14 Home Project Styles

Want to get familiar with different home styles? 

Use the following as a guide to understand and differentiate between styles.

Asian

Asian homes take their cue from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and other Eastern cultures. This style can include everything from Zen gardens to living rooms with furniture arrangements based on Feng-shui principles.

Look for:

Asian-style fabrics or motifs, Buddha sculptures, shoji screens, tatami mats, and paper lanterns

Beach

Beach or coastal homes can either be on the ocean or have a beachy vibe through decor alone. This style can include everything from classic Cape Cod homes to rooms with themed nautical decor.

Look for:

Sailboat, fish and surf decor; wood-shingle siding; boardwalks; docks; crisp whites; light blues or greens; distressed or whitewashed wood; and rope accents

Contemporary

Contemporary homes are the opposite of classic — they are bold and trendy and emphasize popular design. Rooms can have bold colors and mix-and-match textures; kitchens can be sleek and dramatic, with high-gloss cabinets and frosted glass.

Look for:

Bright and contrasting colors, unique furniture shapes, dramatic architectural details and trendy materials or styles, such as chevron patterns, chalkboard paint, and plastic

Eclectic

Eclectic homes have an intentionally collected, curated feel. This category pulls from multiple styles and purposefully mixes patterns, colors, textures, and eras. The homes are unique.

Look for: 

Creative use of contrasting colors, mismatched decor, one-of-a-kind pieces and bold mixtures of all styles, such as a traditional sofa paired with modern art

Farmhouse

Farmhouse homes can either be in a rural, farm-like setting or merely mimic farmhouse decor. This style includes traditional farmhouses with silos, barns, and pastures, as well as small country-style details like rocking chairs and apron-front sinks.

Look for: 

Traditional country-style homes with front porches, picket fences, and simple, unfussy design, as well as antique furniture, butcher block counters and rooster decor

Industrial

Industrial homes replicate the look of a warehouse through the use of unfinished materials and repurposed products. This style includes urban lofts, converted warehouses, and steampunk or general industrial decor.

Look for: 

Lots of metal, concrete, cinder block and exposed brick, as well as repurposed furniture with cables, bolts, and raw materials

Mediterranean

The Mediterranean encompasses a wide variety of styles, including Moroccan, Tuscan, Spanish, and Italian villa. They all have similar characteristics and emphasize warm earth tones and clay, stucco, and tile.

Look for: 

Clay tile roofs, stucco exteriors, terra-cotta tile floors, colorful hand-painted tiles, iron railings, wood-beamed ceilings, elegant furnishings, and arched windows or doors

Mid-century

Mid-century homes were considered modern in the 1950s and 1960s. This style includes Eichler ranches, split-level homes, and mid-century modern decor.

Look for:

Long and low rooflines, retro design, iconic furniture, pop art, and geometric shapes

Modern

True modern homes are not trendy — basic materials and an ordered structure are used to create a clean, simple environment. This style includes minimalist and Bauhaus spaces, as well as grid-like glasshouses.

Look for:

A lack of trendy finishes; use of glass, steel, and stone; straight lines; and minimal texture

Rustic

Rustic homes can either be in the mountains or merely have rugged Western decor. This style includes log cabins, mountain lodges, and other Western-style homes.

Look for: 

Antlers, cowhide rugs, animal prints, taxidermy, knotted wood, oversize leather furnishings, and lanterns

Southwestern

Southwestern homes are defined primarily by their region — they are usually adobe homes in the American Southwest. This style uses earthy tones, rugged textures, and pops of color; it also often includes Native American motifs.

Look for: 

Flat roofs, adobe exterior, painted pottery, colorful tiles, turquoise, bright red, Navajo rugs, longhorn skulls, cactus, tribal patterns, leather; and rough wood

Traditional

Traditional homes have familiar, classic details, materials, and colors. This category includes many styles, such as Tudor, Victorian, and colonial.

Look for:

Conservative color palettes, rich wood tones, crown molding, crystal chandeliers and classic prints, such as florals, plaids, and stripes

Transitional

Transitional homes fall between traditional and contemporary — they are often traditional homes that are evolving toward an updated, trendier look. Spaces done in this style include ones with popular finishes, colors, and materials, but they aren’t quite as bold as contemporary homes.

Look for:

Neutral colors (especially gray), minimal ornamentation, simple lines and small, trendy details, such as nailhead finishes, that update an elegant, traditional space

Tropical

Tropical homes have an exotic, vacation-style appeal, with features like plantation shutters and oversize porches. This style includes island homes, colonial-plantation-style homes, and tropical-themed spaces.

Look for:

Palm trees (real or fake), storm shutters, coral motifs, seashells, lanais, grass roofs, tile flooring, outdoor showers, exotic woods, and natural textures