30 Jan

What makes British interior style so unique?

British interior design has come a long way in recent years. We have embraced our heritage on a larger scale, combining it with our unique, edgy characters and a pinch of international influence.

The British approach to interior design is all about contrasts. We enjoy getting creative with a mix of traditional artisan features and innovative, contemporary materials while incorporating a love for both the old and the new. We like our interiors to make a declaration about our identity with our homes full of pieces that tell stories and have personality. We are always searching for ways to bring quirkiness, comfort and cosiness into our interiors while reflecting a sense of quality and smartness at the same time. 

British interior designers are particularly skilled at layering eclectic ideas, patterns, colours and visual focus points to provide depth while balancing the scale of each room. Our style has echoes of our history, but we never fail to stand out and be different. This enthusiastic drive towards originality has encouraged designers, architects and artisans to push their creative boundaries to new levels, developing innovative products that perform to modern standards while still maintaining elegance and balance. 

Although we have a confident, bold style, we’re never happy to just leave things as they are. We’re always thinking about new ways to renovate or change our homes. We are always flicking through interior design magazines and scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration. Light, space and volume are vital elements that British homeowners want to achieve in their homes, while proportion, balance and style bring cohesion to any form of interior. 

Leading the way in interior design

By combining artisanship with quality materials and design innovation, British designers have ensured that homeowners can achieve the perfect balance between architecture and interior design. 

‘We design durable timber garden rooms and orangeries for people in the UK who desire more space in their homes,’ explains Jonathan Hey, founder and director of Westbury Garden Rooms. ‘Our glazed garden rooms are crafted from timber, which means that they have a classic look, but they are still bespoke so that we can design something completely personal to each client. From the start, our creative process focuses on the circulation, flow and light in our client’s homes, as well as improving the proportion and scale of the interior space.’

In Britain, we have a strong heritage of innovation, industry and craft. You will often see beautiful spaces lifted by integrated, bespoke features such as fitted shelves, custom-made furniture, traditional cabinetry or bespoke kitchens. We are fortunate to be able to make use of so many talented artisans to provide us with tailor-made features to an exceptionally high standard. 

What’s so special about British interior style? 

While other cultures have always had an influence in our homes, there is an emerging trend for all things quintessentially British. We are beginning to love our heritage a lot more and are beginning to mix traditional British brands with modern tastes. For example, John Lewis has recently released a new collection of Liberty Fabric prints after collaborating with the V&A and have a best-selling print inspired by an English country garden. Sales of William Morris wallpaper are on the rise, too. 

Willow Bough by William Morris (1834-1896)

British interior design is all about showing our identities and creating spaces that reflect who we are. We’re not so fussed about keeping up with the latest trends, but our interiors celebrate individuality, and we like to use social media and online inspiration as a means to creating personal ‘displays’ in the home. There is nothing better than stumbling across a new, undiscovered designer on Instagram who seems to get the perfect balance between scale and proportion. More than ever, we choose design brands that we know we can trust to offer us quality, and once we find them, we stay loyal to them. 

As a nation, British people like to invest in quality pieces that they choose for their robust durability. We find that individual items in the home often have a strong emotional value to us, for example, a painting that hung in grandmother’s living room. These items are treasured over the years and passed on to our loved ones as heirlooms.

Our iconic British interior style is renowned because of the way we can reinvent a room through careful planning and thoughtful manner. We do not tend to add ‘quick updates’ to fix a place, we will spend time researching colour schemes, textile combinations and furniture trends to bring a whole project together. It can be suggested that where our country has considerably more period homes in comparison to other countries, we understand how essential it is to respect the architectural features and take the whole look and feel of a building into account. We know how to highlight large bay windows, tall ceiling heights, grand staircases and ornate fireplaces, while still putting our own mark on an interior.

Evolving with the change in times

The wonderful thing about British interior style is that it is continually developing and changing to reflect our culture. Spending quality time relaxing at home with our friends and family has become more important to us, so purchases of home cinema systems for movie nights and large, cosy corner sofas are on the rise. We want dining rooms that promote easy, relaxed family meals. Hosting cocktail nights for friends is becoming a popular way to spend a Friday evening, so home bars, drinks trolleys and cocktail shakers are having a big revival. 

We are also seeing a rise in spirituality, wellness and mindfulness, which is reflected in our interior design. There is a greater desire to feel connected to nature, and we are bringing houseplants into our homes on mass with low-maintenance succulents being the most popular. Retail experts predict that Crystals are to go mainstream and designers are incorporating them into bars of soap, home ornaments and scented candles. With tidy homes come tidy minds, and with the rise of Marie Kondo’s Netflix show at the beginning of 2019 came the demand for stylish woven storage baskets, boxes and clothing hooks. We are beginning to look at new ways to stay organised, keep clutter out of our lives and maximise on space. 

Westbury Gardens rooms are considered to be one of the leading British designers of bespoke timber garden rooms and orangeries for people who want to embrace a traditional aesthetic with modern innovation. Each individually-designed room is elegant and traditional, and perfectly harmonises with the proportions of the main property. If you are looking to embrace British design and incorporate it into your home, get in touch with the team at Westbury Garden Rooms today.