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modern living room with sectional sofa and tan leather cushions

Modern Aussie Design Shines in this Fresh New Interiors Trend

So often people find it hard to sum up what modern Australian interior design looks like. But wonder no more, decorating junkies, because I’m showing you inside a space that absolutely nails it.

We do modern sophistication well Down Under. You know, that wonderful indoor-meets-out feel where we inject nature into our spaces with ease. And I say ‘ease’ because our interiors, for the most part, don’t feel laboured over. There’s a casual, effortless nature to them, and yet they still feel refined.

There’s no space this design approach is at play in more than Metricon’s Duxton display. The images below will take you through the rooms in the home, which are decked out in Metricon’s new LookBook theme, Urban Breeze. I can almost smell freshly cut grass and feel a gentle wind blowing through soft sheer curtains. Pass me a white wine and a good book immediately!

But what gives Modern Australian interior design its identity? Below I’ll give you some pointers on how to make a look like this work at your place. It’s so much simple than you might think.

blue and white abstract canvas art above dark grey sofa in modern living room

Modern Australian Interior Design Starts with Colour

We don’t shy away from colour in Australia, but by no means are we splashing it on our walls. Or on our windows. Or our kitchen cabinets (although that’s set to change). What we do embrace, though, is subtle colour mingling through cushions on sofas. In our artworks. And even on our rugs and smaller tabletop accessories.

It’s a wise approach if you’re not sure you can commit to a bold feature wall. It also allows you to experiment without breaking the bank (and who doesn’t love saving some cash!?)

To pull off the modern Australian interior design vibe you see here, consider this colour story:

  • A soft grey and white base palette keeps the look light and fresh
  • Punctuate that with pops of black in moments like timber tables or ceramics
  • You’ll want to drizzle in warm tan through leather cushions or rattan baskets
  • And don’t forget a medley of muddy blue tones, reminiscent of the ocean
  • Lastly, you gotta throw in a large does of green through indoor plants

All of the colours in this mod Aus trend are inspired by nature. It’s the cornerstone of the Urban Breeze look. It creates a harmonious feel in your home without it veering in an all-white boho direction (a look I suspect is on its way out soon).

living room with geometric rug black oval coffee table and light grey sectional sofa

It’s a Very Layered, Lived-In Look

There’s a cosiness to the Mod Aus trend that doesn’t feel cluttered or overwhelming. Larger decor pieces are clustered together on tabletops and sofas, but they’re given room to breathe.

You’ll also notice that smaller knick knacks are kept to a minimum. That’s a detail I fully appreciate in all Metricon display homes, but it’s particularly important in pulling off the modern Australian interior design vibe.

There’s a wonderful medley of textures in this trend as well. Timbers are paired with linens, ceramics and concrete play against soft velvets. You’ve even got the masculine edge of leather sitting alongside delicate wool and cotton.

The other key to getting a look like this right is the way that soft furnishings have been styled. Cushions lay back on sofas as opposed to sitting perfectly upright. Throws are tossed on the ends of sofas without much fuss. It keeps the spaces feeling approachable and lived-in. And that’s really what phenomenal Aussie interiors are all about, right?!

round black side table with indoor plants on top and geometric rug

“Modern Australian interior design, for the most part, doesn’t feel laboured over. There’s a casual nature to the look, and yet it still feels refined”.

modern dining room with oak timber table and black upholstered dining chairs

Greenery is the Secret Ingredient

A room without a plant is no room at all if you ask me. And if you’re a bit of a black-thumb like I am, go fake. Don’t give me that look! There are phenomenal fake plants on the market right now. I even have a list of the best places to get them here.

Metricon display homes are drenched in gorgeous fake plants and they’ll give you an in-person idea of just how far artificial plants have come. And truthfully, they’re super important in creating this modern Aus look, because we’re all about nature and blurring the lines between inside and out.

If you scroll through the images in this post you’ll notice all of the plants. On coffee tables, on side tables, on bedsides – they’re everywhere! If there’s an opportunity to look out a window and see a gorgeous wall of greenery, you should do that too. There’s a stunning green vertical garden in the bedroom image below that is giving me serious design envy!

Lastly, on the topic of greenery, look to interesting pots to display plants in. Modern Australian interiors always have this knack for showcasing handmade artisan ceramics, so don’t be afraid to hit places like Etsy and get something a little left-of-centre.

Oh, and if you want to see a super-affordable way to create an indoor vertical garden, check this post out.

modern bedroom design with blue and tan colours and leather decor

You Should Try at Least One Daring Moment

As I’m on a personal mission to banish Australia of all-white walls, I want to encourage you to try a little colour in at least one room. And if the bedroom above doesn’t inspire you to do it, I don’t know what will.

The stunning blue-grey tone on the walls above and below does wonders in elevating the look and feel of this room. You’ll see in the photo below that the finish is a little rough. Almost like a concrete effect. What this does is bring a little grit to the room. And when paired with an oversize upholstered headboard, boy does it strike a stunning textural balance.

If you’re going to put colour on your wall, try wrapping all walls in a soothing tone. There’s been a recent resurgence of bold feature walls in spaces, which I’m all for, but if the colour is subdued, you can go all out.

The funny thing is, most people would gasp at the idea of painting all the walls in their room blue. But when you see it above it just works. And if you imagine the room with white walls, I’m sure you’ll agree that it wouldn’t be as impactful.

So go on, give a soft blue wall a go. It’s very modern Australian when paired with tan leather.

rustic bedside table with indoor plant and stack of books with oversized headboard

Are you a fan of Modern Australian Interior Design?

Are we feeling the mod Aus vibes of this stunning Metricon display home? If you’re keen to see more of this Urban Breeze LookBook theme, you can click here to explore it further.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of this trend. It’s very much a look I’d rock in my own home.

I’d love to know if this is a design scheme you’d do at your place. Drop me a comment below and let me know what you’re vibing on!

This post includes images and/or videos of Metricon display homes and events, reproduced with permission.
© Metricon Homes Pty Ltd 2016.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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13 Responses

  1. Love…love….love this design! I feel that I have many of these ideas in my house! I do have a little green thumb so I do have real plants throughout my house..I did have to get a few fake plantsdue to lack of enough light in some rooms. Presently all my bedroom walls are a medium brown (moved into house 14 years ago..so a bit dated) but this year we are having the interior painted and I’m looking at a soft blue gray color to do all my walls in the house.

  2. Hi have asked this question on FB but will ask here as well. I really love the sheer curtains and the Colour. Are you able to tell me the name of the colour or who did the curtains?

  3. I love this trend! Chris, do you know where the tan leather cushion and white cushion (in the second photo, just above “Modern Australian Interior Design Starts with Colour”) are from? Or where I can find something similar?

    1. I love the trend too Vee. Sadly I don’t know where the cushions are from 🙁 The design team at Metricon have tonnes of suppliers they use for styling the display homes, so not sure of the act ones here sorry.

  4. Now this is more like it ! Has my name written all over it and going to prestart for the new build on Friday I now have a ‘style’ which was previously unnamed ! Thanks

  5. So glad you’re back! Building a new home and constantly looking for ideas and inspiration.
    You cannot go wrong with grey, white and black. Just add something a little unexpected.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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