Globally inspired furniture and decor are just the ticket for creating international interiors.
By Tanya A. Yacina
Although international travel is at somewhat of a standstill in current times, that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring little slices of the world home with you. Turn your house into an intercontinental hot spot with curated decor reminiscent of countries around the globe.
Brooke Wagner, principal designer at Brooke Wagner Design in Newport Beach, describes global accents as anything that brings an international perspective to the interior of a home—a basket woven in South America, Japanese ceramics, Belgian textiles and more.
A veteran designer of 17 years, Wagner says any room can use interesting pieces to add layers and character, but she especially loves to use global accents as accessories in common rooms that are visible to guests, including foyers, kitchens and dining rooms.
“Homes are most inspiring when they tell a story of the occupants’ lives—having accents that remind [you] of favorite vacations or memories [that] make a house into a home,” she says.
Global accents offer depth, character and personality to a space. These accents can depict a place homeowners want to visit or have visited before—which, in the times of COVID, is more appealing than ever. Home accents with a global flair can be personal selections that someone has collected from one of their own trips, but many home stores also offer these special types of accents.
Wagner is inspired by many different things when designing a new space, including other homes, well-curated boutiques, local artisans and nature. To add a global aesthetic to a space, she recommends mixing old pieces with the new—if possible, use family heirlooms that have meaning. It’s also important to play with the scale of the accents you want to use and to not overcrowd the space.
“Vintage rugs add so much depth and texture,” she says. “I also love old wooden bowls, found art, antique baskets and patinated brass objects, such as an old trophy. I love to incorporate antiques to give a space character and depth.”
She also suggests, “Try framing something really old in a simple, modern frame with white matting [to make] it … pop and look fresh,” Wagner says. “Keep it interesting and less like a model track home.” These kinds of traditional elements are easy to add in with little effort, yet still help bring a contemporary look to the room.
She also says it’s important to consistently edit a space to ensure it doesn’t get overcrowded, and suggests avoiding any touristy decor when shopping. Instead, look for unique, artisan-made pieces. Utilizing statement global accent pieces, like a carved limestone planter, can also be the foundation of a room or garden.
Wagner suggests that if a homeowner loves a particular global location, he or she can seek out pieces or materials that fit that theme. For instance, travelers who frequent Bali may opt to include teak wood throughout the home as a nod to the island’s architecture.
Once the world opens back up and you are able to travel the globe again, make sure to pick up authentic items from your favorite locales that can serve as reminders of the memories you made abroad. These are the perfect elements for creating a space that is both globally inspired and personalized.
Worldly items like these, which can be found at local shops, will help add global flair to any home.