How to Determine Your Home Decor Style

How to Determine Your Home Decor Style

If you’ve ever wondered how to figure out your decor style—or whether you even have one—you’re not alone. Do you walk into someone else’s home and marvel over how everything seems so put together, yet have no idea how to achieve that yourself? Determining your own decorating style can be difficult if you’re not sure where to begin. The good news is you can do it, even if you don’t know that much about design. Not sure about the difference between modern and contemporary? Does the term “mid-century modern” leave you confused? We’ll outline the basics for 5 of the most popular styles as well as help you figure out your own decor preferences.


Modern design is a trend that has become increasingly popular. What was once thought of as a style reserved for trendsetters with lofts in big cities, modern design is now embraced in homes across the country. The key word is simplicity. It features crisp, clean lines, a neutral color palette, and materials such as steel and metal. Keeping in line with the simple theme, modern decor focuses on keeping things uncluttered, with open spaces that allow for functionality and embrace technology.


Though modern and contemporary are often lumped into the same category, subtle differences distinguish each one from the other. Contemporary style focuses on the here and now and is more malleable than modern design, which harkens back to its roots of beginning in the 20th century instead of updating with the times. Contemporary design focuses on the basics of line, shape, and form, featuring softer and more rounded lines than the stark ones found with modern design.

close up of white coffee mug on modern white and light brown wood coffee table

Mid-century modern

Mid-century modern design is the ancestor of today’s modern style. The peak period lasted from about the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, though the style has endured for many homeowners. It celebrates a love of different materials, natural curves, and clean lines. Mid-century modern can be thought of as minimalistic. It allows function to lead form and focuses on a sleek, uncluttered look while experimenting with contrasts that draw the eye.

New materials such as plastic in its natural form influenced designers in the later years. Adherents enjoy a range of colors, including bold and neutral, and also love stark black and white.


Above all, traditional decor relies on comfort and the familiar. It harbors a European look and feel, with classic details and furnishings, a variety of color and rich woods, and comfortable fabrics and accessories. It can include things like antique furnishings or florals, and is truly defined by styles that feel familiar. It is sometimes maligned for being outdated or not daring enough, but it is perfect for those who prefer the welcoming style of it. A traditional decor style relies on balance and symmetry, with matching furniture that is arranged in a natural way.


With the surging interest in DIY projects and websites like Pinterest to help complete them, rustic home decor has risen in popularity in recent years. Rustic decor emphasizes rugged, organic beauty, with natural textures and warm and earthy colors. The style charms guests with its cozy furnishings and hand-stitched fabrics. The weathered materials frequently found with this decorating style lend a homey and inviting feel to homes. Create your own accents, or browse flea markets and garage sales to make the most of this stye.

Still not quite sure which style is most appealing to you? Take this quiz from HGTV to understand more about your inclinations when it comes to home decor. Don’t feel tied down by any one style, though. Most people find they love elements of a few different styles. Choose what works for you and, above all, decorate your home in a way that makes you happy.

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How to Determine Your Home Decor Style

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