Friday, September 11, 2009

Ethnic Decorating Ideas

Tribal masks provide elegant wall decoration for African-themed rooms.

Ethnic décor uses inspiration from a single group, or assorted groups, of people that share a common and distinctive culture. Ethnic decorating can use items from a general ethnic group, such as African, or a specific ethnic group, such as Nigerian. Stick with one ethnic theme or mix several themes to create an eclectic design. Does this Spark an idea?

African Dining Room

Bring a wild and exotic feel to a dining room with an ethnic decorating style inspired by African cultures. Sand-colored sandstone tiles on the floor and light cream-painted walls provide a warm and earthy base to the room. Dark wood chairs with zebra-print cushions and a dark wood table with a leopard-print scarf draped across the middle of the tabletop provide a wild accent.

Wood-carved tribal masks, framed mud-cloth paintings and hand-woven baskets provide traditional wall decorations. Thin woven-reed blinds hanging from dark wood curtain rods add subtle texture around windows. A hand-carved, painted wood leopard sculpture creates a centerpiece on the middle of the scarf-decorated table. A leopard print-painted wood shelf displays decorated dried gourd bowls that can store napkins and place mats.

Mixed Italian Kitchen

Combine Tuscan and Venetian styles to create a kitchen with an eclectic Italian design. Latte-colored Venetian plaster walls, which consist of a colored base coat covered with tinted plaster that is sanded and polished, add rich texture to the kitchen. Dark terra-cotta tile floors, rustic light wood cabinets and blue tile countertops provide basic bold colors. A blue tile-trimmed, food-themed, tile mural backsplash adds a distinct Tuscan accent.

Pay homage to both Tuscan and Venetian themes with kitchen appliances in warm hues, such as gold or cream. Dark blue appliances work as well, although they may look overwhelming if placed on the blue countertops. Hand-painted bowls and copper pots provide rich decorations for shelves, walls or counters. Cut-glass Venetian vases filled with wildflowers create a Venetian-based and Tuscan-topped decoration for a table or counter.

Moroccan Sitting Room

Use a rich Moroccan theme to create a colorful ethnic sitting room. Terra-cotta tiled floors, floral-patterned wood trim and amber plaster walls with blue-and-white tile wainscoting provide an intricate background for the design. A large, colorful, mosaic-patterned Persian rug creates a large carpeted area in the middle of the room. Hand-carved dark wood couch and chair frames covered with cobalt blue silk upholstery and assorted patterned pillows add a traditional Moroccan touch.

A wood-framed coffee table with mosaic tile top and twisted, round, black wrought iron end tables provide sturdy areas for old-fashioned lamps and hand-painted pottery. Large and leafy plants in round tiled, silver or bronze pots help bring the rich Morocco environment into the room. Antique mirrors in intricate, angular, tooled metal frames create classic Moroccan wall decorations.

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