Interior design styles, blog by MDR

Interior design is a lot more meticulous than what meets the eye. There are dozens of specific interior design styles that each have their own elements to really create a unique space. In this blog, you’ll learn about some of the more used design styles, and what makes each style distinct. 


MAKING DREAMS Realty, in addition to selling and buying homes, helps individuals with staging tips and design styles in order to help prepare for selling your home or to better enjoy the space you're in. Check out our Stage ‘N’ Style page for additional design resources if this blog doesn’t tell you all you want to know. 


Here are some of the main interior design styles that people use when decorating and furnishing their homes: 



Listing image from MAKING DREAMS Realty | Janesville, WI


Traditional interior design style is known as one of the most popular and timeless styles. This design style never seems cluttered or too loud and is one of the easiest to engineer with a wide array of wood tones and counter types. However, the most common types of wood tones to see in a traditional interior design style is dark wood or mahogany that has ornate details and designs. Grandiose light fixtures like crystal chandeliers often work the best with this style. 


On the other hand, Transitional interior design is a type of traditional design style, but it integrates more contemporary elements to make the style a happy medium. Transitional design is known to be clean while elegant, and it has a minimal amount of accessories.  This style takes the grandeur of traditional design, but is less detail oriented and mixes an array of wood tones from white to oak to black. 



Listing image from MAKING DREAMS Realty | Janesville, WI


Contemporary interior design refers to any design style that is presently “in” and is always evolving. It usually borrows aspects from past time periods and molds them together to create an accurate representation of the current design styles. Contemporary design interiors are currently very clean and sleek, pulling from the basic features of modern interior design, which we will explain next. 


Another similar style is Modern interior design. Modern is contemporary in many aspects, but refers specifically to the time period in the mid 1900’s. Modern is made up of clean lines and certain materials that make it seem a little colder than other styles. For example, it is common to see metal or chrome accents and large windows that make glass an important aspect to this design style. While the space is mostly neutral, there can be bright pops of colors in the furniture or art on the walls. Modern interior design is almost always void of patterns or loud designs.


Minimalist Design by Roberto D. from Decorilla. Image from Decorilla


In addition, Minimalist interior design style is a branch off of contemporary and modern design, but it uses space in a more literal way. While minimalist styles still utilize the clean lines and neutral colors of contemporary design, this style tends to ditch patterns all together like a modern interior, and instead it relies on texture and functional furniture to create illusions and declutter. Minimalist interiors have plenty of empty space, and overall this design follows the principle “less is more.”


Image from Decorilla


The last of the contemporary styles is Industrial interior design. Industrial design utilizes the mixed metals and textures present in Modern design, but it also has a strong emphasis on exposed materials like pipes, brick, and concrete. An adjective to describe an industrial space is “raw” and the space can be complemented by large, colorful pieces of artwork. 



Image from @eclectic_twist on Instagram 


Another style of interior design is Eclectic Design. While it can come off as chaotic to some, the right mix of colors and pieces can make for a beautiful, richly saturated space. This design style is made up from new and old pieces of furniture, vases, lamps, collectibles, rugs, paintings — all that have a lot of color to them, but stay within the same realm so as to avoid busy-ness. If you can manage to combine everything with a perfect balance, it can result as a great blend of colors and textures, integrating the old and the new. 


Mid-Century Modern

Listing image from MAKING DREAMS Realty | Janesville, WI


Mid-Century Modern Design has been a popular style in many homes over the years. This style is most prevalent in furniture, and people tend to use these mid-century furniture pieces in their homes no matter their overall design. The premise of mid-century design is based on the concept of indoor-outdoor living and the connection to nature. Popular colors for this design style are usually neutral, muted colors, and there can sometimes be pops of yellow, brown, and green. 



Image from @thebohoabode on Instagram


Bohemian design is a free-spirited mix of patterns, styles, and cultures with a little more organized chaos than other design styles. This style has bright colors and bold patterns in both the furniture and the wall décor. Common marks of this design are the many trinkets and decorations on display, usually from past travels. 


Modern Farmhouse

Listing image from MAKING DREAMS Realty | Milton, WI


A modern farmhouse design draws from traditional farmhouse design, but in a more simplified way. Barn doors and shiplap are cornerstones of this style, along with wide plank floors, open concept living, and deep, farmhouse kitchen sinks. Along with these features, modern farmhouse interiors typically have mixed metals, raw wood, and greenery. Other types of this farmhouse design style include rustic design and southwestern design. 



Image from Lazy Loft Blog 


Coastal design style is strongly reminiscent of the beach, pulling from its aqua colors and seashell décor. Usually this style is complemented by white trim and light neutrals, making the home feel bright and breezy. Another hallmark of this design are sheer curtains that let all of the light in and plenty of live greenery and flowers. There is also a lot of stained and blown glass décor, usually in shades of blue, and a lot of wicker décor and furniture as well.


Blog Contributor: Rachel Clark | MAKING DREAMS Realty, Marketing Specialist


Check out more on the featured homes in this blog through our website search tool or on our featured properties page! Contact us with any questions or requests. 


View beautiful homes of southern WI in our digital magazine, Southern WI Luxury.

Informational Sources Used:;;