For those that have fallen in love with architecture and design elements from another country or culture, it can be difficult to know where to begin in order to incorporate this style in
their own home. From hand crafted items purchased in a far
away bazaar to exotic patterns and vibrant colors, elements from other cultures can add depth and beauty to any living space.
“A hand painted ‘talavera’ plate hangs on my in-laws’ kitchen wall,” Apex Construction’s Interior Designer Adriana Mandt said. “It’s a symbol of my heritage, and it makes me feel welcomed and accepted into a mixed background family. I’m sure that when someone makes a compliment on it, it gives them the opportunity to talk about our story.”
When it comes to being respectful of other people’s cultures and countries, Interior HomeStore owner Carol Davis said proudly displaying culturally significant items in your home can demonstrate your appreciation and reverence.
“Every home should tell a story of the people who inhabit the space and their life journeys, no matter the culture,” Davis said. “The best way to honor another culture in your home is to invite unique or handmade décor into your spaces with open arms. Share its beauty when displaying and then enjoy all of the rich history that comes with owning it.”
Those who enjoy traveling will find a sense of nostalgia as well as wistfulness when surrounding themselves with décor that is reflective of the places they have visited. When designing a home, the décor should evoke emotion. For some, a relaxed or comforting environment suits their needs best. However, for those that enjoy being transported to another place, multicultural design can create a dynamic story for your home.
“To me, that’s what a home should do; tell your story,” Mandt agreed. “Globalization and technology play an important part in the way we relate to each other. It allows information to travel faster and the possibility of seeing other worlds and cultures from the comfort of our home.”
Knowing where to begin can be challenging but Davis said patience is key.
“When mixing looks, if you choose a design element from the heart, it will always work,” Davis said. “Go slow, be inspired and build your home with intention and patience. There’s no hard and fast rules or right answers when you mix styles from your heart and your travels.”
“As a designer, I take advantage as much as I can to experiment with different tendencies, color palettes, materials and decorations when creating a space,” Mandt said. “It’s difficult to explore, especially in this area, because Texans have a very defined style, that its usually western, shabby chic or farmhouse with neutral tones or white.”
Davis explained adding multicultural décor can be done in unexpected and low key ways if desired. Options include patterned tile floors, backsplashes, textile pillows, baskets, crewel fabrics, rugs or pottery, which can be easy to mix
into a pre-existing style.
“Don’t forget that matchy rooms can be boring,” Davis said. “Spaces become much more interesting with the addition of a few contrasting elements from all over the globe.”
Mandt explained she loves seeing different colors and textures when she enters a home.
“I pay close attention to what people have in their homes,” Mandt said. “It tells a lot about what they do and who they are, if they like to travel, explore or if they prefer a quiet time.”
Aspects of other cultures can be blended seamlessly with those of our own region for a truly unique look.
“There is variety of elements from other places that we can incorporate into our own design,” Mandt said. “This doesn’t mean that we are betraying our culture but that we are opening ourselves to experience other cultures and learn from them. These elements will not only serve you as inspiration but they will transform your home into your own unique space. These accents will be the theme of conversation and will stay in peoples minds after they visit your home and they will be learning from it as well.”