15 Home Design Styles to Motivate a Makeover

Which type of home design do you prefer? Minimalist or Country? Eclectic or Industrial? The Wall Street Journal provides an abundant amount of signature styles such as those above that might inspire you to makeover your own home! There's even a bonus poll included at the end! 

 

Consider the column: seemingly straightforward, it’s a form with endless permutations, from rough-hewn wood to polished marble to rutted concrete. Home design is like that. A signature style emerges from even the simplest of items. Here, a partial and impressionistic list of styles, with examples drawn from the archives of Mansion. Take the poll at the end to weigh in on your favorite one.

 
PHOTO: RUSH JAGOE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JEFF HERR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: STEFANO SCATA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: JEFF HERR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ENGIN AYDENIZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

CLASSICISM. Every surface is an opportunity to channel your inner aristocrat: an upholstered fainting couch here, a carved ceiling coffer there. To achieve this look, you’ll need Corinthian columns and multi-layered chandeliers, draperies that truly drape and moldings upon moldings. And don’t forget the rotunda.

 
PHOTO: JEREMIE SOUTEYRAT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: HERMAN VAN HEUSDEN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: JEREMIE SOUTEYRAT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: FELIX ODELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: VANESSA BERBERIAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

MINIMALIST. Simplify. Take the paintings off the walls, the hardware off the cabinets, the tchotchkes off the shelves. Invest in unfussy pieces in neutral colors. Not everyone will be a fan, but perhaps your psyche will benefit from a dose of minimalism.

 
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ANDREW SHERMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

COUNTRY. A four-poster bed lends a touch of luxury to a farmhouse without going overboard. Other elements include a rustic-looking hearth, a clawfoot tub in a warm brick color and wallpaper evoking a field of wildflowers. In the kitchen, try glass-fronted cabinets to show off a collection of patterned dishes.

 
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: ERICA GANNETT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: VIVIAN JOHNSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

ECLECTIC. For those who dare, go eclectic. Toss together mirrored panels, shag carpets and acid-trip colors. Combine a faux tiger-skin throw with a blue-velvet armchair. Use an ornately carved stone table in the master bath. Cover a wall in graffiti and stickers. The only rule? There are no rules.

 
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DREW KELLY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: CHRIS SMITH FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DREW KELLY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

MIDCENTURY MODERN. Considering its continued ubiquity, midcentury-modern style is one of the easiest to test out without a full-scale renovation. A casual wooden lounge chair or boxy sideboard will do the trick—no time travel needed.

 
PHOTO: CHERRY LI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: AARON JOEL SANTOS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: AARON JOEL SANTOS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: AARON JOEL SANTOS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: STEPHEN VOSS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: AARON JOEL SANTOS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JEREMIE SOUTEYRAT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

EAST ASIAN. For faraway flair, incorporate the style of a hutong, the traditional courtyard home of Beijing. A pagoda roof and secluded garden are perfect, but smaller touches include a colorful lantern, intricate woodwork or patterns that evoke calligraphy.

 
PHOTO: BRIE WILLIAMS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: STEPHEN VOSS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: STEPHEN VOSS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: GREG VON DOERSTEN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: MIKE BELLEME FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

RUSTIC. Borrow the style of a cozy cabin with wood from floor to ceiling to bedpost and chair leg. An old-fashioned stove adds country charm, as does a checked curtain or watering can of wildflowers.

 
PHOTO: SALVA LÓPEZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JAMES RAJOTTE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: SALVA LÓPEZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: SALVA LÓPEZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JAMES RAJOTTE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

MEDITERRANEAN. Bring in a whiff of the Mediterranean without crossing your front doorstep. Add in Spanish tiles or a heavy rug. Rough stucco walls imitate a seaside villa. And a hammock doesn’t hurt.

 
 
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: MICHAL CZERWONKA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: MICHAL CZERWONKA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: DREW KELLY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ERICA GANNETT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ERICA GANNETT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JEAN ALLSOPP FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

INDUSTRIAL. Industrial style works even if you don’t live in a downtown loft. Channel the factory floor at home with exposed brick, ductwork, concrete, garage doors used indoors and corrugated steel.

 
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: STEFANO SCATÀ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: GIEVES ANDERSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

BOHEMIAN. Evoke a sophisticated version of bohemian style with mismatched chairs around the kitchen table, an abundance of cushions in contrasting patterns and books crammed onto shelf upon shelf. No need to hide your colorful scarves, chunky jewelry or well-worn pots and pans—these are yet more items to express your style.

 
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ERICA GANNETT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: ERICA GANNETT FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JAMES RAJOTTE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

TRADITIONAL. For something more traditional, think of book-lined libraries, staircases with balustrades and bedrooms with four-poster beds. Perfectly suitable outside New England and the Upper East Side.

 
PHOTO: ENGIN AYDENIZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ENGIN AYDENIZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ENGIN AYDENIZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: ELIE ABI HANNA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ENGIN AYDENIZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ELIE ABI HANNA FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ENGIN AYDENIZ FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

GLOBAL. For the globe-trotting homeowner, only an abode filled with worldly influences will do. In one country house, it’s a yoga teepee with a disco ball. In others, fresco work illuminates the ceilings.

 
PHOTO: BRIE WILLIAMS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ANDREW SHERMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: ANDREW SHERMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ANDREW SHERMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ANDREW SHERMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: NICK PIRONIO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

SOUTHERN. Southern style is tricky to pin down, but perhaps it is most easily summed up in its mix of tradition and playfulness. It’s a mantel set with both candelabras and a pitcher of purple ferns. It’s the countrified pattern of a quilt on matching twin beds. It’s an ornately framed mirror on a butter-cream-colored wall.

 
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: JULIE BIDWELL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: BOB O'CONNOR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

BEACH HOUSE. Beach style need not mean pictures of ships and whale figurines (though one or two won’t hurt). Think crisp white linen for the furniture and bedding; wood paneling on the walls, wicker chairs and a muted color palette drawn from the insides of seashells.

 
PHOTO: DOROTHY HONG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JOE SCHMELZER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JOE SCHMELZER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
PHOTO: ALEXIA FODERE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: LISA CORSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: JOE SCHMELZER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PHOTO: ROGER MOUKARZEL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

CONTEMPORARY. Even an old home can accommodate a contemporary makeover. Clear out the clutter, add in a few low-to-the-ground furniture pieces and bring it home with something over the top: a cement block fireplace or an eye-catching artwork that spans a full wall.