Decorating & Design - Design Lesson

Design lesson: Vacation style

Kimberley Seldon

Create that home-away-from-home feeling with travel-inspired decorating ideas.

Dos and don'ts of travel-inspired decorating

DO incorporate a region's indigenous colours. Aqua blues and greens evoke carefree Caribbean afternoons, pastels accented with crisp white echo Miami Beach, and spicy oranges and saffron yellows suggest India.DO use authentic fabrics as the main indication of a style and locale. Large-scale blue-and-white checks on linen or cotton are a staple of Swedish interiors, and oak leaves and naïf animals adorn the printed textiles typical in Alsatian and Bavarian homes.

DO make room for furnishings that look well travelled or well loved. A Turkish table inlaid with mother-of-pearl and ivory says Morocco or Turkey while a vintage trunk suggests a trip on the '30s cruise ship Queen Mary.

DON'T copy any regional style literally or your home will run the risk of developing “Epcot Syndrome”and looking like the Florida Walt Disney World theme park with its pavilions of different nations. Santa Fe style is appropriate in New Mexico and works in Arizona and Los Angeles, but it may fall short in Eastern Canada, where the geography and light are vastly different.

DON'T mix more than two or three styles within a room. It's important to consider compatibility. For example, painted Pennsylvania Dutch furniture will work beautifully with casual Canadiana or country styles but isn't a match for a more formal decor.

DON'T paint the exterior of your house in colours found in a foreign region; it should be in harmony with other homes in the neighbourhood.

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