Global-inspired colors and décor are gaining popularity in the design world and will infuse your home with instant international ambiance. There’s no need to trek to far-flung locales, simply borrow exotic shades and design elements from some of the world’s most colorful destinations to evoke the sights and sensations of an African safari or an Asian resort in your very own home. You’ll find that unique color palettes coalesce to bring to mind the landscape of foreign lands, while providing an open canvas for displaying international art and textiles. Whether you strive to recapture the hazy red of a sunset that glows over Cambodian temples, the vibrant teal of the ocean off the coast of Southern Thailand, or the rich, earthy brown of sun-dried vanilla beans in Madagascar, a global theme in the home can add a dose of sophistication and tranquility.
No matter what global elements you are drawn to, don’t be afraid to experiment with darker colors. You will be pleasantly surprised at how the richness of the tones can create a truly warm and welcoming space. The reddish brown wall color in this kitchen accentuates the subtle African influences of the wall art and intricately patterned window covering. Meanwhile, stainless steel appliances, copper accessories and ebony-stained furniture contrast with the wall color to ensure that the room maintains its contemporary edge. The key to global design is to balance ethnic elements with modern, streamlined pieces to create an original atmosphere through a fusion of styles. The light flooding in from the window and pendant lamps gives the walls a warm glow, demonstrating that a darker color palette can be an elegant and intriguing choice for any room in the home.
The understated elegance of this dining room can make you feel as though you are unwinding at a lush Indonesian resort. The abundant natural beauty found throughout this Southeast Asian island chain inspires a wealth of design options from which to create a tranquil living space. Sea-hued colors are known to inspire relaxation of the mind, making this soothing dining room an ideal place to lounge. You’ll notice that the lush teal wall color perfectly evokes images of the waves off Bali’s beaches on a sultry summer day, while the soft, velvety brown wall that grounds the room brings to mind the color of ocean-drenched sand on the island of Java. The tropical textures of the wicker furniture and wood floor further add to the beachside bungalow feel. Overall, the peaceful wall colors and the ocean-inspired textures combine to create an exotic yet refined ambiance.
Japanese design is a streamlined masterpiece, with each color and accent perfectly completing the unified whole. The Asian undertones of this kitchen are as subdued as the gentlest hues of a traditional tea garden—the green of lily pads floating on a koi pond, the soft white of blossoming camellias and the tawny brown of stately stalks of bamboo. Intricate accents such as the hanging lamps, floral wall art and rocky textured backsplash—which lend visual interest to this simple kitchen— subtly bring to mind traditional Japanese design and infuse the room with a global theme. Whether making a cup of tea for yourself or cooking a meal for a large family gathering, the natural colors and textures found in this kitchen creates a harmonious space ideal for rejuvenation.
From the kaleidoscopic array of textiles and spices, to the continent’s intriguing flora and fauna, Asian nations are filled with vibrant color. The hues found in the countries of the Far East are an inspiration to us all, and you can see that this attractive living room pulls from the best of what Asian color and design have to offer. The dark chocolate brown accent wall provides a dramatic yet neutral backdrop, while the soft golden sand tone of the adjacent wall lightens up the space to create an effect that is visually balanced. This palette lends itself well to bright splashes of color and ethnic accent pieces such as the yellow-gold of the throw pillows and the jaunty red and yellow stripes on the window coverings. Sumptuous accents such as the embossed silver lamp, lavishly patterned area rugs and Chinese tea set give the room stylish appeal making it a perfect haven for relaxing or entertaining.
Sometimes the most unexpected of colors combine to create perfect beauty and balance. The décor and accent pieces that you already have are often great sources to inspire your color combination selection. In this case, the striped lampshade contains both warm and cool tones, thus the combination of dark red and warm taupe in this peaceful office makes for an eye-catching background. In addition to color play, by incorporating a variety of textures into a room, you can achieve instant panache. The African art along with the dark wood, rattan and bamboo accents add a natural, soothing touch that makes this room an ideal workspace—it allows you to maintain concentration and focus in this atmosphere of serenity.
Whether you choose the warm palette of an Asian sunrise or the cool tones of a seaside retreat, a simple walk through your home can become a global experience with each room exuding its own special flair. A global design scheme is ideal for those possessing incurable wanderlust, and those that want to incorporate into their home the varied colors and textures the world has to offer.