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Embrace Global Design to Enhance Your Home

Updated on August 26, 2019
lindacee profile image

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

World decor styles are comprised of distinctive patterns, color combinations, traditional objects and art. These exotic motifs are unique, vivid and chic that will look fabulous in almost any space. Ethnic interior styles are known by a number of different monikers, such as world decor, global design, and tribal chic just to name a few.

The diversity of styles cross continents effortlessly and are influenced by some of the most far-flung destinations in the world. While many designers tend to lump “ethnic” into a singular style each culture should be appreciated for its unique history and traditions.

Asian

For the purpose of interior design Asian styles include components from Japan, China, Korea and also Thailand and Indonesia. Whichever country or region you choose harmony is one of the main design principles you will encounter each time you plan an Asian style room. Reinforce the physical balance with furnishings and create visual symmetry through color, texture and light.

Natural plants and Asian floral arrangements inject beautiful texture and artistry. Opaque Shoji screens provide privacy and allow light into the room. Romantic rice paper lamps give rooms a soft glow. Add depth and a rich color by introducing a lacquered chest, a chow leg table or tansu cabinet into the design.

Antique wooden benches, beds and elaborate carved screens impart a sense of history to your own interpretation of Asian style. While we sometimes associate bold colors like red, yellow, gold and black with Chinese style, organic hues such as brown, cream, green, tan and gray are also common colors especially in Japanese interiors.

Light and dark colors, heavy and delicate furnishings give this Asian-inspired room and exotic feel.
Light and dark colors, heavy and delicate furnishings give this Asian-inspired room and exotic feel. | Source

Asian Home Decor

Tribal African

Africa is incredibly diverse with an abundance of traditional designs, art, colors and textiles. The part of the continent that lies south of the Sahara Desert offers a wide variety of decorating choices that tap into the region’s rich tribal cultures and unsurpassed natural resources. From Botswana to Tanzania to Ghana there’s a wealth of tradition, earthy hues and materials from which to draw from.

It is difficult to categorize African tribal style with its many possibilities. It can be equally difficult to narrow the specific style options. A good place to start is with fabrics and furnishings that have a close association to flora and fauna. Graphic animal prints are often paired with the color palette of regional vegetation. Don’t underestimate the role of indigenous fabrics in ethnic style. They are not only striking--they also provide insight into tribal history.

African artisan objects and textiles give this bedroom a sense of warmth.
African artisan objects and textiles give this bedroom a sense of warmth. | Source

African Interior Style

Indian

India is a country rich in style, color and texture. Its culture is vibrant and colorfully rooted in ancient tradition. It has provided inspiration for interior designers for centuries. India is home to some of the most exquisite textiles in the world and its decor is brimming with detail from intricately embroidered silk curtains to carved mahogany and ivory inlaid side tables.

Color is everywhere in India. The vibrant hues of traditional embroidered saris and the rich colors of spice markets can infuse your home with energy and life. Dark woods such as ebony, teak and rosewood are crafted into traditional furniture pieces. Find equilibrium by pairing a heavy coffee table with a delicate upholstered bench sofa. Create a cozy grouping by adding low seating and colorful accent pillows.

Intense colors and beautifully carved mahogany furniture gives the room a comfortable elegance.
Intense colors and beautifully carved mahogany furniture gives the room a comfortable elegance. | Source

Indian Design Elements

Moroccan

North African Moroccan style is rich with Moorish influence from Iberia, Malta and Sicily. It is a hot, parched country situated between the Sahara Desert, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Its people specialize in intricate motifs, which are featured on their rugs, woodwork, tiles and pottery. Deeply hued fabrics are deferential to the ancient designs and traditions of one of the world’s oldest cultures.

The sheer number of elaborate patterns in a single room might seem overwhelming to the Western eye. Conversely, a floor covered in ornate Zellige tiles and offset by lofty cream walls creates an elegant countenance. Add traditional low, modular benches and round tables surrounded by ottomans, floor cushions or poufs used for additional seating. Colorful Kilim rugs, pierced metal lanterns, oversized urns and mosaic-framed mirrors create an ultimate Moroccan getaway.

This blue tiled Moroccan bathroom adds glamour and traditional style.
This blue tiled Moroccan bathroom adds glamour and traditional style. | Source

Moroccan Design Ideas

Latin American

The festive colors, patterns and textures of Latin America are perfect for creating a casual and fun mood in any room. The overall aesthetic includes textured rugs, serape prints and rustic, hand carved wooden furniture. Think of a Spanish colonial dining room dressed in traditional textiles in shades of bright blue, green and red. Add pieces of Mexican dinnerware or Central American pottery adorned with a lovely floral motif. Neutral artisan floor tiles anchor the space while soft yellow and terracotta accents round out this sunny color palette.

Not all Latin American designs feature bright colors. Consider certain furnishings with traditional patterns and graphic prints in dusky tones of red and turquoise accented with warm colors found in the high desert. An elegant and sophisticated Latin American style is created with minimal furnishings and subtle color punctuated with a large artisan furniture piece for the room’s focal point.

This apartment has a mix of North and South American style.
This apartment has a mix of North and South American style.

Latin American Interior Colors

© 2019 Linda Chechar

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    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      7 months ago from Arizona

      Indeed!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      The world has definitely become a lot smaller thanks to modern technology.

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      7 months ago from Arizona

      Liz, it is so easy to source global furnishings and accessories from brick and mortar retailers and online sites. I'd certainly love to travel to all of the countries and regions but it would eat into my retirement!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      These different design styles add a lot to a room's decor. Increased globalization and ease of travel over the past century has increased the range and ease of availability of ethnic items.

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