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GET THE LOOK - What is Global Style?

Updated: Apr 14

***Original post 2021.***

If you’re the person that picks up must-have finds on your travels and fills your home with furniture and handicrafts from around the world you have global style. Global style is a type of Eclectic design, meaning that it draws from a lot of different sources. Global style has the rich traditions and histories of a world of cultures to draw from, so this style will never look the same twice.

Some global influences that are seen frequently are Mediterranean, African (particularly Moroccan), South and Central Asian, and Central & South American.This is not an exhaustive list of course, and most global interiors include influences from more than one of these regions.

Global Style

Living room using a range of textiles and decor from different countries and regions.

How to Get the Look - Key Elements

  1. TEXTILES - Textiles get their own section here because they are so important to Global Style. They can be very colorful and really bring a global interior alive or be neutral with strong patterns and prints. Anything goes depending on the tradition of the culture they are pulled from. Try mixing prints with similar colorways to make your design feel cohesive. Natural, handmade textiles should have an artisanal feel like hand-printed, hand-dyed, embroidered or applique fabrics. Cotton, hemp, bamboo, banana fiber, raw silk, and wool are incredibly textural and add depth. Hand-loomed rugs and woven window coverings also add interest, texture, and sometimes pattern as well.

  2. FURNISHINGS - The style of furnishings is determined by the region they come from. Mixing styles makes for a truly unique design. Temper more intricate furniture with simpler pieces. A more up-to-date look includes Global elements mixed with either Contemporary or Modern pieces. Try looking for interesting details like hand carving, wood, shell or bone inlay, embossed or carved metals and use of materials local to a particular geography. Choose two or three wood and metal finishes to repeat throughout the space to pull it all together.

  3. ACCESSORIES - Accessories are as varied as the regions they come from. Try decorating with baskets, carvings, vessels, boxes and other everyday items. Framed, handmade jewelry or wall hangings can make great art. And don't forget about the fine art from the regions you are interested in. There is a wealth of sculpture, painting and drawing, in addition to popular handicrafts. Travel photos are also fantastic wall decor and are fun reminders of your adventures.

  4. LIGHTING - Even your lighting can have a Global flair. While authentic lighting for the region you are imitating can be difficult to source, you can always look for materials or styles that complement the rest of your room.

Two more little tidbits to help you nail this style. One, if you love something, it will work! Just make sure you are repeating elements like color, material or pattern to pull dissimilar items together. Two, if you just want to dabble in Global Style rather than go all out, an easy place to start is rugs and pillows. Mix them with more Contemporary or Modern furnishings for a cleaner look.

***Updated April 2024.  In the case that the same items were not available, similar items were chosen where possible. The sofa above has been replaced with a carved wood daybed and block print quilt to cover it. The table lamps have been replaced with lamp bases and lampshades with a kilim rug print to go with them.***

Global Style

Not a fan of the options above? Here are some alternatives so you can make it your own! Click on any of the items to get a closer look.

Global Sofas & Chairs

Global Coffee & Side Tables

Global Lighting

Global Accessories

Global Pillows & Rugs

Global Flooring

Websites to shop for more Global Style:

If you haven't yet, take my Design Style Quiz to see what your personal style is!

There's one more Design Style coming up so keep checking back. Better yet, hit subscribe above to get email notifications when a new post comes out, and exclusive access to design advice not available on my blog. Let me know what you think of these finds in the comments below!

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If you would like to see more Interior Design Inspiration head over to my Portfolio for a little eye candy.

If you need more assistance pulling a look together for you space, you can read more about what I offer on my Services page.


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