When looking around the globe for design inspiration, Europe is ripe with ideas to borrow. Its long-lasting influences, timelessness, and ability to complement many different architectural styles make it a favorite among interior designers and architects.
However, the thing with a “European” look is that it is not just one style. You must first decide if the countryside elegance found in corners of Sweden, the hills of Switzerland, lush Tuscany, or fragrant Provence is what you want. Or perhaps, the bustling streets of Barcelona, London, and Berlin are more rousing to influence your next project. Whichever you choose, here are a few design tricks to keep in mind.
Design Trick 1: Nuanced Colors
European-styled homes tend to use a color palette filled with a variety of warmer shades. Nuanced colors like sandstone, coffee, or sweeping grays can help create a rich and sophisticated feel.
Design Trick 2: Experiment With Texture
Adding different textures to the floors and walls adds instant character. For example, a Nordic-styled home might use wide oak-colored panels paired with delicate patterned fabrics to instantly create a welcoming, but worldly feel.
Design Trick 3: Form Meets Function
European style furniture and buildings tend to use good quality material and is well-made. In other words, it’s not only looks great, but it works great too. Objects are appreciated for their lines and materials just as much as the purpose they serve.
Design Trick 4: Give It a Lived-In Feel
A lived-in feel goes a long way for creating a welcoming space. It is why hygge (the Danish quality of coziness and comfort) is taking the world by storm. Depth and warmth are achieved through patinas, antiquing – and yes, textures. Display everyday items – collectables on a simple shelving or photographs in aged frames help finish the mood.
Design Trick 5: It’s All in the Details
And there is no better way to encourage that lived-in feel than with design details. Whether it is the subtle coloring on trim or thoughtfully placed object d’art, European style often plays elements against one another — think clean lines of a modern Italian kitchen counters against a large pop of color or loft style furniture in a rustic Spanish-style stone interior.
Now – your turn. What do you think creates a European feel?