It’s that time of year again when Ant and Dec fly a bunch of celebrities out into the bush for terrifying trials and a spot of camping. While they’re stuck in hammocks in the jungle, we’re taking a look at more the comfortable and homely version of Australian style.
Australian interiors are built for a warm climate, but their sense of style has plenty for us to pick up tips from. Homes tend to be modern, spacious and practical, with an emphasis on open-plan living and access to the outdoors. It may not be barbie weather here, but here’s a round up of how to get some of the relaxed antipodean look in your own house.
Keep it natural with wooden flooring
Australia has a lot of space, so many Australians are lucky enough to design and build their own spacious homes. Contemporary designers in Australia love natural materials, and bringing them into the home is a great way to recreate their style.
Wood finishes like bamboo or hardwood are popular for floors and clad on walls. Wood kitchens with the grain exposed and furniture that emphasises the natural beauty of wood are all key looks.
Rather than British classics like oak, the popular woods to use in Australia are hardwoods like iroko or zebrano – look for kitchen units that mimic these dark, richly grained woods and team with a fresh element like a steel worktop. In cities like Sydney many of the hippest apartments are in converted warehouses, so a nod to industrial style – with materials like steel and zinc, and with exposed pipes and lighting details – will finish the look perfectly.
Smooth flooring ideas
The warm climate and indoor-outdoor lifestyle mean that flooring in Australian homes tends to be easy to sweep clean – carpet is a no-no. Instead think about laminates or engineered wood floors that run from room to room.
The look of boards will help give your space that all-important sense of space and flow that is typical of open-plan Australian homes. For bathrooms think vinyls that can create a tile effect. Wetrooms are common, so a vinyl in one of the latest styles – think geometric mosaics or industrial-chic honeycomb shapes – is a great way to go.
Alternatively, go for the effect of natural stone for an architectural look. Slate, marble or limestone-effect vinyl floor will add a more natural texture. Add to your room with bamboo accessories like a bath bridge or storage boxes to add a hint of that warmer climate.
Colours of a continent
Australia is a rich cultural melting pot, and this is reflected in the interior design of many Australian homes. Don’t be afraid to add bits of oriental art, abstract prints and, of course, Aboriginal-inspired art for a look that is expansive and global.
The earthy colours of the continent are a big part of this look – think the dusty ochre yellows and oranges of the outback. If hard floors feel a bit too chilly for our climate, then adding an abstract-print rug in similar tones will add warmth and achieve a lovely laid-back look.
If you prefer a little more bright colours and vibrancy to your interior design, check out our previous feature to see if you’ll be inspired by Mexico.
Order free samples and see whether you can be inspired by Australia, try out wood, laminate or vinyl in your home!