Create an Ethnic Chic Room
You can refer to ethnic chic by a number of other names -- world décor, travel inspired, or global design. It crosses continents and cultures or can be more targeted in nature, like tribal design, taking in specific countries or regions. In a nutshell, ethnic chic decorating style is influenced by exotic destinations throughout the world.
There are no hard and fast rules in ethnic chic decorating. As long as there is a cohesive feel or theme involved, such as color, texture or place, you can have fun and decorate to your heart’s content! You can fill your entire home with treasures collected from your travels (or local sources), or designate a single room as your ethnic chic retreat.
Do Your Research
The world is at your fingertips when as begin your quest to create an ethnic chic room. Take some time and research different countries and regions before settling on a design direction. For instance, Asian style encompasses elements primarily from Japan, China, but can also include influences from Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
African-inspired rooms can draw inspiration from the entire continent. Africa is extremely diverse and is noted for its wide variety of cultures, designs, colors, shapes and patterns.
From Johannesburg to Tunis, you’ll surely find everything and more than you’re looking for! From tribal masks to Moroccan textiles, Africa offers an unsurpassed richness, depth and bold nature that will appeal to the most adventurous at heart.
And don’t overlook other regions when planning your ethic chic room. Latin countries have rich histories and offer a myriad of influences from the Moors to the Aztecs. In another vein, the continent of India is home to some of the most beautiful and colorful textiles in the world.
Central and Eastern Europe are the considered the birthplace of gypsy or Boho (Bohemian) style decorating. However, this type of ethnic decorating often incorporates elements from other parts of the world. Boho is an ethnically-inspired design direction that naturally falls under the broad umbrella of ethnic chic decor.
Find a Personality Fit
Ok, so you’ve researched the globe and are still confused about which ethnic chic style suits your personality and lifestyle. Why not start by looking at home? Take a peak into your own ethnic background and draw inspiration from your ancestors.
Now that you’ve done your research, you have a good idea of the colors and styles associated with different cultures. If you are a person who gravitates toward subdued furnishings, maybe a Latin inspired room with brightly painted, hand-carved pine furniture is not the best fit for you. Choose a style for your ethnic chic room that will make you feel welcome, relaxed and comforted the moment you enter.
Sources for Ethnic Chic Decorating
- You can shop the old standbys – your favorite chain import stores. They are a great resource for larger items such as furniture and rugs. In fact, most retailers now carry imported home décor items, so it’s easier than ever to create an ethnic chic room in your home.
- Flea markets and garage sales are always a good place to find ethnic chic accessories.
- The world is your oyster thanks to the Internet. With just a few clicks you can purchase gorgeous furniture pieces directly from overseas sources. Just make sure you are dealing with a reputable company.
- Perhaps your city has ethnic neighborhoods just waiting for you. Many large cities have a Chinatown and a variety of cultural pockets with markets and boutiques full of ethnic chic merchandise.
- Check out your favorite fabric stores for exotic textiles for making throw pillows, floor cushions and curtains.
Popular Ethnic Chic Styles
Moroccan – Rich in Moorish influence. Deeply-hued fabrics and textiles speak to past centuries. Traditional furniture built low to the ground or tables that require guests to sit on cushions are the norm. Intricately carved thuya wood tables are elegant pieces of art to be used and enjoyed. Sumptuous leather ottomans, or poufs, offer extra seating.
Asian – Delicate feel with floral and natural accents. Shoji screens provide privacy and paper lamps give your room subdued lighting. Worn lacquered chests, trunks and sideboards give your room a sense of history. Antique benches, beds and tables add authenticity to your design.
Indian – Indian decor is filled with intricate detail -- from exquisite embroidered silk bedding to wall hangings adorned with round metal medallions. Indian ethnic chic is also noted for its vibrant colors drawn from ancient traditions and everyday street life.
African – It is difficult to categorize African inspired decor. Most people think of fabrics and furnishings influenced by wildlife and nature. Animal prints are always a good choice. Colors run the gamut from vibrant to earthy. Fabrics are a huge part of the design story – Kuba, Adinkra, Kente and Adire are admired for their beauty, but also give a glimpse into tribal art and history.
© 2012 lindacee