Australian Minimalism Is the New Scandi Chic—Here’s Why

Look at your Instagram feed and you might realize it’s been monopolized by a new sense of minimalism that looks fairly different from the Scandinavian styles you’re used to—think fewer possessions (“stuff,” if you will), brighter colors and funky silhouettes. In a sense, it’s a lot more fun—and it’s all inspired by Australian design.

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“It’s minimal in nature due to our youth as a country,” elaborates Claire Driscoll, creative director of Australian interior design firm Studio CD. “Australian minimalism in home design is a pared-back room and home, nothing too fussy—a tidy space with a refined selection of finishes, materials, furniture and decor that work together rather than stand out. We work a lot with natural finishes and textures that complement our natural surrounds, and in turn, we create spaces that flow from the outside in.”

It’s understandable that minimalism can be intimidating. After all, traditionally, the style has been defined as bare walls, stark colors and a sense of sparseness that lives by the principle “less is more.” The Scandinavian-inspired looks that people have been gravitating toward the past few years have also relied on this philosophy, with a heavy emphasis on fresh white tones and soft oaks, Driscoll says. 

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Australian decor tends to lean on a wider range of hues. “A minimalist space can be colorful through the play of tone on tone, or bright and rich colors,” she adds. For Driscoll, as long as the space doesn’t include several prints on top of one another or too much “stuff,” it can classify as Australian minimalism. This means you can really let your personality shine through, which, according to Driscoll, is the most important part: “I believe that a home should reflect the owners or family, so understanding who you are and how you like to live is imperative,” she says. 

There’s also a stronger reliance on nature-inspired pieces and finishes to make a room feel warmer and more inviting. An ultra-modern sofa, for example, seems more relaxed when paired with a woven pendant light. The texture softens the sleekness.

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If you want to incorporate the trend in your own home, it’s easier than you think—even if your style is more eclectic and less contemporary. “Honestly, the key is to declutter,” elaborates Driscoll. “Showcase a few signature decorative pieces on shelves and tables, link color tones together, integrate contemporary furniture throughout and make sure you have plenty of storage to keep any mess at bay.” 

Cohesiveness is key, and this will help you bring in a ton of texture and color without overwhelming the space. If you still need some help, though, don’t stress: Below, check out some of our favorite Australian minimalist brands that will help you bring the style home. 

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Capra Designs

Each stylish plant accessory has been designed in Melbourne, working with minimalist silhouettes adorned with funky materials like terrazzo and cork.

Trit House

Think of Trit House as your one-stop shop for everything Australian-inspired, from elaborate multi-piece sectionals to simple wood stools. This is global design at your fingertips.

Kip & Co.

Kip & Co. is funky, yes, but it still works with the minimalism trend when you consider the fact that you can combine several bolder tones to create a cohesive palette that won’t overwhelm your space.

Pop and Scott

Natural materials combine with trendy hues to embody the crux of what Australian minimalism is all about.

Armadillo & Co.

Just because your space is minimalist doesn’t mean you can’t get a sunny rug to give it a pop of color—and Australian carpeting company Armadillo & Co. offers both solid and printed options that will really lighten up the room. 

purewow author

Freelance Writer

Nikhita Mahtani is a freelance food, home and wellness journalist based in NYC. She has been writing about everything from viral wellness trends to trendy homes since she...