As travellers, we get to experience the history and traditions of different countries. We can get beneath the skin of a city’s culture, sample the diversity of its people, and whiff the flavours of the local cuisine. Every journey is an exciting adventure, and we often wish that the enchantment would never end.
Well, it need not—not if you choose to bring back some of the magic from your travels abroad by imbuing your home with the essence of these exotic cultures.
The next time you breathe in the intoxicating aromas of a bustling Moroccan spice souk, relax in a hammock beside the endless blue of the Aegean or soak in the peace of a Japanese Zen garden, try to recapture some of that sense of wonder back in your home décor.
Here’s how you can do that.
The dramatic flair of the Moroccan
Moroccan décor is warm, carefree, and follows the Bohemian aesthetic. A breezy style that can be woven into almost any style of décor, it uses multiple layers of pattern and colour that seem to be mismatched but work beautifully together.
If you’d like to recreate the Moroccan vibe in your home, here are the design cues to keep in mind:
- No Moroccan home is complete without a collection of bejewelled, sumptuous patterned rugs. Intricate patterns and a riot of colours that grab eyeballs are common.
- Tabletops are etched or inlaid, with every inch of space embellished with circular, repetitive patterns.
- Moroccan fabrics emphasise on textures, with gorgeous braiding and embroidery interwoven into the warp and weft of the fabric. Tassels and fringes adorn the borders of pillows, blankets and throws.
- Tiles used for the kitchen backsplash and floors are dramatic statement pieces that are bold, daring and deviate from the mundane. Whether they are colourful and vibrant, or just simple diamond shapes in black and white, Moroccan tiles are always extraordinary.
- Moroccan décor is infused with a profusion of greenery. Think of adding large leafy palms in wooden pots decorated with brass studs, or plants that spill out of hanging pots in raffia or rattan holders.
The tranquillity of the Japanese
When it comes to clean and uncluttered living, no one does it better than the Japanese. We can all do with a little peace in our chaotic lifestyles and the easiest way to do this would be to replicate the inherent simplicity of Zen principles in our homes.
To open up your home to this peaceful décor style, all you have to do is follow a few simple rules:
- Respect nature and maintain a strong connection with elements of nature in your home. Traditional miniature bonsai plants and ikebana floral arrangements on your tabletop will lend it a Japanese touch.
- Japanese furniture is simple and clean and is often very low as the Japanese favour floor seating. Furniture is made of natural wood with the beauty of the grains showing through.
- The sounds of bubbling water are soothing and very conducive to the tranquil traditions that Japan is famed for. Create a water body with a miniature pump that keeps the water flowing, and add simple, natural greenery all around.
- Japanese shoji screens that use translucent paper on latticed wooden panels and slide smoothly on tracks can be used as room partitions or even as windows. The quality of light that filters through these screens is soft and diffused.
- Home interiors are spacious and filled with natural light. Large, expansive windows that open up to garden views and glass skylights set in the ceiling can light up your home. Use bamboo shades that can be drawn when privacy is needed.
The Delicate Artistry of the French
In a word, French décor is très chic; which means that it’s the epitome of high style. Romantic and sophisticated, French styling leans toward sensuous curves, elegant panelling and furnishings with delicately scalloped valances.
To get this enchanting aesthetic in your home décor, here’s what you can do:
- French design is effortless and adopts a laissez-faire attitude that mixes and matches the old and the new to create a space that’s calming & pleasing.
- Backdrops are neutral, using colours such as white, beige and grey. Different shades of white can come together with small pops of rose, peach, lavender and pastels for a harmonious palette.
- Lamps are decorative and sheathed in silk, embellished with lace and scalloped hems.
- Distressed wood with decoupage or stencilling is used in cabinets, tables, sideboards, tallboys and wardrobes to achieve the traditional French rustic style.
- Add the old-world charm of wrought iron in candelabra, curtain rods and ornamental grills, or use it in planter boxes and pot racks in the kitchen. Benches with wrought iron backrests and bed frames that incorporate ornamental grills are also popular.
The understated elegance of the Scandinavian
Clean lines and minimalistic spaces are the hallmarks of Scandinavian design. Popularised by Ikea, this décor theme uses a neutral palette with white walls and pale wood finishes that showcase the beauty of the natural grains. If you’re in sync with this décor style, here’s how to reflect it in your home décor.
- Furniture layouts are purely functional and non-fussy, and the absence of floor coverings and window drapes emphasize the openness of the décor.
- Scandinavian décor is all about minimalism and sustainability. If you don’t need it, don’t get it! Never clutter up your spaces, and leave walls and tabletops bare.
- Natural textures such as wood, whitewashed brick and stone are popular building materials. Large windows that let in an abundance of natural sunshine are the way to go.
- Accents of colour such as bright red, cobalt blue or olive green stand out against the pale blonde backgrounds. Solid colours are preferred over patterns and prints.
- Opt for sectional sofas in pale hues, using organic fabrics and natural fibres. Space furniture like couch chairs and curved armchairs can be used as additional seating.
There you have it – design and décor ideas that will make your home a melting pot of cultures from around the world. So go ahead, try it out, and bring diversity home.
This article is contributed by Dipti Das, AVP-Design, HomeLane.com.
(The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of RoofandFloor)