finishing touches

Passport to Style

Advice brought to you by the experts at behr logo

african style kitchenGlobal-inspired colours and decor are gaining popularity in the design world and will infuse your home with instant international ambiance. There's no need to trek to far-flung locales. Simply borrow exotic shades and design elements from some of the world's most colourful destinations to evoke the sights and sensations of an African safari or an Asian resort in your very own home.

No matter what global elements you are drawn to, don't be afraid to experiment with darker colours. You will be pleasantly surprised at how the richness of the tones can create a truly warm and welcoming space.

The reddish brown wall colour in this kitchen accentuates the subtle African influences of the wall art and intricately patterned window covering. Meanwhile, stainless steel appliances, copper accessories and ebony-stained furniture contrast with the wall colour to ensure that the room maintains its contemporary edge. The key to global design is to balance ethnic elements with modern, streamlined pieces to create an original atmosphere through a fusion of styles. The light flooding in from the window and pendant lamps gives the walls a warm glow, demonstrating that a darker colour palette can be an elegant and intriguing choice for any room in the home.

indonesian style dining roomThe understated elegance of this dining room can make you feel as though you are unwinding at a lush Indonesian resort. The abundant natural beauty found throughout this Southeast Asian island chain inspires a wealth of design options from which to create a tranquil living space. Sea-hued colours are known to inspire relaxation of the mind, making this soothing dining room an ideal place to lounge. You'll notice that the lush teal wall colour perfectly evokes images of the waves off Bali's beaches on a sultry summer day, while the soft, velvety brown wall that grounds the room brings to mind the colour of ocean-drenched sand on the island of Java. The tropical textures of the wicker furniture and wood floor further add to the beachside bungalow feel. Overall, the peaceful wall colours and the ocean-inspired textures combine to create an exotic yet refined ambiance.

japanese style kitchenJapanese design is a streamlined masterpiece, with each colour and accent perfectly complementing the unified whole. The Asian undertones of this kitchen are as subdued as the gentlest hues of a traditional tea garden - the green of lily pads floating on a koi pond, the soft white of blossoming camellias and the tawny brown of stately stalks of bamboo. Intricate accents such as the hanging lamps, floral wall art and rocky textured backsplash - which lend visual interest to this simple kitchen - subtly bring to mind traditional Japanese design and infuse the room with a global theme. Whether making a cup of tea for yourself or cooking a meal for a large family gathering, the natural colours and textures found in this kitchen create a harmonious space ideal for rejuvenation.