Design Lesson
Sep 1, 2011

Trend: Modern global

By: Lauren Flanagan

Trend: Modern global Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Sep 1, 2011

Trend: Modern global

By: Lauren Flanagan

A fresh take on classic African style, modern global is a meeting place for natural materials, worldly finds and exotic textiles. The style balances the warmth of traditional rooms with clean contemporary lines, creating a look that suits interiors the world over.

"Modern global spaces have a contemporary elegance. A parade of patterns from different cultures feels modern and fresh when used together," says contributing design editor Christine Hanlon.

A look in which patterns play a key role, modern global is rich in bold designs and natural textures, yet individual shapes aren’t complex. Full-bodied patterns are traded in for two-toned geometrics, while fussy accessories are exchanged for organic objets.

To keep contrasting patterns from competing with each other, it’s important to make sure they all have the same tonal value. In this room, the colours are earthy and natural to the point where they’re almost monochromatic. Unlike large-scale prints with lots of colours, two-toned geometrics in the same colour family work well together.

modern-global-living-room.jpg
Photography by Leslie Williamson from Handcrafted Modern (Rizzoli, 2010).

Incorporate worldly artifacts
Add artifacts around the room that suggest a life well traveled, such as the globe by the window. Hanging the Persian rug on the wall replaces wallpaper but makes a similar dramatic statement.

modern-global-wall.jpg
Interpreting 'modern global'
Christine Hanlon interprets the modern global trend and here's how:
  • Black-and-white photography doesn’t compete with bold, graphic prints.
  • A traditional Farrow & Ball wallpaper takes on a cultural feel when surrounded by exotic items.
  • Artifacts that reference a faraway locale enhance the look.
  • Organic forms, such as vine spheres and shed animal horns, contribute to the worldly atmosphere.
modern-global-cushions.jpg
Mix it
Using more than one pattern is integral to this look, but keep the prints two-toned in colour and geometric in style. Brown Ankasa cushion, Ribbehege and Azevedo. modern-global-wallpaper.jpg
Match it
Mixing and matching motifs is most successful in a minimal colour palette. A neutral, earthy palette consisting of three dominant colours is the perfect scheme. Silvergate 826 wallpaper, Farrow and Ball. modern-global-rug.jpg
Layer it
Balance patterns by layering them on top of solids. Alternatively, a graphic rug with a solid border achieves a similar effect. Jute Boucle rug, West Elm; Graphic rug, Elte. modern-global-lamp.jpg
Birds of a feather
With a design inspired by Peruvian pottery, the Chicken Feather lamp by Bunny Williams has a shapely silhouette that’s as at home in a global-style room as it is in the well-known designer’s traditionally classic interiors. The Beeline Home collection from Bunny Williams is available exclusively in Canada through Ribbehege & Azevedo. Ribbon, Mokuba Toronto, 416-504-5358.
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Design Lesson

Trend: Modern global