Top Ten Home Design Styles
The interior design world is ever-changing, but there are a few classic home design styles and elements that never go out of vogue. Whether you are remodeling your existing home or buying a new property, having knowledge of design styles and their trending revivals can help you make the most of your space – and your style.
Here’s a list of the top home design styles (and what makes them unique!) to look for when buying your next home.
Contemporary: Minimalist With Natural Light
These homes, often with asymmetrical exteriors, are usually made of mixed, natural materials. Bamboo and rattan are characteristic of Contemporary homes.
Minimalist in style, many Contemporary homes have larger panels of glass windows (some even offer spectacular views), which allows for great natural light and energy efficiency. Clean, straight lines, and neutral colors set these homes apart in your neighborhood.
Minimalist style with ample natural light – along with interior plants and greenery – is trending and easy to achieve in your home. Try clean window treatments, like neutral-colored blinds, to allow the maximum light to come through or think about installing a skylight – we love the pyramid-shaped version.
Contemporary is one of the most popular styles of home, and adding contemporary elements to any redesign is a great way to update in an efficient and effective way.
Modern: The Color Pop
Modern style shares many qualities with its close sister, Contemporary design. Both homes generally have a clean, minimalist, and simple exterior and interior. But in contrast to the colder, more sleek Contemporary trends, most modern interiors host warm hues and natural materials like wood and leather.
The most popular modernist trend taking the design world by storm is the color pop. Bright colored pillows on a gray, black, white, or tan exterior can add a modern and trendy flair to any room. Something as simple as bright red pillows on a gray couch or turquoise vases on the off-white mantel can completely (and affordably!) transform your space in a matter of minutes.
Colonial: Wallpaper And Metal Accents
The “classic American” Colonial home will never go out of style. The exterior facade of Colonial homes almost always includes decorative columns or a portico around the front entryway. The interior entrance way generally has high ceilings and textured fabrics, window treatments, and rugs.
One of the most trending Colonial interior design features is textured or floral patterned wallpaper. Muted Earth-tone wallpaper (even on one wall only) can add a warm and rustic feeling to your living room. Or, incorporate Modern style (see above) and add a bright floral pattern to a small bathroom wall. Wall paper is low cost and easy to change, so there’s no lengthy commitment involved in this design winner.
Another popular feature consistent with Colonial design is metal accent pieces. Copper and brass are increasingly popular in living areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. Metal light fixtures hanging over the kitchen table can add dimension and glamor to an otherwise simple interior.
Colonial homes also tend to have very large footprints, so they become a common choice for those that have large families or need a lot of space. Of course, any style of home can be big, but the square room style of the Colonial lends itself to increased square footage.
Georgian: Elegant Chandeliers And Bold Color Schemes
This style, associated with the English monarchy, often has an exterior built from brick or stone rather than wood. These homes appear geometric with patterned borders and often have a flat front facade. The interior Georgian trends include fireplaces and paneled walls, in addition to ornate window treatments. Tiled floors throughout add a look of grandeur and sophistication to a Georgian-style home.
Consistent with Victorian styles (more on this next), chandeliers are a great way to add classic (yet trendy) lighting to your kitchen, dining room, or even your bedroom. A chandelier in the bedroom can become the classic centerpiece of a simply designed space. And don’t think you have to break the bank to achieve this look; there are plenty of iron, crystal, and brass options at affordable prices with easy installation.
While most Georgian interiors involve monochromatic color schemes, recent trends are choosing brighter and bolder color schemes as opposed to neutrals and whites. Dark woods, chairs (think: dark blues and burgundy reds), and even emerald green walls add a classic yet edgy touch to your living and dining areas.
These days, it is less likely to see a home fully committed to the Georgian style than it is to find a Colonial home with Georgian elements. The two styles have a lot of overlapping design tactics, and Colonial homes were designed as a new type of Georgian home. This means that the Colonial takes the most popular elements of the Georgian, and that is why it remains more popular.
Victorian: Crown Molding And Canopy Beds
Victorian homes often boast dollhouse-like facades, with unique elements like stained glass, ornate woodwork, and even spectacular curved edges (such as towers and circular rooms). The interiors of Victorian homes are often equally ornate and luxurious with a fire places, decorative couches, and chandeliers (see above Georgian style).
Neutral crown molding is popular in Victorian homes, especially with bold-colored walls. Molding can be added to ceilings, floors, or even around windows to add a unique touch of style. Coming in many shapes and sizes – from simple oversized baseboards to detailed Art Deco-style moldings, this detail quickly adds an eye-catching dimension to any room.
Another Victorian trend prominent in the design world is the return of the canopy bed. This is a relatively affordable way to add a grand touch to your bedroom, giving an illusion of height of space within a smaller room. A canopy bed does not have to be ornate or reminiscent of Medieval times – metal or wood (or mixed material!) canopy frames are particularly trending in the interior design world today.
Mediterranean: Indoor/Outdoor Living Spaces
Mediterranean homes are known for their Spanish and Italian style influences. Originally designed so that air would flow freely through the home during hot summer months, these homes are often open plan with plenty of windows for cross-ventilation. High ceilings and expansive kitchen and living areas make these homes ideal for families or entertaining.
The Mediterranean style of indoor/outdoor living space is one of the top trending interior design features today. Whether a covered patio, a balcony, a screened-in porch, or a courtyard – the idea of living day-to-day life comfortably outdoors is one that appeals to many.
The key to indoor/outdoor living space is that it must be user-friendly. For example, if the space is not covered by an overhang or roof, you will likely need waterproof furniture. Think about adding couches, a fireplace, and even cooking features (a grill or a wood-fire pizza oven!) to your indoor/outdoor space to make it both practical and luxurious.
To add to your indoor/outdoor living space, plants are also among the most popular interior decorations. Live plants inside and outside your home provide affordable and low-maintenance natural vibes, and they are even proven to help boost mood and combat depression.
Cape Cod: Exposed Wooden Beams
Considered to be one of the most classic American styles, the Cape Cod is often associated with beach living, light and airy colors, and symmetrical exterior design. These homes are often single-storey and vary greatly in size, making it a great and affordable (yet still stylish!) option for families searching for smaller homes. Fun fact – the Cape Cod generally has a steep roof, which was originally designed to help combat roof snowfall buildup during harsh New England winters.
One of the most coveted and sought after home design features in the real estate market is exposed wooden beams. This traditional Cape Cod feature adds a rustic, cozy, and dramatic element to your living room, dining room, or kitchen. Dark wooden beams make styling a room easy with neutral colors and simple, beach-inspired accessories.
While Cape Cod-style homes are most frequently found in New England regions, building or redesigning a home of this style in another area can be a great way to stand out. There are people that love the Cape Cod-style in the country, so taking this approach can be a bold way to entice specific buyers.
Ranch/Southwestern: Rich Textiles And Bold Tiles
The traditional Ranch-style home has been a popular style in the United States since the 1960s. This style is known for its wide layout and one-storey floor plan. The more modern and trending Southwestern Ranch is characterized by its wooden features, Southwestern-themed decorative accents (like dream catchers and cow horns) and unique, brightly-colored textiles.
Southwestern Ranch homes often boast some of the most bold and intricately-patterned textiles such as blankets, pillows, and wall hangings. From bold orange and turquoise Aztec stripes to traditional navy blue or black chevron, these types of textiles can affordably recreate your space to achieve this Southwestern feel.
Bold tile patterns are very popular in interior design today. Particularly for bathroom walls and kitchen backsplashes, bright and bold green or blue tiles can give your space a spa-like feel. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a brightly-colored patterned tile to add a colorful Moroccan-style splash to your bathroom.
Tudor: Dark Wood And Fireplaces
Tudor homes traditionally channel old English style with stone or brick exteriors, decorated chimneys, and intricate interior ceiling and wall paneling. Known for ornate features and furniture design, Tudor homes often showcase woodwork.
Dark wooden accents are traditional of the Tudor home style. From railings to furniture, dark wooden features have traditionally paired well with light colored couches, pillows, and curtains. Conversely, in today’s design trends, dark wooden features are also paired with other dark neutral colors like navy blue, black, and browns.
Fireplaces never go out of style. Tudor homes traditionally popularized the centrally located fireplace in the living room, allowing for a cozy yet polished entertainment area. Depending on the climate, fireplaces can serve as an attractive centerpiece for your family living area as well as providing warmth through the colder winter months.
English Cottage: Open Plans And Front Porches
Contrary to the Georgian style of bold and rich color patterns, English Cottage homes keep decor light, airy, and mostly white (think: beach home). Generally, English Cottage homes are two stories, with one main floor and only the bedrooms upstairs directly under the roof. Similar to the Cape Cod style, these homes can be a great option for someone in search of a charming and stylish small- to mid-sized home.
English Cottages are generally open floor plan for the living and kitchen area, which is one of the hottest home design styles today. This space allows for entertainment or family enjoyment while cooking, and it allows you to be creative with styling your couches and dining area. Open plans also leave a lot of room for adjustment, should you want to add an addition or re-create your space in the future.
Like any outdoor space, the English Cottage-style front porches is a hot commodity. Whether large or small, this living space can be adorned with flowers to create a peaceful and charming entryway for your home.
The Most Popular Design Styles: Ranked
If you are thinking about redesigning some elements of your homes to make a better profit when you sell, you’ll want to investigate which design styles are the most popular in your region. Every area is going to be a little bit different, so browsing the housing market is a great way to get started.
Overall, there are a number of design styles that have taken over as the most popular regardless of where your property is located. By adding elements from these styles to your designs, you’ll be able to fetch a higher price:
Generally, these five styles tend to be more popular than the other classic styles that have been mentioned today. Still, the best elements can be combined to make a truly unique and beautiful home.
Why Adding New Design Elements Matters
Now that you know more about different design elements, you might still be wondering why you adding elements of these interesting design styles is worth the effort. Simply put, improving the overall aesthetic of your home can make it more valuable!
Value, of course, isn’t just in the eye of a future buyer. Smoothing out the style of your home can make it more comfortable, and it can make it a more attractive place to welcome guests.
The key is that you want your home to be well-designed and at least relatively cohesive. While you can absolutely blend styles, you will want to make sure that the styles you choose flow together.
No matter what type of design style you choose, remember that your house is a place for you to get creative! These classic (and forever trending!) design styles are not made to be used in isolation. Mix and match your favorite elements of each style to create your own space, and you’ll be incredibly happy with the outcome.
Once you’ve learned more about which of these styles stands out the most to you, you will find it easier to identify what specific elements of the style charms you. From there, your search for the perfect home will become easier than ever before!