Property investors would do well to pay more attention to specific home styles in order to maximise sale and rental returns, a recent study by tile and bathroom renovation specialist Beaumont Tiles finds.

An analysis of the data suggests that developers should opt for Scandinavian design features to appeal to new home buyers, while those renovating investment properties should lean towards coastal-themed updates to attract maximum rental returns.

The Marleston, South Australia-based retailer surveyed more than 52,000 Australians to find out their home style preferences, which the company says is vital as various sectors of the property market evaluate how to maximise their assets.

Christie Wood, design specialist at Beaumont Tiles, says the findings reveal fascinating insights into the motivations and decisions being made regarding property designs.

“The style of a home plays an integral role in establishing an emotional connection with a potential buyer,” she says. “It also subtly communicates an entire lifestyle ethos, which cannot be ignored.”

What design features are Australians looking for in a home?

For three consecutive years, classic traditional, Scandinavian, and coastal styles have maintained their positions as Australia’s top “go-to styles,” according to the survey. These themes were chosen by more than half, or 52%, of all respondents. However, the styles diverge in popularity depending on the purpose of the property and motivation for renovation.  

1. Owners renovating their homes to live in

“Scandinavian and coastal styles are both popular with those renovating to live in their own home as they both incorporate soft natural tones and utilise a lot of open space, so it’s not hard to see why they connect with renovators,” says Wood.

However, classic traditional ranked as the most preferred style for those under the “Renovation to Live” category, with 19% of respondents choosing updates with traditional design features. The number is equivalent to 10,000 Australians.

Classic traditional lounge room. Image source: Beaumont TilesClassic traditional lounge room

Image source: Beaumont Tiles

2. New homes

For new home builds, Scandinavian styling tops all design categories, with 18% of those surveyed selecting this theme.

“The functionality and minimalist lines of Scandinavian style resonate with new home buyers,” says Wood. “When you consider the reduction in dwelling sizes, it’s easy to see why this fun style is a favourite.”

Classic traditional and modern styles, chosen by 16% and 14% of respondents respectively, round up the three most preferred themes for newly constructed houses.

Scandinavian laundry. Image source: Beaumont TilesScandinavian laundry

Image source: Beaumont Tiles

3. Investment properties

“For investors wanting to achieve that emotional connection with renters, a coastal home should help to maximise return on investment,” says Wood.

Approximately 17% of respondents showed an affinity towards coastal designs for investment properties, the most under the category.

Classic traditional ranks next at 16% and urban industrial is third at 15%. The latter style has doubled in overall popularity during the past three years, driven primarily by greater adoption by 36 to 45-year-olds.

Coastal bathroom. Image source: Beaumont TilesCoastal bathroom

Image source: Beaumont Tiles

4. Owners renovating to flip

Modern design is the top choice for those renovating their homes with the intention to sell. This is followed by traditional classic (18%) and coastal (17%).

Out of all respondents under the category, the largest age group is 45 to 55-year-olds, representing approximately 24% of those who answered the survey.

Other style design options in the survey include eclectic bohemian, global fusion, country chic, retro vintage, and contemporary.

Modern kitchen. Image Source: Beaumont TilesModern kitchen

Image Source: Beaumont Tiles