The Ultimate Guide to Interior Design

The Ultimate Guide to Interior Design

The Ultimate Guide to Interior Design

Posted on: 29th April, 2021


The interior design of your home has a huge impact on the overall aesthetic and the feeling and sense of calm and peace you feel in your own space.

It’s also a way to showcase your personality and style in an intimate way. After all, there is no place like home!

Interior design has rapidly increased in popularity over the past few decades, with the growth of online decor inspiration websites, blogs, Instagram and of course, Pinterest.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the way we use our home — and the amount of time we spent in them. Unsurprisingly, this change has also forced us to reconsider how we live and the interior design we choose in our homes.

As we spend more time than ever inside, our homes play a greater role in our daily lives than before and not surprisingly, an investment into interior design is high on the agenda of many new home-bodies.

This ultimate guide focuses on the five main interior design styles today — Hamptons, mid-century modern, coastal style, industrial style and Scandinavian style.

What is interior design?

Interior design is described as “the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building” with the aim of creating a comfortable, inviting and aesthetically pleasing habitat for the people who live in the space.

Traditionally, interior design is planned and undertaken by a professional interior designer, who focuses on melding together the optimal functionality and the clients individual and personalised visual brief.

Finding your unique style is essential when planning and building your own home. Luckily there is no shortage of inspiration out there, from classic to contemporary and everything in between!

Interior design styles

Hamptons style

Hamptons style is incredibly popular in homes across the country, originating from the luxurious seaside community and holiday homes of the Hamptons in New York and Long Island.

It is a slightly more sophisticated version of the classic laid-back coastal style, keeping the light, fresh airy feeling but incorporating more blues and bold, geometric patterns.

While natural materials are still the focus — including woods, linens and stone or marble — there are also some metallic finishes in the Hamptons style that you would never see in coastal style.

White-washed timber or blonde wood tones are common and Hamptons style also incorporates black accents, or even bronze accents, pared-back with light, airy whites.

Exteriors and facades are often clad in wooden paneling in whites, creams, and even light greys. Hamptons style has a definite nod to the traditional and luxurious, with a nautical twist and the overall aim is to create a space that is classy yet comfortable and perfect for entertaining.

Mid-century modern

Still immensely popular today, mid-century modern interior design rose to popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly in the USA, following World War II and has never gone out of fashion.

The roots of mid-century modern come from a simple and practical approach, where furniture and other objects are stripped right back so that their function is their feature.

Stackable and foldable furniture was born under the mid-century modern movement, focusing on functionality as the key part of their design.

It’s all about the ease of living.

There are no decorative touches, or embellishments, with clean lines, uncluttered spaces and items that are multi-use.

The context of post-war optimism found bright, graphic patterns and cheery pops of colour commonly used, carefully paired with natural woods and greenery to bring balance to the space.

Coastal style

Coastal style is extremely popular in Australia, especially by the coast (who would have thought!), where around 80% of the Australian population lives.

Coastal style focuses on the use of natural materials such as raw woods, textured linens and organic wicker or rattan touches.

Again you won’t find clutter in this classic design — accessories are kept to a bare minimum and minimalism shines through with the focus on amplifying natural light and an airy feel.

That doesn’t mean you won’t find colour in coastal style interior design — soft muted tones of beige, blues, greens and greys are a part of this palette. These soothing tones create a sense of relaxation and zen, like you’re truly on a coastal holiday in your own home!

Industrial style

Industrial style interior design has its roots in Western Europe following the Industrial Revolution, when many warehouses sat vacant and were converted into residential neighbourhoods for the growing population.

Architects and interior designers of the time focussed on the rough industrial canvas as the feature for these homes. Industrial style sees sweeping tall ceilings and loft style split level homes, huge glass windows, concrete floors and exposed pipes as a nod to the building’s former life.

These warehouse conversions are very popular in capital cities across the world and Australia is no different, with many sprinkled through old industrial areas that have been redeveloped in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Industrial style often aims to embrace and honour the previous use of the building in all its gritty form! Think exposed brick walls, or even a textured concrete wall, polished concrete flooring with imperfections for the world to see are a key feature, metal fixtures, large windows with individual panes and an open layout with a second loft style level and soaring ceilings.

Scandinavian style


The focus for Scandinavian style (often referred to as “Scandi”) is on minimalism, functionality and simplicity. Think “less is more”. Often incorporating natural materials, the aim of Scandi, is for lighter muted tones and varying shades of cool white.

Clean lines, quality design that stands the test of time and monochromatic rooms evoke the simplicity Scandinavian style has become so well known for.  There is a marked lack of clutter and even colour, as all design elements in Scandinavian style work together to maximise natural light and keep the space airy and bright.

Scandinavian style is extremely popular across Australia and you can walk into pretty much any homewares or furniture store and find a few key Scandi pieces with ease.

Think muted tones borrowed from nature like nude leathers, blonde woods kept natural, crisp cool whites, textural woollen and even fur throws, paired with minimalist abstract artworks or black and white photography.


You would no doubt have been drawn to one or two of the unique interior design styles as you were reading through this guide.

While colours, textures and furnishings will definitely have an impact on the end result of your home’s interior design, many of the finishings and elements need to be decided upon at the time of building your home.

Facades, fixtures and even floor plans all have a huge impact on the look and feel of the end result, so it’s important to discuss these with your home builder. Here at Achieve Homes we have a Selections Studio in both ACT and Victoria where you can view the finishings and customise your design in person with our team of experts!

Having a strong sense of your own personal interior design style aligns your home with your unique personality and functional needs, making you feel at ease and comfortable in your own space. It also acts as a showcase for those you welcome into your home about who you are and as a point of pride.

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