How to Create an Iconic American Interior

Learn how to recreate a regional look inspired by eight influential styles seen in cities across the United States.

The Cape Cod Look

Feel at home in a Cape Cod-style interior by using beach-inspired colors like sage green, yellow, tan and white.

The Cape Cod Look

Paint window trims white to brighten up the windows and give the space a refreshing, easygoing look. Choose charming floral or striped patterns on furniture to help complete the essence of Cape Cod, no matter where you live.

Recommended books:

Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau
Enchanted Summer: A Romantic Guide to Cape Cod, Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard by Cynthia Mascott

multiple fabrics create traditional living room

The San Francisco Look

To bring Victorian style into your home, fill the room with traditional and elegant furniture. Lush drapes and crown molding will enhance the richness of the space.

DeLeon elegant living room

The San Francisco Look

Curate an eclectic clutter using formal furniture and rich drapery. Create the look by adding embellished accessories such as gilded candlesticks and tasseled pillows.
Recommended Books

Painted Ladies: San Francisco's Resplendent Victorians by Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen
In the Victorian Style by Randolph Delehanty and Richard Sexton
Victorian Glory in San Francisco and the Bay Area by Paul Duchscherer and Douglas Keister

sophisticated traditional living room

The Charleston Look

Symmetrically arrange traditional, formal furniture over an ornamental rug to create a Charleston-style living room in your home.

silk upholstered furnishings and walls

The Charleston Look

Use lightweight drapes to let in more light and air, and accessorize with decorative pillows and antique pieces for a stunning effect.

Recommended books:
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Under Live Oaks: The Last Great Houses of the Old South by Caroline Seebohm
Plantation Houses and Mansions of the Old South by J. Frazer Smith

Emily Henderson Mixes Styles in Couch and Rugs

The Los Angeles Look

Create a mid-century modern look with sleek furniture, hardwood flooring and light floor-to-ceiling curtains.

Kim contemporary living room

The Los Angeles Look

Accent the space with modern art and streamlined pieces, but use them sparingly for a minimalistic look to help keep the space open and airy.

Recommended Books

Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details by Bradley Quinn
Living Retro by Andrew Weaving
Forgotten Modern: California Houses 1940-1970 by Alan Hess
Charles & Ray Eames: 1907–1978, 1912-1988 Pioneers of Mid-Century Modernism by Gloria Koenig

opulent living room design

The New Orleans Look

Find furniture or vintage accent pieces that have cast iron or gilded elements. To add to the look, use touches of purple, green and gold for a Mardi Gras feel.

elegant toile bedroom

The New Orleans Look

New Orleans is about French-inspired interiors that include elaborate woodwork, crown molding and elegant furniture.

Recommended Books

Creole Houses: Traditional Homes of Old Louisiana by Steve Gross and Sue Daley
New Orleans Architecture #06: Faubourg Treme and the Bayou Road by Roulhac B. Toledano
A Pattern Book of New Orleans Architecture by Roulhac B. Toledano

Henderson eclectic living room

The Key West Look

For a Key West-inspired space, paint walls a crisp white and choose large furniture pieces.

Hultgren coastal living room

The Key West Look

Accent the white with bright colors like fuchsia and royal blue, and incorporate summer-inspired floral patterns. Place a woven or floral rug over hardwood flooring, and add wicker elements and greenery to complete the look.

Recommended books:

Quit Your Job And Move To Key West by Christopher Shultz and David Sloan
The Houses of Key West by Alex Caemmerer
Key West: A Tropical Lifestyle by Leslie Linsley
Hemingway's Key West by Stuart B. McIver

The Chicago Look

The interior of a prairie-style home incorporates several horizontal lines. Create the look with wood trim around windows and along the ceiling.

Grubb family room

The Chicago Look

Choose a light neutral wall color so the trim stands out even more. To define the space, put a rug over hardwood flooring, and finish the look with neutrally upholstered furniture.

Recommended books:

Prairie Style: Houses & Gardens by F.L.Wright by Dixie Legler
Prairie Style by C. S. Giscombe

living room brings warmth to southwestern home

The Santa Fe Look

To obtain a Southwestern look, use a warm wall color and natural stone flooring, and incorporate rich browns for wood- and leather-upholstered furniture.

The Santa Fe Look

Accent the furniture with a geometric fabric to add dimension to the space. Dress up the windows with lightweight shades, and pair natural elements with rustic accessories like clay pottery to complete the look.

Recommended books:

Santa Fe A Walk Through Time by Kingsley Hammett
The Santa Fe House: Historic Residences, Enchanting Adobes and Romantic Revivals by Margaret Moore Booker
The Desert Home by Tamara L. Hawkinson

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