Like fashion or cookery, interior trends often take inspiration from international influences; from the intricate patterns of the Mediterranean to the stark minimalism of Scandinavia. To help you give your next interior design project an international flair, we’ve put together a short guide on how to incorporate some of the world’s most iconic design trends into your home.
Few destinations embrace all-out glitz and glamour quite like Dubai. When it comes to interiors, think futuristic metals, chandeliers dripping with jewels and sumptuous and plush furnishings. One of the biggest interior trends to emerge from Dubai is kaleidoscopic colour, most notable in the palatial Burj al Arab hotel, one of the most iconic buildings in the world.
The interiors of the sail-shaped building were designed by Khaun Chew of KCA International, and the vibrant colour palette found throughout is said to be inspired by the elements (in fact, there are even three aquariums and a waterfall within the hotel itself). Other key aspects of the design include marbled surfaces, intricate rugs and columns.
While a waterfall might not be feasible for your own home, you can incorporate elements of Dubai design into your interiors with textured rugs in rich colours, opulent chandeliers and metallic gold accents. It’s (almost) as good as being there.
The cultures and colours of the eternally sunny Mediterranean lend themselves perfectly to the realm of interior design. The key features tend to be earthy colours and burnished accents, which help to bring a sense of warmth from the outside in. Other typical aspects of Mediterranean interior design include hues which reflect the earth and sky, carved furniture and filigree light fixtures to celebrate a Moroccan influence.
When creating Mediterranean interiors in your own home, think terracotta flooring, Spanish red clay tiles, exposed wooden beams and plenty of clay pots in varying shapes and sizes to create a makeshift garden. Stone floors and tiled walls will ensure your home has the atmosphere of a light and airy holiday villa. Need a little more inspiration?
For something a little more ornate, look to the Latvian capital of Riga for some inspiration. The city itself is home to a higher concentration of art nouveau buildings anywhere in the world, making up a third of the city’s architecture (in fact, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for this very reason). This style of architecture is distinctive for its highly ornate entranceways, asymmetrical lines and heavy use of natural motifs.
One of the most famous examples in the city is the building which houses the Riga Art Nouveau Museum, designed by renowned Latvian architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns, with its iconic grand staircase.
It’s easy to introduce some art nouveau style into your own interiors with statement sculptures. For walls, keep colours soft and muted and create a feature wall using an elaborate paper pattern. Use colourful glass to create an ornamental effect.
The dynamic Portuguese city of Lisbon is known for its eye-catching and patterned tiles. Representative of the city’s rich history, every group of “azulejos” is designed to tell a poem or story. You’ll find a fascinating selection of these tiles on display around the city, but perhaps the best place to get an up close and personal look at them is to visit the Azulejo Museum, which houses a church lined in these unique tiles.
Bring some Portuguese design into your own home by picking up some azulejos at any one of the souvenir shops lining Lisbon’s cobbled streets. Further elements of Lisboan design include neutral-coloured walls (to further emphasise the colours and stories of the tiles) as well as industrial-style lighting and fresh, clean pastel colours used for soft furnishings.
We’re all familiar with those famous white-washed walls and blue rooves of Santorini and Mykonos, but there are so many other defining features of Greek design. When it comes to interiors, the Greek islands take their inspiration from the water. Think sea-blue tiles, plenty of glass to create a cool and airy feel, and the use of wood alongside textured fabrics.
Mosaic tiles are also often used for table-tops or other surfaces. Of course, interiors often take their cues from the motifs of ancient Greece, with the use of marble to depict gods and goddesses.
Achieve the look in your own home by embracing a spectrum of blue shades in your cushions, drapes and bedding. Keep furniture minimal and fuss-free, and incorporate mirrors and glass tables to introduce the impression of space.
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