The inspiration behind this article is a question: How do people in other countries decorate their homes? It is always a good idea to look beyond the familiar to find new inspirations, wherever we may be. New discoveries motivate and inspire us to create better products and designs. Below you’ll find a series of international trends from both near and far that will help you add fresh touches and brighten up your home.
The concept of the Japanese artform Wabi-Sabi embraces the eccentric idea that beauty can be imperfect, just like the cherry blossom. This artform celebrates authenticity and the imperfection of things in a sea of pretentious materials. Wabi stands for simplicity, while Sabi means the beauty of ageing. Consequently, the concept that inspired this Japanese artform has been adopted in modern interior design, particularly this year. As a result, there has been a move away from designs full of mass-produced furniture, loaded with technology or overloaded with extravagance.
Interior design inspired by Wabi-Sabi challenges rules which restrict creativity. The only rule that matters is accepting imperfection, which is both fleeting and authentic. For this reason, the terms that are related to this trend are as follows: imperfection, asymmetry, simplicity, ingenuity, modesty and natural candidness. How does this amalgamation of ideas translate into a design practice? Ultimately, the aim is to attain a clean design with artisanal textures and to highlight the sparse ornamentation.
In essence, it means materials such as wood or stone complemented by Antique, imperfect, or used objects as well as simple, comfortable furniture. For example, if there’s a chair with frayed upholstery in the corner of a room with wooden floors, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the design. It is precisely this naturalness alongside light hues which will help us achieve the cosy and simple Wabi-Sabi style.
On the other end of the spectrum is Moroccan interior design. Here, bright colours are celebrated through every mode of artistic expression. Moroccan homes stand out for their rich colour palette which transmits warmth as well as their abundant use of ornaments. On the contrary to the simple style we just saw, this one is exceptionally ornate with highly embellished furniture and, at times, murals reminiscent of the sea with blue to green tones.
Another characteristic Moroccan element is their use of rugs; indeed, it is no coincidence that Moroccan rugs are world-renowned. Nowadays, it is not easy to find an authentic Moroccan rug, however, the effect they give can be replicated using a high-quality rug with colourful geometric patterns.
Finally, to finish decorating your home in a Moroccan style, there are three elements you should include as they perfectly combine the previously mentioned details. These are tiles with geometric mosaics, soft lighting to create a charming intimacy throughout, and textiles and fabrics with rich colours and geometric elements.
Similarly, this nation also celebrates natural materials in its interior design. Mexican interior design uses earthy woods and combines them with glass and steel elements to give warmth to rooms. Terracotta tiles are another typical design feature of this country, often linked to the warm simplicity of the home. These elements, paired with white walls and lush plants, bring the home to life and help create an entirely welcoming space.
As Jeffry Weisman, co-founder of the Fisher Weisman firm, explains in an Elle magazine article, “The Mexican design community has realized the unique value of their culture’s craftsmanship and has accepted it after decades of seeking a high level of industrialization.” In other words, in recent years Mexican interior design has returned to its essence to bring back the memory of its ancestors to their homes, which is now trending. This collective memory is loaded with textiles, cowhide rugs and Aztec-inspired carved pieces.
Lastly, Italy is another country that has returned to its craftmanship. In this case, the quality of the decorative elements is the key. As explained by Roberto Peregalli and Laura Sartori, from Studio Peregalli, “Uniqueness, custom-made items, and personal details are all part of a creative process that isn’t possible in a serial, standardised, industrial production.” In brief, modern Italian design is committed to unique design pieces that add sophistication and elegance to homes.
Another trend we see in the interior design of this transalpine country is the use of grey tones in the kitchen. This represents a break from the ever-present white found in most Italian kitchens and a chance to introduce darker elements such as grey marble or black quartz. Moreover, resin effects are also starting to become popular in kitchen and dining spaces.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the last edition of the Milan Design Week highlighted the ‘lifestyle’ concept. As designer Matteo Nunziati explains, “Lifestyle design aims to create a fully coordinated interior, where every aspect is necessary to create an emotion of beauty and well-being.” In addition to the materials used, this style highlights the use of mirrors, artistic pieces, playing with light and even perfumes. Altogether an accumulation of sensory elements which come together to create a united space.