Building styles

If you're having trouble finding, or even thinking which style best suits you and your new home or renovation. Have a look at Australia's top 15 exterior and interior styles, Bespoke Building Consultants have done the hard work for you putting them all in one easy to find place

Once you have some idea on what your style could be head over to our "Understanding colours" page. Here you will learn what colours go with what and why it works.

Combine the knowledge on both pages and you'll have no problem tackling your next colour selection appointment 

If you have any questions Bespoke Building Consultants can help.


French provincial decorating remains a passion for Australian homeowners with the look, (think relaxed Provence, rather than polished Paris) features powdery hues, whitewashed wood and raw timber, soft linens, and texture, with an overlay of opulence: curved furniture, embroidery and gilt framing against a farmhouse-style backdrop of stone flags and milk-paint walls. Today, the kitchen might have as its centerpiece a farmhouse table in scrubbed oak or pine, while the living room boasts furniture with a finer profile. In the bedroom, a carved timber bed frame could be the drawcard.


Modern is a broad design term that typically refers to a home 

with clean, crisp lines, a simple colour palette, and the use of materials that can include metal, glass, and steel.

Modern design employs a sense of simplicity in every element, including furniture. A word that’s commonly used to describe the modern style is sleek, and there is not a lot of clutter or accessories involved with a modern style. 


Some people consider contemporary and modern architecture

to be essentially the same. However, contemporary refers to today's building styles, which can vary in design and appearance. Both styles are similar in that they look to connect indoors and outdoors, but contemporary homes tend to emphasise energy efficiency, sustainable materials, lots of natural light, and the use of recycled non-toxic materials. Put simply, contemporary homes reflect the architecture of today. However, most contemporary homes do have a modern flair to them, with design tweaks from postmodernism and deconstructionism, as well. For the first time, we also see homes where the building materials are just as important as the final product.


Industrial style is as the name implies, it draws inspiration from 

a warehouse or an urban loft. Think high ceilings, old timber, and dangling metal light fixtures with functional furniture. With a touch of unfinished rawness. There may possibly be one or two pieces of abstract art or photography to add a dash of colour to an otherwise neutral colour scheme derived from the primary materials of wood and metals. An urban look with an edge, industrial is characterised by raw textures, exposed elements, and metal fixtures and finishes.


Minimalism is ultimately defined by a sense of functionality and ultra-clean lines. The minimalist concept is one that’s popular here in Australia. It takes notions of modern design and simplifies them further. The use of functional furniture and interior objects, geometric shapes, and a combination of usually not more than two basic colours like greys, blacks, and neutrals. It is extremely important in such design to correctly divide the space. 


Mid-century modern is a throwback to the design style of the mid-1900s—primarily the 1950s and 60s. There’s a retro nostalgia present in Mid-Century Modern Design, and also some elements of minimalism. The principle behind many of the iconic mid-century furniture designs was ‘form follows function’, which simply means that the furniture was designed for its purpose without unnecessary features. One of its hallmarks – and the reason for its enduring appeal – is its focus on functionality. It emphasis on pared-down forms, natural or organic shapes such as “egg-shaped” chair, easy-to-use contemporary designs. It easily complements any interior and also helps with seamless transition from interior to exterior.


Moving into the mid-Victorian era, including terraces, the ornate detailing became much more popular. This style is distinguished by cast-iron lacework, ornamental brick facades, embellished ceilings, and mouldings. Most Victorian homes will feature bold colour pallets, fireplaces, decorative plaster ceilings, turned-timber balustrades, steep and narrow stairs, and small windows. Living and dining rooms are towards the front with kitchens to the rear, with bedrooms either off the hallway or upstairs if it's a two-story terrace.


A hugely popular interior decorating style in Australia, 

Hamptons style or also dubbed, Coastal style hails from the iconic U.S. beachside area. The intention is to create a relaxed and comfortable environment that is inspired by the beach and ocean. Common features include light, airy colour palettes with cool neutral shades paired with blues and greens. Furnishings are often white or beige. The room can contain elements of wood and accessories are often inspired by the sea. Blue and white striped patterns for pillows, large windows, white plush sofas, and painted white wood are also common fixtures of the classic Coastal/Hampton style.


The Scandinavian design pays homage to the simplicity of life demonstrated in Nordic countries. It’s the idea of treasuring the simple things in life and creating a sense of warmth within the home Scandinavian design often feels like a work of art, although it is simple and understated. There’s functionality in the furniture along with some interesting lines, many of which have a sculptural influence. Other common characteristics include all-white colour palettes and the incorporation of natural elements like form-pressed wood, bright plastics, steel, and wide plank flooring, it should be spacious with a lot of natural lighting. If there are pops of colour it often comes from the use of art, natural fiber throws or furs or a single piece of furniture.


The traditional style is the natural evolution of 18th and 19th-century European decor. Traditional homes maintain interior features such as detailed millwork, and the colours are calm and soothing. Traditional homes often feature dark, finished wood, rich colour palettes, and a variety of textures and curved lines. Furnishings have elaborate and ornate details and fabrics, like velvet, silk, and brocade, which may include a variety of patterns and textures.

There’s depth, layering, and dimensionality within most traditional designs. Traditional design style offers classic details, sumptuous furnishings, and an abundance of accessories. It is rooted in European sensibilities.


This look is perfect for anyone who feels like traditional design is a bit too stuffy, but steers clear of contemporary for fear it's too cold and stark. Transitional is a very popular style because it borrows from both traditional and modern design to facilitate a space that’s not “too much,” in terms of one style or another. There’s a sense of balance that’s appealing and unexpected.

The transitional style has cleaner lines, sleek profiles, and a more modern aesthetic without wiping out all the traditional details. designs may incorporate modern materials, such as steel and glass, and then unite them with plush furnishings.

The transitional design also includes relatively neutral colour palettes, creating a calming and relaxed space that manages to feel both stylish and sleek, as well as warm and inviting.


Eclectic or Bohemian is a popular style for home design and fashion. It reflects a carefree lifestyle with little rules, except to follow your heart's desire. It’s not uncommon to spot floor pillows and comfortable seating spaces when incorporating the style. This style can incorporate an ultra-glam chandelier paired with a well-worn rug and a mid-century chair. Within the Eclectic/Bohemian style, there’s a laissez-faire attitude where anything goes as long as you love it. Bohemian design is generally inspired by those who lead a free-spirited, norm-defying life, like travellers, writers, artists, etc. 


Rustic design is drawn from natural inspiration, using raw and 

often unfinished elements including wood and stone.

Rustic design may incorporate accessories from the outdoors with warmth emulating from the design and architectural details that may include features like vaulted ceilings adorned with wood beams or reclaimed wood floors. It embraces nature-inspired textures, simple and earthy colours, and ultimately an unpretentious, organic warmth. Many designs now integrate rustic design with more modern furnishings and accessories.


There's something so alluring and relaxing about the country 

homes that always makes you feel calm and welcome. While Modern Country and Traditional Country share some similarities, the overall look of Modern Country décor is much less ‘fussy’ than Traditional Country. In the past, when thinking of country-style décor, images of fabrics printed with roosters come to mind, as do gingham and other checks, distressed paint finishes, lace, frills, and pine furniture. Sure the bucolic setting plays a part, but its the rustic decor, timeworn finishes, heritage features, and uncontrived approach to interior decorating that creates an undeniable ambience. a great modern country interior design hack is to use wallpaper printed to look like wood paneling, or even exposed brick if you want a truly rustic look. Barn style doors are also perfect for an entryway, as well as for cabinet doors, and traditionally styled, classic wooden furniture are requisite in a country style home interior design.


Shabby chic is vintage-inspired style, but compared to Bohemian and other styles, it tends to be more feminine, soft, and delicate.

Shabby chic furnishings are often either distressed or appear that way. Paint tends to have antique-style finishes. The Shabby Chic colour palettes include white, cream, and pastels. Light, light fixture and wall hangings may be ornate and continue the feminine vibe of shabby chic design.


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