How to Infuse Global Style into Your Interior Design

World décor, global design, exotic furnishings. Whether you’re stalking the stalls of Clingnacourt (Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen) or Vanves in Paris in search of the perfect battered club chair, or you’re haggling like a pro over colorful rugs adorned with intense geometric motifs in the markets of Fez or Marrakesh, your passion for global design guides you towards incredible finds. The distinct beauty of furniture and accessories from ports near and far affords you the opportunity to appreciate the art and design aesthetic of different cultures, all while giving you everlasting memories of your travels. When a beautiful piece, be it a small lamp or a sofa, catches your eye, you can barely stand the idea that you may have to wait to bring it home, especially when it comes to those larger pieces that need to be shipped. Getting your items home is step one. Step two is making sure that you’re able to incorporate your new treasures into your existing décor in a way that enhances it, not overwhelms it. 

Become Your Own Curator

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In designer Pierre Yovanovitch’s Parisian apartment charcoal grey Yonel Lebovici chairs are placed near the black and rose Ado Chale low table and unified by a grey contemporary rug with a high and low texture that resonates with the furniture and also gives a feeling of cushioned comfort. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.

Museum curators search far and wide for the pieces that will draw the crowds to their museums. All of the pieces will become part of a collection. Each item taken individually may completely differ in look and feel from the next, but together, they tell a story.

Keep that process in mind when you buy your global design pieces. You love that hand-carved Moroccan silver tray table, the six leather poufs, the three kilim rugs, the Moorish carved cabinet and the 1000-coin Berber wedding blanket that you picked up in Fez are without doubt incredibly beautiful items, but put them all in the same room and you can open up your own bazaar. Check out your entire room, and figure out which new pieces belong in the space, and which ones belong elsewhere in the home. One, single unique item can change the entire look of a room, especially when it differs drastically from the other furnishings in the room. 

In Pierre Yovanovitch’s Parisian apartment, the space’s all-consuming modernity is cut through with individual global design elements. The result is subdued yet ecstatic chaos. Remember to include paintings and sculpture when incorporating global elements into your design scheme. 

Mix Anique with Modern

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Kate Spade’s incredible NYC living room has a delicious global aesthetic with its artful blend of a 19th century Aubusson rug and modern art. It was designed by Steven Sclaroff who has also decorated the Jack Spade stores. Image courtesy Steven Sclaroff.

You may think that something like an elaborately carved wooden Karamouna dresser would have a difficult time fitting inside your contemporary dining room, but you’d be surprised at how incredibly at home it could actually look. It’s no longer a secret that merging design styles is often the very best thing you can do to add visual interest to a room. If you’re dreaming of a dining room filled with mid-century modern furniture, you may be thinking along the lines of Harry Ostergaard or Eames in terms of dining set choices. Try something a little different. Instead of pure mid-century, why not pair Ostergaard chairs with a simple teak Indonesian dining table? 

Here, master designer Kate Spade has taken her love for all types of design and blended it into a delicious mélange of complementing styles. The stunning Aubusson rug grounds the room filled with elements like glorious Indonesian ikat pillows, French chairs and a sleek black Chinoiserie coffee table. Every single one of her interests are represented in a way that allows them to be showcased without turning the space into a theme room for any particular style. 


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