Global Interior Design takes inspiration from all around the world. Whether it is the geometric patterns of Morocco, the vibrant colours of India or the warm tones of Africa, the ethnic style is always popular. It is a way of escapism through interior design, a way to keep hold of those incredible travel memories or embrace the cultures of those you are yet to visit.
I’m sure that when most people think of an ethnic, bohemian, Arabian style the colours they envision are bright, deep, warm tones, mixed in with every colour imaginable! And whilst this works if you’re brave enough to try; it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if your chosen colour palette is much calmer and neutral. One of the most beautiful and simple ways of bringing a bit of ethnic chic to your interiors is by keeping the walls a crisp white and picking a few warm tones for the furniture and cushions with upholstery fabric. For blinds and curtain fabric, a relaxed linen or cotton fabric in neutral tones looks wonderful, especially in a bedroom or living room. For the bold colour lovers out there, combining a hot pink with burnt oranges and browns looks exotic and exciting. Or bring in blues and turquoises with Moroccan tiles in a kitchen or bathroom.
Whether you choose bold colours or neutrals, one factor always remains the same – pattern. Asian, African, Indian designs all have strong, detailed patterns. The traditional hand woven textiles from these cultures are incredibly beautiful and if you’re fortunate enough to visit and see them in the flesh, a great way to start this design style off is to pick a piece and work around it, taking colour inspiration from it and using for the curtain fabric and upholstery fabric. Mix and match different patterns and designs on upholstery, cushions, wall tapestries and rugs. Using an ikat design for a blind fabric looks great as it creates a focal point.
Accessories are a big part of an ethnic interior. Think Moroccan lighting, metals such as brass, gold and pewter combined with clay pottery. For something a bit different, try taking a woven textile and using as a wall tapestry for a real feature. Rugs are also important. An intricate mirror in a strong distressed brass or pewter colour is great in a bedroom or bathroom. Ornaments and souvenirs collected from various cultures really add depth to the scheme.
Try and keep furniture as low to the floor as you can. Think floor cushions, low coffee tables, footstools and low, informal beds. Updating the furniture that you already have is easy, distressing any wood pieces and upholstering sofas, chairs and footstools in bohemian fabric will really transform the space.