Decor Around The Globe: Classic International Styles
One of the most fascinating things about the human race is the diversity of different cultures across the globe. All cultures have their own style, whether that is in customs, fashion or decor. This month, we at Rug Mountain researched our favourite decors that are simple to adapt to your home. So if your home is in need of something new, read below and be inspired!
Japanese design is inspired by zen’s main 2 pillars: nature and harmony. This is reflected in the decor by use of natural materials and light colour. A calm aesthetic is also promoted in this way, as well as through the use of a minimal and airy aesthetic. Furniture is often arranged to the edges of the room and tends to be low in height for freedom of movement. A western influence is present in more modern Japanese style, particularly in the use of additional seating and dark wood furniture. Japanese decor revolves around muted tones, such as wood brown, grey stone and pin-pointed plants such as bonsai trees or bamboo plants. Bright colours such as vibrant reds and greens should be used too, but to a minimal extent, such as in the form of an accent colour, perhaps in a rug.
Traditional Japanese patterns are to dissimilar to the rest of the decor, being similarly inspired by nature. This may include, fish, waves or flowers such as cherry blossoms. Incorporate the latter into kitchenware and wall art for an authentic look, and include the former in bathrooms to create a Japanese aquatic theme. Natural textiles showcase the natural inspiration best in Japanese decor. Bamboo, wood and paper are used most frequently, as their smooth and earthy characteristics help reinforce the calm yet elegant aesthetic valued by Japanese culture. A western adaptation may typically include wood flooring and furniture, stone ornaments, leafy houseplants, and wax candles. Finally, try clearing a space for meditation to add an increased sense of serenity in the home, as well as using a juxtaposition of low and high furniture (e.g. high stools and short pouffes).
Aside from the obvious muse of mountainous terrain, rich desert landscapes, coastlines and greenery, Moroccan decor as a whole has been inspired by Islamic, Berber, French and even Spanish styles, which when combined, create an iconic and instantly recognisable look. The main theme of this look is the varied patterns, colours and textures that can be clashed and layered in a way that is attention grabbing but never awkward. More specifically, the colours of a Moroccan decor are never pretentious, and choose to focus on a natural theme. Examples include terracotta and peach, alongside other warm, earthy tones. Jewel colours like emerald, ruby or sapphire, or metallic tones like brass can be combined with this in accompanying soft furnishings, ornaments, or tiles.
In terms of patterns, geometric and berber patterns are extremely popular, especially in rugs. Mosaics may be incorporated elsewhere, such as around mirrors, on tables and pottery. In addition, the more textures and ornaments the better in Moroccan decor; use ceiling fans, room dividers, drapes, throws, pillows, candles, low seating and tea sets in your home to add to the theme and create an air of authenticity to the decor. The rooms best suited to this look are those with plenty of sunlight, or in rooms where you entertain guests or socialise as the colours and patterns reflect the energy of such interactions. However, regardless of where you use this style, it creates a rustic yet warm, inviting look that would make any visitor feel at home.
Indian style is known for elegance, intricacies, and unique, deep-rooted cultural inspiration. For example, local wildlife such as wildlife, and the prominence of spirituality and religion has led to the use of iconography like statues or paintings to be common features in homes. In fact, plenty of ornaments and decor items are commonplace in Indian homes, and you will struggle to find a plain home that follows this traditional style. That being said, avoid chaos by overcrowding - a good starting point is selecting a handful of religious or symbolic pieces and incorporating them throughout the room or your home. As Indian decor is all about meaning, as long as every piece has a meaningful message and placement, it will be valuable within the design.
Colour-wise, Indian decor is bright, energetic and mixes many colour and patterns together. Common colours are red, blue, green and yellow due to their meanings of purity, compassion, new beginnings and sanctity, respectively, so stick to these if you don’t know where to start. Patterns are also highly important in Indian decor - they symbolise the elements and religious folklore. This is seen most commonly in their sacred geometric patterns, an example of which can be seen on the right. Florals may seem more ambiguous in meaning, but in fact refer to the countries diversity and liveliness, in the same way animal iconography refers to the rich nature of the country. Textures are often contrasted in India, including a combination of dark woods to fine silks and cottons. Natural imperfections in flooring and rugs, such as distressed traditional rugs for example, both link to mother nature and incorporate pattern that is respected in Indian design. Other things that can help fit the theme much more include focussing your rooms around one statement piece of furniture, utilising hand-stitched furnishings, and using long curtains that represent ‘flow’.
We hope this has inspired you to include other cultural aspects into your home - which is your favourite? Do you have other ideas what you could include to create a Moroccan, Japanese or Indian aesthetic? Let us know!