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How to Add Cultural Décor Into Your Home


Start by adding things you love, like the Moroccan tea set you brought back from last year's vacation.
Start by adding things you love, like the Moroccan tea set you brought back from last year's vacation.
Vincenzo Lombardo/Photographer's Choice/RF

There are homes where cultural influence happens naturally, in the form of world-travel souvenirs, family heirlooms, an art degree or a bad antiquing habit. In these rooms, decorations instantly recall specific ethnicities, locations or eras, perhaps in the form of an African mask, Amish quilt, Eames chair, Moroccan-style lantern, Greek mural or mirrored throw pillow from India.

If it doesn't happen naturally, though, creating a "cultural" look can be complicated. You don't want it to look contrived, cheap, or, heaven forbid, gaudy, yet you're probably going to be dealing with pieces that are embellished, boldly printed and/or very far from beige -- and almost definitely a departure from your primary decorating style.

So, how do you add cultural influence without subtracting elegance? It's a fine balance, but a manageable one. You don't need to be a professional (or a Trump) to create an interesting room.

Here, some starting tips to begin the journey of incorporating cultural décor, beginning with the most basic: If you plan to hang an African mask on your bedroom wall, know what an African mask is.

 


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