This post isn’t about showcasing symbols of international travels like maps, globes, and suitcases, and it’s not about collecting souvenirs either. While these might appeal to some, it would be good, when possible, to go beyond symbolic travel items and integrate fine interior design pieces from other cultures into our daily lives. This is more than décor; it’s in fact a journey. A journey that is deeply personal and would resonate with those who value craftsmanship, transcend geographical limits, and appreciate cultural diversity, for true beauty knows no borders. This is what I call the true traveller’s home concept.
I believe that furnishings and decorative items from various origins can make a room stand out. When chosen with care and paired with a harmonious colour scheme, some of these items can complement each other and fit perfectly into modern homes, adding a touch of global essence to every corner.
This collection, which represents some of the items I’d love in my home, mirrors my journey: the country where I grew up, the cultures I’ve embraced, and the places that have captured both my eye and heart. I hope this inspires a fresh spark in interior design enthusiasts eager to explore beyond the usual.
India – Bone Inlay Furniture
Rooted in ancient decorative methods, bone inlay is based on embedding finely carved, ethically sourced bone pieces into objects. The result is eye-catching patterns, whether floral or geometric, with contrasting colours and materials.
Morocco – Tadelakt Plastering
Tadelakt, which means “rubbed” in Moroccan, is a traditional plastering technique made from lime found in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains near Marrakech, a city known for its rich arts and architecture. Creating a Tadelakt finish requires skilled artisans to achieve a texture that’s rustic yet silky, and both soft and refined.
Morocco – Zellige tiles
Zellige tiles, a defining feature of Moroccan architecture, are renowned for their captivating geometric patterns that adorn surfaces such as walls, ceilings, fountains, floors, pools, and tables. In their contemporary evolution, designers have opted for monochromatic designs with shimmering surfaces. Each Zellige tile possesses its unique character, adding to the intrigue and personal touch of its installation.
France – Caned Back Accent Chair
“Cane” refers to the material derived from the outer skin of the rattan stem, which is a vine-like plant in the palm tree family. This caning technique was first employed to create furniture in places like Holland, England, and France starting around the 1660s. The style maintained its popularity throughout the 18th century. Reflecting this rich history, these accent chairs with beautifully woven patterned backs exude a classic French appeal. They hint at an elegant past while seamlessly fitting into today’s designs.
Denmark – Wishbone Dining Chair
In the 1940s, Hans Wegner, a young Danish designer, began crafting furnishings with sleek forms inspired by the China’s Ming Dynasty furniture style, often regarded as one of the most elegant and minimalist expressions of aesthetic excellence. Wegner designed his chairs adhering to a motto that emphasised purification and simplification. With its classic, refined silhouette, Wegner’s chair remains a timeless staple of interior design.
United Kingdom – Hand-stitched Lampshade
Britain is a hub of creative activity, teeming with artisans dedicated to preserving heritage skills, modernising craftsmanship, and pioneering innovative techniques. What drew me to these lampshades is their contemporary take on vintage style, which could add a touch of charm and character to any interior.
United States – Shaker Furniture Design Style
This furniture style is rare and often overlooked in mainstream interior design, except for Shaker kitchen and bathroom cabinets which are quite popular. The Shaker design originated in the US in the late 1700s, introduced by a religious group known as the Shakers. They believed in a simple form of communism, which influenced their design philosophy. Instead of the ornate Victorian styles of the time, they favoured simplicity and functionality. Their furniture, stripped of excess ornamentation, showcased elegance through refined proportions and careful detailing.
Turkey – Wall Decorative Ceramic Plates
Turkey boasts a rich history of ceramic production that stretches back millennia, with its creative influences deeply intertwined with the history of Anatolia (also known as the Peninsula of Asia Minor in Turkey). This region witnessed the rise and flourish of various civilisations, including the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuqs (a prominent medieval empire), and the Ottomans.
It was during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, starting in the 14th century, that ceramics became especially prominent. They were used extensively in prestigious mosques and palaces and became vital in everyday life. With the industrialisation of Turkey’s ceramic production in the 1950s, a wealth of innovative designs emerged.
Japan – Art of Printmaking
I have a natural affinity for illustrative arts, which led me to select Japanese art prints for their outstanding artistic brilliance. These prints are by artists Hasui Kawase and O’Hara Koson, two of the most renowned printmakers. Japanese printmaking is a traditional art form, a fusion of intricate craftmanship and visual arts, that involves careful wood cutting and precise colouring techniques.
Hasui’s works mainly capture landscapes and townscapes, immortalising Tokyo and other scenic regions of Japan. In contrast, Koson expressed a profound appreciation for flora and fauna. Some of their most significant works are housed in museums, leading many of us to opt for accessible digital prints.
China – Wedding Cabinet
This sophisticated statement armoire, both ornamental and practical, embellishes homes and offers much-needed storage space. These elegant cabinets have graced Chinese homes for hundreds of years and carry a romantic background story, enhancing their appeal. Traditionally, parents gave them in pairs to the groom and bride as part of the bride’s dowry. The cabinets would contain fine silks and precious fabrics that the bride had collected over many years in preparation for her marriage.