Interior Design defined: find the right style for your home

We understand that building your new home is an exciting time — not just because it’s a major milestone that marks a new chapter of your life, but it’s also a chance to create a space that is well and truly your own.

This goes beyond picking the colour of your walls or the type of carpet in your bedrooms. Choosing an interior style will help you create a reflection of yourself to ensure a comfortable space that is welcoming and liveable.

So, do you prefer coastal or traditional? Vintage or Scandinavian? This can be a loaded question if you’re not quite sure where to start. Luckily, we’re here to help!

This guide to 6 popular interior design styles will help you hone in on a style that suits your personality.

Minimalist

Key features:

  • Quality
  • Functionality
  • Clean and sophisticated lines

Less is more when it comes to this modern style. Spaces are often open, clean and simple, with a neutral colour palette. Strong emphasis is put on quality finish and furnishings that are sophisticated, sleek and functional.

Colour and pattern can be used sparingly in minimalist design, with subtle accenting pieces that add a bit of extra personality.

Achieve the minimalist design aesthetic:

Go with warm, neutral colours, from wall paint to flooring. Or play around with monochromatic colour schemes in white, grey or black. Choose essential furnishings with strong, clean lines and avoid filling up space with unnecessary items. Think about how you want your space to feel, and choose items that will enhance this feeling. 

Eclectic

Key features:

  • Contrast
  • Variety
  • Personality

The rule of eclectic design is: there are no rules! While this is a highly personalised aesthetic, it also happens to be one of the hardest to pull off. Since anything goes, it’s easy to overdo it. However, when done well, it creates a space that epitomises personal comfort.

Feel free to borrow from other design styles when creating an eclectic look. It’s all about pushing the boundaries, while bringing in layers of fun. Bold colours and patterns are common, along with a mix of furnishings that bring personality to your home.

To achieve eclectic design aesthetic:

Experiment with colour, shapes and textures. Layer old and new furnishings, but remember to strike a balance. Your mix of styles and pieces shouldn’t compete with each other for attention. Choose items that work together, or try tying everything together with a common theme, colour, finish, or pattern. 

Scandinavian

Key features:

  • Simple
  • Clean
  • Cosy

If you’re thinking Scandinavian means struggling through the frustrating instructions of a flat pack from Ikea, think again. The Scandi design aesthetic is all about the Danish concept of hygge, which loosely translates to cosiness.

This aesthetic borrows from minimalism in that furnishings should emphasis quality, clean lines and function. However, the style comes into its own with the addition of bright colours used to accentuate a white foundation, and layers of wool, glass, furs or wood.

To achieve the Scandinavian aesthetic:

Simplicity is key when decorating in the Scandi style. The goal is to create a cosy, uncluttered space that uses natural materials and light. Start with a white colour palette and build on it with classic finishes and furnishings made of natural materials. 

Coastal

Key features:

  • Relaxing
  • Effortless elegance
  • Light and airy

Inspired by the chic beachside homes of the Hamptons in the US, contemporary coastal is all about easy, breezy elegance.

The modern take on this style is less about nautical-themed furnishings and more about recreating the feel of a beachside bungalow through a colour scheme inspired by sand, sky and seashells. It’s light and fresh with sense of classic elegance.

To achieve the coastal aesthetic:

Start off with a colour palette made up of warm neutral tones such as creamy whites or light browns. Add an accenting layer of subtle blues and finish off with cushy furnishings made of natural materials. Think cotton and linen. Emphasis natural light with gauzy, linen draperies or a well-placed mirror in a smaller space.

Industrial

Key features:

  • Raw materials
  • Metal finishes

The industrial design style rose to popularity as many developers began renovating old industrial buildings into multi-unit residential spaces. Rather than covering up building elements such as exposed brick and beams, this style embraces them.

Large, open floor plans with soaring ceilings are best suited to the industrial aesthetic, where there’s plenty of room for large statement furnishings made of wood or metal. Colour schemes are inspired by the raw materials found in the spaces.

To achieve the industrial aesthetic:

Even if you don’t live in a converted factory, you can still achieve an industrial-inspired look. Just think exposed brick, concrete, stone, steel and brass. Soften these harder elements with furnishings that feature strong, clean lines, and add statement lighting, artwork and rugs.

Vintage

Key features:

  • Period furnishings
  • Uncluttered
  • Versatility

This style is one of the more versatile design aesthetics. It can be over-the-top elegance or cool and edgy, depending on the period of inspiration.

While it’s easy to customise the vintage style according to your own tastes, it’s important to maintain a balance. You don’t want to create a room entirely of antiques lest it start to look a little too much like Grandma’s house.

To achieve the vintage aesthetic:

The key to creating a cool, contemporary vintage space rather than a dated time capsule, is to stick to a single time period for inspiration. Choose a few well-placed vintage pieces and pair them with comfortable, modern furnishings. And avoid cluttering up your spaces with unnecessary items.

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