Year after year, we witness interior designers embrace new trends and styles from all around the world. In fact, most interior design styles draw inspiration from different geographical locations. And so, we’ve decided to launch a series to explore the various cultural styles — starting with African, Indian, and Spanish interiors.
Read on to celebrate cultural diversity in interior design. Here’s all about the traditional design elements from Africa, India, and Spain!
African Interior Design
Africa is a massive continent, spanning 54 different countries — and African interior design draws a little inspiration from each of these. The colour palette uses majorly neutral (and earthy) tones, whilst pops of colour are welcomed through accessories. Classic African interiors generally use lots of black and white, typically in strong geometric forms. Various tones of terracotta, burnt orange, and deep gold are also famous.
Credit: Interiors Online
African decor draws inspiration from nature — the type of feeling you’d get if you went on a safari in the continent. As such, you may find animal prints, such as those of zebras and leopards. Traditional wood carvings and vibrant fabrics are also common.
Credit: Our very own Interior Design Guru, Kenny!
African interiors believe that less is more. You’ll never find too many accessories or an overdose of furnishings. For the flooring, sandstone or terracotta are commonly found. Animal portraits are loved for the artwork, especially elephant motifs.
Credit: Digs Digs
African-inspired interiors are big on natural materials. Straw, clay, wood, and leaves — anything you’d find in the outdoors. Handmade items from rattan and jute are also particularly famous in African decor.
Indian Interior Design
Indian interior design — just like everything else Indian — is highly influenced by the country’s culture. Whether it’s the ancient Mughal monuments or intricate carvings from the past, Indian interior design has its roots laid deep in history, and has evolved over many generations.
Vibrant, varied colours set the basis of Indian interior design. Think reds, blues, and greens. A neutral base topped with accent colour(s) is equally loved in Indian interiors, too!
Traditional Indian cabinetry features plenty of carvings and inlay work (using stones, metal, or ivory). Dedicated design enthusiasts love to showcase heirloom pieces in their interiors, too. Because the furniture in Indian interior design mostly comprises solid wood, these storage units act as accent pieces, too.
Credit: Vintage Industrial Style
Unlike the African style, Indian interiors believe more is more. This creates the opportunity to stack the space with personal belongings and knick-knacks — the arrangement is kept orderly to keep the look uncluttered, though.
Credit: Strategies Online
Indian interiors are also big on “desi” (cultural in Indian) glamour. Incorporate handwoven fabrics crafted in India; they’re sure to have their traditional prints, too! These include dabu or ikat prints — see these, and others, illustrated here.
Spanish Interior Design
Spanish interior design features an elegant, airy look with a warm and welcoming ambience. These interiors look sophisticated and traditional whilst also carrying a sense of comfort. Because the Spanish style shares several elements with its Mediterranean neighbours, you can find plenty of overlap with Moroccan and French Country design styles.
Credit: Laura Hull
Spanish interior design draws inspiration for its colour palette from the coastline. This means it has plenty of blues, browns, whites, and greens. Natural wood hues are also particularly famous in this regional interior design style — and there’s always room for only neutrals, too.
Credit: Nazmiyal Collection
Stones and ceramics are common in Spanish interior design, along with carved wooden panels and wrought iron pieces. Terracotta tiles are used abundantly for the flooring and roof. Beige or cream area rugs are often chosen to soften the ground (in case you’re wondering, here’s how to choose the right rug).
Spanish interiors don’t hesitate to showcase exposed wood beams on the ceiling. In fact, statements are often created by pairing such ceilings with vintage chandeliers. Vaulted and domed ceilings and arches are also common in Spanish interior design, and accessories are preferably kept to a minimum.
Whether it’s the vibe found in the safaris of Africa or monuments of India, interior design styles gain inspiration from all around the world. Learning about different styles helps celebrate culture and diversity in interior design — and with this series, we aim to do just that!
Need some help to define your style and translate it into your space? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on how to achieve an interior that you love.