A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Popular Furniture Styles and Types

Learn how to add the perfect furniture pieces to create the look you’re after.

Furniture is one of the most important elements of any home, but it can also be one of the hardest decisions to make. With so many different furniture styles and types available, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of furniture, the styles available, and how to choose the best pieces for your home.

From traditional to modern, furniture styles vary greatly. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, you may want to choose pieces that reflect a certain era or design. Whether you want to evoke a luxurious Hollywood glam feel or a sleek contemporary look, understanding the different furniture styles can help you decide which pieces are right for you.

In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most popular styles and types of furniture, including:

  • Traditional
  • Contemporary
  • Rustic
  • Mid-Century Modern
  • Minimalist Furniture
  • Bohemian Furniture
  • Farmhouse Furniture
  • Hollywood Glam Furniture
  • Shabby Chic Furniture
  • Industrial
  • Coastal
  • Scandinavian

No matter the type or style of furniture you’re looking for, there are other factors to consider before making your purchase. Consider the size of the room, the use of the furniture, the materials used, and how the pieces will fit in with the rest of your décor. You’ll also need to consider the cost of the furniture, as well as its quality, to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

With all of these factors in mind, you can begin to narrow down your choices and find the perfect furniture for your home. So, let’s take a closer look at the different furniture styles and types available to help you make the best decision for your home.

Traditional Furniture

Looking to create that timeless and classic look? This one is for you. Traditional furniture is usually made of dark woods such as mahogany and cherry and often features intricate carvings and elegant details. The pieces are usually large, solid, and heavy, making them perfect for creating a stately appearance in a room.

Depending on the style you choose, you can find traditional furniture that reflects American, British, French, or Italian styles. These pieces are typically designed to last for years and can be a great way to add classic style to any space.

Contemporary Furniture

For those who prefer a modern look in their home, contemporary furniture often features cleaner lines, neutral colours, and minimal details. Pieces tend to be lighter in weight and design than traditional pieces, making them easy to move around and update as needed.

You’ll also find that many contemporary pieces use bold shapes and materials, such as metal for accent pieces. This type of furniture is also often more affordable than traditional pieces, making it an ideal option for those who want to stay within a budget.

Rustic Furniture

A great option for creating an inviting atmosphere. Usually made of unfinished woods such as pine or oak and often featuring distressed surfaces or natural markings, rustic furniture is a very popular style. These pieces often have rough-hewn edges, simple designs, and a rustic feel that adds charm and character to a space. Rustic furniture is typically designed to last for years, making it a great choice for those who are looking for furniture with longevity.

A wooden bench in a gardenDescription automatically generated with low confidence
Rustic furniture like this bench is a great investment that will last for many years

Mid-Century Modern Furniture

For fans of the 1950s and 60s, this one is for them. Mid-century modern furniture is often characterised by its use of clean lines, natural materials, and organic shapes. Pieces are usually lightweight and feature low profiles, creating a sense of airiness in the room. You’ll find mid-century modern furniture made of wood or metal, often in vibrant colours such as turquoise or orange. This type of furniture is typically more affordable than traditional pieces, making it ideal for those who want to stay within a budget.

Minimalist Furniture

Uncluttered and simple, minimalist furniture features clean lines, neutral colours, and simple shapes that create an airy feel in any room. Pieces are often lightweight and made of metal or light wood to create a contemporary look. This type of furniture is perfect for smaller spaces, as it won’t overwhelm the room but will still make a statement.

Bohemian Furniture

Bohemian style is for those who love bright colours, patterns, and eclectic accessories in their home. Bohemian furniture usually features eclectic designs such as patchwork fabrics or colourful accents that draw the eye. Pieces are often lightweight and feature a mix of materials such as wood, metal, leather, and textiles. This type of furniture provides a unique touch to any room while remaining functional and comfortable.

Farmhouse Furniture

Farmhouse furniture is a great option for those who prefer a cosy and inviting look in their home. Farmhouse furniture typically features natural materials such as wood, with pieces often featuring distressed surfaces and rustic details. These pieces are usually large and sturdy, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in a room. Farmhouse furniture is also designed to be long-lasting and easy to style with other pieces throughout the home.

Reconstruction of a farmhouse kitchen in the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre
Buy farmhouse furniture for its distinctive appearance

Hollywood Glam Furniture

Add a touch of luxury and sophistication with Hollywood glam. This style of furniture usually features sleek lines, bold colours, and intricate details such as tufted backs or ornate carvings. Pieces are usually made of high-end materials such as velvet or leather, making them perfect for creating a glamorous atmosphere. This type of furniture is ideal for larger rooms, as the bold designs and luxurious materials can make a statement in any space.

Shabby Chic Furniture

Look no further than shaggy chic to create an old-world feel. Shabby chic furniture typically features distressed surfaces, pastel colours, and ornate details such as carved legs or scrolled armrests. Pieces are often lightweight and made of light wood, making them easy to move around or update as needed. With its unique charm and comfortable feel, shabby chic furniture is perfect for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in any room.

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Shabby chic furniture is warm and inviting


Perfect for an edgy, urban look. Industrial furniture often features metal frames, unfinished wood, and exposed piping, making it ideal for creating an industrial or factory-style aesthetic. Pieces tend to be lightweight and easy to move around as needed. This type of furniture is great for smaller spaces as it won’t take up a lot of room but can still create a strong impact with its edgy design.


Ideal for introducing a tranquil beach style into the home. Coastal furniture typically features lighter woods such as bamboo or rattan, with pieces often featuring curved lines and a light and airy feeling. Depending on the style you choose, you can find pieces that reflect a coastal cottage style or a more tropical feel. Coastal furniture is also designed to be durable and able to stand up to moisture, so it’s perfect for those who live near the water or want to bring an ocean-inspired look into their home.


A great choice for those who want to create a minimalist, modern look in their home. Scandinavian furniture usually features clean lines, light colours, and natural materials such as wood or wicker. Pieces often feature curved edges and simple shapes that create an inviting look in any room. Scandinavian furniture also tends to be lightweight and easy to update or mix with other pieces, so it’s great for those who are looking to give their home a modern twist without having to replace their entire decor.

A living room with a white couch and a coffee tableDescription automatically generated with low confidence
Scandinavian living room furniture has long been a popular choice

Popular types of furniture for each style

Ok, so you’ve chosen a style but need more ideas, below you will find some of the most popular types of furniture for each style:

  • Traditional: armchairs and sofas
  • Contemporary: sectionals, modular sofas, and accent chairs
  • Rustic: wood-framed beds and tables
  • Mid-Century Modern: sofas, side tables, and media consoles
  • Minimalist Furniture: bookshelves, desks, and storage cabinets
  • Bohemian Furniture: patterned armchairs, ottomans, and coffee tables
  • Farmhouse Furniture: dining tables, buffets, and cabinets
  • Hollywood Glam Furniture: velvet sofas, vanity mirrors, and accent chairs
  • Shabby Chic Furniture: dressers, headboards, and accent pieces
  • Industrial: metal bar carts, stools, and bookcases
  • Coastal: wicker chairs and lounge chairs
  • Scandinavian: wall shelves and coffee tables

The list is by no means exhaustive but hopefully, this will help get you started on your journey to creating the perfect atmosphere in your home.


As you can see, there are so many different styles and types to choose from, and there is no shortage of inspiration. Whether you are looking for traditional, rustic, mid-century modern,

bohemian, or Hollywood glam, there is something to accommodate every style and budget.

Why not visit Corcoran’s of Ireland to buy furniture in a range of styles for every room in the home, click here to visit their living room furniture page.

With the right information and knowledge of the different styles and types of furniture available, you can find pieces that not only fit your space but also complement your personality and décor.

So, take the time to find the perfect pieces for your space and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with creating a beautiful home.

Sana Ahmed

Sana Ahmed, an alumnus of the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Interior Architecture, has been influential in design writing since 2014. Joining our editorial team as a freelancer in 2021, Sana combines technical knowledge and aesthetic sensibility. Sana's approach to writing combines practicality with a flair for contemporary trends. Her experience includes working with renowned design firms and participating in international design workshops. Sana advocates for sustainable living and enjoys creating upcycled art in her free time.

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