Carpet and Rug NewsFeatured PartnerFloor TalkFlooring NewsHome HeadlinesUK Statistics

Bucking the interior design trend:

New research shows real diversity in design trends across the UK

As part of its sponsorship of the Grand Room Sets feature at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham this October, 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 per cent), which is almost double the national average at 22 per cent.

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, its cities further up north that prefer the minimalist style, including Newcastle (39 per cent), Manchester (33 per cent) and Leeds (33 per cent).

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 per cent), followed by Glasgow (33 per cent) and Cardiff (31 per cent).

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 per cent), showing that some towns do lean towards their assumed tastes.

Design trends across the UK

 Even when respondents were asked to choose their favourite design trends out of 40 options, we saw that 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 per cent), whilst fluffy rugs and blankets (58 per cent) and magnolia (51 per cent) 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 per cent) and televisions in the bedroom (52 per cent).

Design trends that are more controversial or outdated topped the most disliked list, with taxidermy (76 per cent) ranking first, followed by cluttered rooms (73 per cent) and carpet in bathrooms (67 per cent).

UK’s Most Liked Design Trends   UK’s Least Liked Design Trends
Wooden Beams 65%   Taxidermy 76%
Fluffy Rugs and/or Blankets 58%   Cluttered Rooms 73%
Feature Walls 57%   Carpet in Bathrooms 67%
TV in the Bedroom 52%   Animal Print 66%
Magnolia 51%   Exposed Brickwork 59%


Gareth Howell, Managing Director, AXA Direct said:

“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. 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.

Design trends cities love… and hate

Once again, 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 per cent of respondents from Bristol said they like to decorate using mason jars, whilst 42 per cent 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 per cent) and Manchester (48 per cent) said they liked marble or marble effect, whilst smaller cities including Cambridge (41 per cent) and Brighton and Hove (35 per cent) were against the trend.

Finally, even though the British have a reputation for being stand-offish, especially when it comes to unexpected guests, AXA’s research shows that 40 per cent of people would be happy to see someone even if they turned up uninvited, and only 17 per cent saying they would rather they arranged it first.

However, the friendliest town isn’t in the North as most people would expect, it’s Cambridge with 49 per cent, followed by Leicester (45 per cent) and Newcastle (44 per cent).

Manchester came top of the list of towns who would rather you arranged it first, however at 22 per cent they are only four points higher than the national average.

Figures obtained from research commissioned by AXA of 3000 UK adults that own or rent their home (not sheltered housing) as even as possible distribution by nearest city.

The research was carried out by OnePoll in August 2017.


Show More

Floors Magazine brings you daily flooring news, features, tenders, events, jobs and everything in-between.

Related Articles

Back to top button