With so many interior styles and trends to choose from, follow, like, or loathe – it’s easy to lose track (if you were ever on track to begin with). To make your life that little bit simpler, we’ve pulled together a brief outline of the key interior styles featured in magazines, style blogs and home reno shows so you can easily browse through – and choose those most suited to you. It’s interior styling 101. Have fun.
Inspired by warehouse style, the key elements of the industrial vibe are often exposed brickwork, plenty of raw timber, black metal and lighting with exposed bulbs. The colour scheme is typically blacks, browns, charcoals and the colour of raw materials, such as brick and timber. Ceilings are usually high, such as in loft apartments, and exposed beams, pipes and ductwork are often left as a style feature. Sofas are often black or tan leather, there won’t be too many cushions, throws or decorative accessories, artwork is often retro, monochrome or prints of photographs and rugs will be flat woven or not overly patterned.
Scandi style is all about simplicity, minimalism, blonde timbers and a relatively neutral colour palette. The base scheme is often all-white, with accent colours such as muted greys, pinks, blues and greens. If you’re a fan of orange chairs and red cushions…this is not the style for you. Floors tend to be wide-plank timber or polished concrete, throw rugs are often fur and underfoot you’ll find jute, pale cow hides or perhaps a chic shaggy rug in gorgeous grey. Accessories are kept to a minimum, artwork tends to be black-and-white and there’ll be a smattering of greenery, either real or faux.
Often talked about as ‘the new hygge’, the Swedish trend ‘lagom’ literally translates as ‘not too little, not too much’. Sounds a little woolly to us. Question is: what does that mean when it comes to interior styling? Basically, it comes down to that overused bit of lifestyle advice we should probably all pay more attention to…everything in moderation.
So…don’t clutter your space with too many decorative accents, just have as many as you need to lead a simple, balanced, functional life. Rather than having a sofa, three accent chairs, a coffee table, a nest of side tables, an entertainment unit and a credenza (like we love to do), lovers of lagom would have one sofa, a single armchair, a coffee table, an entertainment unit/credenza combo and maybe, just maybe, a side table if they really needed it. None will be fussy or fancy – and they’ll all be as sustainable as possible. Basically, it’s budget-friendly, considered living for those seeking a little zen in their interior and exterior lives.
Sticking with the Swedes, Hygge was at its prime in 2016-17, but we’re still seeing plenty of it in Scandi interiors. Characterised by cosy texture, candles, fireplaces, throws, loungewear, cashmere, fur rugs and a sense of slowing down and enjoying the moment, it’s a trend that seems to bob up in the winter months, then, by removing a few layers, it can morph into a more minimalist, Scandi style come summer.
Perhaps here we should just say ‘the opposite of Scandi’. While the word eclectic is bandied about a fair bit, in interiors its true meaning is combining concepts from different trends and eras in a seemingly abstract fashion. It’s about blending old and new and clashing colours and patterns not in a ‘what a hot mess’ kind of way, but in a manner which looks somehow curated, collected, cool and, perhaps surprisingly – cohesive. This is usually achieved by striving for some commonality among the elements, whether it’s a couple of key colours or patterns (stripes, motifs etc) which are repeated in several places throughout a room.
Usually referred to as boho, or boho chic, bohemian interiors take their cues from bohemian fashion in a trend that’s especially popular in Europe. The secret to nailing boho style is in achieving just the right balance between vintage and glam, such as mixing a glitzy chandelier with a dusty old rug or shabby sofa found in a flea market. Popular elements include brass or old gold accessories, well-worn textiles and touchable fabrics such as plush velvet, chenille and fringe or tassel detailing and distinctive lamps.
Also referred to as Hollywood Glam, Hollywood Regency style is dramatic, opulent, luxurious and made for those who love to entertain and make a serious style statement. Incorporating elements from the art-deco era and theatrical details borrowed from Hollywood’s golden age of film, characteristics include: plush velvet sofas; buttoned-up detailing; glitzy mirrored credenzas or console tables; lacquered black; luxe lamps; zebra print hides; the occasional antique or chinoiserie piece; and a bold colour palette of apple and emerald green, purple, green and turquoise.
Hailing from the northeastern US holiday haven, The Hamptons, Hamptons style has spread to coastal regions worldwide with its feature blue, white and neutral palette, rattan and timber furniture and ocean-inspired accessories – but not over the top. Nautical stripes feature heavily on cushions, bedlinens, on rugs and in curtains and blinds, while sofas tend to be navy, cream, white or oatmeal. White painted wood is a firm fixture and the overall finish is unassuming, laidback and effortlessly elegant.
A much-loved throwback to the 1950s and 60s, nostalgia rules in the mid-century modern movement, which prioritises function and form over fashion. With a focus on fuss-free design, sculptural forms and shapes created for comfort, such as Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Egg Chair, it’s become one of the most enduring design styles – and looks to be around for a long time yet. Timber is a key material and colour is solid and strong, with retro shades such as teal, olive, mustard, orange, red and brown contrasted with natural timber, geometric rugs, striking pendants and lamps and pop art on the walls.
A fusion of pared back Japanese and minimalist Scandi style, Japandi has hit the spotlight in recent years for its magic mix of dark and pale timbers, linear forms and focus on quality craftsmanship. Less relaxed than conventional Scandi interiors but more relaxed than traditional Japanese style, to achieve this on-trend look you’ll need to choose a muted colour palette with multiple shades of grey and pale green and pink accents, then accessories with simple ceramics, cushions and black and white homewares. Indoor plants, either the real deal or fabulous fakes, are a key focal element to perfecting Japandi style.