How Many Interior Design Styles in the World?

How many interior design styles globally?

Globally, interior design is a vibrant tapestry of creativity and culture. There are believed to be at the very least, an additional 60 unique regional interior design styles, each with its own charm and character, that stand apart from the most prevalent US styles.

According to design industry consensus, there are upwards of 30 recognized interior design styles in the US.  These styles range from the sleek lines and monochromatic color schemes of modern design to the ornate furnishings and rich fabrics of Victorian design. With each style reflecting different periods, cultures, and inspirations, they cater to a diverse set of aesthetic preferences.

The 30 major styles can be more broadly categorized into three main groups: modern, eclectic, and traditional. Each offers a distinct approach to design, marked by specific characteristics and philosophies. 

Modern styles, for instance, typically favor clean lines, minimalism, and a sense of functionality. They are all about simplicity and sleekness. Eclectic styles, on the other hand, are a blend of styles. They offer a harmonious mix of various eras, cultures, and trends. Traditional styles, finally, are known for their timeless elegance and classic designs.

A Comprehensive List of Interior Design Styles 

We’ve compiled and categorized thirty recognized interior design styles under modern, eclectic, and traditional categories from around the web, and the number of new or newly named styles popping up are many! 

However, the exact number can vary greatly depending on methods of definition, cultural influences, regional preferences, and evolving trends. To offer a comprehensive overview, we have categorized the most popular ones into three main groups: Traditional, Modern, and Global

1. Traditional Interior Design Styles 

These styles are deeply rooted in history, drawing inspiration from classic European decor, royal aesthetics, and antique elements. They are characterized by their attention to detail and their use of rich, luxurious materials. Some of the styles that fall under this category include: 

  1. Victorian
  2. French Country
  3. Shabby Chic
  4. Rustic

2. Modern Interior Design Styles 

As the name suggests, these styles reflect the aesthetics of the 20th and 21st centuries. They tend to favor clean lines, minimalist appeal, and a neutral color palette. Among the most recognized modern styles are: 

  • Mid-Century Modern
  • Industrial
  • Scandinavian
  • Contemporary

3. Global Interior Design Styles 

These styles are steeped in the culture and traditions of their countries of origin. They showcase the beauty and diversity of design around the world. Examples include: 

  1. Moroccan
  2. Japanese Zen
  3. Mexican Hacienda
  4. Indian Mughal

“Each style has its unique characteristics that make it stand out, but they all share one thing in common: the ability to transform a space into a reflection of your personality and lifestyle.”

To help you better understand these styles, let’s take a closer look at each category in the following table: 

TraditionalVictorianOrnate details, rich colors, and antique furniture
ModernScandinavianMinimalist design, natural elements, and muted tones
GlobalMoroccanBright colors, intricate patterns, and handcrafted items


What Are the Most Popular Interior Design Styles?

The National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 2019 Design Trends Study reported that contemporary, transitional, and farmhouse designs were among the most popular styles for kitchens and baths. Despite these ‘usual suspect’ styles, there’s an increasing trend towards eclectic design—a mix and match approach that allows homeowners to create personalized spaces. 

In fact, the 2021 Houzz home design trends study found that 14% of renovating homeowners define their home style as eclectic, or ‘between styles’. 

This signals a shift towards more individual and less stereotyped designs—showing that while there may be around 30 recognized and distinctive styles, the actual number of possibilities is limitless when personal creativity comes into play. 

Understanding interior design styles is key not only for interior designers but also for homeowners looking to express their personal style in their living spaces. With each style offering unique elements, there’s a world of design waiting to be explored.

So, whether you’re a fan of the minimalist Scandinavian design or the bold hues of Bohemian design, there’s a style out there that can transform your space into a reflection of your individual taste.

How to Choose the Style Type That’s Right For You

Choosing the right interior design style for your home is a personal journey. It’s about tuning into your tastes, needs, and lifestyle. However, the sheer number of styles can make this process seem daunting. Here are are our four top tips to guide you. 

1. Understand Your Preferences 

Start by understanding your preferences. Think about the spaces you’ve enjoyed being in – perhaps a friend’s living room, a hotel lobby, or even a movie set. What did these spaces have in common? Was it the color scheme, the furniture, the layout, or the overall ambiance? Make a list of what you liked about these spaces. 

2. Consider Functionality 

While aesthetics are important, functionality is equally crucial. Consider the activities that you’ll be doing in each room. For instance, a kitchen needs to be practical and efficient, while a bedroom should be relaxing and serene. These needs will greatly influence the design style. 

3. Research Different Styles 

Your next step should be researching different interior design styles. There are countless styles out there, from Traditional and Modern to Global styles influenced by different cultures. Each style has its unique characteristics, so understanding these will help you pinpoint what resonates with you. Keep an open mind – you might find that you’re drawn to elements from various styles. 

4. Consult a Professional 

If you’re still having trouble deciding, consider hiring a professional interior designer. They can provide expert advice and help you translate your preferences and lifestyle into a cohesive design. 

In conclusion, choosing the right interior design style should be a fun exploration of your tastes and needs. With a little research and introspection, you can create a space that truly reflects who you are.

The Challenge of Evaluating Global Interior Design Styles

When focusing on the well-documented history of “western” architectural and interior design, it becomes somewhat simpler to reach a consensus on an estimated number of interior design styles. The American design media excels at identifying and promoting various decorating styles.  In fact, many of the leading online shelter magazine publishers and interior and home fashion websites are based in the United States. 

A quick trip to Google reveals the most popular design styles by US State.   And yet, information for many other regions of the globe can be akin to searching for a needle in a haystack.  Despite this challenge, our aim on Design Baddie is to showcase an extensive range of interior design styles prevalent around the world, and hopefully impart a fresh and global perspective on home styling.

How the Media Influences Our Idea Of Interior Styles

The design industry, particularly design publications, play an instrumental role in popularizing what we now refer to as classic or international styles.

In the contemporary world, these styles cross oceans, finding relevance and celebration far from their places of origin. 

Often, a style that started as an adaptation continues to be reinvented. Consequently, our interpretation of what epitomizes a particular style might significantly diverge from its original aesthetic intent. 

Ever wondered what a native Swede thinks about the ‘Scandi’ style?

The Rise of Global Styles

In recent years, there has been an impressive rise in the popularity of global interior design styles. This macro trend has come about largely to the increased interconnectedness of our world – the ease of travel, the global reach of social media, and the growing appreciation for diverse cultures have all played a role. With the world at our fingertips, home owners, designers, and decor enthusiasts are drawing inspiration from every corner of the globe. 

Traditional regional aesthetics are being reimagined in fresh, contemporary ways, making way for an array of global styles that are both unique and eclectic. This global wave is not merely a fad – it’s a reflection of our increasingly diverse, multicultural societies. From the minimalist simplicity of Scandinavian design, the vibrant colors of Moroccan interiors, to the rustic charm of Tuscan style, these global influences are shaping the aesthetics of homes and spaces around the world.

Design: A Representative of Culture

European and American styles have influenced every corner of the globe.  In Australian interior design magazines, popular “local” styles often feature Scandinavian and classic traditional styles. These imported styles merge with the Australian style, creating a unique blend. 

Similarly, South African design magazines also adopt European and American styles, adding a hint of local African regional and cultural flavors. Similar content can be found adapted to locals tastes in Malaysia and Chile, each with its local design elements.

Spreading knowledge about styles and showcasing examples contributes to improving homes and interiors worldwide. The process beautifully combines with our passion for travel. Imagine this – you’re in a fancy hotel in Bangkok, and you spot some familiar Neoclassical chairs. The same type you’ve seen in the White House or a UK interior. There’s a comforting sense of familiarity, right? To me, these small links make interior design so interesting. 

New Global Style Kids on the Block

There’s always a sense of thrill when fresh styles start to emerge on the interior design landscape. Take the African Modern design trend a few years back, for instance. It’s truly exhilarating to see a once completely unknown style, and with it African artists, garnering more recognition. 

Isn’t it incredible how we can appreciate and draw inspiration from the aesthetics of diverse cultures? Their unique perspectives and interpretations of beauty truly enrich our design palette. 

Like fashion, interior design trends changes often, just at a slightly slower pace. And through all the changes in global tastes as well as our own, what matters most is finding our own enduring style.  As the grand madame Coco Chanel once said,

“Fashion comes and goes, but style remains.”

 Design Baddie Style Project

Our goal here at Design Baddie is to equip you, our style loving readers, with a comprehensive range of style resources, guides, and inspirations. Whether you’re a budding interior designer looking to broaden your horizons, or a homeowner seeking to infuse a new style into your space, we’ve got you covered.

Besides style resources our articles aim to empower you to design spaces that not only look good, but also do good.  Whether it’s through sustainable design practices, or design for social change, we aim to inspire a generation of designers and homeowners to create spaces that are both beautiful and beneficial to the world.

So, stay tuned! 

Explore with us, learn with us, and let’s create beautiful spaces together.

Sign up to get further updates on this project, as well as design for social change and improving the environment right here on Design Baddie.


Designer, writer & educator living in East Asia since 2001

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