Some of us love to travel and some of us love to read or just dream about distant lands we’ve never been to before. If, like me, you’re one of those people, you might want to bring a few “foreign” elements home with you. I’ve talked in the past about some extreme ways to bring British style into your space. There are also subtle ways to surround yourself with whatever international interior design you gravitate towards. The key is identifying which elements of each style you’re most drawn to and then incorporating them into your preexisting sense of design.
If you’re a self-professed Francophile, you love the French aesthetic, or you took a fantastic trip there that you want to remember – you should consider bringing some toile into your home’s design. Toile, which means “cloth” or “canvas” in French, is a staple in French décor. Interestingly, the pattern was created in Ireland in the mid-18th century, but quickly became popular in France. It’s calming, soothing and charming – making a great choice for guest bedrooms or nurseries. Adorable dog sold separately.
Scandinavia is known to be one of the most statistically happy places on the planet. While it’s not clear whether their happiness influenced the design, or their design influences their happiness, things there are bright. Warm woods and soft metal tones are accentuated by a crisp cheerful white. If you like to be stylishly cozy, you might want to take a trip to this region of our globe. It’s gorgeous.
Topical Tropical Elements
Photo: HGTV.com, designer Linda Woodrum
Maybe it was a honeymoon, a trip to celebrate retirement or just a favorite episode of Gilligan’s Island – the truth is most of us have a tropical reference point we can visit in our minds when we’re feeling stressed. While you might not be able to bring the warm sands all the way into your living room, there are ways to include a beachy, relaxed feeling in your home’s design. Natural wood, citrus hues and green plants can all work to bring the vacation to you. And you won’t even need sunblock!
Some of us are not lucky enough to have visited Asia yet, but I think it’s safe to say that the Asian aesthetic has made a massive impression on design in the United States. The concept of Feng Shui (of which I am a big fan) has informed many buildings, gardens and homes here in the west. If you’re drawn to simple platform beds, clean lines and a minimalist sensibility, this might be the style for you.
So let me know if you’ve got the travel bug or if any of these design elements actually bug you! I would also love to hear about any ways you’ve come up with to bring cultural décor into your home.