Emily Murray, founder of interiors inspiration site The Pink House, reveals how to bring the exotic into your home...
Much as we’d all love to be jetting off to sunny South Africa, super-chic Scandanavia or magical Morocco this summer, the reality is that sometimes a trip abroad simply isn’t practical.
However, just because the UK Legoland (the small Pink House Dwellers are very persistent) is as far as you going to get, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of far-flung culture; you just need to make your home work harder.
Here are a few of my favourite globally-inspired interiors items, to help bring that well-travelled vibe into your home, however far you’re venturing over the holidays…
The hot new South African brand Halsted has only just touched down in the UK, and already interior designer to the stars Kit Kemp has ordered pieces for her wow-factor Firmdale hotels in London, including the fabulous Ham Yard - check out their beautiful sofas in the downstairs bowling alley. I love their big, beautiful Bird Crossing cushion, £105, and this stunning Qalakabusha Ottoman, £1,200, would bring a splash of South African sunshine to even the darkest corner.
Beni Ourain rugs – the traditional Moroccan rug design by the nomadic Berber tribe - are all the rage, and a classy way to inject a bit of Moroccan mysticism into your home. If you want authenticity, carpet-bag yourself a vintage original at celeb favourite Larusi, £POA, as regularly featured in style mags and celeb homes such as fashion designer Jenny Packham’s. Or get the look for less with Rug Kuba, a stylish find from Idyll Home, £199.
The Scandis are renowned for their innovative interior designs – this Norm 69 lamp shade from Normann Copenhagen at Amara, £74.90, will literally brighten up your life, while making a serious style statement. If you fancy a bit of the famous Scandi monochrome, scatter a couple of Danish design company Ferm Living’s Geometry cushions on your bed or sofa, from £29, Cloudberry Living.
Pendleton is a family-owned American company, whose bright, bold blankets are favoured by Native Americans; the patterns evoke forests, rivers and mountains, reflecting the land they have cared for and lived on for centuries. The size of this beautiful American Treasures blanket - £300, Amara - means it is also ideal for a wall hanging. If you like your United States a bit more bling, how about House of Holland’s new collaboration with Habitat, inspired by US gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson and his book, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Get the party started, 70s Vegas style, with leopard-print, neon, and trippy florals.
It might be 10 degrees and raining outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel the heat in your kitchen – or living room; you just need some tropical décor, such as this Sao Paolo cushion by Yonder Living, £52 – you can practically see the sunshine. Another brilliant rain-banisher is this vibrant designer Tropicalia armchair by Moroso (Nest, usually £1,464, currently ON SALE for £1244) – which I spotted in the fabulous W Retreat & Spa Vieques. This chair is just as happy outside as in, so grab a jumper and a potted palm tree and head out to the patio, pronto!
India is the spiritual home of intricate craftsmanship - these aluminium Harinda planters, £25-£45 – from India May Home are exquisitely engraved by hand. The larger size is perfect for holding a small olive tree, while the smaller can be used for house plants or as a little bowl. And what about about this Banyan mirror (Loaf, £245), handmade in Moradabad, with its bone inlay frame? Charlie from Loaf discovered it propped up against a Banyan tree while browsing a market in Jaipur, and brought a load back with him to the UK, thereby saving us a fortune on air fares.