Analysis Reveals Interior Design Trends on Instagram

Photo: archidea, Getty Images.

Type the hashtag #interiordesign into your Instagram search box and you’ll get over 14 million posts in return. But who are these design-obsessed homebodies? Where are they? And how can you make Instagram pics of your space more popular? This, and much more, is revealed in a new report by online home store Wayfair, which analyzed 75,000 #interiordesign posts from the U.S. and Canada. Some of the findings will surprise you; the rest are just plain fun for stats fanatics.

Who Posts The Most?

New York, New York. Yes, the Empire State is king among those who post about interior design, with a whopping 288.9 pics per 100,000 residents. Second and third place were taken by our neighbors to the North in Ontario and British Columbia (who knew Canadians were so stylish?) with California and Nevada claiming fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Most Common Design Styles

Photo: vicnt, Getty Images.

Photo: vicnt, Getty Images.

Everything old is new again…or so it seems from the most frequently featured style in #interiordesign posts on Instagram: vintage! What is vintage exactly? One definition from Apartment Therapy narrows it down to: “Something that is too old to be considered ‘used’ but not as old as Grandma.” The reasons behind its ubiquitous nature? Cost-effectiveness and the repurposing culture.

In second place is mid-century modern, that post-World War II style known for clean lines, minimalism, and functionality that you’d immediately recognize from the sets of Mad Men or (if you’re old enough to get the reference) The Brady Bunch.

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Contemporary (what’s popular right now) comes in third, followed by rustic (wood, wood, and more wood) in fourth. Abstract (if you don’t know what you’re looking at, you’ve probably found it) lands in fifth place. 

Given that New York is home to so many old factories and buildings, you’d think industrial style would’ve ranked higher; alas, it took sixth place. Retro, natural, and bohemian follow, with French finishing off the top ten design styles.

Photo: Trinette Reed, Getty Images.

Photo: Trinette Reed, Getty Images.

Oddly enough, just because a style predominates the hashtags doesn’t mean it tallies mad “likes” from the masses. The most liked style is contemporary, with an average of 142 likes per post; we’ll take a wild guess and say it’s because of its familiarity and versatility. Bohemian style (identifiable for its multi-colored palette, mismatched patterns, and free spirit aesthetic) garners an average of 117 likes per post, placing it at second. Abstract, natural, and industrial styles complete the top five with 87, 84, and 81 average likes per post, respectively. Mid-century modern staked out sixth place, with an average of 78 likes per post.

Despite being the most posted style, vintage came in seventh with an average 71 likes per post, still beating out rustic and retro styles at 69 and 67 likes, respectively. The least posted style, French, is also the least liked of the top ten styles, averaging 66 likes per post. Too frou-frou perhaps?

Color Me Popular

Photo: Per Magnus Persson, Getty Images.

Photo: Per Magnus Persson, Getty Images.

White is the color most frequently featured on #interiordesign Instagram pics. Why white? “Why not?” would be the better question. White makes spaces appear larger, cleaner, and more streamlined. It also makes a perfect canvas for the second and third most common colors: blue and gold, both classy hues that appeal to masculine and feminine aesthetics. Dramatic black comes in fourth, followed by green, pink, silver, orange, yellow, and (last but definitely not least) gray. 

But what are the most “liked” colors? That’s a different story. Black reigns with an average of 115 likes per post, though don’t get too dark; it’s best when used as an accent, not the focal point, of a room. Sweet, playful pink is a close second at an average of 105 likes per post, with gold hanging onto its spot in the top three with an average of 94 likes per post. 

Where You Live And What You Like

Photo: Caiaimage/Tom Merton, Getty Images.

Photo: Caiaimage/Tom Merton, Getty Images.

If you really want to geek out on stats, Wayfair offers multiple maps and infographics on which styles and colors prevail where. Our cheat sheet: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, and New York all favor vintage style, but differ on color, with black, gold, pink, and white coming in most frequently, respectively. Chicago, Denver, Miami, and Seattle are hanging on to mid-century modern design and post pics primarily featuring white decor. Boston breaks from the pack with a penchant for contemporary design and green hues.

What Does It All Mean?

While analysts can tell us what people “like” on Instagram, there’s no definitive way in this analysis of discerning why certain styles catch people’s eyes. What is clear is that what is posted (and assumed to be liked by the person posting it) is not necessarily what everyone else “likes.” In other words: the more we know, the more we know we don’t know. Popularity on social media remains a mystery–though it’s safe to say if you want your home to be swooned over on Instagram, French design in orange hues is probably not the way to go about it!