By Kerena Berry
We spend hours shopping for clothes, planning our ensembles and admiring the results in the mirror, but how well dressed are our homes? You may be walking proud as you strut down the street, confident in your sense of fashion, but is your home’s interior the neighbourhood’s plain Jane?
Thankfully, finding your home’s perfect style is easy and also a lot of fun. Your interiors should be an extension of your flair for fashion and match your individual personality. Like any branch of creativity, interior design has a number of starkly different styles. These established approaches to the art and science of enhancing interiors act as excellent foundations or starting points for a journey that will end with a stunning home that expresses who you are.
To help you discover your own style, a website tool like the free style quiz at Designbx builds a trend board, which is basically a visual glimpse of the style’s essence. After you find your ideal style, you’ll see how variations and garnishes can create unique flair. But let’s start with the basics and introduce you to five popular interior design styles, along with great tips for achieving the right seasonal look.
Modern eclectic mashes boho’s disregard for convention with Hollywood chic, making its mark with shape and pattern rather than colour. ‘Bold’ and ‘daring’ are the key words, and at the moment, jewel tones are all the rage. Add a touch of Hollywood noir with dark and moody hues while championing extravagance with oversized artwork.
Mirrors are key and should be used like art, with a preference for unique shapes and grouped in areas where you can catch natural light. Amplify the classic sense of charm by using this season’s favourite material velvet, which is perfect for the modern eclectic home.
Boho embraces the exotic, colourful, handcrafted and untraditional, creating unlikely marriages between contrasting colours, shapes, materials and decorations. This is the style that throws caution to the wind, with freedom and true individuality.
This season, Kilim patterns have migrated from rugs to soft furnishings while tapestries and woven art continue to be mainstays, creating a texture wonderland. Indoor greenery is here to stay, preferably oversized plants with delicate, cascading leaves. Artwork is veering toward landscapes of abstract coastal and desert scenes. Remember to have fun with this style. It’s all about creating interiors that break the rules yet achieve harmony.
As the name suggests, Traditional Chic is plush but not at the cost of comfort. The challenge is to achieve grandeur while keeping your interiors homely. Think eighteen century, including choices of furniture which are either original antiques or are heavily influenced by classic, ornate furnishings. The mood definitely favours the feminine, with soft fabrics including the lush texture and finish of silk, while art is as you’d expect from any stately manor: clusters of well arranged smaller frames or dominant, large scaled works.
Experimenting with textiles is key to the success of Traditional Chic, which encourages embracing the old and new to create striking yet sophisticated spaces. Shibori dying techniques look right at home here, which proves that classic styles have room for the unexpected. Plums and pastels bring a soft feminine feel to the style this season, and slim-lined vintage timber furniture are at home here. It’s all about elegance.
Modern has been with us since the early part of the last century when the Bauhaus movement made a large and sudden impact across a variety of artistic mediums. Since it was founded by an architect, it had a profound effect on interior design that began to place emphasis on materials such as plastics, glass and natural timbers. Its stark minimalism and elegant lines create an atmosphere of discernment and refinement.
This season, we’re pairing back our Modern designs to let oversized, block colours dominate while always ensuring these bold elements harmoniously blend. Juxtaposition is used dramatically by pairing square and curved forms. Fabrics are heavier and more textured, but most importantly, soft to the touch. The modernistas want comfort.
Scandi is a mid-century addition to design styles that, as the name suggests, would be at home in Scandinavian countries where organic materials and subtlety are key. The heroes of your Scandi home are craftsmanship, minimalism, gentle contours and functionality. Rather than putting the spotlight on decorative touches, the foundation elements are championed, so colours, shapes and materials are crucial.
While hues are never loud or stark, the muted tones of Scandi are rich. Forest Green is the kingpin. This season, commonly used soft pink is being replaced with a more vibrant peach. Mid to dark timber furniture is rising in popularity, and it’s a trend designers are embracing. Use against darker and deeper colours to create a combination that will be a great winter warmer.
Thankfully these styles alone are not seasonal. If they were, we’d have a lot of fun redecorating but it would cost us a fortune! However, as the seasons change, there are always exciting new trends to help us keep our foundation style fashionable. For those in the know, a few minor tweaks or a new feature is all it takes to bring your beautifully designed interiors back in style.
Kerena Berry is an interior designer and co-founder of Designbx, Australia’s online interior design solution.