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Aussie-Approved Home Designs You're Going To Want To Steal

Emma Loewe
March 4, 2017
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
March 4, 2017

With its stunning scenery, delicious local food, surfers galore, and a no-worries mentality, it's hard to understand why anyone wouldn't want to call Australia home. We reached out to a few in-the-know Aussies for their take on the trends that are taking off Down Under, and how everyone can harness some of those lush sunny vibes in their space.

1. Give your greenery a fun home.

Sydney-based artist Bea Bellingham is noticing more and more Aussies showcasing their houseplants in whimsical containers. "House plants are nothing new (a quick tour around your Nan's circa '60s living room proves that; I'm looking at you, tired, dusty spider plant). Our living spaces are getting smaller and smaller, especially in cities," she tells mbg. "Bringing the outdoors in reminds us there's a big wide green world out there! What is new, however, is the unique pairing of easy-to-care-for plants with quirky handmade or repurposed vessels. I especially love a hanging planter for a pink ‘Pig Face’ succulent (yes, that’s the real name of an Australian native succulent)."

Claire Falkiner of Merci Perci sees pop-y black-and-white ceramics in particular taking center stage: "Used as vases with some gorgeous bright flowers or just lovely objects to admire on your mantle piece, I think the high-contrast, heavily patterned ceramics are becoming popular amongst Australians as the can slot right into any existing colour palette. Check out Louise Kyriakou and the incredible Iggy and Lou Lou."

2. Ditch the matchy-matchy.

According to Talisa Sutton, the voice behind fashion and lifestyle brand Badlands, Aussies are all about mixing and matching textures and materials. "Mixing marble with brass or copper, experimenting with contrasting-colored linens, luxurious cashmere and sheepskin throws, and a touch of velvet in the mix!"

Melbourne-based artist Daniella Leo of For Me By Dee adds that layering velvets and other warm, cozy fabrics is becoming trendy: "I think the minimalist look is being replaced by velvet apholstered bed heads, lots of cushions, and statement couches in deep colors like greens and violets. Terracotta and cork are also predicted to make a return, which will add to the texture and warmth we see."

3. Play with lighter floors.

"Another trend I have been noticing lately is white- and lime-washed timber flooring," says Sutton. "It's a very Scandinavian aesthetic that I think works so well with the coastal Australian vibe."

4. Bring on the cacti.

Take one look around The Finders Keepers, a design market in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne that features local artisans, and you'll find a whole lot of cacti. With their desert-inspired wall hangings and cactus-shaped soaps, it seems that Aussies have a real infatuation for our prickly plant friends.

5. Have a sense of humor.

"It's no secret that we Aussies have a sense of humor, and this shows in our home," says Bellingham. "Sneaking something into a display that's a little bit silly and cheeky shows your personality, effectively turning a well-designed house into a home. My favorite little features of my home are the ones that make people (myself included) laugh. Perth ceramicist Laurie Melia cracks me up with her utterly bizarre work, and I love visiting local thrift stores for the oddest, kitschiest Australiana. Porcelain Kookaburra bird lamp anyone?"

Another way to show personality is with bold, bright colors. Falkiner sees pastels becoming hugely popular, especially in the peachy pink hues.

6. Get back to nature.

"Recycled, fair trade and natural materials in earthy tones and rich green shades have been returning to the forefront of Australian design," says Natalie Gurney, the crafter behind Little Puddles. "Think fiddle leaf figs in crochet planter pots created from recycled materials, or Scandinavian style wooden garlands paired with fair trade, ethically sourced felt. It's all about simple, clean and uncluttered style with a pop of color."

7. Wool, wool and more wool.

"Wool has always been an Australian staple in the craft industry, and it is really lovely to see that featured in current design trends of weaving and crochet," adds Gurney. "Soft roving wool in dreamy pastels mixed with bold pops of color are adorning walls all over the country."

"We can’t get enough of chunky textures and hand woven pieces," echoes Bree Hay-Hendry of Aussie homewares and accessories line Amigos De Hoy. "Textured pieces add depth to rooms and adds to the charm of any house. We are loving leather style basket weaves, thick chunky wools with lurex hits, and cotton fringed fluffy rugs and cushions."

Emma Loewe author page.
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.