Authorities on fashion and interior design trends have declared that minimalism is over. What’s coming to take its place? An abundance of personality, color, and texture, apparently — as well as a sense of connection to particular times and places.
Having a bright white, mercilessly edited home that could stand in for a modern art gallery may be falling out of vogue while a wider array of global finds grow more popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want your house to look like you indiscriminately raided your local “ethnic” market, either. If you want to incorporate boho style, warm coral and terracotta tones, graphic patterns, and other new trends into your interiors, just be sure to choose items that complement each other, your personal style, and your travels.
When shopping for items made by craftspeople around the world, it’s always a good idea to buy directly from the producers themselves when possible, or through a Fair Trade Certified third party. This helps to ensure that the goods are authentic, their creators fairly compensated, and that patterns that are sacred to particular cultures aren’t misused.
There are treasures to be found everywhere, and regardless of trends, the best style advice is always to listen to your intuition and choose things that really speak to you. But even if international travel isn’t in your immediate plans, you can always fake a jet-setting chic aesthetic through online commerce. Check out these four international sources for some of the year’s hottest decor pieces.
Boho Natural Fiber Baskets from Senegal
Natural and organic materials are back (as if they ever really went away). Along with living plants, stone accents, and wood floors, renewable fibers like bamboo, sisal, and jute offer a physical connection between our built environments and the outdoors.
Macrame is feeling a little 2017 at this point, but you can still revel in a carefree bohemian vibe by layering soft, organic pieces with a few more modern elements. Items that fit this description can be found all over, but there’s something particularly peaceful about the seafoam items made by Wolof Weavers of Senegal and sold through The Little Market, a nonprofit “founded by women to empower women.”
Terracotta Tones via Tiles from Spain and Mexico
Brighter versions of terracotta ceramics make for nice ways to bring a little bit of Pantone’s 2019 color of the year, Living Coral, into the home. This color might be oceanic in nature, but there’s something earthy about it, too, which also plays into the new trend toward the organic.
Spain and Mexico are both practically synonymous with terracotta, with many traditional tiles still being produced in family-owned facilities throughout both countries. The watercolor hues of Tierra y Fuego’s handcrafted Saltillo tiles are especially exciting. If you’re feeling creative, you can try making your own abstract floor or wall mosaics by mixing them up with graphic black and white for a bold, updated look.
Graphic Tribal Motifs from India
If you’re really dedicated to keeping up with interior design trends, you’ll find it best to avoid ikat and trellis patterns, both of which have been done to death and could easily make your space look dated. There are plenty of other graphic motifs to choose from, though, like those found in India’s Nagaland region.
Living along the the Burmese/Indian border, the Naga are just as renowned for their fierce resistance of British rule as they are for their artistic spirit. Their rich tradition of textile weaving often features interesting geometric patterns, like those made by a group of Naga women and sold by The Citizenry, a shop that partners with local artisans around the world to offer small batch handcrafted creations. The shop is 100-percent committed to “providing fair wages, happy working environments, and sustaining grants” to its business partners.
Vivid Textiles from Thailand
Thailand — and especially its famous Lahu Village “Chao Khao” hill tribes — produces some of the world’s most beautiful silks, woven textiles, and beads. Shop for vividly dyed Pha You Thong silks in Ban Tha Sawang, woven tapestries in Pua, indigo tie-dye items in Ban Thung Hong, and elaborate Phrae Wa patterned silk in Ban Phon.
Armchair shoppers will be happy to learn that many Thai entrepreneurs sell their offerings to international customers on Etsy, including the shops Asian Textile Studio, based in Chiang Mai, and Parrie Collection, which offers handwoven cloth made by the Hmong hill tribe. In both shops, you’ll find items that can be used as table runners, rugs, throws, wall hangings, and much, much more.