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Achieve a Well-Traveled Look With Global Textiles and Accessories

By: Amy Azzarito
November 25, 2014
It can be difficult to achieve an eclectic aesthetic that feels effortless yet pulled together. But if you're after just such a look, the addition of global textiles and accessories can add the perfect depth to any style of decor.
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Start With the Floor

When you think of adding global textiles or accessories to a room, you might first think of bringing in a rug — and with good reason. Rugs made in the Eastern tradition offer patterns and colors that will work in any space. Susan Gomersall of Kea Carpets and Kilims in Brooklyn, New York, which specializes in tribal rugs, says when shopping for a tribal rug, you should forget about standard rug sizes like 5x7 or 8x10. All tribal rugs were made for a purpose: sleeping, sitting, eating or praying, as rugs are the furniture of the nomads. Because these rugs are odd sizes, determine the size rug you need before shopping by covering the area with newspaper. Image courtesy of Shop Horne

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Buy What You Love

Susan of Kea Carpets has additional tips for anyone shopping for an antique or vintage rug. To determine if a rug is authentic, Susan suggests, look for a few imperfections. These rugs were made on primitive horizontal looms that were dismantled and transported with the tribe. Weavers used the wool from their own sheep, often having to dye batches of wool at different times, resulting in subtle color variations. A tribal piece that has uniform colors and straight edges is most likely not genuine. When trying to work a rug into your space, find a dealer who will let you try the rug on approval. You will never know if it works in your space until you try it. Any good dealer will offer this service. Ask questions about the rug's origin and intended use. If the dealer doesn't have the answers, shop somewhere else. Last but certainly not least, be bold and go with your heart. You are not just buying an object but a piece of tribal life. Image courtesy of Ore Studios

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Get Creative

So we've established that one of the best ways to add a global eclectic feel is with carpets and rugs. But think outside the box. Los Angeles design collective Commune frequently uses global textiles and accessories in its designs. The heavy weight of most Oriental carpets and kilim rugs makes them ideal candidates for upholstery projects. In the Los Angeles living room of Commune Design founding partner Ramin Shamshiri, this George Smith ottoman upholstered in a Turkish-style carpet adds the perfect splash of visual texture to the room. Image courtesy of Commune Design

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Be Bold

Don't be afraid to think beyond traditional upholstered pieces. In the same Commune designed home in Los Angeles, a mid-century modern classic, an Eames chair, is reupholstered with an African fabric to add a bold pattern to the space. Image courtesy of Commune Design

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