What's Your Interior Design Style - And Can You Afford It?

By Sophie

Struggling to pin down what kind of style would suit you and your home? Take our quiz for some interiors inspo, plus, get the low down on the financial pitfalls you might need to watch out for along the way.

1. What kind of colour palette do you usually like?

a. Pale pastels and/or natural hues
b. The brighter the better
c. Darker, moody shades, like greys and khaki
d. White. Or off-white. Maybe cream at a stretch
e. Metallics and monochrome

2. How do you find maintaining your space

a. I like things to look cared for, but I'm not precious - a little bit of clutter never hurt anyone
b. I have a lot of trinkets in my place, so cleaning tends to feel more obstacle course than a quick onceover
c. I like my place to feel pretty laidback, so if things look a bit messy it just adds to the atmosphere
d. Easy. There's not much in it, so it's usually just a quick job a couple of times a week
e. I like order: everything has to have its place

3. Choose your essential accessory

a. A cosy blanket
b. A quirky piece of art
c. An oversized lamp
d. A single piece of greenery
e. A scented candle

4. What kind of travel inspires you?

a. Skiing or hiking holiday
b. Backpacking without a plan
c. Action-packed city break
d. Yoga retreat
e. Luxury resort

5. Where would you say you feel most relaxed at home?

a. Holed up in a reading nook
b. Cooking up a storm in the kitchen
c. Chilling on the couch
d. Out on the deck or balcony
e. Unwinding in the bath

6. What do you admire most when you go to friends' homes?

a. How they've mixed op shop finds with more expensive pieces
b. An unusual item with a great story behind it
c. The use of raw materials
d. Clever storage hacks you've never seen before
e. Designer labels (clearly branded)



You got Scandi

Scandi style is simple, functional and understated. Characterised by neutral colour palettes, with hints of cool pastels and organic materials, it's a look that's been made more financially accessible by the arrival of Swedish giant IKEA into Australia.

And it can be a really good shout if you're looking to freshen up your place on a budget (as long as you're willing to forgo some of those authentic furs and real timber accessories).

If you want to go all out, think about natural light. It's a major aspect of creating that airy Scandi feel, so bear in mind that if your home isn't flooded with the stuff, you might want to consider installing sky lights or floor to ceiling windows to get the full effect.

You got Retro

Not one to shy away from adventurous design, you're of the feeling that the quirkier your home, the better. You're a champion of bold colours - from fluoro to jewel tones - and unusual shapes and textures throughout your home.

If you're prepared to invest the time and effort going from op shop to op shop or hitting up vintage markets in a nearby edgy suburb, chances are, you'll bag yourself a retro bargain. Or even better, swing by your parents or grandparents' home to see what throwbacks are kicking about in the loft.

For a full-on retro look, think about channelling a different theme per room to make your entire home a visual adventure.

You got Industrial

Industrial style is all about a stripped back, raw aesthetic, with distressed finishes, exposed bricks and beams, and concrete flooring.

Now, if the framework is already in place (i.e. you're living in an old loft space or converted warehouse), going with an au naturel look can save you a fortune on things like plastering and painting. Plus, the industrial style really lends itself to upcycling or repurposing old materials for new, which even DIY novices can try their hand at.

These spaces can be a little tricky to come by, but you can always create the look for yourself by enlisting the support of a structural engineer to get things like ceiling beams safely (and stylishly) in situ. Failing that, it's easy enough to compensate for the lack of rooftop detail with a statement lighting piece.

You got Minimalist

When life's chaotic, it's the last thing you want your home to be. Clean lines, plenty of space and a calming colour palette are your bag, while distracting patterns and a clunky room layout are an absolute no-go.

But, above all, you like the fact that less stuff means less budget needed to get your design dreams off the ground. And surely minimalism is the key to an affordable reno?

Well, it absolutely can be, and investing in a few really great things can make minimalist life much easier. Simple, statement pieces might involve an initial financial outlay compared to cheaper alternatives, but they're likely to outlast any imitation pieces ten times over. Other good shouts include seriously clever cabinetry to keep your bits and pieces tucked away and quality flooring to make this your forever home. Think of it as more 'targeted' spending on quality.

You got Modern Glamour

Your style screams luxury: pristine white surfaces, plush fabrics, metallic accents. There's total attention to detail, down to the cutlery in your drawers and the floral arrangements on your dining table.

It wouldn't be modern glamour without all of the mod cons, like fridges, TVs, coffee machines and luxury materials like marble and leather - and they certainly look the part. That's why, when even the smallest touches count, it's important to be extra meticulous with your budget planning, so you can identify early on where you might need an extra financial boost to achieve the exact look you want.


Find out which parts of the home an experienced builder says are worth the renovation.