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Global style: the best travel-inspired decor ideas

Roam without leaving home by adapting these schemes influenced by far-flung destinations

Camo water hyacinth side table, £119, Beaumonde
Published: March 18, 2022 at 11:30 am
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What is global style?

Global style, also known as the global traveller trend, is all about proving that you don’t need to get on a plane to be able to experience the joys of adventure - you can transform your home with travel-inspired decor instead!

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With a bit of imagination and some clever styling choices, you can surround yourself with the sights, sounds and smells of your favourite destinations without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Read on for our favourite travel-themed decor schemes, inspired by landscapes around the world. Whether it's cosy desert decor, colourful rainforest vibes or French Riviera chic, there's a style for you!

Safari style

Take a walk on the wild side with this African safari-inspired scheme. Naturally, animal prints are a key element – an easy way to incorporate them into your interior is to treat them as neutrals, with sandy-toned leopard-print wallpaper and a few zebra-patterned cushions.

Macramé easy-fit ceiling shade, £25; safari animals easy-care reversible duvet set, from £12; black Mongolian faux fur cushion, £7; yellow hand-knotted weave cushion, £8; faux fur throw, £20; tribal pattern embroidered tassel cushion, £7; natural flat weave rug, £35; seagrass belly basket, £8, all George Home
Macramé easy-fit ceiling shade, £25; safari animals easy-care reversible duvet set, from £12; black Mongolian faux fur cushion, £7; yellow hand-knotted weave cushion, £8; faux fur throw, £20; tribal pattern embroidered tassel cushion, £7; natural flat weave rug, £35; seagrass belly basket, £8, all George Home

This approach may seem as if you’re going against the grain of what these loud prints are all about, but it’s a brilliant way to bring animal prints into a room without having them overpower the rest of the scheme.

Leopard print wallpaper in Yellow, £69.95 per roll, Lime Lace
Leopard print wallpaper in Yellow, £69.95 per roll, Lime Lace

It’s not all about big cats and zebras though. There are other animals that signal safari style too, such as giraffes and elephants. Introduce these creatures through lampshades, fabric, tableware, ornaments and cushions.

Aside from patterns, other aspects of the African safari scheme that work well together are rattan furnishings and colours like burnt red, sandy yellow, grassland green and brushed gold.

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Club tropicana

Whether you’re inspired by the beaches of Tahiti or the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest, bring the tropical theme into your home with carnival-esque colours, brushed-gold accessories, velvet fabrics and exotic bird prints.

Destination Paradise Tassel Throw, Joe Browns
Destination Paradise Tassel Throw, Joe Browns

This scheme is both uplifting and relaxing, so bring in clashing colours and a mix of palm tree and pineapple prints to create a cheerful vibe.

Tropical Flamingo wall mural £34 per sq m, Wallsauce
Tropical Flamingo wall mural £34 per sq m, Wallsauce

Mix these with plenty of soft textures and accessories, as well as comfy and contemporary furniture to give the room a chilled-out feel. The best thing about this interior is that you can be daring with colour and prints.

Colour-wise, sunshine and mellow yellows energise the space while also maintaining a calm, beach-like quality. You can blend these tones with bright splashes of green, pink and blue. For patterns, think large-scale palm and fern leaf prints in a variety of vibrant colours.

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NYC style

Who hasn’t watched Friends or Sex and the City and dreamed of a trendy New York lifestyle? But just because you can’t share coffee with Rachel or cocktails with Carrie, doesn’t mean you can’t bring a bit of Brooklyn or Manhattan into your home.

Industrial double bed frame in Grey, £149, Argos Home
Industrial double bed frame in Grey, £149, Argos Home

The reason so many New York loft spaces look like old warehouses is because a lot of the city’s industrial units were adapted into apartments and studios during the 1960s.

Real Red Brick Effect Wallpaper, £59.00, Woodchip & Magnolia
Real Red Brick Effect Wallpaper, £59.00, Woodchip & Magnolia

As such, these homes tend to feature high ceilings and large windows that flood the space with plenty of sunshine and street light. To mimic that look, keep your window furnishings minimal and using large industrial lamps. Spiral staircases and fire escape ladders are common in an urban setting, where as space is at a premium.

If you want to reflect those elements in your scheme – without buying and fitting a new staircase – then use black metal shelves or lean a wooden ladder against the wall.

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French Riviera

Running along the Mediterranean coast, in the southeast corner of France, the French Riviera takes in the glamorous beaches of Saint-Tropez, the glitz of Cannes, the beauty of Nice and the spectacular harbours at Monaco.

French Farmhouse rustic solid oak bed, £499.99 (king size), Oak Furnitureland
French Farmhouse rustic solid oak bed, £499.99 (king size), Oak Furnitureland

You can’t fail to be enchanted by the old-town boardwalks and boutique-crammed alleyway that weave inland from the crystal-clear waters of the Med. Elegance and luxury are signatures of the scheme, blended with rich, rustic design and a faded feel that comes from the salty sea breeze and the bright sunlight.

Bath white wooden battery lanterns, £89.99 for a set of two, Lights4fun
Bath white wooden battery lanterns, £89.99 for a set of two, Lights4fun

The best way to achieve the look is to combine charming, unpretentious pieces with clean lines and light colours to keep the space feeling fresh and chic. Think white-washed walls and a few pastel-coloured accessories in sky blue, blush pink, weathered beige, sun-kissed yellow and hints of scarlet. Tie the scheme together with baskets, art, bedlinen and cushions that feature nautical stripes, sailing-inspired motifs and washed-out French florals.

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Moroccan chic

All but touching Europe, Morocco is influenced by the mix of cultures that surrounds it, blending African, Arabian and Mediterranean styles.

Camo water hyacinth side table, £119, Beaumonde
Camo water hyacinth side table, £119, Beaumonde

One aspect that’s typical of this style is Moorish architecture, and is perhaps best characterised by the distinctive keyhole shape of the horseshoe arches that feature so prominently. You can easily echo them by hanging a gold-edged mirror that’s framed in this signature profile.

In terms of patterns, these tend to be a busy mass of zellige geometrics – a form of traditional Arabic mosaic made from chiselled tiles that are set into plaster. The patterns made this way are intricate, elaborate and colourful.

Adorne Pamplona tile, £50 per sq m, Tile Giant
Adorne Pamplona tile, £50 per sq m, Tile Giant

Wrought-iron scroll work, sculpted wood and terracotta tiles are also key characteristics of Moroccan style. While the furnishings are full of intricate detailing, the décor is laid-back. It’s all about creating a relaxed atmosphere with furniture that’s low to the ground – think relaxed daybeds, floor pouffes, vibrant rugs and simple tables.

If you like the dusky desert shades and handmade textures of Moroccan style, check out our guide to Santa Fe style.

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Ocean reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a spectacular natural wonder of the world. It stretches across the north-east coast of Australia and is home to a diverse ecosystem of around 2,100 reefs and more than 1,600 species of fish.

Lide upholstered bed frame in Royal Blue, from £619, The Original Bed Co.
Lide upholstered bed frame in Royal Blue, from £619, The Original Bed Co.

The deep blue-green waters that surround it are filled with an abundance of colour and every kind of coral and sea creature you can imagine, from clownfish and mimic octopus to sea urchins and star fish. If you want to recreate the tranquil tropics of the Great Barrier Reef in your home, it’s essential to replicate the colours of the ocean with an array of sea tones, including peacock, royal, pale and aqua blues alongside rich teal and algae green.

Crab knitted cushion, £49, Sophie Allport
Crab knitted cushion, £49, Sophie Allport

Once you’ve chosen which ocean colours to use as your base, you can acknowledge the beautiful reefs with coral-coloured accents. A plain wash of white is another a great option that will keep this style feeling fresh – then you can bring in hints of blue and coral with your furnishings and accessories. Once you’ve got the palette sorted, it’s time to bring in the ocean-inspired motifs such as octopus, crab, coral, star fish and sea urchins, and a few natural textures through stoneware and woven jute.

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Spanish city style

The Spanish love to mix bright colours and use them in a sophisticated way. Bright green, yellow and brick shades work well as a base. Start with a modern, shaped sofa against strong walls with lots of vibrant artwork.

Henri Matisse Nu Couche Du Dos print, £175; Galeries Maeght Calder framed print, £100; Galeries Maeght Kelly Exhibition print, £175; JVG Rogue One Rings print, £10; Henri Matisse Figure De Dos print, £175; Refine sofa in Aquaclean Harriet Mustard, £1,499; Kuva cushion in Jadeite, £45; Zebra cushion in Pomegranate, £60; Box stripe cushion in Paprika, £40; Pedestal marble side table, £199; Conic floor lamp, £225; West Elm Streamline coffee table, £599; Spode Zoological Gardens cup and saucer, £35; Spode Zoological Gardens teapot, £95; tumbler in Amaranth Pink, £5; Aztec Berber rug, £525; Ikat Berber rug, £525, all John Lewis & Partners
Henri Matisse Nu Couche Du Dos print, £175; Galeries Maeght Calder framed print, £100; Galeries Maeght Kelly Exhibition print, £175; JVG Rogue One Rings print, £10; Henri Matisse Figure De Dos print, £175; Refine sofa in Aquaclean Harriet Mustard, £1,499; Kuva cushion in Jadeite, £45; Zebra cushion in Pomegranate, £60; Box stripe cushion in Paprika, £40; Pedestal marble side table, £199; Conic floor lamp, £225; West Elm Streamline coffee table, £599; Spode Zoological Gardens cup and saucer, £35; Spode Zoological Gardens teapot, £95; tumbler in Amaranth Pink, £5; Aztec Berber rug, £525; Ikat Berber rug, £525, all John Lewis & Partners

Mix in bold patterns and colours on soft furnishings, teamed with classic furniture pieces and statement lighting.

The headboard is the hero here, though. It’s almost like a piece of modern art with its strong lines and soft clay colour. Subtle pattern is added in the ‘60s-design curtains and the classic Anglepoise-style lamp
The headboard is the hero here, though. It’s almost like a piece of modern art with its strong lines and soft clay colour. Subtle pattern is added in the ‘60s-design curtains and the classic Anglepoise-style lamp

Blocks of colour are central to this look. Choose plain, but brightly coloured bed linen and mix different warm shades, such as yellow and brick, then build on the look with a colour-block rug.

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Cape Town cool

Rich in history, Cape Town is a sumptuous blend of African and European styles, with an earthy yet cosmopolitan feel.

Tiered bamboo pendant, £79; Hague dining table, £469; Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs, £159 each; Hague three-door natural sideboard, £589, all Barker & Stonehouse
Tiered bamboo pendant, £79; Hague dining table, £469; Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs, £159 each; Hague three-door natural sideboard, £589, all Barker & Stonehouse

Modern materials such as concrete blend with brick and lots of coloured woods, either unfinished or crafted. Leather is another key ingredient.

Marcy velvet chair in teal, £449; Acacia sofa,£1,399; Acacia armchair, £699; Amos coffee table, £349, all Barker & Stonehouse
Marcy velvet chair in teal, £449; Acacia sofa,£1,399; Acacia armchair, £699; Amos coffee table, £349, all Barker & Stonehouse
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Monochrome and tribal patterns on soft furnishings and accessories dominate. Colours are natural: greens, browns, ochre and orange.

Reminiscent of the chairs that were used on safari, this leather version will only get better with age. Natural-fibre rugs add comfort and traditional batik cloth adds softness on throws and cushions
Reminiscent of the chairs that were used on safari, this leather version will only get better with age. Natural-fibre rugs add comfort and traditional batik cloth adds softness on throws and cushions

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Authors

Thea JeffreysDigital Writer

Thea Jeffreys is the Digital Writer on YourHomeStyle.uk, and is passionate about all things home décor. When she’s not scouring the internet for budget-friendly homeware finds, you’ll find her writing about the latest interior trends and handy upcycling tricks.

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