Which Design Style Are You?

Traditional, transitional, and contemporary are the three most popular interior design styles found in today’s home. Defining the style that most suits your personal taste is an important first step before you make any remodeling or decorating decisions.

How do you know yours? Let’s break down the three primary types of design styles with examples of each. While you may not fit completely into one category, most people’s preferences lean toward one style over the others.


If you’ve toured the Benjamin Harrison House in Indianapolis or the Benton House in historic Irvington, you are well acquainted with the traditional interior design style.

The traditional style is elegant and symmetrical. A gilded painting over the fireplace of a traditionally designed home would hang centered with identical candlesticks flanking it on each side. A traditional furniture grouping would place a couch in the center with matching end tables or chairs on each side.

The setting is layered and elaborate. Furniture lines are curved as typified by wing-backed chairs or Queen Anne legs. Colors are vibrant tones like blues, golds, and reds. Fabrics are often patterned or velvet.

Carved woods are in darker tones. Wainscoting, crown molding, and paneled doors add to the richly layered look. Built-in shelves, arches, and columns are also commonly found in a traditional home.

Traditional Kitchens

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Traditional Bathrooms

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Traditional Interiors

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The transitional style straddles the line between the traditional and contemporary styles. (We’ll get to contemporary next!)

The transitional style is clean and balanced. Furniture styles are simple, but not severe. Picture an upholstered couch and chairs with straight legs and little, if any, tufting. Countertops are finished with a simple edge profile and architectural embellishments are limited.

The palette is neutral with pops of color. Cream, beige, gray, and greige dominate a transitional space. That way the bright colors of a painting, vase, or throw pillow commands the eye’s attention. Shiny and matte finishes are interspersed.

Medium wood tones and textures create interest. The transitional design style uses natural materials like wood, leather, and sisal as part of the decor.

Transitional Kitchens

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Transitional Bathrooms

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Transitional Interiors

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Does your heart give a little pitter-patter when you hear the names Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, or Ieoh Ming Pei? Then there’s a good chance your design style is modern or contemporary!

It’s all about form! Simple geometric shapes dominate the contemporary style.

Colors are monochromatic. Contemporary design is almost the absence of color. Black and white commonly form a neutral backdrop so that glass, glossy metals, and wood take center stage.

Modern style keeps you off balance. Unlike traditional and transitional design styles, the contemporary style is asymmetrical.

Contemporary Kitchens

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Contemporary Bathrooms

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Contemporary Interiors

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If you’re still not sure which types of design styles most closely fit your personal preference, you’re in luck! The professionals at Case Design/Remodeling in Indianapolis can walk you through, step-by-step, in helping you make that determination. Visit one of our two showrooms today!

*All images in this article represent remodeling projects by Case Design/Remodeling Indianapolis










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After 20 years remodeling homes throughout Central Indiana, we’ve decided it’s time for a remodel of our own!  Case locations in Carmel, Meridian Kessler, and Zionsville will become Worthington Design & Remodeling.

The Worthington name pays tribute to our founder and president, Larry Worthington Greene, and demonstrates our unyielding customer promise: your home is worth the very best. Expert design, craftsmanship, service, and superior results remain the cornerstone of all we do. It’s the Worthington Way.

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