Bring Home Global Style
Get the look of international style in your home without ever leaving the country.
- By Anne Krueger
Filed under: Asian Style, Mediterranean Style, Tropical Theme, Decorating, Design Style, Color
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The Mediterranean coast, vintage European posters, Indonesian batik, a Japanese kimono, an Ethiopian three-legged stool, tea from Ceylon, Uzbekistan textiles. These are just a few of the many international inspirations that are influencing the U.S. decorating picture. From language to cuisine to furnishings, there is a heightened appreciation for the world’s diverse design and cultural heritage.
Whether a homeowner travels to foreign locales or simply dreams of adventures while drinking oolong tea, global style has become a reality, says color expert Aimee Desrosiers, director of marketing at California Paints. "Today home decorating is about adapting diverse design influences to fit our own individual taste and style. Our homes say something about who we are and what we believe in, what items we treasure from the past, and what new collectibles we’ve acquired in our travels," she says. And whether your last trip was to a Moroccan bazaar halfway around the world or only as far as the international collections at the local Target, you can create an escape of global proportions.
It’s a Small World After All
Why are Americans now opening up to global style? Part of it is our modern-day cultural mosaic, says Desrosiers, who is also a member of the Color Marketing Group, which studies such things. Whether you travel or not, the world really is a smaller place, with ethnic and international influences staring at you from every corner, she says. And though travel is still relatively limited, people have wanderlust. "Rather than doing it externally and going to all of those places, they might bring the excitement home in a paint color or ethnic furnishings," she says.
Those who do travel often come home with photos that inspire a new palette. She suggests that travelers take their photos to their nearest paint retailer and start pulling chips. "Try to match the colors of the sky, the land, the ocean, the architecture, the colors of the people," says Desrosiers, "whatever it is that takes you back to that place and how you felt when you were there."
Or if you brought back a textile, piece of art or clothing, pick out the colors from that item for walls, furnishings and accents, she says. "Look at the vibrant colors in Indian saris. You could pull out a spicy orange and a few other hues and mix them up in your own way." The result will be something that is international but is personal to the homeowner. "It’s not something prepackaged that says India or Sweden; it’s something you’ve created and that is individual."
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