Ideas and Inspirations for the Home

Furniture Styles Guide: Interior Décor and Furniture Styles – Explained [2020]

Aug 5, 2020

Furniture 411

your guide to interior décor and furniture styles

EDIT: see our infographic on this subject

Before you start shopping for furniture for your home, you’ll want to choose which furniture style you want to decorate with. That’s why the interior design experts at Star Furniture created this furniture styles guide, which offers a quick look at various interior décor and furniture styles, including traditional, transitional, modern, contemporary, arts and crafts, and more. Find your favorite home décor style and start decorating today!

Arts and Crafts Style Furniture

Marlene 5-Piece Round Dining Room Set
Arts & Crafts Dining Room Décor

The arts and crafts furniture style is a handmade folk style that flourished between 1880 and 1920. The Arts and Crafts movement originated as an anti-industrial reaction and also stood for social economic reform. It emphasizes the inherent beauty of materials and produced other popular interior design styles, including craftsman and mission style.

Arts and Craft Furniture Characteristics

  • Natural wood with prominent grain
  • Blocky shapes
  • Rectilinear shapes and hard edges
  • Exposed joints
  • Clean but strong lines
  • Minimal accent detailing

Classic Contemporary Style Furniture

Farmhouse Style Living Room
Classic Contemporary Living Room Décor
Poster Bed With Upholstered Headboard
Classic Contemporary Bedroom Décor
Madera White & Grey 5-Piece Leg Dining Set
Classic Contemporary Dining Room Décor

The classic contemporary furniture style combines the traditional with the modern to create a timeless, casual design. This innocuous style is recognizable through the use of simplified shapes and a mix of soft and smooth textures.

Classic Contemporary Furniture Characteristics

  • Rounded furniture lines
  • Soft curved lines
  • Inviting, soft textures
  • Muted color schemes
  • Shiny, reflective surfaces

Contemporary Furniture Style

Modern Contemporary Living Room Arrangement
Contemporary Living Room Décor
Olson 5-Piece Glass Dining Set
Contemporary Dining Room Décor
Modern Uholstered Wall Bed
Contemporary Bedroom Décor

The contemporary furniture style has evolved considerably since its birth and is now a combination of the old and new ideals which are constantly shifting to accommodate new home décor trends. Some contemporary ideas are influenced by nature, futuristic style, and cutting edge aspects, while others lean toward industrial, technical, and oversimplified style. Because contemporary furniture design refers to the popular interior design styles of the moment, it often borrows elements from other décor styles, including everything from modern to traditional furniture, and everything in between.

Contemporary Furniture Characteristics

  • Straight lines
  • Sharp corners
  • Wide curves
  • Spherical shapes
  • Solid colors
  • Minimalist décor
  • Bold colors and high contrast
  • Monochromatic color schemes
  • Mixed metals and solid surfaces

Recommended Reading: Contemporary Furniture Explained

Country Furniture Style

Roslyn Country 5-Piece Rectangle Dining Room Set
Country Dining Room Décor
Magnolia Farmhouse Bed
Country Bedroom Décor

There are many subcategories to the country furniture style, including farmhouse style and country cottage style, but almost all versions have a cozy and quaint feel to them. The palette is a mixture of colors and prints. Distressed wood is frequently used, as well as antiques that have an old barn or farmhouse style vibe.

Country Furniture Characteristics

  • Distressed wood
  • Antique furniture & accessories
  • Raw wood exposed beams
  • Natural materials
  • Soft colors
  • Small prints and plaids
  • Practicality in form and function

Recommended Reading: Farmhouse Style Explained

Eclectic Furniture Style

Canopy Bed With Bedroom Bench & Rug
Eclectic Bedroom Décor

Possibly the most difficult décor to describe, eclectic interior design style is essentially a combination of all other furniture styles. Mixing and matching a myriad of styles is heavily encouraged, with an emphasis on incorporating vintage accessories and bright colors.

Eclectic Furniture Characteristics

  • Vintage furniture pieces and accessories
  • Bright, bold colors
  • Combining pieces from all different interior design styles
  • Contemporary offbeat items
  • Mixed motifs
  • Generous use of accessories and accent furniture

Modern Furniture Style

Blue Velvet Sofas
Modern Living Room Décor
Modern Dining Room
Modern Dining Room Décor

The modern interior design style originated in the 1900s with the Bauhaus Movement, an architectural and visual ideal where form and function came together. Furniture was starting to be mass produced in a manner that was still pleasing to the eye, whereas it was once commissioned one piece at a time by the wealthy. Then, a manufacturing shift occurred and produced a host of new materials including black leather, glass, and Ultrasuede, which were then incorporated into modern style furniture.

Modern Furniture Characteristics

  • Natural forms of materials
  • Lacquered finishes
  • Simplified shapes and furniture silhouettes
  • Functionality over form
  • Ergonomic designs
  • Bold accent colors

Recommended Reading: Modern Furniture Style Explained

Rustic Furniture Style

Rustic Living Room
Rustic Bedroom Furniture
Rustic Bedroom Decor

Rustic furniture is often comprised partly or wholly of locally found or reclaimed materials such as wood, bark, roots, branches, burls and other natural materials. Generally speaking, rustic furniture tends to be simple and handmade, with a visual emphasis on natural materials. It also tends to have a large scale and is designed to feel cozy and comfortable.

Rustic Furniture Characteristics

  • Raw materials
  • Distressed metal, leather, and wood
  • Hair on hides
  • Stone accents
  • Fireplaces
  • Cozy seating
  • Biophilic design

Recommended Reading: Rustic Furniture Explained

Shabby-Chic Furniture Style

Shabby Chic Upholstered Bed
Shabby Chic Bedroom Décor

Originating from Britain, this interior design style relies mainly on flea market finds that are usually refinished. The shabby-chic home features a wide range of textures, including plush fabrics like chenille, elaborate chandeliers, floral patterned furniture, and more. It is a soft, feminine, and romantic way of decorating that looks comfortable and inviting. This furniture style is also sometimes referred to as cottage style.

Shabby Chic Characteristics

  • Colorful vintage items
  • Distressed furniture
  • Bright, white walls
  • Floral patterns
  • Mismatched items and eras
  • Blend of rustic and ornate styles

Traditional Furniture Style

Traditional Sleigh Bed
Traditional Bedroom Décor
Valencia 5-Piece Gathering Height Dining Room Set
Traditional Dining Room Décor

Traditional furniture originated in Europe in the 1600s and has yet to go out of style. Historically, people paid furniture makers by the hour, which meant that more intricate and detailed designs were a sign of status, making well-crafted furniture with these flourishes increasingly popular. Now, the traditional furniture style features regal and often intricately detailed furnishings from a variety of different time periods. This popular interior design style is classic and exudes a timeless feel.

Traditional Furniture Characteristics

  • Rich colors
  • Plush fabrics
  • Curved lines
  • Intricate details
  • Dark woods
  • Lustrous accent materials
  • Crown molding and decorative trims
  • Tapered furniture legs

Recommended Reading: Traditional Furniture Style Explained

Transitional Furniture Style

White Casual L-Shaped Sectional Sofa
Transitional Living Room
Trisha Yearwood Home 5-Piece Dining Room Set
Transitional Dining Room Decor
Distressed Wood Writing Desk with Upholstered Chair
Transitional Home Office Décor

Transitional furniture is the offspring of traditional and contemporary furniture. It takes aspects from both interior design styles and distills them into its own unique look and feel. Transitional design embraces a livable and soft appeal, while radiating a classic flair, making it the best of both worlds.

Transitional Furniture Characteristics

  • Simple lines
  • Monochromatic color schemes
  • Soothing palettes
  • Soft shapes and silhouettes
  • A mixture of curved and straight lines

Recommended Reading: Transitional Furniture Style Explained

Tuscan Furniture Style

Traditional Canopy Bed
Tuscan Bedroom Décor

While living in the countryside of Italy, the tradesman and farmers there initiated the renowned style today know as Tuscan interior design. In general, Tuscan furniture tends to have strong textures and emphasis on natural light. The colors reflect the warm hues found in the Italian countryside landscape, including neutrals, golds, browns, greens, rich reds, and ochers.

Tuscan Furniture Characteristics

  • Stucco
  • Terra cotta tiles
  • Scrolling iron
  • Patterned and bright accessories
  • Exposed wooden beams
  • Soft chenille
  • Intricate detailing
  • Rich wood tones

No matter what interior design style you choose, you’ll find everything you need at a Star Furniture store near you. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog where we cover everything from popular interior design trends to how to decorate your home on a budget.