Brits have used inspiration from abroad to give their homes a makeover

Half of Brits have taken home décor inspiration from abroad - with Sweden, Italy, and Japan - the most influential.

A poll, of 2,000 adults, identified the places they draw their style from - everything from rugs to wallpaper - with France, Denmark and Norway also featuring.

A third (33 per cent) revealed they feel so passionate about interior design they'd even choose a holiday destination based on a country’s home décor heritage.

Although it's not just overseas' styles that inspire us - 19 per cent have been influenced by home décor associated with staycation destinations here in the UK.

With 'English country cottage' style, rustic Scandi, and white buildings from Greece being the most popular specific design styles from across the globe.

Commissioned by DFS, the research found 33 per cent would like to restyle areas of their home to reflect the style of their favourite places, but 63 per cent don’t think they have the skillset to do so.

Pippa Jameson, author of ‘The Sensory Home’ and sensory design expert, said: “In the rush of everyday life, we yearn for a sense of escapism and spaces inspired by our favourite destinations.

“From far flung locations like Japan and Sweden, to closer to home in the United Kingdom - interior design inspiration can be found in every corner of the globe. Sensory design brings our travels home, creating spaces that unlock a treasure trove of memories and emotions through touch, sight, scent, and sound.

“Our homes serve as sanctuaries - places of solace, inspiration, and connection. Sensory design allows us to tailor our living environments and merge holiday memories into the fabric of our everyday lives. Whether it's the tranquil hues of a coastal retreat, the rustic charm of a mountain lodge, or the vibrant energy of a tropical paradise.”

The research went on to find the average UK home pays homage to two different countries’ interior styles.

With people taking overseas inspiration for the colours used in their home (28 per cent), artwork and prints displayed (26 per cent) and the furniture (25 per cent).

Pippa suggests using essential oils to fill your home with the scents of holiday.Bamburgh Grande Sofa in Natural, £1,899, available exclusively at DFSPippa suggests using essential oils to fill your home with the scents of holiday.Bamburgh Grande Sofa in Natural, £1,899, available exclusively at DFS
Pippa suggests using essential oils to fill your home with the scents of holiday.Bamburgh Grande Sofa in Natural, £1,899, available exclusively at DFS | DFS

A touch of culture

Five hours on average are spent researching interior design trends before people redesign a space in their home, with inspiration coming from interiors websites (33 per cent), browsing retail stores (28 per cent) or their websites (27 per cent), and Pinterest (20 per cent).

Art and colour also being the two key things to evoke a sense of escapism. Furthermore, 58 per cent like to display souvenirs from their travels in their homes - fridge magnets, ornaments, glasses, cups and vases topped the list, and when coming back from a holiday, 46 per cent feel inspired to adopt certain parts of the lifestyle.

With the diet, culture and interior design style among the top things they’d like to instate in their life, and 22 per cent of those polled through OnePoll claim travel has encouraged them to step outside their comfort zone when it comes to decorating their home.

Kellie Wyles, head of upholstery at DFS, added: “As we head into the summer months, our minds can often drift to getaways and adventure, but we don’t need to hop on a plane to indulge in some wanderlust - we can also embrace escapism from the comfort of our own home.

“Picking up interiors inspiration from holidays and destinations you see online or on TV can be a great place to start and can create a beautifully eclectic space that’s unique to you.”

 Pippa’s top 10 sensory tips to infuse your living space with inspiration from your favourite holidays

  1. Use essential oils, scented candles, or fresh botanicals to fill your home with the refreshing scents of your holiday. Choose fragrances like Lavender or pine to evoke memories of the beautiful countryside and forest retreats.
  2. Transform your space into a luxurious sanctuary reminiscent of high-end hotels and resorts with crisp white linens, plush bedding, and statement furniture pieces like upholstered headboards, and accent chairs.
  3. Create a travel-inspired room at home to keep your holiday memories alive using print, colour, and texture. For a Spanish Hacienda look, you could combine warm earthy hues, plaster-effect walls and wooden accents.
  4. Embrace coastal chic with a calming palette of inky blues and soothing creams, complemented by crisp cotton and smartly striped linens. Incorporate stylish accent pieces with metallic side tables and statement lights to evoke the chic elegance of seaside living.
  5. Introduce a bold statement sofa or accent chairs in fun prints or vivid hues to evoke the lively atmosphere of a tropical holiday.
  6. Layer rugs, faux fur throws and knitted cushions to add depth and cosiness to your space. Finish your cosy retreat with wooden accessories and mid-century style pieces with tactile fabrics like brushed cotton or chenille, which will invite you to sink into the furniture and indulge your sense of touch.
  7. Bring the outdoors in with lush greenery and indoor plants to recreate the tranquillity of nature. Choose furniture pieces like plant stands, botanical prints, and nature-inspired palettes to enhance the botanical theme and create a seamless connection with the outdoors.
  8. Set the mood with calm, ambient lighting that mirrors the warm glow of holiday sunsets by using warm-toned bulbs and dimmable fixtures or LED bulbs with colour-changing capabilities.
  9. Where possible, position sofas, armchairs, and dining tables near windows and glass doors to maximise your daylight intake, like a sunny holiday. Natural light can lift our mood and aid with sleep.
  10. Recreate the relaxed holiday feeling by introducing a cosy nook within your home. Invest in furniture pieces that prioritise both style and support, such as high-back sofas and oversized armchairs - extra-large cushions and sumptuous upholstery fabrics will ensure maximum comfort.

Top 30 foreign countries with the best interior design

  1. Sweden
  2. Italy
  3. Japan
  4. France
  5. Denmark
  6. Norway
  7. United States
  8. Spain
  9. Morocco
  10. Greece
  11. Portugal
  12. Australia
  13. India
  14. Caribbean
  15. Germany
  16. Canada
  17. Egypt
  18. UAE
  19. Mexico
  20. Turkey
  21. China
  22. Singapore
  23. Scotland
  24. Thailand
  25. South Korea
  26. Brazil
  27. South Africa
  28. Iran
  29. Colombia
  30. Cambodia
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