An Evolution of Design: Different Types of Home Decor Style

As you might know, I’ve been remodeling my home (you can read about our progress on that here) and have been fascinating by all of the different types of home decor style to choose from. Interior design has come a very long way since the 20th century. With the help of sites like Pinterest and interior design blogs and online mags, getting ideas and inspiration for your home has never been as easy as it is today.

From your grandmother’s frilly and romantic countryside cottage to your best friend’s edgy art deco New York City loft, there are plenty of different types of home decor style choices out there. Trying to decide between the multitude of styles that exist (or trying to create your own) can be more than overwhelming—especially if interior design isn’t your forte.

But first, deciding on a home decor style goes way beyond what you like and what you think looks good. If you want your decorating job to come as close to perfection as possible, you’re going to want to consider some things before you choose a style.

Things to Consider:

  • Your Home’s Exterior Theme: You may love the nautical look, but nautical might not be the way to go if you live in the middle of the desert and the exterior of your home is rustic or Southwestern. Make sure that the interior design you choose goes well with what’s on the outside of your home, or the end result might be somewhat, well, strange.
  • Your Personality and Lifestyle: Along the same lines, a nautical theme might go perfectly with your home’s colonial exterior—but not if you absolutely hate the feeling that you’re on a boat. You’ll also want to find a style that works with your lifestyle. If you entertain on a frequent basis, you might get more out of a minimal or contemporary design that works with large, open spaces, rather than something that feels cluttered and encroaching, like shabby chic or Tuscan decor.
  • Consulting a Professional: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even the most artistic among us might need a second opinion on something as important as creating your home’s ambience. Consulting a professional interior decorator could turn out to be the most important thing you do when trying to decide between different types of home decor style choices.There are also plenty of online magazines, websites, and blogs that can give you ideas or help you organize your DIY projects.

Layer For Specialized Style

As I said before, the different types of home decor style choices are endless. The best way to go about decorating your home is to do something that I call “layering”. Layering is the easiest way to achieve a look that’s singular and personalized, especially if you’re not particularly artistic or into design.

It works like this: once you’ve considered all of the points listed above, then you can choose one of the most common, basic styles of interior design as a base to get you started. Once you’ve established your base, then it’s easy to add piece by piece on top of that base design—a splash of your favorite color to this wall, a piece of art that you found on your trip to Barcelona, or that Pinterest-inspired distressed wooden bookshelf you made, for example, to achieve a look that’s truly your own. Blend designs and styles, colors and themes however you want—if you hate it later, you can always remove a layer or go back to the base design and start all over again.

Here’s a quick guide to seven different types of home decor style that are great for establishing as your “base”.


Modern decor makes use of basic shapes and straight lines, neutral colors like white and black and lots of metal and glass. It works equally well in small apartments as it does in large, spacious homes. You might like it if you love open and airy spaces and a streamlined, clean-cut look. Modern is perhaps one of the best bases to use because it is so easy to add to. Minimalist and Contemporary designs are close cousins to Modern decor, and are also great bases as well.


I actually love the Industrial look, especially in apartments. The distressed wood, exposed brick and metal piping are quite masculine and bold, which might prove to be a bit difficult to add layers to. In fact, I’d love to see examples of people who have used the industrial look as their “base”, and how they’ve personalized it to reflect a more feminine look, or how they’ve added their personality in other ways.


Majestic furniture, gold accents and timeless patterns, classic design is a great base to work with if you like a more traditional look. I’m in love with the idea of using a classic, traditional base and layering it with more modern touches to make it more “you”.


Rustic is all about giving an outdoorsy, active type of vibe to your home. Think log cabins, wooden and stone flooring, extravagant fireplaces and greens, browns, and blues. It would be interesting to combine rustic with something more contemporary and streamlined, like modern art paintings and modern style furniture.


Traditional living is like the American dream of home design. It’s all about beautiful, comfortable furnishings, tasteful colors and functional layouts. Traditional works well with almost any type of home and could be blended and layered with many different styles, so it’s a great base to work with if you are having trouble finding where to start.

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