Well travelled: capturing the essence of Global Style

(Image credit: Harry Crowder)

'Global style' sounds exotic, but in reality, as we all travel more and have increasing interest in home decoration, it's only natural that influences from all over the world should infiltrate our interior style and ultimately our homes.

Whilst the world is shrinking, our exposure to other cultures; their skills, traditions, methods and product is expanding.

So, what exactly do I mean by ‘Global Style’, and how does this manifest itself in our homes? To me, it's an interior aesthetic that celebrates and embraces the craft of artisans, designers and producers, wherever they're from.

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It's taking inspiration from the places we visit, the experiences we have and the people we meet along the way. It's surrounding ourselves with memories; pieces that make us smile, take us to another place, recall happy times.

I always think a home should be a reflection of the people that live there – and what could be more personal than an interior that has evolved and grown with us?

As I sit writing this piece in our living room, I scan the space and realise that the entire scene is a mish-mashof origins, styles, colours, cultures, pattern and texture. But there is method in this approach...

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1 Does it spark joy?

I’m naturally a magpie – collecting things as I go. If I love it, I know I’ll find a place for it in my home, regardless of whether it ‘matches’ other pieces I own. The ‘mix’ weirdly becomes the unifying factor, adding interest and depth.

Our sofa is ‘The Claude’ by brilliant British brand, Pinch. The first piece of furniture my boyfriend (now husband) and I purchased when we bought our first property together.

The sofa back is covered in a Vintage kantha quilt from a trip to India for my 30th birthday.There's an extra-long cushion on the sofa, made using a vintage Berber cotton blanket, the striped fabric hand-picked by me whilst on a sourcing trip in Morocco.

(Image credit: Harry Crowder)

2 Keep hold of old favourites

A circular table, virtually the only ‘old’ piece of furniture I could find, when I lived in Dubai in my mid-20’s – lives alongside the sofa.

(Image credit: Harry Crowder)

The mantelpiece is a veritable mish-mash of pieces picked up whilst on holiday, work trips or when we lived overseas.It's a revolving gallery of much loved objectsMoroccan Tamegroute candlesticks, ceramics from South Africa and France, postcards from friends on their travels.

3 Start a collection

A Portuguese fishing basket next to the fireplace stores our kindling.I love baskets and try to pick up one – typical to the area – on every trip.

(Image credit: Harry Crowder)

Our gallery wall space features a metal “A’ found in a market in Argentina on our honeymoon.A vintage painting alongside it is from aFrench Brocante.

Underneath, sitting atop an apothecary unit from an East London chemist, sits a pink Abingdon vase, purchased at The Brooklyn Flea, when we traveled to NYC for my brother’s wedding.

(Image credit: Harry Crowder)

5 What's the story?

A light box was a random purchase on a weekend trip to Bali when we lived in Asia. Let’s just say I’m not afraid of pushing my luck on hand luggage. But I’d never seen anything like it and the message resonated and was one I wanted in our home… ‘love is spoken here’.

Interior shopping for me generally occurs at local markets, brocantes and antique shops both here and overseas. This therefore gives me the opportunity to ask the seller the background to the pieces I’m buying.

I like to know the history of things before they move in with us. Who made them? Where were they produced? How old are they? Where did you find them? A few simple questions can provide interesting stories to the pieces you select to bring home.

(Image credit: Harry Crowder)

6 mix it up

But of course, not every item in our home has to come us via way of travel. UK retailers are increasingly stocking homewares from niche overseas brands, so you can add a global touch to your space without leaving your sofa.

And then there’s the bargain buys, like an IKEA table we have in our living room (shown above). It’s pretty simple, but with vintage chairs by Danish designer Kai Kristiansen alongside it, it’s hard to pinpoint where it’s from.

So, whilst someone walking into our house may be completely oblivious to the background of the pieces in our space - that’s not really the point. I hope the overall feel is of a well-loved and well-lived home; one that has developed organically over time as experiences are had, new places visited and items stumbled upon.

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I love to see a guest's eye travel as they enter and take in the different elements of the room; moving in to view something up close, striking up a conversation about its history. Hopefully everything sits harmoniously together, side by side, regardless of where it originates from.

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Want to create your own global style? Check out these Design Destinations.

The homes media brand for early adopters, Livingetc shines a spotlight on the now and the next in design, obsessively covering interior trends, color advice, stylish homeware and modern homes. Celebrating the intersection between fashion and interiors. it's the brand that makes and breaks trends and it draws on its network on leading international luminaries to bring you the very best insight and ideas.