Contemporary Australian Design – What Is It?

Contemporary Australian Design is a term that you might have seen thrown around on your favourite interiors Instagram feed, or throughout the pages of Vogue Living. It’s trending without a doubt… what was does it actually mean?

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When it comes to homes and interiors, we (and much of the Western world) have been used to a heavily Scandinavian influenced design aesthetic for many years. Recently however, a new wave of Contemporary Australian Design has snuck up on us. There are lots of young designers who are adopting this design scene with its relaxed style, masculine accents, and the idea of bringing the outdoors (which all Australians love) indoors. There are lots of light colours and clean, simple lines – in fact the essence of contemporary Australian design is plain and simple. Why go for clutter with complicated patterns and excessive details, when clean lines and simple elements are just as beautiful when executed well?

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Swapping your rich tones for a light palette gives you more of exactly that – light! Drench your lounge room on a Sunday afternoon in natural light by reflecting it off softly toned surfaces filled with minimal furniture pieces to really make the most of our stunning climate.

Jack Milenkovic is the Creative Director of Belle Magazine and has won many coveted publishing awards such as Australia’s Designer of the Year. He describes contemporary Australian design as “young, fresh, a little pared back, but still full of visual energy. It really reflects on Australia’s lifestyle and culture.”

He is convinced that Australian design is gaining more respect around the world, partly because of the internet and social media, which has allowed Australian design talent to cross borders. This has enabled young Australian designers to gain some international recognition that they could not have achieved 20 years ago. He says that it has created a knock-on effect, and the international design community is taking notice.

Pre-Designed Space: Australian

If you look at the design trends coming through in textiles, similar things are happening. A lot of light colours and images of fish, flowers, plants, and animals can be seen recently – again playing on the outdoors coming inside.

If you are redesigning a room in your home – a kitchen, a living room, bedroom – and want to keep up with 21st-century Australian contemporary design ideas, have a look through our take on the aesthetic for inspiration.