Furniture styles: the most popular types

Casual, mid-century modern, traditional, contemporary, modern… the list of styles goes on and on. With a variety of designs, it not easy to comprehend which furniture will work best for your space… We have tried to make understandable list of major furniture styles popular in homes.


Traditional style of furniture reproduces the classic decor with European flair. Traditional design emphasizes elegance and simplicity. The main characteristics are deep colors and wood tones, decorative details and a variety of ornamental elements.

Forms: classic silhouettes, curved lines, wing and Queen Anne backs, claw and bun feet.

Colors: deep wood finishes, rich shades of brown, cherry, espresso, merlot, black and white.

Fabrics and textiles: upholstery in rich and solid colors. Noble materials like leather, velvet, silk are used. This style can also include more affordable fabrics, such as chenille, linen or cotton. Floral, foliar or damasks patterns are widely used.

Accents: decorative details like moldings, paneling, intricate embellishments, throw pillows are abundantly used.


Contemporary furniture design describes the style that’s based on present times — “the here and now”. In that case it’s similar to the modern. Contemporary furniture style is fluid — it may contain smooth shapes and curved lines.

Forms: simple silhouettes, crisp or curved lines, geometric shapes.

Colors: glossy finishes, neutral colors such as black, white, gray, silver, chrome.

Materials: metal, steel, wood, plastic and glass.

Fabrics and textiles: microfiber and suede, leather, vinyl and PU.

Accents: few ornamental details.


With a sense of simplicity, modern furniture style is defined by clean and crisp lines, a simple design, neutral color palette, and “cold” materials. The style grew out of the decorative arts and was started in the 20th century.

Forms: clean silhouettes, crisp lines, geometric shapes.

Colors: neutral colors and glossy finishes, black and white palette, gray.

Materials: wood, plastic, metal, steel and glass. Natural wood with wood grain pattern can be found.

Fabrics and textiles: leather, vinyl and faux leather, PU, microfiber.

Accents: few ornamental details.


Borrowing the best from modern and traditional designs, the transitional is another popular furniture style in current home interiors. The design offers a balance of both classic elegance and modern materials. This style may blend plush and noble furnishings with steel materials and glass elements.

Forms: straight or curved lines, classic or modern silhouettes.

Colors: mix of wood and glossy finishes. Various colors can be used.

Fabrics and textiles: warm and inviting upholsteries like leather, linen, chenille, velvet.

Accents: intricate decorative details, throw pillows are used.

Mid-Century Modern is the style known for the most iconic furniture pieces in modern design. An architectural and interior design describes mid-20th century progress in development from 1933 to 1965.

Forms: minimalist silhouettes, sophisticated lines, handmade and hand-painted elements.

Colors: natural hardwood finishes, oak, pine, brown, walnut, maple.

Materials: wood, sometimes with natural wood grain patterns.

Fabrics and textiles: upholstery in solid colors. Chenille, linen, cotton materials are frequently used.

Accents: unadorned design and few ornamental details.

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