep red, green, and warm neutrals. Since rustic design is not about perfection, it’s perfect for those who have a love for DIY design.
A shabby chic decorating style has some of the relaxed appeal of rustic design, but it is also its own distinct look. Relaxed yet elegant, a shabby chic look often incorporates pieces of vintage or distressed furniture. This style is slightly eclectic, allowing you to incorporate neutrals, white, and color as you like. While many rooms start with a white, cream, or neutral background, accent pieces may be colorful or layered. You may also see things like plants or outdoor elements featured. Incorporating different fabrics and textures is also common here. The overall look is laid-back but stylish; its unfussy feel is perfect for couples or families. There are also lots of DIY options for shabby chic design, from chalk-painting old wood furniture to homemade drop cloth slipcovers.
Bohemian style doesn’t really have a specific set of rules, yet there are some similarities that define the look. It’s a relaxed, mixed look that celebrates life, art, and culture. Pieces and design elements are typically carefree and unique. You may find handmade pieces, artistic items, and a mix of colors. Furniture and seating often focus on uniqueness and a relaxed feel. Many boho styles incorporate warm, earthy hues, like rich reds, browns, greens, and golds, but there are others that use bright and bold shades, like purples and blues. Bohemian style curtains might be done in unique textures, like velvet or lace. If you love traveling, art, and a laid-back decorating scheme, this might be right for you.
Vintage decor has a touch of nostalgia and a relaxed feel. It often incorporates furniture, artwork, and photographs from the past, but may also incorporate new pieces for a unique effect. Vintage decor tells a story; it has a sense of a collection and memories, and can be filled with various vintage treasures as focal points or accents. Accents and furniture are typically between 30 and 100 years old for this style. You’ll find strong colors are often used in vintage design, but these are balanced with neutral shades.
Country styles are slightly different than rustic looks but have some similarities. A relaxed appeal and unfinished pieces are common, but this look has roots in certain locales and areas, such as the Southwest United States. It has an informal feel that embraces imperfections; rather than perfectly matched pieces, you’ll find a mix of items with both practicality and coziness. Warm color palettes are often found in country style home decor. Along with florals and natural prints, country decor might include pieces with animal elements (such as an animal-hide rug) or farmhouse-inspired accents.
Bright, light, and breezy, beach home decor gets its roots from what its name suggests: the beach. Filled with colors like white, cream, sand, and aqua, as well as blues, greens, and yellows, this is another style you can run within a variety of different directions. You’ll find light, white, or neutral backgrounds with colored accents or vivid stripes. Decor pieces range from natural items, like seashells and driftwood, to coastal or nautical-inspired items, like lighthouses, anchors, or oars. A sense of lightness and brightness is usually infused into this design, so opt for airy curtains and lighter colors on the walls.
Even if you decide on one specific decor look, you can always incorporate pieces from other schools of design. A vintage bench can look perfectly at home in the breezy entryway of your beach-inspired home. Just like a funky Bohemian throw blanket can add a unique accent to a space that’s mainly done in vintage decor. Look for furnishings, curtains, and accent pieces in the forms you like best, and you can’t go wrong.