You only need to scroll through your Instagram feed to notice a flourishing new interiors trend. From a bevy of botanical based, linen brands featuring distinct foliage & native floral designs to the earthy, terracotta tones of Dulux’s 2018 trend forecast it’s clear that an ‘Australiana’ trend is making a statement in our bedrooms. In a world of interiors that has always drawn so much inspiration from overseas, be it Scandinavia, France, the Hamptons, or Asia, it’s nice to see that we have created our own distinctive look and feel and we don’t need to go beyond the backyard for design ideas! Whether it’s our unique coastal chic style, or enchanting, rustic country styling, Australians have a take on design that is different to anywhere else in the world.
What defines the Australian style?
Our style is relaxed, easy going, forgiving, and informal rather than over-done. But don’t be mistaken - that doesn’t mean that it’s not thoughtful or stylish. The ‘Australiana’ look is authentic - it reflects our love of the great outdoors, our down to earth attitudes and temperaments that combine hard work with knowing also how to relax. Often with a touch of quirkiness, and always with a freedom of expression, Australian interiors style is about progressive design and creativity.
So, how do you bring Australian flair to the bedroom?
1. Made down underLet’s start with the obvious….the building block of the bedroom; the furniture. Nothing adds to the theme of the room as much as the character of the furniture and the story behind it. Australian timbers are not only some of the most durable timbers in the world, but ‘there is a natural warmth with solid wood that you just can’t replicate with other materials’ says Chris Gazzola of Coringle Furniture.
If you want to introduce the great outdoors to the bedroom, a bed frame such as Iris Nights will do just that. Crafted from solid messmate timber, it is the wood grain detail and subtle peach tones of this distinctive native Australian hardwood that give the bed it’s character and make the room feel a part of a Tasmanian forest.
2. Just add colourFrom the red ochres of the outback, to the grey blue greens of the eucalypt, nothing says Australiana more than the colours that represent the land & nature we’re surrounded by. We’re seeing these colours on the walls, in the upholstery and of course in the patterns of our linen.
But ‘Australiana’ doesn’t need to be restricted to the quintessential colour palette of the great outdoors. These days the Australian style is playful and lighthearted. A diverse range of colours and patterns are used in linen, on cushions and artwork in pinks, yellows, oranges and mint green. Flood your room with that classic Australian natural light and watch those playful colours pop!
3. Get crafty and use textureAustralians are known for their creativity and quirky offbeat design, and are really making their mark in the world of interiors. From textile artists like Natalie Miller (www.nataliemillerdesign.com) to ceramicists such as Susan Siminoni ( www.susansimonini.com) and Bridget Bodenham (www.bridgetbodenham.com), Australian designers are turning heads all over the world.
So, there is no excuse for not accessorising and Australian-ising (is that a thing? If it’s not, we’re making it one) your bedroom with crazy, crafty homewares. Add some colour and texture through the addition of a hand-made vase, a water jug, a jewellery holder or a wall hanging. Oh, and there is no shortage of incredible Australian designed bed linen either - yet another way to add artwork and different textures to the bedroom.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match textures.
Speaking of incredible Australian artwork, we could not write an article on the art of Australiana without mentioning Australian Indigenous art*. Warm and colourful art always has a place in the bedroom, and whether the art focuses on the landscape and natural world, or ceremonial designs, Indigenous artwork can bring a rich and meaningful story to your home. Not to mention, supporting Indigenous art can be a great way to support Indigenous communities. There is a lot to consider when buying Indigenous artwork, most importantly how to buy ethically and ensure your purchase supports the artist who creates it. For a more comprehensive guide, we refer you to other articles for tips on buying right, but in summary, start by researching the artist and asking questions and refer to organisations such at the Indigenous Art Code and the Australian Commercial Galleries Association. Finally, try to buy (where possible) through Indigenous art centres or commercial galleries working in partnership with these art centres. For some fine examples head to The Design Files - https://thedesignfiles.net/section/indigenous-art/
5. Bring the outdoors in
Last, but not least, is one of the easiest ways to add a touch of Australia to the bedroom - by bringing the outdoors in. Think outside the square and use what’s available to you from your garden, or your neighbours garden, or the park down the road. You don’t have to spend a fortune at the florist to have an ongoing supply of flowers and foliage in the bedroom, any season of the year. In winter, a branch covered in lichen in a large ceramic vase will do the trick, or in autumn a bunch of dried grasses, some eucalypt leaves, or pomegranate branches look stunning, and in spring and summer the options are endless. Happy foraging!
 * We acknowledge and recognise the diversity and distinctness of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In this article however, we use the term ‘Indigenous’ collectively to refer broadly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and artists.