Passport to style: Travel inspiration for the home

The interior design of a home reflects the personality, likes, and interests of the homeowner. Elements of international home décor, from individual items to complete room styles and decorations, may also make their way into the interior design of the home. Whether it is a way of honoring one’s ethnic heritage or a means of remembering a favorite vacation destination, adding a touch of international flavor to the interior design of one’s home can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

Asian-style home décor tips

Asian-style home décor tips

Exotic and enchanting, Asian décor is most often associated with the Far East, particularly China and Japan. Asian décor draws from natural sources and is often very minimalistic in style. Interiors are designed to create a sense of peace and balance; the color palette is very natural with varied shades of earth tones and greens dominating. Additionally, more luxurious interpretations of Asian style include bold accents of red, black, and gold.

East Indian décor, a sub-style of Asian décor, features intricate embellishments, bold jewel-like colors, dark woods, and brass accents. Moreover, tapestries are a staple of East Indian design, as are canopies.

African-style home décor tips

More than simply animal prints and tribal statues, African-style home décor is as rich and complex as the massive continent that inspires it. The color palette for African style is warm and neutral, with bold geometric patterns, dark woods including mahogany and ebony, as well as sturdy styles of beds, chairs and, tables being the norm. African-style home décor can mesh very well with contemporary décor and modern styles, making it easy to work in elements.

Home décor from around the Mediterranean

Countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, including Italy, Spain, Greece, and North Africa, have been intermingling styles since the time of the Roman Empire. Not surprisingly, Mediterranean interiors and sub-styles blend together elements from these different cultures, using a lush color palette of aqua, terracotta, azure blue, coral, and natural browns and greens in a wide range of patterns and textures to create relaxing, refreshing interiors. Mediterranean home décor also makes use of luxurious touches such as plastered walls, textiles in silk and wool, as well as rustic wooden touches, wrought iron accents, and hand-painted tiles.

The Greek sub-style utilizes a rich azure blue as a primary color, with a light neutral or, preferably, pure white background, while earthy shades and bright blues and oranges are more frequently seen in Spanish sub-styles. Moroccan sub-style is easily recognized in warm browns and purples, as well as intricate pattern fabrics and Arab-influenced accents.

Adding international accents

It is easy enough to add some accessories and furniture pieces to the home to give rooms an international accent. Old-fashioned travel posters, particularly those with an Art Deco-style, add international flavor, as do old photos, prints, and paintings of world destinations. In addition, framed maps are a nice travel oriented touch, as are old suitcases and postcards.

Adding a globetrotting touch to a home may be small-scale or all encompassing, with a wide variety of international styles and ethnic décor from which to choose. From Africa and Asia to the ancient culture of the Mediterranean, international style can dress-up a home to suit anyone’s taste.