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A Homeowner's Guide to Finding Your Interior Style

Apr 26, 2021

A living room decorated in a minimalist style

Quick quiz: What design type are you? Do you even know? If you don’t, you’re in good company. When figuring out how to give your home a cohesive design look, truth be told, it can be difficult to zero in on what style captures your preference in furniture, accessories, color, genre, etc., especially if you aren't sure what the different styles even are. Or, you may lean toward a hybrid of styles that really can’t be categorized as one design type in particular.

So here is your crash course in “Finding Your Interior Style 101.” Of course, there are many more styles out there than are on this list, plus interior ideas seem to constantly change and evolve. But by giving you a taste of today's trending styles, we hope to help you hone in on what yours could be.

Traditional

The “traditional” look is one of the most common and longstanding styles, because it’s so rooted in timeless heritage. It takes cues and repurposes elements from the 18th and 19th centuries, such as classic art and antiques, often with a touch of formality.

If you want to achieve this popular look, it’s all about mindful layering and incorporating pieces that offer structure and symmetry. The effect: a calm, orderly space that ties all pieces together.

Modern

This style is perfect for those who like simple, uncluttered spaces with clean lines and a lack of cluttered embellishments. Modern-style furnishings and decor celebrate natural materials, neutral or earthy colors and the elimination of unnecessary detailing.

Don’t be afraid to explore the different stylistic interpretations. For example, mid-century modern furniture and accessories are still well-loved choices, and many are created today with a 21st-century twist.

Coastal

Sometimes you want your style to make a statement; others, to invoke a feeling. When you opt for a coastal design, the latter is so true. As the name implies, this style is all about summoning the serene vibes of the relaxing and casual #beachlife. White, sea green and blues in soft, calming tones take center stage, while natural light and a clean aesthetic help to perfect this comfortable interior style.

Minimalist

Minimalist design starts with a philosophy more than the design elements themselves. Using the bare essentials to create a simple and uncluttered space, with a monochromatic color scheme to reinforce the space's open and simplistic nature, you can transform a room into your calming sanctuary. While it’s ok to have fun with various textures, this is all about bringing things back to basics with clean lines and a “less is more” approach to your furniture and accessory choices.

Contemporary

Contemporary decor encompasses a range of styles developed in the latter half of the 20th century, often featuring softened and rounded lines as opposed to the stark, edged lines seen in modern design. These interiors contain neutral elements and bold color, and they keep the focus on strong architectural lines, geometric shapes and eye-catching forms — all of which not only work well together, but this approach helps each piece stand out as unique.

Industrial

An aesthetic trend in interior design that’s gaining in popularity, this look takes its cues from old factories and industrial-style indoor areas that have been converted to lofts and other living spaces. This look celebrates and continues the theme with a more masculine use of metals, rustic woods and leathers implemented with a neutral color palette.

Whether you go all out or just showcase a few key pieces with these elements, the result is a style that’s edgy yet unpretentious, and pairs well with other modern design pieces.

Modern Farmhouse

Mix some of the traditional country look with some of the more minimal contemporary design, and you've got the modern farmhouse feels. Think rustic yet refined; clean yet charming; with wood flooring, shelving and accent walls (hello, shiplap) anchoring the space. Color- and pattern-wise, you’ll often see plaids, blues, greens, and lots of white and black used in this style for an inviting and comfortable atmosphere.

Eclectic

“Eclectic” is a word that’s often used diplomatically to describe someone’s more unconventional style choices. In actuality, in true eclectic design, there is a method to the perceived madness of mismatched decor. It just comes down to how you put it all together.

This style features a hodge-podge of heterogeneous elements with an always-interesting mixture of textures, time periods, styles, trends and colors. In other words, unlike some of the other style options, you’re free to use your imagination and experiment. But again, don’t confuse these combos with clutter; the trick is to intentionally distribute these pieces throughout the home in a way that looks and feels right.

Bohemian

Similar to eclectic but defined by a lack of structure, the bohemian (or “boho”) style opts instead for carefree layers of pattern, texture and hues. It's all about pulling together natural and organic elements into a very layered and collected look to give off a “vintage-meets-modern” vibe.

You’ll find lots of caning, rattan, bamboo, and textiles in this style mixed with bright and intensely saturated pops of colors. All this may be “too much” for some design styles, but they feel right at home here — as will any visitors to this cozy, comfortable, inviting space.

Glam

Classic glam decor is a marriage of the understated and overstated that marry to create a refined, elegant space that looks like it’s as fun to live in as it is to create. This interior style blends an airy, upscale feel with luxurious textiles, glittering metals, the-bigger-the-better patterns, dramatic lighting and sparkly accessories for a lavish look you’ll love. Go next-level with velvet and suede furniture, faux furs, metallics, jewel-toned colors to create even more of a high-end allure.

Mix, Match, Make Your Own Design Statement

The best thing about design is that you can combine different styles to make it your own. Some, like modern/minimalist or traditional/farmhouse, seem to naturally cross-pollinate since they share such common aspects. On the other hand, you’d be surprised at how well opposite styles — boho-meets-beach house, eclectic farmhouse, minimalist glam — can mesh. There’s practically no limit to experimenting with different designs, adding your own personal touches, and creating a stylish home that’s completely and uniquely yours.

Be Smart with Your Design Dollars: Lease-To-Own

Hopefully we’ve helped you find a style you’ll fall in love with. Now let’s get you the furniture pieces that will help you bring your design dreams to life. By choosing to lease-to-own with Acima at the best furniture retailers near you, you can take advantage of this affordable, no credit alternative to furniture financing now so you start putting your inner interior designer to work.*