Interior styles: Encyclopedia of interior styles

The phrase “interior styles” is constantly found in magazines and specialized websites. Professionals and ordinary people talk about it, write many articles, and sometimes even devote entire books to it. It is recommended to choose it first of all for those who are planning to make repairs, no matter what kind, major, or cosmetic. So what is it?

Interior style is the design of space in a single key (general concept), according to the special rules that each design direction has. They determine the choice of finishing materials, colors, furniture, lighting, and decor. There are no taboos, rather, this is just a good hint – how to create a harmonious interior. A base to which you can add your own details. The result is a truly attractive, functional, and individual design, with a special atmosphere.

Now there are more than 100 interior styles. Some are united by a certain era, others by the location, and others by common materials, colors, and accessories. But each of them is unique and deserves your attention. Below we will talk about the most popular design trends so that you can truly choose the most suitable option for yourself.


Minimalism is an interior style that combines Japanese philosophy and the principles of constructivism. It is based on a clear organization of space, functionality, and restraint.

The name is translated from Latin as “smallest quantity”. To paraphrase, it’s better to have fewer items, but “high-quality” items that are really needed. Minimalism differs from other styles in its simplicity, restraint and environmental friendliness. A comfortable, laconic atmosphere is created, without a hint of pomp. They competently organize the space, and add a lot of air and calm, diffused light to it. The decor is the last thing that gets attention.

The basis of the color palette is one or two colors: white, a light shade of brown, and dim gray. The walls are covered with plain wallpaper or finished with textured plaster and large tiles. Linoleum, laminate, or tiles in light wood tones are laid on the floor. Use suspended or regular ceilings. In the second case, they are simply painted in a light tone.

The minimalist interior is organically complemented by transformable furniture and built-in appliances. They try to avoid unnecessary partitions in order to preserve as much free space as possible. Conventional doors are replaced with sliding glass doors or arches. Soft lighting, translucent fabrics, and materials are also successfully used in design. The decor in the interior may include simple vases and paintings, textiles, a large indoor plant like a bonsai, or a long-pile carpet.

Scandinavian style

Scandinavian style is one of the most natural, light interior styles. It has absorbed the design traditions of Finland, Norway, and especially Sweden. It is characterized by simplicity, naturalness, and the absence of intricate ideas.

Scandinavian design is a way of life, the philosophy of hygge, and not a combination of furniture and finishing materials. A clean, bright, cozy house that seems to breathe frosty freshness, and it’s so nice to warm up on cold winter evenings. Modern Scandinavian style is elegant, soft, and functional. No massive antique furniture or gilded frames, only warmth, spaciousness, plenty of light, and orderliness.

In the interior, all shades of white are used in combination with pastel tones, blue, green, as well as gray and beige. Several bright accents are allowed. Only natural materials are used for finishing and making furniture. You can often see clapboard or textured plaster on the walls, and high-quality laminate or wood on the floor; preference is given to light wood species.

The furniture is light, simple, and comfortable: tables and chairs with thin legs, glass tabletops, and wicker chairs. For lovers of antiquity and original style, experts recommend decorating their homes with vintage items; fabric covers would also be appropriate. Large windows with translucent curtains (or without them at all) and multi-level lighting will help compensate for the lack of natural light. Soft blankets, voluminous bedspreads, skins on the floor, woven rugs, decorative pillows, and living plants will add special charm to the interior.


Loft is a style in interior design that is directly related to the conversion of attic and industrial spaces into residential and public spaces. It is equally suitable for furnishing a country house, a city studio apartment and restaurant, office, modern cultural center or art cafe.

Nowadays, luxury penthouses and two-level spacious studios with high ceilings are decorated this way. In ordinary small-sized apartments, this design direction is rarely used in its pure form. Usually, a couple of techniques are used to maintain a feeling of freedom, slight negligence and not lose the atmosphere of home comfort.

The loft style is an open space with a minimum of partitions, laconic forms, an abundance of light and air, and a brutal, “unhewn” mood. Often only the bathroom is fenced off, the sleeping area is covered with a screen or curtains. Sometimes the design is based on the distribution of rooms across floors: the bedroom and bathroom are located on the second, and the remaining rooms on the first.

The interior is decorated in a cool color scheme; favorites include metallic, blue, and different shades of gray. White is added to small rooms. Loft and casual finishing are like two sides of the same coin. You will certainly see concrete, cement, brickwork on the walls and even on the ceiling; the floor is finished with “aged” natural boards.

A mandatory piece of furniture is an expensive leather sofa, no less important are open shelves and racks, chests of drawers, hangers, and a coffee table. All this is complemented by communications that are not hidden from view, a large number of modern lighting fixtures, blinds on the windows and the minimalistic but original decor characteristic of a loft. These are a bedside rug, a bedspread, unusual clock mechanisms, paintings by little-known artists, graffiti, etc.


Provence is an interior style, the name of which was given by the province of the same name in France. From her he received the general concept and atmosphere: provincial romance, comfort, simplicity, warmth of the hearth. The second name is French country.DesignersThey draw inspiration from the beauty of the local nature and the usual village way of life.

An apartment or house decorated in Provence style is calming and peaceful, making you forget about the bustle of the city. It’s as if you find yourself in a village with your grandmother, where there is the smell of fresh baked goods, herbal tea, flowers, and around you there are things dear to your heart.

This design is suitable even for small one-room apartments and small one-story cottages. It will not require serious material costs, but rather inspiration and love for a quiet provincial life.

Only natural materials are used in design. Ceilings are whitewashed and sometimes wooden beams are left exposed. The walls are painted or finished with brick, rough plaster is applied or wallpaper with a floral print is glued. Specially aged wooden boards and light tiles look great on the floor. Muted and natural green, white, pink, beige and lilac colors are welcome.

The interior is decorated with vintage furniture and products with carved, forged elements, frills, covers, and cute ruffles. Furniture is also often artificially aged. The frames and window sills are wooden, mostly white, with large windows. They are draped with almost transparent natural fabrics, protected from the scorching sun and at night with multi-layered curtains with floral patterns. The function of lighting rooms is ideally handled by large chandeliers and lamps with lampshades made of textiles, decor – all kinds of hand-made things, tablecloths, napkins, bedspreads and pillows.


Baroque is one of the historical styles; it arose in the 16th century in Italy and helped the country regain its former greatness. This is an ambitious design direction that does not accept modesty and simplicity. Interiors should be pathetic, luxurious and expressive, with strict symmetry.

Initially, churches were decorated in this style in order to win the attention of as many parishioners as possible with expensive decorations. Then he migrated to art and architecture, interior design. If you try to briefly describe it, the following epithets will come to mind: solemn and whimsical. It is chosen by people who want to demonstrate their power and wealth to others. They have enough money to furnish a huge house.

A distinctive feature of the Baroque is its dynamism. There should be a sense of movement in the interior. To do this, add stucco molding, relief elements, semi-columns, borders and moldings. They use expensive materials and items that are very important to be able to combine correctly.

All surfaces are finished with wood and stone, sometimes exotic species and species are chosen – ivory, ebony and mahogany, onyx or marble, malachite. The ceiling is decorated with stucco and paintings, and small carpets can be laid on the floor. The walls are painted, separated by moldings, decorated with arches and always given relief with the help of columns and niches.

They buy lacquered furniture with bent legs, expensive upholstery and an abundance of decor. Lambrequins and multi-layer curtains are hung on the windows. The rooms may simultaneously contain products made from organza and velvet, silk, and lace. There are many figurines, vases, tapestries, items with floral prints, mirrors with luxurious frames, and frescoes.

The interior contains bright details: blue, dark green, burgundy, but the emphasis is on gold. The windows are large and do not interfere with the free penetration of sunlight into the premises. Good artificial illumination is achieved thanks to a huge crystal chandelier, wall lamps in the form of candlesticks, floor lamps, and lamps with fabric lampshades.


Boho – the name of this style is translated from French into two words: “gypsy” or “bohemian”. That is why the interior design is replete with bright colors, fancy objects, it feels freedom, a certain frivolity and a creative look at the surrounding space. It is often chosen by liberated people who are used to calmly expressing themselves and not constraining themselves by any boundaries.

No generally accepted design rules, conventions, order, worries. This is creative chaos and focus on the inner world, fun. With the help of furniture, decorative elements, finishing materials and flowers, homeowners express their aspirations, demonstrate to others their character and interests, hobbies, and life credo.

The interior in the Boho style consists of ordinary whitewashed ceilings, laminate or parquet boards on the floor and expressive walls. They are painted in a “rich”, rich color and decorated with photographs in stylish frames and unusual paintings.

When it comes to furniture, it is completely different: from classic to rustic and vintage. In one room you will see representatives of different styles, but certainly with a bright appearance and their own history. Only glossy surfaces and chrome fittings are prohibited. The lighting is warm and soft, and the decor is reminiscent of the residents’ hobbies. These are magnets, collections of records and disks, books, paintings, antiques, etc.


Classicism is a design direction that, translated from Latin, means “exemplary.” This is an interior style that has absorbed the ideals of ancient art. It is difficult to imagine it without ornate shapes, expensive decor and symmetrical proportions.

It was in this style that palaces and houses of rulers were decorated 2-4 centuries ago. Now they successfully continue to use its basic principles, trying to adapt them to real conditions. Initially, classicism was created for huge rooms in which columns, a fireplace, luxurious furniture sets and voluminous stucco moldings could easily fit. Now, in spacious cottages and city apartments, light decorative columns and small fireplaces lined with natural stone are installed.

Usually the entire design project consists of three color schemes: a light background, shimmer and a bright, but not “screaming” color. All shades of white are suitable for the background; beautiful tints are created using brown tones. If the walls are not draped with silk or covered with fabric wallpaper, then they are covered with wood panels. There is plaster or matte stretch fabric on the ceiling, parquet on the floor.

Furniture and decorative items made from natural materials, mostly handmade. The rooms have a lot of mirrors and reflective surfaces, massive chandeliers with a lot of light bulbs. The walls are decorated with paintings with gilded heavy frames, and the shelves are decorated with porcelain figurines and vases. The most suitable fabrics for classicism are silk, satin, cambric, velvet and muslin.

Art Deco

Art Deco (art deco) is a design direction that is directly related to the decorative arts (this is how the name is translated from French). It combines bright colors, glamorous luxury and ethnic themes, cubism, impressionism and modernism. In fact, this is an intermediate link between functionalism and modernism.

Decorating an apartment in this style will be expensive, and will appeal to those who are used to being in the spotlight and leading a social life. The interior turns out to be not integral, but scattered, as if consisting of various elements. Here, strict geometry coexists with exotic prints and floral patterns, graceful shapes. Sometimes the space looks more like an exhibition space (an art gallery) than a residential space.

Luxury hotels and mansions of the European and American elite and bohemians are decorated in the Art Deco style. Such interiors can be seen in Hollywood movies. What do they have in common? Natural materials: fur, bronze, exotic types of leather and wood. Eye-catching wall decoration – Venetian plaster, wood panels and wallpaper, fabric. Minimum contrast color palette: mainly black, gold, brown colors, and mother-of-pearl are used.

The furniture is varnished from dark wood, with a streamlined shape, many drawers, curved legs and metal handles. Genuine leather is used as upholstery. The interior is decorated with expensive tablecloths, carpets, fabric panels, and decorative pillows in covers. The symbol of Art Deco is the iris, so its image can also often be seen on various surfaces. The most popular decorative items are a colored glass vase and a sculpture of a man frozen in an unusual pose.

Empire style

Empire is a strict, majestic and monumental, imperial style of interior design. Associated with the residence of a ruler or a luxurious palace, military symbols and gold jewelry. Associated with the reign of Napoleon and replaced restrained classicism.

The new design direction was inextricably linked with heroism and military action, hence the large amount of gilding and weapons, orders, shields, and paintings of battles. It symbolized the power of a ruler or an entire state, emphasizing the high status of the owner of real estate. Now politicians, ambitious statesmen, businessmen and celebrities are resorting to such decoration of premises.

The Empire style looks organically in large offices, dining rooms, halls and living rooms. You can find elements of classicism, Greek and Egyptian culture in it. The interior is filled with natural materials: dark wood, bronze, marble, and crystal. The walls are covered with silk wallpaper, or bronze and wooden panels are used for decoration. For the floor, choose a suitable stone or parquet.

The main color combination for the Empire style is gold and rich red; red and white also look good. For the premises, choose furniture with smooth curves and symmetrical shapes, armrests and legs reminiscent of animal figures. There are certainly velvet or leather armchairs, a sideboard and a round table, curtains with complex designs and fancy lighting fixtures.

The decor includes helmets, guns, pennants, bas-reliefs, stucco with animal heads, skins, and armor. There are also stone and bronze busts and sculptures. In the evening and at night, the spacious room is illuminated by a massive chandelier, sconce, metal floor lamp and table candelabra.


Kitsch is a collective term, an analogue of the German “bad taste”, which is used in art. This is the name given to low-grade, unaesthetic, vulgar or overly sentimental and unoriginal objects of mass culture. They have nothing to do with high art, but they can evoke completely different feelings: from hatred to admiration.

Such bad taste is often deliberately used in painting, advertising, literature, music, cinema, fashion, show business and interior design. It helps to attract attention and find a response in the soul, albeit sometimes negative.

A house in the kitsch style is a mixture of essentially different design trends, an aggressive combination of colors, an abundance of decor and chaotically arranged trinkets. There should be a lot of everything – that’s the main principle. It happens that things just mindlessly accumulate because it’s a shame to throw them away, and at the flea market they seemed like something irreplaceable and unique. And sometimes they are brought from the best salons, and there must certainly be a place for them in the room, regardless of the general atmosphere.

The interior is created from cheap artificial materials, the most popular being chipboard, plaster, non-natural fabrics, oilcloth. There are no strict restrictions in the selection and use of finishing materials. Furniture can also be antique, respectable, or from the mass market. Usually chairs and tables are bought at thrift stores and “modified” to your taste.

The color scheme deserves special attention; it is garish and disharmonious, complemented by bright lighting. Again, the design of the lighting fixture does not matter. The entire emphasis is on decorative items. Everything here is littered with decorations that should indicate the high social status of the owners. Acid-colored bedspreads, hundreds of exotic figurines, a fireplace made of chipboard, bedspreads with shiny embroidery, etc.

American style

American style is a design direction popular in Canada and America, combining unobtrusive sophistication and functionality. The created interiors remind of the respectability of the owners, home comfort and adherence to family traditions. This style can safely be called one of the types of eclecticism, since it incorporates elements from country, colonial and classical styles, and art deco.

It is ideal for decorating spacious, multi-story country houses. Often on the ground floor the layout is made as open as possible; the hallway, kitchen, living room and dining room are not partitioned off. On the second floor there are bedrooms, children’s rooms, bathrooms and guest rooms, which must be closed with doors to preserve personal space. Designers try to rationally use every square meter.

The rooms are dominated by restrained but complex beige, smoky and green shades, with pink, blue and dark tones acting as accents. Ceilings can be coffered, with wooden beams, laconic stucco or patterned wallpaper. The floors are made of dark wood, and the walls are painted in one color or finished with rough plaster, wood panels, stone, and brick.

American style gravitates towards large, massive furniture with simple shapes and built-in corner shelves and wardrobes. The living room must have comfortable armchairs and a sofa. Japanese or Roman curtains and blinds are hung on the windows; products made from plain fabrics or with geometric patterns are welcome. It can also be found on carpet, pillows, and upholstery.

Choose lighting fixtures with chrome, bronze or forged parts. They actively use floor lamps, a chandelier in the center of the dining area, spotlights, table and floor lamps. The decor includes a fireplace and a painting or mirror located on top, living plants, large figurines and a clock.

English style

The English style is a design direction that has absorbed the traditions of four generations of English monarchs. It was formed over three centuries and includes the principles of interior design that are characteristic of Baroque, Rococo, Classicism, Gothic, and Colonial style. Now it can be described in four words – practical, discreet, cozy, wealthy.

A person should be among good, natural things. It is not customary to change them often, so everyone is accustomed to not skimping on quality. In typical English houses and apartments, it is quite possible to see pieces of furniture with a rich history, which were inherited by more than one generation. Many of them are made from valuable wood species, decorated with traditional checks, flowers, stripes or paisley (drop-shaped ornaments).

The classic English style does not accept cheap items available to everyone. Furniture is often made to order or purchased from antique shops. At the same time, the interior does not look like a department of a museum; it is conducive to cozy family evenings and dinners, tea parties with British, Chinese or Indian porcelain sets.

The color scheme is represented by shades of noble wood, green, burgundy and beige. The ceilings are light, single-color, the flooring is made of walnut or oak parquet in the living rooms, and with tiles in the kitchen and hallway. The walls are covered with wallpaper with discreet patterns, or even plain ones. Furniture is decorated with brass fittings, panels with keyholes, pilasters, handles with complex shapes. They try to hide the equipment behind panels or leave it in niches. Tall floor lamps and wall sconces with matte shades, as well as decor, provide additional comfort. The English style is characterized by the presence of antique accessories, large mirrors in gilded frames, sculptures, objects made of limestone, marble, leather or velvet decorative pillows, massive, solid carpets.

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