If you want to emulate the beauty of ethnic décor in your home, there is one important idea to remember: It’s never too much. The goal in creating this eclectic look is to make the space you are designing stimulating.
Use lots of color. Find compatible color combinations that speak to you and reflect your personality. Draw inspiration from your places of travel or a specific culture of interest.
Mix and match patterns. Pull your patterns in with an area rug, window treatments and decorative pillows. The most important thing when mixing patterns is scale. Work in odd numbers. For example, pick three patterns: a large print, a medium pattern and a smaller graphic. Throwing in a solid can sometimes help rest the eye.
Merge wood tones. Think of the woods that are indigenous to the culture that inspires you. Bring them in with flooring and furnishings. Think texture and carvings, dark and natural, treated and untreated.
Accessorize. Sculptures and artwork representing other cultures are excellent conversation pieces. Display antiques and vintage pieces and make your space personal with photographs from your travels or with travel books on the places you’ve been.
Select interesting furnishings. When choosing furniture, think shape. Opt for pieces that have interesting form and texture. Pick out architectural pieces that remind you of a different culture. Don’t be afraid to mix and match style periods, such as modern with Old World. This sort of merger makes a grand statement.
Susanna Samaniego, Interior Architect and Design Specialist
4 Corners: International Design Concepts