How design preferences differ across the UK

October 9, 2017 / Isla MacFarlane
How design preferences differ across the UK

AXA Insurance has released new research highlighting the most and least popular interior design trends across the UK, with some surprising results.

No two houses are the same, however AXA has found that certain cities have particular tastes when it comes to decorating their homes, many of which go against our preconceptions of trends in certain areas. For example, even though London is often thought of as a city that enjoys all things modern, those living there are the most inclined to appreciate Victorian/Heritage design (41%), which is almost double the national average at 22%.

Even though there’s been a spate of modern and minimalist architecture being built in London over the past few decades, it seems as though inhabitants are bucking the trend. In fact, it’s cities further up north that prefer the minimalist style, including Newcastle (39%), Manchester (33%) and Leeds (33%).

What’s more, given complete creative freedom, Londoners still wouldn’t choose to decorate their homes in a minimalist style, unlike those in Newcastle who ranked first (35%), followed by Glasgow (33%) and Cardiff (31%).

Outside of London, Birmingham comes top of the list of cities that loves shabby chic, with one in five enjoying the upcycled style even though it’s more often associated with country homes. Meanwhile, those in Brighton and Hove are most fond of the hipster trend (13%), showing that some towns do lean towards their assumed tastes.

Even when respondents were asked to choose their favourite design trends out of 40 options, traditional designs still came out on top. Out of all these options, wooden beams (often popular in older buildings and cottages) was voted the favourite design trend across the whole of the UK (65%), whilst fluffy rugs and blankets (58%) and magnolia (51%) featured in the top five.

However, even though the nation is longing for more traditional design, modern staples are still very much relied upon, including feature walls (57%) and televisions in the bedroom (52%). Design trends that are more controversial or outdated topped the most disliked list, with taxidermy (76%) ranking first, followed by cluttered rooms (73%) and carpet in bathrooms (67%).

Out of the 40 design trends presented, there were variances depending on the city respondents were from, even in cities which seem similar. For example, even though they are both thriving student towns, 50% of respondents from Bristol said they like to decorate using mason jars, whilst 42% of respondents from Glasgow said they dislike them.

However, towns of a similar size often had similar tastes, for example those from larger cities such as Sheffield (50%) and Manchester (48%) said they liked marble or marble effect, whilst smaller cities including Cambridge (41%) and Brighton and Hove (35%) were against the trend.

“When it comes to interior design, our research shows that preconceptions of what is popular in certain towns and cities can often be way off,” said Gareth Howell, Managing Director, AXA Direct. “It’s important to not compartmentalise when it comes to creativity, and it’s the nation’s love of creativity that has inspired AXA to sponsor the Grand Room Sets feature at Grand Designs Live this October. With six very different entries, we hope to highlight the diversity in design and how each home is unique.”

Did you like this? Share it: