Our planet may seem large but in a figurative sense it’s really quite small. Our access to styles from all over the globe is readily available and influence in food, décor, clothing and art is unmistakable. With that in mind consider adding some global intrigue to your home interior.
Begin by working with what you have by incorporating items that reflect your heritage. Suppose your family originates from India or South America. Buried away in boxes you may have antique blankets, wall hangings, scarves or other items made with luxurious and exotic textiles. Use these fabrics to add definition and pattern to your walls. The great thing about these items is that they tend to be very large thus making a bold statement on a large wall and the abundant and generous use of color typically used in ethnic designs just adds that extra panache to this scheme. If you have several small scarves consider including all of them into a salon style exhibit in your own home; allowing each piece to have its own story. These pieces cultivate conversation and invite curiosity giving you the chance to talk about your family.
I’m not a fan of going to import stores to acquire global design, but if I happen upon import stores that work with a fair trade philosophy, then I am more willing to lay out some money–because ultimately I know what I spend will help someone else; possibly changing their life for the better. I found an import store in Healdsburg California one day–after an afternoon of wine and food tasting; it was right on the square and I wandered in and was so intrigued and impressed with the selection. One World Fair Trade focuses on fair trade products throughout the globe carrying items from Indian blankets made from used sari’s to fabulous beaded necklaces and bracelets. So – if you buy global make sure that your money goes to a worthy cause. There are several catalogues that cater to this such as Viva Terra, Sundance and World of Good.
Another way to add global intrigue is to use souvenirs from world travel. Take postcards that you have received into your local frame shop and have them floated in a frame. Or pick up vintage postcards that feature photos of places you have been; these postcards invite you into someone else’s world and show you what places looked like long ago. These also can be float mounted in between glass and look fantastic placed on a fireplace mantel, surrounded by travel books or hung on a wall with several other similar images. Remember to group your framed items so that they have a common denominator; the item in common can be the frame style or color; the subject of the image; the substrate of the image or a matching color. This creates a collection of similar items but each offering their own personality.
In addition to framing postcards use items from travels such as train tickets, jewelry picked up in a market, photos, coins or small paintings and have them assembled in a shadow box. Your guests will be drawn to this collection and want to know all about your travels.
And lastly – mix it up! Use items that have Asian influence, Mexican design or African style and allow these items to share a space. For a compelling grouping place items from these different countries on a cupboard, wide shelf or wide mantel and group them in a balanced setting adding bits of color from large beaded necklaces, fabric, ceramic vases or woven baskets. This mix of textures and patterns lends curiosity and keeps your memories of these trips fresh in your mind. Why shouldn’t you share and display those special moments in your life?