How to find out what style of living room you like

If you’ve watched any of the countless TV shows that deal with makeovers and remodels, then you’ve probably heard the show’s designers discuss terms that describe different styles: modern, rustic, vintage, county, contemporary, colonial, etc. .

But what does all this mean? In most cases, you’ll want to choose a style before you start redecorating, so let’s go over the various design styles so you can match them to your taste in furniture and décor.


There are several styles of American furniture: antique, modern, rustic, country, and Amish.

Antique: This style is just what it says on the tin. The look harkens back to styles that arrived from Europe roughly between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. They are practical pieces that may have some nice details, but they were designed to be used, not simply admired.

Traditional: This includes Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Hipplewite furniture. The woods are typically dark and the furnishings are characterized by ornate carvings and an overall stately appearance. They make a living room look extremely formal and elegant.

Modern – Also known as contemporary furniture, modern takes a page from the visionary designers of modernism who felt that form should follow function. As such, the pieces are streamlined and lack blatant ornamentation. Modern parts typically use chrome or stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, and fiberglass. Much of it is playful in nature and the emphasis is on comfort.

Rustic – This style emphasizes natural materials, handmade pieces, and often has regional or cultural influences. It is very casual and organic in approach and feeling. A rustic living room can feel like a cozy cabin that is comfortable and inviting.

Country: This living room style would focus on comfort and color. The use of clean lines and equally plain furniture is complemented by natural fibers, a weathered look to the wood pieces, and country-style fabrics.

Amish: This has a beautiful handcrafted look. The Amish use lighter colored woods like pine and oak, giving your room a warm, relaxed look that emphasizes craftsmanship and clean lines.


Of course, European-influenced furniture can take many forms, given the centuries of influences from some of the greatest cultures in ancient and modern history.

English: An English-inspired living room has lots of oak, walnut, and mahogany furniture that has a dark, heavy look. Handcrafted details are evident and decoration is limited.

English: Obviously Louis IVX furniture comes to mind when you think of French decor. The carvings are very intricate and the elaborate furnishings use lush fabrics. It gives the living room an elegant and formal look.

Italian: Italian styles are also ornate, but are usually larger than French styles. A hall decorated in the Italian style would take its influences from classical Roman architecture, using materials such as marble and stone.

Other styles

Many people gravitate towards less formal styles. This can include urban and eclectic approaches to living room décor.

Urban: This is a very minimalist design style. Think of IKEA and you will get an idea of ​​the urban look. The woods are black, blonde or white with lots of glass and brushed aluminum. The pieces are tailored for smaller rooms and work well in a small flat or apartment.

Eclectic – If you want your room to be a mix of styles, you might consider an eclectic approach to your living room. While the pieces may span different periods or styles, they are tied together with a common color palette, texture, shape, or finish.

As you can see, there is a style for almost every taste. When deciding what style your living room should be, you should go with your personal preferences. You want something that reflects your lifestyle and tastes, not that of a famous interior designer or something you saw on HGTV.

A big part of your decision will be the type of house you live in and the approach the builders used to build your house. For example, you may want to go for an Amish look in an Arts & Crafts home, while a downtown loft may call for a more modern, contemporary, or even urban approach.

The best way to narrow down your options is to look at the different styles online. Start by saving photos of rooms you like or furniture that particularly appeals to you. Once you have a collection of photos, go through them and look for common themes, such as colors, textures, design elements, or style. The results may surprise you. Instead of thinking urban is what you’re after, you may find yourself drawn to traditional or vintage styles. By focusing on images instead of labels, you may find yourself liking a style that you never would have thought of if it had a particular name.

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