International Inspired Decor
When choosing a decorating style for a room, there's a whole wide world out there to explore. Each country has its own unique style influenced by culture, history, climate and a myriad of other factors. It is always interesting to walk into a room and immediately become part of another world. Whole houses can be themed around one country or each room can carry its own style. It doesn't have to be expensive either. Here I have painted a broad brushstroke of international trends in decor to get you started creating your own well-travelled home.
1) - ITALY - The Italian decorating style is inspired by nature. The rustic Italian countyside and farmhouses play a big part and paintings of these are crucial. The colors and textures of nature are blended to create this style. Hand-painted ceramics are a great accessory. The Italians love tiled floors and wall murals. The use of stencils is prominent in Italian decor.
2) - ENGLAND - Here there are two styles you can work with - Victorian and English country. Comfortable and homey stripes and chintzes rule in the English country style. Antques, photographs and collectibles are prized. The rooms are often cluttered with cherished memorabilia. These homes are warm and inviting. The Victorian style, of course, is more formal and ornate.
3)- MEXICO - Mexicans love bright colors - yellow, terracotta, anything cheerful and warm. Heavy furniture is preferred. Wrought-iron candlesticks, bold colored tiles, bird and fish motifs are popular. Throw up a fabric wall hanging with bright primary colors and you are on your way.
4) - EGYPT - Bring the striking beauty of the ancient world into your home. Simple furniture, ornate statues, the love of marble and gold inspire the Egyptian style. Hieroglyphic and parchment-type of art can bring the ancient world in. Cats were revered in Egyptian culture. Orange, white and blue were the preferred colors.
5) - JAPAN - Asian decors are based on simplicity. The interior of the home is meant to bring balance and serenity to a space. Black-lacquered, multi-use furniture is typical. Natural textures in screen, frames and window treatments is preferred. Add an indoor water fountain and a beautiful floral wool rug for a true Japanese style.
6) - AFRICA - You don't have to spend a lot of money to achieve an African - style decor. Plants, animal prints, tapestries, exotic cushions are all a good start. If you really want to get into the true feel of an African home, include terracotta tiled floors, ceiling fan, animal hides and an African mask or two for emphasis. Fabric is important - choosing bright colors and leopard or zebra prints will bring the wild beauty of Africa to your home.
7) -GREECE - If you've ever visited Greece, you were impressed by the cloudless blue skies, sun-baked earth and sparkling sea. This is the feeling Greek decor tries to incorporate inside the home. Keep it simple - white stucco walls, stone floors, woven wall-hangings, bare windows. Rustic style furniture is best because the Greeks believe in easy living. Accessories could include natural clay pottery, tile accents, and wrought-iron wall scounces.
8) - U.S.A. - The sky's the limit here. America is such a melting pot that anything goes. Patriotic decor in red, white and blue is popular. Western or city chic. Country cozy or metropolitan. Your personality will lead you and no matter what you choose, it will be right.