Souk Style: Infuse Your Home with Eastern Elegance
The world of fashion is the number one influence on interior design trends and this year, the New York Fashion Week was oozing with mismatched patterns, luxe upholsteries and artisanal pieces that can only mean one thing – 2017 is looking to the East for inspiration. Here are some easy décor ideas to instantly immerse your home in Eastern flair.
2016 saw a significant trend in copper, bronze and other statement metallic pieces – and 2017 doesn’t look set to change any time soon. Search for highly detailed, ornamental pieces, focusing on antique-influenced vases, trays, mirrors and lanterns. The more lanterns the better; have fun with a mix and match selection of smaller lanterns to illuminate a shelf or side table, or invest in some larger sizes to add elegant, soft lighting both indoors and outdoors. Invest in one or two artisanal, ornamental pieces to add a classic dimension and avoid D.I.Y. or ‘basic’ décor – more is definitely more in the East.
Rich fabrics such as velour, tapestry and ornate weaves are a great way to dress up a room with a nod towards the East. Floor-seating is an age-old tradition in the Middle East, where guests are often welcomed into a ‘majlis’ – an entertaining room or tent – and seated on heavily patterned tapestry-covered cushions. Recreate this influence by draping patterned, heavy throws over sofas and beds or go ‘all out’ and up-cycle an old seating area by recovering in velour. Hang curtains in dark, rich reds and purples (embroidery and embellishment add a luxury feel) and don’t forget plenty of cushions. Mix and match colours and textures to achieve an authentic souk feel.
With the recent ‘retro’ theme dominating home décor, geometric patterns are everywhere – and they fit perfectly into a souk setting. Introduce a patterned, large floor rug finished with tassels to create a timeless Persian statement. In Middle Eastern culture, handmade Persian rugs are so highly valued that all visitors remove their footwear before entering the room as a polite custom, but mainly to keep rugs looking pristine by keeping dirt on the outside. Look out for quirky side tables, cabinets, wall prints or hangings and trinkets adorned with sharp, geometric square or triangular patterns. A statement deco piece adorned in zig-zags or swirls can create a focal point and adds depth to a room when placed in front of an ornate mirror.
Thoughtful lighting choices can bring a totally new dimension to a room. Ornate, spherical shades can upcycle side lamps or ceiling lights casting soft shadows around the room, setting a relaxed, welcoming vibe. Electric lanterns are a wise thematic choice whilst the more ambitious techno-types can look to gadgets to create interchangeable settings with specific mood lighting. Modern lighting systems can be added to most standard lamps and ceiling fixtures and allow the choice of over 16 million colours to create the mood of your choice. Take your room from day to night with playful colours, especially focusing on deep blues and magenta for night-time magic carpet rides.