The world's most Instagramed décor trends
From French art deco to Japanese wabi sabi, different countries can be thanked for inventing the distinct interior styles we see trending on Instagram throughout the year. But which region is top of the league when it comes to interior inspiration, and how can you incorporate mood-boosting greenery when you bring a touch of international styling to your home?
Though our home décor choices are determined by our own personal tastes and practical needs, social media has brought together interior design trends and concepts from all around the world for anyone to explore at the touch of a button. From the warmth and cosiness of Scandinavian interiors to the tranquil aspects of Japanese décor, it’s easy to browse styles from every continent to find the look that’s right for you.
Here, we visualise the popularity of the biggest interior design trends from around the world, and explore the perfect plants to complete each look.
The top interior design trends, visualised:
We took to Instagram to see which décor styles from across the globe are capturing the most interest, looking at relevant hashtags to reveal the most popular picks.
It might not come as a surprise that timeless classics such as mid-century modern and art deco have come top of the list, whilst the hygge trend continues to be universally adored by millions of Instagrammers.
However, it appears there are several trends growing in popularity many of us might be less familiar with, such as Japan’s wabi sabi and China’s feng shui styles. These design styles are based on ancient Eastern ways of thought that have been applied to interior design, helping us to create harmonious spaces that evoke positive energy and wellbeing.
Growing interior trends
While social media platforms such as Instagram are becoming our go-to places for home décor inspiration, data from Google reveals just how quickly these trends have either escalated or declined in popularity:
Scandi-style hygge décor has rapidly become all the rage, with searches for the hygge style concept up 407% in the past five years (source: Exploding Topics)
Interest in mid-century modern interiors has also surged, with Google searches for this trend rising by 84% since this time last year. Meanwhile, specific searches for ‘mid century modern bedroom’ and ‘mid century modern furniture’ have shot up by 84% and 132%
Décor trends from the east are generating increased interest, with searches for ‘Japanese home décor’ up 182% since last year whilst searches for ‘feng shui bedroom’ and ‘feng shui living room’ are up 83% in the past two years
On the other hand, British country-style interiors are receiving slightly less interest, with searches for ‘country style living room’ and ‘country style interior’ down 12% and 22% since this time last year
Interior design enthusiasts have even taken to combining global trends, for example mixing Japan’s elegant minimalism with Scandinavian comforts to form ‘Japandi’. Featuring a neutral hued colour scheme, cosy textures and lots of light wooden furniture, this trend is a perfect hybrid of two of the most popular styles in 2020. ‘Japandi’ is also gaining popularity on Instagram with over 32,000 posts, while Google searches for this trend have risen by 126% since last year.
How has lockdown impacted our interior design tastes?
In a survey conducted during lockdown earlier in the year, we discovered that plants and DIY items were the most common purchases people were making, with around a quarter of those who’d bought plants saying they’d done so in order to give their home a makeover. With extended periods of time spent at home, it came as no surprise that redecorating interiors was at the top of the agenda for many.
Our research reveals that since the start of the year, many Brits are opting for more minimalist trends over notoriously busier styles. Helping to create a serene, peaceful vibe, trends such as mid-century modern, hygge and wabi sabi are great options for those looking to modernise their space.
The best plants for each interior trend
Each one of the trends included on our map incorporate culturally significant characteristics, making them distinctive to their country of origin. One of the features they all have in common, however, is plants. While we may be a little biased, plants are often seen as a necessity when it comes to adding the final touch to any room. But which plants suit each of these interior styles best?
Plants are a must-have for hygge style interiors, helping to create a positive, serene environment. Introducing leafy plants to your hygge inspired home, for example the monstera plant, is the best way to achieve this goal, while hanging plants are a great addition for shelves and small spaces to boost the amount of greenery on display and add a cosy softness to hard edges.
Additionally, greenery with large, bold leaves, such as fiddle leaf figs, perfectly compliment this contemporary interior décor style.
The luxurious glamour of 1920s style French décor calls for tall tropical plants such as giant sweeping palm trees, just like our areca palm, to create an exotic feel. This movement is not to be confused with art nouveau, another popular French style, which is more focused on bountiful florals than clean lines and angles. If art nouveau decor is more your thing, a bouquet of lilies could be just the ticket.
Plants that are thought to bring good luck, prosperity and fortune in Chinese culture are the perfect addition to feng shui style interiors. These include Chinese money plants (also known as a pilea bush), money trees, colourful orchids and fruit trees.
In feng shui philosophy, wood is one of the five important elements, along with water, fire, earth and metal, needed to create a balanced space where positive energy can flow. Wood represents new growth and strength, making bamboo trees, such as natural bamboo, a must for feng shui style interiors.
The type of plants used in Japanese wabi sabi interiors should celebrate the unusual, making begonias, with their irregular polka dot pattern, a perfect choice. Additionally, plants such as bonsai trees can add to the natural, earthy feel of this look. Try housing your plants in pots made from natural materials such as clay, or even those that are chipped and worn, for extra style points.
Indian interiors are extremely colourful, lively and, most importantly, filled with exotic plants. Group together a wide range of variations for a strong pop of colour, or opt for striking greenery native to India itself – for example ficus trees or hanging jasmin.
Colourful foliage such as hydrangeas, roses and wildflowers are more likely to be seen in a British style country interior than any other type of greenery. For a contemporary twist however, try mixing these flowers with leafy filler plants such as eucalyptus or fern stems. Floral bouquets are an effortless way to incorporate this style into your home, being the perfect addition to windowsills or coffee tables for a classy, yet homely, feel.
Since the Bauhaus trend focuses on clean lines, plants that stand straight with sharp-edged leaves are the best option for interiors of this style. A heliconia plant is a perfect example of this thanks to its tidy, minimalist appearance.
Plants are a staple in bohemian-style interiors, with large leafy greenery, such as strelitzia, housed in woven baskets, and hanging plants in macrame hangers. For an authentically African twist, try adding greenery native to the continent, such as the sansevieria plant, often referred to as the snake plant, and alocasia, also known as the elephant ear or African mask plant.
Exotic trees such as the paradise palm, licuala palm and native olive tree are the best for Spanish style homes, helping to create a Mediterranean feel. Try layering a few striking examples throughout your home to maintain a minimalist, yet tropical, look.
A wide range of plants would suit this Italian interior design style, from monsteras to fiddle leaf figs. Despite this, quantity should be kept to a minimum in order to avoid diverting too much attention from the main aspects of this trend which are its retro furnishings and muted colour scheme.
With a strong focus on colour and warmth, plants are no strangers to Mexican-style interiors. Whilst striking cacti are perhaps the most fitting plants for this interior style, leafy greenery like the native yucca plant would also make a great addition. Try homing your plants in terracotta or painted plant pots for an authentic feel.
With its emphasis on cosiness and comfort, Scandi-style hygge décor, unsurprisingly, continues to top the list as the most popular décor trend. Meanwhile vibrant, busier styles such as Mexican Folk fall to the bottom of the list as we instead opt for more neutral colour palettes and clearer spaces.
For 2021, expect to see a continuation in the growing popularity of the wabi sabi and feng shui styles. Thanks to their earthy tones and organic textures, these interior trends are on the up as we look to create modern, peaceful homes where our wellbeing can thrive.