Looking for some interior inspiration? Toss that IKEA brochure aside and take some design ideas from across the globe. From bohemian Moroccan throws and rugs, to stylish Italian leather, we’ve rounded some of the most influential, and beautiful trends from around the world to help you create a room you love.
Moroccan design was huge in 2018, and it’s set to stay for the coming year. Think bold colours, mixed prints, and rustic wooden furnishings. One of the simplest, most cost effective ways to embrace the Moroccan trend is through soft furnishings such as pillow, rugs and throws. Add rich burnt orange, deep turquoise, and mustard yellow to the furnishings you already have to change the entire look of a space. Toss patterned pillows on a plain sofa for an instant lift.
Berber rugs are also a huge trend, originals being hand made in the Atlas mountains by the Berber villages. You’ll find the originals are used by high-end designers in their stores, Ralph Lauren in London for example, is home to a stunning variation of colourful Berber rugs. Thankfully, you don’t have to climb mountains to get your hands on one – in fact, online stores now stock replicas which are a little less expensive, but still super stylish.
Spanish interior design traditionally hosts a colour palette of blues, greens, whites, and browns, however as you’ll know, terracotta reds are also key to Spanish design.
Terracotta tiles used for flooring and roofs create warmth, and add a rustic element to any space. In most Spanish design, you’ll see elements of stone and ceramics, along with pottery, wrought iron pieces, candle holders, and carved wooden panels. If you want to add a touch of the Med to your space – this is the way to go.
If you step into a traditional Spanish home, you’ll find that furniture pieces are often made of solid woods such as oak. Other familiar elements of Spanish Colonial homes include built-in wall benches, free-standing cabinets and bell-shaped corner fireplaces.
The Spanish are huge fans of tiles, too. These are usually made from stone, rock or ceramic. Some popular accessories to consider are pottery, metal accents, stained glass and woven wall hangings.
Create your own zen, and take inspiration from Japan.
Ancient traditions have influenced Japan’s architecture and interior design aesthetic, resulting in a serene, simplistic layout.
When you think of Japanese style, the art of Feng Shui usually springs to mind, and placement of furnishings has a huge influence over interior design. If you’re thinking of incorporating Japanese design into your space, think clean and uncluttered, balance, order, and natural beauty.
Traditional Japanese plants, such as bonsai and bamboo, will give your space a cultural touch. Orchids are also popular choices – and they’re really easy to keep. It’s rare to see colorful floral arrangements in a Japanese home, so whatever plant you choose, keep it simple.
Japanese homes also bring the outdoors inside, and you’ll find large, expansive windows that bring lots of light and air into the room.
Natural wood is a huge interior trend in Japan – especially red pine and bamboo. You can add these natural wooden elements into your space with bamboo flooring, which is easy to achieve. The Japanese believe the natural wood brings a calming effect, and creates serenity.
Swedish interior has been hugely popular, especially in the last 12 months, and here’s how to add it to your home.
Swedish designer and interior blogger *** said: “When you step into a Swedish house the first thing you notice is space. Swedish design lets a home breathe – it’s airy and uncluttered so that every bit of furniture gets enough elbow room.
It can be tough making this work if you have a lot of stuff, which is why Swedish designers are so good at building great storage.”
She added: “You’ll also notice how light Swedish interiors are. In winter, Sweden can be pretty grim, so designers treat light as a valuable resource. A pale palette using white, cream or light yellow backgrounds lets light diffuse throughout the room.”
Here in the UK, we often opt for heavy curtains and blinds – but not in Sweden. Here you’ll notice windows are simply dressed with linen blinds or delicate translucent fabrics, if at all, to let as much light as possible into the room. In the evenings, they keep their rooms light and bright, with an array of pendant light often hanging over work surfaces and dining tables – both stylish and efficient.
The Swedes also love candles. You’ll always find a candelabra on the dining table in a Swedish home.
French interior has been replicated for decades – and it’s easy to see why. The French are famous for their interior design, and we’ve spoken to the experts to show you how to add some Parisian style into your home.
A beautiful combination of elegant and rustic furnishings, French interiors are never too curated or too perfect.
“My number one rule for French interiors is: don’t try too hard! The French adopt the same laissez-faire attitude towards interiors as they do with their style,” says French lifestyle and interior design blog, Marissa Cox, “Keep it simple, mix vintage with new, and allow your memories and treasures brought home from travels to shape the space rather than sticking to any particular interior style.”
Not to mention French interiors also reflect their lifestyle – and that’s why they appear so effortless. French homes are built to accommodate the way you move through the room. The design itself is far from relaxed, but living in a French-style maison is easy.
Italian design is inspired by the country’s love of open, well-lighted, airy spaces. Most today’s Italian interior designers create living spaces with lots of light and air in mind.
As a lot of Italian homes are small, clever, aesthetic space utilization is often implemented. According to Life in Italy, the additions of doors and windows to give as much a semblance of open space as possible, and the tricks designers use to enhance space include the strategic placement of furniture and lighting.
Italy is also famous for it’s beautiful leather, and whilst you will need a large budget to pay for an Italian leather sofa, guests will notice the quality. As Italian interior is often simplistic, large expensive furnishings often do the talking, and are key features of the room.
African interior is not only bold, it’s beautiful, too. Deep, rich colours combined with monochrome patterns makes a powerful statement – and won’t go unnoticed by your guests.
Cassandra Lavalle of Seattle-based lifestyle company Coco + Kelley is a huge fan of African interiors. She told Conde Nast Traveller: “Some of my most treasured home decor items have come from the trips I’ve taken to Africa over the past two years,”
The designer is a huge fan of African mud cloths. Traditionally from the Malian culture, these cloths are painted with clay and worn for camouflage, ritual protection, or as a status symbol or a commemoration of coming-of-age. She said: “I’ve always found myself drawn to one-of-a-kind items like this that really have a story to tell.”
Indian interior design is rich, elegant and glamorous, but how do you encorporate it into an everyday living space?
Interior design blog, Livspace states: “Bright and varied colors are the hallmark of Indian interior design. While it’s hugely tempting to go crazy with such a vast palette, too much color can create visual chaos.”
“Opt for earthy tones – ochre yellows, rich browns and burnt oranges for your walls and floors. Yellows and pinks on the fluorescent side of the spectrum and startling blues and greens can be used for smaller elements such as pillowcases or chairs.”
If you want to keep furnishings traditional, Indian cabinets are a great combination of functionality and aesthetics. These are often brightly painted and embellished with mirrors, stones, ivory, or metal. They can be used alongside solid wood pieces to lighten the mood of your spaces.
Unlike in Sweden, decorative pieces are key in India. Embellished masks, clay pottery and crockery, decorative boxes, or marble pieces such as brass lamps and pots can be used as ornaments in any space.