Wish you could take a trip around the world? If that’s not in the cards for you anytime soon, why not bring a bit of the world home? Borrowing design trends from other countries and cultures can result in a living space that looks like no other and completely reflects you!
We’re exploring timeless and trendy interior design trends from countries across the globe. Take a look, get inspired, and feel like a world traveler — all from the comfort of your newly redecorated home!
Combining Arabic, Moroccan, and Berber designs, classic Middle Eastern homes feature tiled mosaics, geometric patterns, and carved wood. Windows and doorways are often arched, and colors are deep and heavily saturated. Draped textiles are also common in North African and Middle Eastern homes. Recently, décor has trended toward lighter colors and a turn toward more natural textiles and textures. Green is popular, as are live plants inside the home.
If you’re thinking IKEA, you’ve got a handle on Scandinavian interior design. Although that brand has been adapted for the American market, the basics still are found in clean lines, light wood finishes, and industrial touches. Furnishings often serve dual purposes — a coffee table that opens into a desk, an ottoman that also has storage space — and surfaces are shiny. The Scandinavian aesthetic also values natural light, neutral colors, and an open feeling to rooms.
If you want to be ultra-modern in Brazil, then your look should be ultra-industrial. Metal furniture, exposed ductwork, and other features of the industrial style that swept the U.S. in the ’90s and ’00s are hot, as are open-concept floorplans, clean lines, and black and white and earth tones. Look for concrete, glass, and metal in every room.
The minimalism of the wabi-sabi style has been infusing Japanese homes in recent years. Wabi-sabi is sometimes called “the art of imperfection,” an aesthetic that delights in authenticity above all else. Aged woods, crackled porcelain, faded textiles, and other time-worn materials are praised for their imperfections, and handmade items are valued above mass-produced products.
It’s about getting back to nature in India this year. Steel and chrome are making way for brass and copper, bright florals are making a comeback, and neutral tones are falling by the wayside as bold blues, reds, yellows and greens move in. The look of concrete is spreading from floors and countertops to influence the looks of some furniture and even textiles with a rough, natural style. Velvet, which graced sofas and bedding in the U.S. last year, is growing in popularity.
Home styling trade shows in Germany earlier this year highlighted individualization and digitization, along with sustainable production and longevity. Metallic wallpaper, velvet-covered furniture, and large florals were also seen. Pale neutrals dominated, occasionally relieved by pops of color. Velvet is popular here, too, as are wood, glass, and basket-like textiles.
For 2019, designers in Australia are bringing in pastel colors in “chalky” finishes, yellows and corals, geometric and marbleized patterns, and high-contrast textures. (Although neutrals — white, greys, beiges — still haven’t gone out of style.) Wallpaper is high on the list of desirable features, especially that made of textured material. Terrazzo remains popular there, and coloring it is catching on. Open shelving, a look Americans are definitely moving away from, is just becoming more popular here.