5 countries to inspire your forever home

Faraway lands don’t just offer well-earned breaks for holidaymakers. These countries can also act as inspiration for so many things – be it in the kitchen, how you dress, or in your home.

Planning a forever home requires plenty of thought and planning, yet it can be so much fun when you consider all the possibilities of how your dream home can look.

If your home has the bare bones suited to mirroring an age-old Tuscan-style villa, for example, then consider how you could bring in those chestnut-beamed ceilings and terracotta floors to reflect this. Perhaps you live by the sea and want your dream digs to evoke a Hamptons-style home.

Being the daydreamers we are, we’ve rounded up five countries around the world – each boasting individual design and architecture styles – for you to seek inspiration for your dream home.

The English country cottage

Quaint, humble and quintessentially British: Country cottages in England teem with character.

Quaint English cottages are full of charm, like this street that looks like a scene straight out of Postman Pat shows. Picture: Getty

They’re rustic and lovely in every kind of way, often made out of natural materials, designed with asymmetry in mind and boast tall, narrow windows.

Brickwork facades make these homes absolute street stunners, while their bespoke chimney pots are a nod to a time gone by.

The Santorini villa

It’s the place of blue-domed churches, surreal sunsets, white-washed villas and cobbled alleyways. Who doesn’t love a bit of Mediterranean style?

Get inspired by the symmetrical architecture and domed churches of Santorini. Picture: Getty

Lana Taylor from Three Birds Renovations sure does. The most popular plant in the region – the bright pink bougainvillea – was the source of inspiration for her forever home.

It’s worth noting that Lana’s home did originally have Mediterranean-style bones. “I didn’t choose a style that was a complete disconnect from my original home,” she says.

“The original house was a terracotta villa, but it was very dated. Structurally I took what was there, used the coastal inspo from Santorini and Mykonos and used it as inspo for my forever home.”

The Parisian townhouse

Eighteenth-century Parisian-style townhouses are an artist’s dream, particularly in Montmartre in Paris‘ 18th arrondissement, as this picture illustrates.

If you love this look, design elements to consider for your dream home include decorative shutters, French limestone facades, iron exterior balconies, metal detailing throughout, and clean, contemporary interiors.

Decorative shutters? Tick. Iron exterior balconies? Tick. The Parisian townhouse will always remain a classic piece of architecture. Picture: Getty

The Hamptons home

The Hamptons, on New York’s Long Island, has long been a serious source of inspo for renovators and decorators the world over.

Regardless of whether or not you live by the sea, if you love the Hamptons’ beachy look seek to weave elements of relaxed coastal living into your home.

Classic design features of the Hamptons house include timber floors, neutral colours and tones that evoke the ocean, natural materials and loads of natural light.

Timber panelling, cane or wicker outdoor furniture, blue and white china and comfy sofas with gorgeous linen fabrics are also a sure-fire way to get the look when it comes time to decorate.

A typical Hamptons kitchen. Picture: Julie Crespel

The Swedish sanctuary

We fell in love with the Scandinavian style long ago – and it’s stuck around for good reason. Light Swedish timber, pared-back interiors, clean lines and minimalist details – the design is always based around functionality and simplicity.

Earthy, muted tones are prominent in these homes as are wood cladding on walls, the use of natural materials and exposed beams. Scandinavian interiors are all about being liveable: Centre the living room around the fireplace or a similar feature – and celebrate the simple life.

A pared-back Swedish home. Picture: Getty

Originally published as 5 countries to inspire your forever home by Kristy Barratt. Author at realestate.com.au.