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Global roaming from your armchair

From the Resene decorating blog

Ever come back from holiday determined to make over your house in the style of a Fijian bure? Perhaps a Mexican hacienda or a Tuscan villa? Travel is just one of the ways styles and traditions from other cultures make their way into our homes.

From time to time different cultures work their way into our consciousness, whether it’s from our travels, or they may have been in the news hosting a global event like the Olympics, or have been showcased in a popular film or TV show.

A bold and beautiful home interior

This boldly beautiful space showcases the new trend for striking reds, and creates an exotic Pasifika look, by way of Morocco. Two reds have been cleverly used together for added dimension, with Resene Poppy on the upper wall and Resene Dynamite on the lower wall. Further layering of red comes with a floor vase painted in Resene Raging Bull, the shelf vase in Resene Moccasin and the exotic earthy toned rug. A Moroccan-style stencil is used to pattern the floor, painted in a base colour of Resene Wishing Well, also used in the matching side table, with Resene Time After Time.

Where centuries ago cultural design trends were influenced by the epic explorations of new worlds, in these days of instant, mass communications we can be exposed to any global culture at the click of a mouse. So why do some culturally-influenced trends stick? And can you make them work for you at home?

Common traits

Many different traditional cultural designs have commonality in the use of natural colours, materials and fibres – a ‘look’ borne out of the need to use whatever is readily available in nature. Colours are often earthy, paired with woven natural fibres and materials such as wood or clay, wool or plant-based textiles.

A Pasifika/Moroccan style interior

A bold red and blue interior

These materials and colours resonate with us right now as we become more eco-conscious, looking for natural finishes and a connection to the outdoors in our homes. You can see it reflected in the current popularity of warm reds and deep terracotta, such as Resene Guardsman Red or Resene Desperado, or the move toward warmer, earthier whites such as Resene Half Pearl Lusta or Resene Thorndon Cream.

This trend to simplify and create an oasis of calm in a busy, digital world is why cultural-based styles such as the Scandi look have been so popular, with its clean lines, soothing pale greys, pale wood finishes and crisp whites.

A beach and sea inspired paint effect

The cool beach and sea inspired paint effect on this wall gives this breezy bedroom a true holiday vibe.

The background colour of the wall is Resene Breathless, the side table is in Resene Coast, the ribbed vase is Resene Good as Gold and the floor is Resene Sandbar. Colours used on the paint effect are Resene Coast, Resene Galliano and Resene Escape.

An outdoor area with a Pacifica vibe

Create a Pacifica vibe with bright colours set against a deep water blue wall, along with baskets and shells.

The wall is Resene Safehaven, the hook racks are Resene Lazy River and the pots are Resene Daredevil (deep orange), Resene Party Zone (bright orange), Resene Pink Ribbon, Resene Lazy River (blue) and Resene Poppy (red). The concrete has been finished in Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path paint tinted to Resene Traffic. This gives a gritty texture for non-slip safety.

How to DIY

When it comes to creating your own home décor inspired by a foreign culture, it’s best to adapt and personalise the look.

There’s no need to slavishly recreate a complete African hut or Moroccan riad. Instead try to pick apart what it is about the look that appeals most. Is it the colour scheme? The combination of materials used? The prints and motifs? Or the accessories that pull it all together?

Think about what will suit your lifestyle here, as well as the climate and the architectural style of your home.

Colour is often the easiest way to start recreating a look inspired by another country or culture. It’s often the element that sticks with us and evokes a memory of a particular place. Once you have that colour or combination of colours, you can build your décor around it.

Here are some of the key cultural design trends right now.

A Japandi style interior

Japandi – a mix between Japan style and Scandi with a simple organic style and using natural colours, organic shapes, and textural elements.

This interpretation of the look has walls in Resene Double Sisal, a floor in Resene Parchment, a side table in Resene Scrub and a jug in Resene Korma. The plant pot is in Resene Mai Tai, the basket planter is in Resene Double Lemon Grass and the tall vase is in Resene Triple Ash. The wide bowl on top of the cabinet is in Resene Soya Bean.

A lounge with a Misty Scandi style

Misty Scandi style with a cloudy ombre paint-effect wall using a colour-wash technique with Resene Half Raven, Resene Grey Chateau, Resene Double Concrete and Resene Half Concrete.

Accents in gold and black include a tall vase and side table are in Resene All Black, a bowl in Resene Aloha and a narrow vase in Resene Celebrate. The plywood floor is in Resene Colorwood Whitewash.

Scandi love

It seems as though the Scandinavians have been the go-to corner of the world for everything from hygge to bleak crime fiction for a long time, and the same is true of design. It’s perhaps driven in part by the success of brands like Ikea, but the Scandi look also remains popular for interiors because it is simple to achieve and easy to live in.

Think blonde wood, or timbers finished in Resene Whitewash, paired with muted shades such as Resene Despacito, Resene Sea Fog or Resene Quarter Surrender. From there layer with plenty of sisal or woven fabrics and lots of plants.

Don’t be afraid to add shades that reflect aspects of our own environment whether it’s black sands in Resene Baltic Sea or Resene Pohutukawa.

Neighbourly Pasifika

There should be no surprise that the style of our Pacific Island neighbours is appealing, whether it’s the colours of turquoise seas and beachside bungalows, or traditional arts and crafts.

Look at traditional tapa cloths, and the traditional dyes in shades of rust brown, sandy tans and darker charcoals. Try shades such as Resene Teak matched with Resene Barnstorm and Resene Bokara Grey. Add in plenty of leafy greens such as Resene Flax. And if you want to be reminded of that beautiful, warm sea add accents of blues such as Resene Calypso.

Tribal drama

Charcoal darks and creamy beiges are also to the fore in African tribal design, but you’ll also find the full spectrum of earthy, mineral shades from bright ochre yellow such as Resene Cleopatra to deep sienna reds such as Resene Dynamite.

Another way to adapt this style is to introduce tribal patterns in your soft furnishings or plant pots or even try the trend for painting your walls in geometric or abstract repeated pattern designs as trim around the top or bottom of walls.

Moroccan spice

Embracing a connection with nature doesn’t mean sticking to woody neutrals or leafy greens. There is an ever-increasing trend to embrace bold, deeply pigmented shades as we look to create havens in our homes that reflect our personality.

It’s perhaps one reason Moroccan colours inspire us – the spice markets, decorative tiles and desert sunsets. Try Resene Moroccan Spice, Resene Yes Please, Resene Endeavour and Resene Smitten.

Add layers of jewel toned cushions and plenty of lighter, sheer draped curtains along with an ornate light fitting or mirror to complete the look.

Think about a stencilled pattern on a painted floor; a great, creative way to create a stylish talking point in any room.

Another great inspiration for this palette is the vibrant fabrics and colours of Rajasthan in India. Think deep purples such as Resene Eye Candy or a hint of gold such as Resene Gold Dust.

An American west meets Moroccan style lounge

A beach inspired bedroom

Pink living room: American west meets Moroccan in this peachy pink room. The lighter colour, Resene Sorbet, is used as a neutral, leaving the darker colour Resene Just Dance, as a feature wall to frame the white linen sofa. Adding to the soft weathered look is a distressed floor where Resene Poured Milk is used over a basecoat of Resene Rebel, then sanded back in random areas. The round side table is in Resene Sunbaked, while the base of the jute ottoman is stained in Resene Colorwood Pitch Black. The pendant light is in Resene Despacito, the tall vase is Resene Irresistible and the small vase is in Resene FX Metallic Rose Gold.

Japan chic

A Japanese design aesthetic has often, if not always, been a favourite with interior designers. Like the Scandi trend, it style revolves around clean line and uncluttered living.

There’s a tendency toward natural materials such as wood, paper, and natural fibres accented with a soothing colour palette in pale soothing neutrals such as Resene Ash offset with dark wood tones such as Resene Mahogany. Those shades are given a fresh lift with natural sage greens such as Resene Rainee and the cherry blossom pink of Resene Sakura.

Keep heavy drapes to a minimum and think about sheer pale fabrics, or wooden or bamboo blinds that will filter or dapple your space with natural light.

The on-trend aspect of Japanese design is the concept of wabi-sabi, which is all about impermanence and imperfection. That means using organic materials where possible and showcasing art and objects that are natural and imperfect in their design. Think hand-thrown pots and hand-dyed linens.

So pack away your passport, and get decorating in global style.

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Despacito

Resene Sorbet

Resene Just Dance

Resene Rose Gold

Resene Sunbaked

Resene Lazy River

Resene Time After Time

Resene Safehaven

Resene Barnstorm

Resene Pink Ribbon

Resene Yes Please

Resene Eye Candy

Resene Party Zone

Resene Cleopatra

September 20, 2018

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