Decorating styles have evolved over the centuries in response to the changing tastes of various groups of people. Every style has benefits to the people who will enjoy the home for many years to come. Many styles were born out of previous styles and have evolved into a distinct type of decorating for a certain feel. Each of the following designs expresses personality and taste specific to an era.

1. Shabby Chic

British look that incorporates all-white interior walls, floors, and ceilings accented with vintage items resting on distressed furniture. Soft pastels bring focus and offer a more feminine feel to the design.

2. Swedish Style

An eclectic look is created through a trendy approach called maximalism, which means to make the most of a small space. What may appear to be a hodgepodge of colour is actually a collection of interesting objects arranged for maximum visual appeal. Vibrant colours are used to create focal points throughout the room that beg the visitor to examine each piece more closely.

3. Contemporary

Noticeable design features include solid colours with contrasting properties against a blank slate of walls and floor. Furniture has sleek, straight lines with sharp corners. Few accent pieces are used, which leaves a clean and open look for visual appeal.

4. Classic Contemporary

Softer colour contrasts highlight the art on the walls as the visual emphasis. Rounded furniture lines offer an appealing and warm setting that draws the visitor to sit and rest awhile. Colours are complementary instead of contrasting to draw the entire room into focus without an abrupt focus on one element.

5. Funky

Bulky, comfortable chairs set against the stark lines of tables with metal legs. The visitor is invited to investigate the cubbies and sit for a spell. Every element is clean and visibly interesting. Colours are in the chairs while the rest of the room creates a palette to be accented for visual interest.

6. New York

Wide open rooms are accented with neutral paint colours accented by contrasting furniture. Edges of the room are lined with furniture that allows for easy traffic flow through the main corridors. Eye-catching accents are used as light fixtures, and storage is hidden in beautiful pieces of furniture made of intriguing materials.

7. Traditional

A formal home setting is the most appropriate choice for this style. Choices between many time periods create a sense of timeless tradition in a home that is decorated in the traditional sense. Colours include the jewel tones in coordinating hues. Silks, brocades and satin are the prevalent fabrics used in this style of decorating.

8. Eclectic

As the term conveys, the Eclectic decorating style is varied and can develop into a room that resembles any number of the other decorating styles. Colours are strictly up to the taste of the person who will live with the interior d├ęcor. Most people who choose this style do so because they enjoy certain aspects of all the other styles.

9. Garden

Most homes decorated in the Garden style will have a sun room full of plants built onto an exterior wall. The use of live plants inside the house is accompanied by landscape pictures. Large windows allow for sweeping views of the exterior landscape. Interior and outdoor furniture are used inside the home and patio doors are in more than one room. Colours are vibrant and natural to bring the outdoors into each living space.

10. Tuscan

Originating in Italy, the Tuscan style was developed by the tradesmen and farmers that lived throughout Italy’s countryside. As Italians came to this country, their decorating style took hold. Colours include natural hues accented with rich reds and ochers found in the landscape. Muted tones blend the walls, floors, and furniture into a soothing setting that welcomes everyone.

11. Asian

Use of space is central to decorating in the Asian style. Leaving the middle of the room open is essential to convey the openness of heart valued in the Asian cultures of the world. Colours are close to nature and bright colours are used in focal points around each room.

Matt works at MoneyChoices.com.au, an online consumer comparison service catering to Australians where homebuyers can compare home loans from a variety of banks.