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Beginner’s Guide To Interior Design Styles


There are many different types of interior design out there, and if you’re trying to find a super stylish way to decorate the home that you’ll love for years to come, it can be tricky. There’s just so much choice! So, to introduce you to the eclectic world of design, this guide has everything you need to know about some of the most popular interior design styles. With tips on how you can use these styles in your design, we’re here to inspire you to stop putting off that redecorating for good!

  1. Art Deco
  2. Scandinavian
  3. Transitional
  4. Rustic
  5. Hollywood Glamour
  6. Vintage

Art Deco

Still a much-appreciated style, we can see art Deco features in the construction of famous buildings worldwide. As one of the most authoritative and surprising styles in the history of interior design, Art Deco continues to influence interior design styles to this day.


The Art Deco style first appeared in France in the 1920s and gained momentum in the 1930s. Its design was inspired by the advances in modern technology of the era, the popular culture, and the art forms that preceded it. Movements such as Cubis, Constructivism, Futurism and Art Nouveau are all present in the art deco style. Examples of Art Deco include the Chrysler Building and the Rockefeller centre.


The basis of Art Deco was to be bold and luxurious, like the era it lived in. That means smooth lines, geometric shapes, and streamlined forms, all in opulent colours. However, Art Deco also considers functionality, so the aim is an elegant room that functions fully.

Design Ideas

Recreating Art Deco in your interior design styles is simple because it fits seamlessly into modern-day styles and can be tailored to personal needs. Some design ideas for Art Deco are:

  • Touches of jade, gold, ivory, silver, black and other elegant colours
  • Bright yellow, red, green, cream or beige colours to complement
  • Highly polished wooden floors
  • Lacquered furniture
  • Angular furniture, such as angel chairs
  • Glossy finishes
  • Mirrored surfaces
  • Patterns – Geometric, leaves, branches, feathers, trapezoids, chevrons, zig-zags

Famous Art Deco Designers

  • Andre Mare
  • Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann
  • Eileen Gray
  • Walter Chrysler


With its minimalist arrangement and calming ideals, Scandinavian interior design flourished in the 20th century and still has quite a grip on the interior design world today. A simple choice, you can achieve Scandinavian interior design in homes all around the world.


Scandinavian interior design first emerged during the 1930s and spread around the five Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland. A travelling design show called ‘Scandinavian Design’ journeyed through the U.S.A and Canada from 1954 – 1957, with simplistic Scandinavian style examples. This show helped to implement Nordic minimalism and functionality further around the world.


Scandinavian design is based on a minimalist ideology that encourages simplistic ways of living. This means understated design features, clean lines, sustainable products, and efficient additions. Designers also took inspiration from nature, and the climate around them, so earthy colours, natural light and pure characteristics are popular.

Design Ideas

The Scandinavian interior design style is perfect for the minimalists out there because it relies on simplicity. To incorporate Scandinavian aspects into your design, try:

  • White walls
  • Neutral colours
  • Clean, straight lines
  • Lightwoods for furniture and floors, such as beech
  • Wooden floors (wall to wall carpets are not part of a Scandinavian style)
  • Natural materials, like bamboo, rattan, silks, cotton and cork
  • Natural light
  • Plants

You can get more tips for Scandinavian interior design here.

Famous Scandinavian Designers

  • Alvar Aalto
  • Poul Henningsen
  • Maija Isola


In retaliation to the reduction of development in interior design, the transitional style encouraged a mix of elements that would satisfy all tastes. With its combination of function and fashion, transitional interior design provides the perfect balance to a home.


A mix of traditional and modern styles, transitional interior design gained popularity in the 1950s. It was a response to the stark, mid-century contemporary styles of the previous eras when homeowners grew bored of the clean lines and minimalism. As it constantly evolves with aesthetic fads, transitional design remains popular today.


In its rebellion against previous styles, transitional interior design involved curved lines, patterns, a mix of colours, open floor plans and geometric shapes, plus plenty of natural light. As with many other interior design styles, it considered the functionality of each room; however, transitional design involves a personal, defiant tone.

Design Ideas

With its high regard for style and functionality, transitional interior design is an effortless style to pull off for yourself. You could include:

  • Angular furniture
  • Sharp edges
  • Curved leading lines
  • A mix of neutral colours and vibrant colours – neutral colours are suitable for walls, with bright pops of colour in décor and furniture.
  • One single focal point, like a sculpture, fireplace, or exposed wooden ceiling beams
  • Lacquered finishes
  • Light, easy decorations
  • A mix of new and old materials
  • Large glass windows

Famous Designers

  • Jessica Davis
  • Renee DiSanto
  • Stephanie Coutas


A welcoming interior design style, a rustic ambience makes for a comfortable room. Popular for those who want to live a simple life, the rustic style is natural and minimalistic.


Since furniture was too heavy and space was scarce, the early settlers of the U.S.A had to restart from scratch. Thus, the rustic style was born. They had to put together homes from local materials quickly, so they used stick frames held together by mud, clay, and grass. The modest style was emulated in the poorer sides of other countries, including Victorian Britain styles much later, and is now a warm, uncomplicated option.


Where the natural Scandinavian design is smooth and straight, rustic is rugged and imperfect. Yet, with jagged lines and silhouettes, woody colours, muted accents and metal finishes, it creates a homely feel with little fuss.

Design Ideas

To recreate the earth-based rustic style in your interior design, think of bringing the outdoors in. You could:

  • Use wide plank wooden floors
  • Keep roof beams uncovered
  • Make use of all-natural materials, like wood, wool, iron and animal furs
  • Choose large furniture pieces, like sturdy sideboards and display cabinets
  • Use neutral colours, like browns, beiges, whites, tans or greys
  • Make the focal point of a room a large fireplace

Famous Designers

  • Olga Fradina
  • Oliver Garce
  • Athena Calderone


Hollywood Glamour

Perfect for those who can’t help but fall in love with the old black and white films of the 1930s, Hollywood Glamour rarely goes out of style because of its splendour. So if you’d like to recreate that luxury in your own home, this is the interior design style for you.


First becoming prevalent in the 1930s, the interior style of Hollywood Glamour came about during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Since directors and producers wanted the extra glamour and star power in their movies to emulate the public ideals of Hollywood life, they dressed their sets up to the nines. The era’s top stars enjoyed these luxuries so much that they began reproducing them in their homes.


Hollywood Glamour represents the elegance and pomposity of old-style Hollywood – the era of Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. With inspirations from Art Deco and the transitional styles, it features statement décor, glamourous pieces, rich colours, smooth lines and luxurious accents, bringing the magic of Hollywood into one’s everyday life.

Design Ideas

Since Hollywood Glamour represents the luxury of the stars, it’s fun to put yourself in their shoes for this style. Some good ideas are:

  • Small-scale furniture
  • Glamourous finishes
  • Bold colours and patterns, like golds and reds, or zig-zags
  • Lavish details
  • Animal prints
  • Soft, rich materials, like velvets and silks
  • Plush additions, like pillows
  • Antique pieces

Famous Designers

  • Jeff Andrews
  • Joan Behnke
  • Kathleen and Tommy Clements


Still used for its sentimentality, the classy vintage style spans several decades, depending on your style. Full of beautiful patterns and pieces that you can find in both new and antique conditions, the vintage style truly is timeless.


Being influenced from the older eras first became popular in the 1940s when designers began to take inspiration from the late 18th and early 20th century because of the nostalgia and happiness it provoked. The same approach is still taken today; however, our design revolves around decades such as the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s because these eras hold more relevance to us.


Depending on the era, vintage design features can vary. However, since many of them took their inspiration from previous lifestyles, several elements are prevalent in each period. Elegant touches, geometric patterns, simple designs, nostalgic ideas and a mix of eras can all be found in vintage design, no matter the time period.

Design Ideas

Because vintage design is rooted in nostalgia, it is extremely easy to personalise. Pick your favourite era, do some research, and see what you like. Some general ideas are:

  • Pieces that remind you of happy times, like pictures, books or music
  • Mix eras
  • Combine modern and authentic vintage pieces
  • Range of patterns
  • Cosy colours
  • Pastel accents
  • Natural materials
  • Leave natural wear-and-tear results, like chips and cracks, for a homely atmosphere.

Famous Designers

  • Kelly Elko
  • Lesli Devito
  • Nita Stacy

For more ideas on vintage interior design, take a look at our guide.

The Range of Interior Design Styles

There are many more types of interior design out there, but we hope we’ve introduced you to some of the best! With a wide range of styling opportunities, these interior design styles will give you results to be proud of.

What’s your favourite interior design style? Let us know in the comments below.

Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.


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