Trying to figure out what style of home design you want? Since most homes today combine different styles, it’s helpful to understand the difference between each style so you can communicate the look and feel you want to achieve.
Most interior design styles are defined by the different periods that the styles emerged from. As outlined here we will explain what Traditional, Victoria, Mid-Century Modern, Industrial and Contemporary styles are. Since Transitional style describes a blend of styles rather than a specific era, we have also taken the time to explain that separately.
1700s to 1800s
mid 1800s to early 1900s
1940s to 1970s
current (not a specific era)
Traditional design refers to one that is influenced by 18th and 19th century European décor. You’ll often find that Traditional homes are symmetrical and orderly and carry a sense of sophistication. They have neutral colored walls and rich hardwood floors.
Traditional style is great for having antiques and regal furniture with prominent curves. Wingback chairs and claw-footed tables are not uncommon.
The Victorian home is inspired by styles that popped up between the early to mid 1800s to early 1900s. As an indicator of status, these homes are often furnished with excessive and elaborate details and accessories.
Victorian home designs are asymmetrical in shape, with a lot of decorative trim, and textured walls. The colors are warm and soft, while deep, dark hues are reserved for areas of importance, such as the master bedroom. Gold is frequently used to give a luxurious feel.
An iconic example of Victorian houses is Painted Ladies, the row of homes in San Francisco, California.
Mid-Century Modern design refers to the styles that emerged post-war, between 1940s and 1970s. It focuses on simplicity, using bare elements and natural curves to highlight function and open space.
These homes have large windows, furniture with clean lines and décor that is modern or geometric. Mid-Century designs don’t shy from using bold and loud colors.
Trending since the late 2000s, Industrial style came about from converting industrial spaces into lofts and restaurants. It is characterized by exposed brick, steel beams, lighting fixtures, concrete, and use of raw materials like wood. The unfinished industrial feel is commonly achieved with grays, neutrals and rustic colors.
Not to be confused with Modern design, which refers to a style in the 1950s, Contemporary design simply refers to whatever is current, or trending.
The new Honest Company office at Playa Vista is a great example of contemporary design.
Here you can see bold use of black on the window sections, dining chairs, and cabinets. It is balanced with bright walls and neutral tones of wood. The exposed pipe-lined ceilings give it a hint of raw, industrial feel as well.
For kitchen trends, read our article on 6 Kitchen Cabinetry Trends.
Traditional furniture can be upholstered with modern style fabrics for a Transitional look.
Transitional home design is a marriage of traditional and modern styles. When combined in a cohesive way, the result can be comfortable and timeless. With Transitional designs, it is common to use neutral colors to emphasize the lines of the furniture.
Hopefully this helped you understand the difference between the home design styles. Now you can transform your Traditional or Mid-Century Modern home and make it more Transitional and Contemporary!
Get in touch with our remodelling experts to discuss your project.