There’s a common interior design thread running through most cities in Great Britain. For instance, Bristolian homes are weighted towards the Mid-Century Modern look whereas in York, expect to see decor that’s more rustic than not. But what’s the supreme style on your city’s streets?
Looking back from 2004 to today, LuxDeco has identified a trend for decorating taste across UK cities. From north to south and from England to Northern Ireland, the results pan the length and breadth of the country to uncover which homes favour Scandi over Coastal, Art Deco over Industrial and Rustic over Vintage. In total, there were 11 design categories that each city could fall under with the Google Trends data interpreting 15 strong years of style choices.
The map shows two immediate insights. The first, that there’s a clear north/south divide with industrial championed across the majority of Scotland (save for a portion of the western side where Mid-Century Modern takes over) and just below (in counties such as Lancashire). In the South, there’s a richer mix of styles with industrial only appearing once or twice (such as in parts of Kent). And the second, that Traditional is the most popular with Victorian coming closely after.
Top Interior Design Styles by Cities in the UK:
Drilling deeper into city-specific statistics, the research means you can see the interior design choices in 20 of the UK’s major cities. Interestingly, only six of the eleven style categories come through, exposing not just city favourites but also which style favourites the nation flock to most.
Top Interior Design Styles by Countries in the UK:
For a wider scoop of the data, the lens can zoom out too to show style preferences by country. It proves that each nation has its own interiors identity with all four countries responding differently. Some are much more clear-cut, such as Scotland’s universal appreciation for Industrial design and Northern Ireland’s affinity with Country, whereas England’s heady concoction of decor taste is harder to define.
Insights From The Experts
We asked Linda Holmes, Interiors Director at LuxDeco for her take on the research results.
“Even though the households of the United Kingdom are comprised of much eclecticism and individualism, I am not surprised that Traditional has claimed the number one spot in terms of popularity. This is because there are two interpretations of the same style that help it to reach further and suit a wide span of property and personality types.
"Traditional in one breath is very classic, driven by antiques and heritage, but it also touches on this fresher perspective of classic-contemporary too. Here, we see interiors inspired by tradition but with a more pared-back, crisp slant to give rise to a timeless, elegant and homely feel. The term traditional covers both of these aesthetics.
“Victorian style has seen a steady resurgence too. The nation’s love for sombre colours on everything from walls to rugs, velvet textures on sofas, armchairs and headboards, and pattered wallpapers have encouraged its renaissance. Art Deco though can feel bold and daunting and some of the other styles are a bit too niche for mass appeal, such as Coastal.
“Interior design should be about personal expression, not what you feel you should be choosing because it happens to be in vogue right now or the favourited style of your home city. Decorating choices are about what works for you, not for others.”
Interior Design Faux Pas:
Linda shares five decorating pitfalls to avoid when deliberating your own interior.
Fad Metallics - metallic finishes will always have a place in interior design, but stick to the classics like antique brass, bronze, nickel and chrome. Rose Gold and Copper are very much a trend and don’t have the same staying power. If they really set your heart racing though, use them in small quantities and in a way that’s easy to replace when they fall out of style, such as vases and photo frames.
Shiny Metallics – the other thing to say about metallics is that matte or soft sheen metals are more likely to last the course than high gloss ones. So if you live in Scotland and are looking for your next Industrial-style piece of furniture or accessory, stick to the low-key finishes on any metals.
Bold Colour En Masse – yes, deep and dark hues are all the rage right now, but if they’re pushing you out of your comfort zone, the chances are that you’ll want to return to more neutral territory later down the line. Stick to using stronger shades on smaller pieces like cushions, throws and an accent armchair or footstool.
Accent Wallpaper – bold is beautiful, but bold also means it’s likely to date. Some people know their style inside out and when they make a strong statement, they know they’re not going to go off it because it’s a personal statement rather than a style-led one. So if florals, geometrics, animal print, or whatever feature print you choose for your wallpaper, are your thing then take it to your walls with confidence. Otherwise, steer clear as wallpaper is a big undertaking and you might fall out of love with it quicker than you think.
Unnatural Wood Finishes – there’s a theme here – stick to the classics, because anything that’s forced just won’t last. When it comes to wooden furniture, be it a dining table, console table, sideboard or coffee table, picking an unnatural wood stain or lacquer will only cheapen the piece and reduce its likelihood to become a family heirloom to keep hold of.