Whether you’re prepping to sell your home or just looking to freshen up your interiors, choosing a home decor theme is paramount. Decor themes don’t have to be strict or rigid, but a guiding theme will help you create a cohesive feel for your home.
Switching up your style doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. You can choose decor and furniture that fits in a tight budget, or you can dive in and hire a professional to help.
On average, the cost of furniture and interior decor per person in 2020 was around $534.17. If you want someone to curate a look for you, the cost to hire an interior designer is an average of $6,628. Wherever you land budget-wise, you’ll find easy ways to make your home a place you love to be.
In this article, we'll detail the most popular interior design styles, tips for choosing a theme, and shopping suggestions for any budget.
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10 Popular Interior Design Styles
The mid-century modern look originates from a post WWII era, with a mix of retro 50s and 60s elements and simple modernism. Imagine wooden furniture and organic shapes combined with functionality. If you’re the type of person who wants every piece of furniture and decor to have a function, the mid-century modern style is for you.
Contrary to popular opinion, shabby chic is not a granny look, but has its origins in French and vintage decor. It’s a feminine, soft style with light-colored furniture and faux florals while still promoting functionality and comfort. If you’re into cozy textures and light colors, you’ll love this style.
Bohemian is all about the adventurous – imagine persian rugs, vintage furniture, floor pillows, and objects from global flea markets or international travels. Exquisite ottomans, varied colors of vases, and an overall relaxed feeling is the Bohemian vibe.
If you’re inspired by the white-painted shiplap and rustic features made famous by Chip and Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper, you already love the farmhouse look. Farmhouse is bright, yet rustic with luxurious comforts. Envision soft light-colored sofas covered in pillows and throw-overs, seated near a fireplace with a television overhead. Farmhouse furniture is often made with wood and simply shaped, bringing warmth to the overall farmhouse aesthetic.
Compared to the other home decor themes on this list, French country is much more elegant, refined, and poised in taste. French country is exactly what you’d imagine – a mélange of shabby chic, farmhouse, and vintage French, with alluring furniture that gives your home a mature look. Picture soothing whites, navy blues and browns, paired with ornate, dark wood chairs and chests. French country is a timeless look that’ll make you feel like you’re taking it easy in the hills of Provence.
Urban modern is the style you think of when you imagine a fancy, industrial loft apartment in New York City. It maintains clean lines and sleek finishes of concrete, metal and wood. Hard and soft touches pair well together in this theme. For example, a faux fur rug on concrete floors, or a soft leather or suede couches with a metal industrial-style chandelier.
Urban Modern takes inspiration from mid-century modern when it comes to minimalism. Avoid clutter, and instead, choose fewer high-quality pieces of furniture. Plenty of natural light is a must.
Coastal themed decor gives a beach-house vibe, and you’ll feel like you’re always on vacation when at home. Think nautical, but tasteful.
Want to have those vacation vibes right from your living room? Do coastal.
Add coastal elements to your home with jute rugs, slipcovered sofas and white or gray wood tables. Choose light blue and green hues for textiles, or natural textures reminiscent of driftwood.
Traditional decor is ornate, to say the least. It’s sure to make you feel like royalty in your own home. To recreate the traditional style, select furniture covered in European florals with a renaissance vibe. Paint walls beige, or better yet, apply a timeless patterned wallpaper.
Decorate a posh living room fit for a Jane Austen novel – a large, wooden fireplace with an exquisite painting above, and floral arrangements surrounding cream-colored sofas. Don’t forget a one-of-a-kind chandelier!
Transitional is similar to a traditional style, however the difference lies in the symmetry and contrast of colors, or rather the lack thereof. Transitional is all about blending in the colors and textures, and doesn’t necessarily have symmetry like a traditional style would. This style is all about soft pastel colors with furniture of modern accents combining to create a contemporary look with hints of modern contemporary styles.
Bonus: Feng Shui
Looking for balance? Simplicity? Minimalism? This is it.
Feng Shui means “wind water” and it’s a Chinese philosophy that reduces clutter and increases space in order to optimize “chi” – or energy. Feng Shui is more about working with the furniture you already have, and rearranging it to balance the space around you.
How to Choose a Decor Theme for Your House
Tip #1: Find Inspiration Around You
Identify decor themes that match your tastes, such as those listed above.
Still looking for inspiration? The next time you step into a friends’ home, take note of what you love and what’s not for you.
Pinterest also has a wealth of design inspiration. Start searching for one of the decor themes that’s caught your eye, and start saving images you want to emulate.
Prefer to search for inspiration in real life? Head to IKEA, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Target, Walmart, or Costco, to name a few, and see what sparks your imagination.
Tip #2: Design for Your Personal Lifestyle
Tailor your home’s design to your personality and lifestyle preferences.
Are you a homebody who likes to Netflix and chill? Add comfy blankets and a big T.V. Do you love cooking up a storm with lots of family and friends around to help? Create lots of functional space in the kitchen. Are you all for functionality and minimalism? Find high-quality items that serve multiple purposes, and get rid of any items you’re not using.
Your design goals may tend toward a certain style, but don’t forego a chair, a coffee table or a piece of art simply because it doesn’t quite fit the mold. Themed decor such as mid-century modern or transitional is in itself a combination of various designs coming together in complementing hues.
If you have a stunning antique clock that makes a great visual statement, don’t hesitate to place it in your contemporary living room with chrome and glass furniture.
Tip #3: Go For Quality (Within Your Budget!)
You don’t need to pay top dollar for high quality products. Stores like Target, Costco, Ikea, and Ashley Furniture make it possible to get a good deal. Take your time when browsing, look for quality and lasting value, and make sure you get what you pay for.
If you’re a DIYer, check out YouTube channels like Lone Fox for great tips and tricks on giving your home a makeover.
Tip #4: Decorate in Stages
Rushing into a design theme can lead to overdecorating. Take it easy and plan to continue improving and updating as long as you live in the house. That way, you can add to your space as you go along, and your home will always reflect your personality.
FAQs About Home Decor Themes
How do I choose an interior theme for my house?
Start by reviewing some of the top interior design trends. Then, gather more inspiration from friends’ homes, Pinterest, DIY YouTube channels or even by browsing in stores. Don’t forget to set a design budget and stick with it by looking for high-quality items that won’t break the bank.
How many home decor styles are there?
There are endless home decor styles, but about ten that stand out as the most popular. Interior design styles don’t have to be rigid, though. You can mix and match styles to create one that’s all your own! Learn more about the most popular home decor styles.
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