Have you ever found yourself asking the question what are the different types of interior design styles?

Do you know the difference between traditional and transitional interior design? Maybe you want to switch up your style but can’t decide which direction to go. Or could it be that you are interested in interior design styles and want to know what is the most popular for 2020?

I’m here to help and over the course of the next 10 weeks I will be discussing the 10 most popular design trends for this new decade. I’m going to be honest with you, being a design and décor fan is some hard work. Not only do you need keep up with the latest trends and have a comprehensive knowledge of all the colors of the year, but you also need to know the differences between all the biggest design styles.

Sounds easy, right? Well, not quite. Truth is, knowing every single distinction between two different styles is easier said than done. After all, who really knows the difference between Art Deco or Hollywood Regency or Mid-Century Modern? Honestly, even I get confused at times. So, to help, I’m breaking down some of the biggest styles out there.


One of the most popular decorating styles today might fall within the category of “transitional” style. This decorating style involves elements of traditional and contemporary spaces, striking a balance between each style without overshadowing the other. A transitional space may utilize the materials of a stereotypically contemporary space, such as acrylic or steel, with the more lavish furnishings of a traditional space. This balance and combination of styles is as aesthetically attractive as it is unexpected.

Transitional Design

2. Traditional

Traditional decorating style encompasses an interior that resembles past European tastes. The traditional interior will likely have classic details such as chair rails, crown molding, plush furnishings, and plenty of accessories. Wood elements in a traditional space tend to be dark and rich. Textures are varied and plush. And silhouettes are often more curvy than straight.

Traditional Home
Design Arch

3. Contemporary

Contemporary style, though, is the style that utilizes design based on today’s current trends and styles. Because of that, and the fact that time is ever-changing, contemporary style is fluid. What is deemed “contemporary” in 2020 may not be considered contemporary by 2021, or even 2025.

Contemporary Design
Decor Aid

4. Scandinavian

Scandinavian style is based on the simplicity of the Nordic culture. Clean and earthy Scandinavian décor combines elements that are attractive to many people’s tastes and lifestyles. Furniture in this decorating style tends to be functional yet artistic, almost sculptural. Color palettes are neutral-natural, with lots of white with hints of natural elements such as wood.


5. French Country

This style is all about natural materials, muted colors, toile fabrics, extravagant lighting, touches of gold, tapestries, and more—all with a rustic touch. The core essence is a refined elegance that is humbled by bringing in aspects of nature such as weathered and white washed wood, and neutral color palettes

French Country Design

6. Shabby Chic

This is a style of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique.

Shabby Chic
Home Edit

7. Coastal

The use of natural light, soft tones, and a clean aesthetic, it’s meant to evoke the breeziness of the beach. Coastal space takes its cues from the natural environment for everything from color palette through to materials used. The core and main features are usually jute textures, earth tones, layered blues, crisp whites, stripes, and loose linen upholstery.

Coastal Design
Ocean Home

8. Hollywood Regency

Hollywood Regency came out of Hollywood’s Golden Age, in the 1930s. Producers and directors wanted to bring extra star power to their films, so they decorated with serious opulence in mind. This then translated to home decor for the major stars of the era, like Joan Crawford.

Hollywood Regency
House Beautiful

9. Mid-Century Modern

Though the term mid century modern wasn’t coined until the mid-80’s and no one really knows it’s true timeline. This design represents a combination of post World War II practicality, 50’s era optimism, 60’s era earthiness, and 70’s era tones with an ode to Scandinavian minimalist.

Mid Century Modern Design
Apartment Therapy

10. Art Deco

Art Deco, short for Arts Décoratifs, is characterized by rich colors, bold geometry, and lavish detail work. Having reached the height of its popularity in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, the style still brings in glamour, luxury, and order with symmetrical designs in animated shapes.

Art Deco Design
Deco Pix

I’m creating this 10 week series guide to help you find answers. To assist you in narrowing down and figuring out what interior design trend suits you best. Armed with the information I will give you, think about which style you like the most, and how to adapt it to your individual taste and circumstances.

Think this post was interesting? Check out my other articles. 

All White Kitchens Don’t Have To Be Sterile

Five Outdated Home Decor Trends We Hope Are Gone


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Maria Wilkinson

    Thanks Kimmothy I loved this!! 😍 I am more drawn to combination of Country Chic and Traditional ❤

    1. Kimmothy

      Maria, with your home I too would be drawn to traditional. Thanks for reading.

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