Hello there, Beautiful!
Welcome to our Decorating Styles page.
Here you will find everything you need to know about your personal decorating style:
- A helpful description of each decorating style.
- Links to the best places to shop for your personal decorating style.
- A dedicated Pinterest board for each style, so you can find even more inspiration for your own home!
If you just came from the What’s Your Decorating Style? quiz and you know what your style is, just scroll down to find the style you’re looking for.
*It’s important to note that you may not fit entirely into one style category and that’s okay! You are the only one who can determine your personal style. The quiz and the results are simply meant to aid you in your discovery!
If you don’t know your style, or found the quiz results unhelpful, you can find a more in-depth way to find your style in our Cozy & Beautiful handbook.
(This page contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure here.)
In contemporary decorating, the key is soft clean-lined birch, maple or mid-20th century furniture and open concept living. Neat and uncluttered spaces are appropriately accessorized with just a few large and interesting pieces. Contemporary color schemes are either monochromatic or neutral with a few bold pops of color. Windows are often bare and ceilings are high. Floor and table lamps have straight lines and sleek metal finishes. Contemporary spaces are sophisticated but not ornate.
Key elements of Contemporary Style Decor:
- clean-line furniture
- open concept rooms
- birch or maple
- monochromatic or bold pops of color
Where to shop for Contemporary Decor:
Cottage is somewhat like the styles of Vintage, Shabby Chic and Retro. But it is very casual and charming. Furniture is often adapted for other uses – like a bench becoming a coffee table. It also tends to be beachy, accented with sea shells and sand filled jars. Cottage style is airy and light and laid back.
Key elements of Cottage Style Decor:
- very casual and charming
- furniture is repurposed
- beachy and coastal elements
- airy and light
- monochromatic or shades of blue and green
Where to shop for Cottage Decor:
Picture pine or painted antiques, quilts, baskets and folk art. Country decorating can be either simple Americana (often red, white and blue) or more decorative French country. Colors used in country decorating typically include barn red, mustard yellow, black, dark green, buttermilk or rust. Ladder-back or Windsor chairs, pie safes, tin ware and plaids and checks further depict Country decorating.
Key elements of Country Style Decor:
- pine or painted furniture
- folk art
- Americana or French country
- barn red, mustard yellow, black, dark green buttermilk, or rust
- pie safes, tinware
- plaids and checks
Where to shop for Country Decor:
Also known as authentic and original, eclectic decorating throws out all the ‘rules’ and let’s you create something that is uniquely you. Pieces can be drawn from two or three of the other decorating styles. But beware of messy overload! Scale matters and so does color. Think of balancing yin and yang. It’s best to keep the basic color palette neutral and then mix and match furniture and accessories as your heart desires. Pair an antique farm table with modern metal chairs. Stack favorite books on a side table. Place a geometric patterned pillow in a bold color on a classic wing chair. Use your imagination.
Key elements of Eclectic Style Decor:
- authentic and original
- no rules
- draws from many styles
- difficult to balance
Where to shop for Eclectic Decor:
Farmhouse Industrial/Fixer Upper Style
Vintage pieces like old grocery store signs and feed sacks mixed with lots of metal wire baskets, industrial spool tables, metal shelving, aluminum stools, and industrial look lighting. Or subway art, old shipping crates, rusty gears as doorstops, a table made of wood palette and a large crystal chandelier could be used. If you’re lucky enough to live in a true hard loft, industrial chic will naturally define your space: exposed brick walls, ductwork, a suspended barn door and cement floors. But this look can be created in almost any room you wish with the right elements.
Key elements of Farmhouse Industrial/Fixer Upper Style Decor:
- vintage pieces
- architectural salvage
- subway art, shipping crates, rusty machinery parts
- exposed brick and ductwork
- barn doors
Where to shop for Farmhouse Industrial/Fixer Upper Decor:
Modern style is clean, streamlined, sometimes neutral and sometimes with bold pops of color. It is characterized by polished surfaces (concrete, granite, chrome, lacquer and stainless steel), geometric shapes and asymmetry. Art is composed of bold shapes and forms and shows best when spotlighted. Sometimes described as stark, modern decorating can be warmed up with the addition of texture in a sisal or shag rug or grass cloth wall covering.
Key elements of Modern Style Decor:
- clean, streamlined
- polished surfaces
- concrete, granite, chrome, lacquer
- geometric shapes
- sometimes stark
Where to shop for Modern Decor:
Light-hearted and funky, Retro decorating isn’t confined to any one decade, but can be a mix of anything from the 1930’s art deco to the psychedelic 1960s. A lava lamp, vintage clock, jukebox, 1950s fridge, checkered vinyl floor and chrome and vinyl furniture make up an overall Retro look. Vintage collectors and flea market shoppers love this look.
Key elements of Retro Style Decor:
- light-hearted and funky
- spans many decades
- lava lamps, jukeboxes
- checkered floors
- vinyl and chrome furniture
Where to shop for Retro Decor:
Shabby Chic Style
Made popular by Rachel Ashwell and her retail chain in the1980s, shabby chic decorating combines the idea that something worn and perhaps dilapidated can also be elegant and stylish. Simple slipcovers, flower arrangements like roses or hydrangeas, chippy painted or white-washed wood furniture and shades of white (and other soft colors) are indicative of shabby chic decorating. Vintage mirrors, spray painted formerly brass chandeliers with hanging crystals, handcrafted and vintage as opposed to mass produced.
Key elements of Shabby Chic Style Decor:
- worn and timeless
- elegant and stylish
- slipcovers, flowers
- chippy paint and white wash
- not mass-produced
Where to shop for Shabby Chic Decor:
Traditional decorating is frequently associated with older generations, but can be adapted to suit younger families. Traditional decorating is calm, orderly, predictable and full of classic lines and understated details. Furniture may seem outdated and it is often in matching sets – like a complete dining room set or perfectly matching coffee table and end tables. Think wall sconces, tassel-trimmed full drapery, wing chairs, extensive moldings, highly polished dark cherry or mahogany wood. Fabrics include silk, velvet and damask. Accessories tend toward ornate gilded mirrors and artwork inspired by nature. Furniture layouts are quite formal and placed at right angles from each other. Keep it even and organized with Traditional decorating.
Key elements of Traditional Style Decor:
- typically older generations
- calm, orderly, predictable
- classic lines and understated details
- full drapery, wing chairs, matching sets
- silk, velvet, damask
- extensive moldings
- right angles
Where to shop for Traditional Decor: