Here in Australia, our tastes are pretty diverse. Chances are that your home’s interiors (and exteriors) reflect the aesthetic choices made by peoples across different countries, and probably also different continents.
If you’re curious to know how your furniture is inspired, which trends reflect which countries, or what we as designers are inspired by, read on for our (incomplete) guide to furniture styles from around the world.*
Aside from the unique cultural aesthetics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples, Australians have their own take on interior design in at least three different ways.
Whether you’re actually from regional NSW like our Bathurst, Tamworth, Rutherford, and Wagga Wagga customers, or you’re an urbanite who’s always mythologised that sort of lifestyle, it’s hard to grow up in Australia without some sort of affiliation with the outback. Unsurprisingly, it’s been reflected in our furniture styles like our Macquarie range. If comfort, relaxation, conviviality and simplicity sound like your cup of tea, country style furniture could be for you.
Most of us live within 100 kilometres of the coast. This plays into that other well-worn Australian stereotype—that we all spend our time at the beach, half-naked, fit, and well-tanned, with bleached hair and several melanomas to prove it. So, unsurprisingly again, Australians have come up with several beachy styles of interior design to help them feel like they’re having a holiday on the coast all year round.
Our Hamptons collection is unabashedly beachy and perfect for those lucky few who actually live on or near the beach. The Newport collection is similarly summery, and its two-tone design is surprisingly versatile. My personal favourite is the Byron collection, though, not only because it reminds me of that touristy backpacker iconic Australian coastal town which I've had the pleasure of visiting, but because of its weathered top. It’s the details like that which make a furniture collection really distinctive, and to me is right on the money as a definitively Australian furniture style.
The classic style is classic for a reason. Not only are its shapes, features, and finishes generally appealing, it provides a reliable go-to option for those of us who aren’t quite as fanatical about furniture as others. Our Vintage and Brooklyn styles fit this bill, being among our best sellers for customers all over New South Wales.
If you know anything about the mid-century modern furniture style, you know that it is utterly Scandinavian. We associate lots of things with Scandinavia, and let's be honest, pretty much all of them are good. For a furniture fanatic, some of those associations include organic shapes, intuitive design, and minimalism. I had the incredible opportunity to see Scandinavian interior design in our summer (their winter) of 2019, but for those of us down under looking to emulate this aesthetic with an Australian touch, look no further than our Oslo and Nova collections. You’ll inspire everyone with your humble yet sophisticated choices.
Love it or hate it, the Americanisation of Australian culture is probably here to stay, at least for a few more decades. Fortunately, there are plenty of American interior designers who really know what they’re doing. For example, American design has had a strong influence on the mid-century modern furniture style, such as our Berkeley collection. But where American design really thrives is in the chic, the big, the luxurious, and ultimately in Americanised cultures, the timeless. If this resonates with you, you’ll probably find that Hamptons-style furniture feels the homeliest. It’s also surprisingly affordable!
C’est si bon. French decorating is casual, balanced, and elegant. Off-whites, honeys, and golds dominate this furniture style, and it usually features natural textiles such as cotton and linen. That said, if you’re going for French country rather than French provincial, you’ll often find these more classically French design details balanced by those of the industrial style. More on that later.
There’s something about Italians and their design that people for centuries just haven’t been able to get enough of. It just seems so effortless and carefree, and yet meticulous, robust, and assuring. With two-tone furniture often featuring in homes along the Apennine Peninsula, our Tuscan collection is perfect for those of us inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle.
What’s good about the tropics aside from the incessant humidity, cyclones, mosquitos, and Far North Queenslanders?
I'm joking of course. There are many fantastic things about the tropics—why else would so many people go there during their holidays? Of the tropics' many great qualities, one we really appreciate is the breezy furniture design. People in the tropics have produced distinctly tropical furniture for a very long time, characterised by unparalleled wicker technique and cane materials such as rattan.
A TRULY INTERNATIONAL STYLE: INDUSTRIAL
While the Industrial Revolution started in the United Kingdom in the 18th Century, there aren’t too places in the world that haven’t seen the fires of industry. These days, fewer factories operate in our urban centres, but ghosts of the industrial past remain. While there's been plenty of discussion about what to do with these old sites generally, we think a great way to repurpose some of the old bits and pieces lying around in these sites is to inspire unique furniture.
If this sounds like you, you'll love our Newcastle and Stonemill ranges. Though, if you don't want to look as though you live at a railway station, you can soften your favourite industrial-style pieces with indoor plants and cute décor.
*All maps courtesy of Google Maps.