Interiors: Destination decor
- Credit: Archant
Get that summer holiday feeling all year with these interiors accessories inspired by travels in Europe, North Africa and the Far East
While another get-away might be impossible, and you can’t unfortunately import the blazing sunshine and sultry sunsets, you could recreate the style of your favourite destination in decor, for an at-home vacation vibe.
And there’s no need to fill suitcases with souvenirs and lug them home to conjure your look; our interiors are so influenced by global trends these days, there’s plenty to plunder on the high street and from the wealth of specialist companies.
Evoke exotic atmosphere with a ‘faraway scene’ wall mural, or your own holiday photo turned into a canvas, and furniture pieces in characteristic style or colour. Or, confine yourself to few accessories, and then sit back and enjoy a ‘far away’ feeling. After all, it could be the perfect way to avoid airport queues, jet lag, lost luggage and all those other holiday hazards.
Here’s how to conjure the atmosphere of France, Morocco or China in your rooms; you may never want to leave home again...
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The chic of it
The French are a such stylish lot, famed as much for their elegant dress sense as their chic interiors, and our love affair with their seemingly effortless glamorous grandeur - sparkling chandeliers and carved ornate furniture - never wanes.
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“Curves, carvings, swirls, floral swags, cherubs - French furniture is the manifestation of pure Gallic romance and conjures all the va-va-voom and romance we associate with the style,” says Georgia Metcalfe, creative director and founder of The French Bedroom Company.
“It’s all about dipping a toe in history but making it work in today’s world, and creating a feeling of luxury with a nod to nostalgic glamour. We’ve always looked across the Channel for inspiration and our passion for the French look is enduring.”
Muted paint colours play an important part in this scheme - think soft grey and ivory. Consider revamping furniture by painting in a soft matt or distressed finish.
Devotees trawl French markets for antique pieces, but specialist companies offer brilliant reproduction ranges which could save all that effort.
Tales of the Orient
Symmetry, clean lines and glossy, lacquered furniture in a pared-back setting conjures a tranquil, zen-style atmosphere.
“The enduring popularity of Eastern style is mainly down to its versatility. The style works with both contemporary and traditional interiors, and as those designing interiors now have less of a throwaway mentality, beautifully designed pieces which will never date, and traceable provenance, appeal,” says Jemma Page, director at Orchid Furniture, specialists in antique and reproduction Chinese furniture.
“The handmade nature of the reproduction pieces also brings character not necessarily found in machine-finished furniture, while the broad range of finishes means there’s something for everyone, from the glossy lacquer for that hotel-chic look, through to the more distressed finish of some antique pieces. Eastern pieces are guaranteed to bring impact to a room, with both their style and colour.”
Pick an Eastern palette - shades of blue are enduringly popular - teal, turquoise, duck egg and indigo - while blacks and metallic remain on-trend and tend to signify luxury. Red’s a signature colour, and harks back to the traditional Eastern styles.
Traditionally a ‘wedding cabinet’ was the equivalent to a girl’s bottom drawer, and contained a collection of oriental silks and linens, which were presented to the groom on their wedding day.
Decorative trellis work, pattern, jewel tones and intricate tiling are vital ingredients for a cool Marrakech-style setting.
“Rich, luxurious and exotic, the style’s bold colours and shapes make it a favourite for many interior designers,” says Adnan Bennani, director at Moroccan Bazaar, specialists in classic and contemporary craftsmen-made homeware.
“Most traditional Moroccan colours reflect the desert or ocean hues - rich golden browns and deep blues - but it’s also common to see reds, oranges, and greens dominating in interiors.
“Most characteristic are mosaic tiles, Zellige, which are hand-cut and come in luminous finishes and various tones. It’s their patterns which are the decorative backdrop of these exotic settings. Interiors are grand, sensual, relaxing and can be magical with their blend of lights and jewel-rich colours.”
Hang lanterns for an authentic Moroccan feel. Group over a table or have a metallic pendant, with a punched-out pattern, which will allow intricate patterns to reflect on a wall.