Around the world in interior design: the USA

frank lloyd wright robie house

In our journey around the world’s different interior design traditions, we’ve looked at the origins and evolution of national styles in countries like Mexico, Italy and South Africa. But the USA is so big, so creative and so diverse that we can’t possibly tell the whole story in one blog post. 

So instead, here’s a whistle-stop tour of some of America’s most famous and influential interior design styles, with a Pooky light to suit each look...

Americans love their homes and, over the past century, the country has produced some of the pioneers and giants of interior design and architecture. We’ve celebrated several of them in our Great Designers series, including Frank Lloyd Wright (designer of Robie House, top) and Charles and Ray Eames

Of course, the USA does not have a single, distinctive style but many. The pared-down, craft-based minimalist style of the Shaker communities is worlds away from the luxurious golden age ballrooms of New York’s grand hotels.


Shaker meeting house interior, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky; inspiring minimalists for 200 years. Image: creative commons


American interior design styles reflect the country’s dramatic and varied geography and climate, its multi-layered history, and a global reputation for setting trends. Here are some of our favourites - with a Pooky light to suit each one…


Urban Industrial


Urban industrial interior, Chicago style. Image: creative commons

Most commonly found in the major east coast cities,and MidWest cities like Chicago, Urban Industrial is a design approach that makes the most of raw, unfinished materials such as exposed brickwork, concrete and steel. Open plan floors, high ceilings and a carefully curated blend of vintage and modern furnishings are a must.

Get the look: 

dexter clear

The unadorned simplicity of Pooky’s larger Dexter clear glass pendant is the perfect accompaniment for an urban industrial space.

New England Colonial

In a clear nod to its historic past, New England Colonial style celebrates the traditional: wood paneling, for example, bespoke carpentry and classic furniture. The overall look offers refinement combined with deep comfort.

Get the look:

swing articulated lamp

The timeless elegance of Pooky’s Swing articulated floor lamp in antiqued brass complements a classical setting perfectly.


Mid Atlantic Coastal

This is another style with its roots in a regional past, reflecting the seafaring traditions of the USA’s eastern seaboard. While the style stems from this history, its lightness and airiness and colour palette of whites, blues and sandy neutrals always look fresh and contemporary. Nautical motifs are a perennial feature, along with natural textures, such as linen and cork, and casual, comfortable furnishings. 

Get the look:


The light sandy-coloured, airy, natural beauty of the Aphrodite pendant ticks any number of Mid Atlantic Coastal boxes. 

Midwestern Farmhouse

The simplicity, warmth and functionality of Midwestern Farmhouse style reflect its agricultural heritage and the legacy of the many German and Scandinavian farming families who originally settled there. Furnishings are cosy; there are reclaimed wood accents and décor is vintage-inspired.

Get the look:


@thisoldbrickhouse in Maumee, Ohio popped Pooky’s Bartlett table lamp on top of a traditional wooden rolltop desk. 


Southern Charm

Southern interior design on the USA’s eastern side owes a good deal to the region’s French colonial inheritance, with an emphasis on hospitality, comfort and elegance. Antiques are a perennial feature, as are floral patterns, sumptuous fabrics such as silk and velvet, and architectural features that make the best use of natural light.

Get the look:


Our Grouper convex mirror is made of antiqued glass; it’s a true statement piece that adds character, charm, and depth to a room, making it a perfect choice for a Southern Charm home....


...And for maximum impact, use the mirror to reflect a decadent chandelier like the Capulet.



The desert landscape of the USA’s south west has always had a major influence on the region’s interiors, along with that of its indigenous peoples and Spanish colonialists. Tones are warm and earthy, textures rustic, and handcrafted elements such as pottery and textiles are key elements, as are natural materials such as leather, wood and wrought iron. 

Get the look:



We’re great admirers of traditional pottery at Pooky and if we were lighting a Southwestern interior, our Ambrose table lamp would definitely be top of our list. It’s based on a style that originated almost 250 years ago in Galilee… 


California Casual 


The Stahl House, 1959, designed by Pierre Koenig, Hollywood Hills, California. Image: creative commons

This is a style that has travelled the world, thanks in part to the influence of Hollywood and the many films in which the décor has, in every sense, a leading role. It is a combination of comfort and sophistication, with neutral colour palettes, natural materials and an equal emphasis on outdoor as well as indoor living. 

Get the look:


Lighting a California Casual interior needs to be contemporary, neutral and understated. Our Galore floor lamp combines a smooth black cone and base, connected by a sleek brass body - just the thing.


Pacific Northwest

Think Portland, Sleepless in Seattle, Twin Peaks, and Snow Falling on Cedars. The majestic landscape of this US region has inspired poets, writers, artists and film makers for generations. And the region’s interior design styles draw on similar inspiration. You’ll see plenty of exposed wood, metal accents, comforting textiles, natural materials and large picture windows that connect with the great outdoors beyond.



When Seattle-based @addictedtochina dressed this table, Pooky’s Phileas cordless table lamp, designed by Matthew Williamson, was given pride of place. Our rattan shades provided a natural, totally coordinated touch.


Hawaiian Tropical


Bedroom, the Onion House, Kona, Hawaii, 1962, designed by Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, pioneer of organic architecture. Image: creative commons

Hawaii officially became the 50th and final US state in August 1959, having been a US territory for the previous 60 years. Its distinctive interiors make the most of the Hawaiian islands’ lush landscapes and relaxed lifestyle, with vibrant colours, tropical prints—think botanicals and animals—and natural textures.


blue paisley

Vibrant colours? Botanicals? Animals? Look no further than Matthew Williamson’s fabulous range for Pooky, which includes this gorgeous empire shade in blue paisley


Browse our huge range of lighting here, and follow Pooky’s American adventures on Instagram @pookylightsus


See also:

Around the world in interior design: Italy
Around the world in interior design: India
Around the world in interior design: Feng Shui
Around the world in interior design: Mexico
Around the world in interior design: South Africa

Image top: Interior, Robie House, Chicago, Illinois (1910) – via creative commons