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Bring on the Layers....

Find Your Style: Global

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We are back at it with another “Find Your Style”. If you are just joining us on this quest for self (design) discovery, first take the style quiz. Like I have said before, it isn’t perfect but it can help and its fun. Then you can hop on over to the other styles we have covered so far: scandinavian, luxe and glam and mid- century modern. This week however, we are going global.

If traveling to the far off corners of the world, collecting beautiful things and layering cozy and handcrafted textiles is your favorite hobby, then you my friend could have a global style. It’s a mix of eclectic and bohemian inspired pieces from all over the world and it’s exciting and totally wild. There are a few people that have mastered the look. Emily Katz’s place (above and below) are perfect examples of someone that really knows how to mix and match perfectly to achieve that global, perfectly collected and curated look. We shot her place for the book and we were all so impressed at how she seemed to perfectly create a home with such different pieces from different styles, places, and vibes. But, that is just exactly what global is.

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So let’s talk a bit about what makes global, global and how you can achieve it.

1. It’s all about mixing exotic patterns that are inspired from countries all over the world: that means a sheepskin pelt, Southwestern blanket, Moroccan Pouf, and graphic geometric pillow can all be friends and live in the same space. Now before you run around the world grabbing a bunch of different textiles and matching them like a mad-man remember to keep them different scales so they don’t compete too much.

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Which brings up the second rule.
2. Create a color palette that is consistent. Whether that be a palette that is more bold and bright, with pinks and greens or more neutral with indigos, hunters, and brown tones like Jason’s room above that we shot for the book. Whatever your color scheme is, keep it consistent but don’t be afraid to bring in some pops of color.

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3. Flowers and plants are key to the bohemian global look. Extra points for putting them in wicker baskets or mixed pots. This keeps it feeling organic and collected. If your space can’t handle a large tree or palm, then don’t be scared to pepper around succulents, a small cactus, or flowers in vessels. And if you need some help in the “green-thumb” department then my friend Justina from The Jungalow has you fully covered with her Plant-o-pedia.

4. Furniture should be relaxed and fun, in bright colors, patterns and organic finishes. This is not the time to get minimal with your approach. Global and boho style is known for its ornate carvings, mixing of woods and added embellishments. Bring on the fringe, pom-poms, embroidery and layer it on because when it comes to global the more the merrier.

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And although we all might be ready to jump on the next flight to shop all the souks and markets of the world, we wanted to bring it back home for those of you that want a little bit of it in your own lives without the trek. So we worked with Target to bring you some of our favorite global inspired pieces in these vignettes. Be sure to check out the video as well, which walks you through our process for how to create the look.

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If you are ready to channel your inner maximalist and get global then we have got the full look for you – but picking things up from your travels is the safest way to make it authentic and real. Happy Friday folks.

Emily Henderson_Find Your Style_Style Quiz_Vignettes_Bohemian_Global_Get the Look

1. Wood Ladder | 2. Southwest Basket | 3. Soda Fired Floor Vase | 4. Sea Urchin | 5. Wood Vase | 6. Woven Wall Hanging | 7. Floor Lamp | 8. Leather Chair | 9. Leather Pouf | 10. Sheepskin Rug | 11. Blue Pillow | 12. Cream Agda Yarn Pillow | 13. Green Throw | 14. Dark Orange Agda Yarn Pillow | 15. Sheepskin Pillow | 16. Indigo Stripped Pillow | 17. Woven Bowl | 18. Gray Top Woven Basket | 19. Gray Terracotta Vase | 20. Tall Blue Textured Cylindrical Vase | 21.White Giraffe | 22. Wood Stump Side Table | 23. Couch | 24. Burgundy Tribal Kilim Rug | 25. Coffee Table | 26. Rug | 27. Pink Watercolor Landscape | 28. Turquoise Lamp | 29. Blue Watercolor Print | 30. Plate Set | 31. Flatware | 32. Coffee Mug | 33. Entry Console | 34. Woven Natural Basket | 35. Faux Leather Pillow | 36. Patterned Blue Pillow | 37. Black & White Pom Pom Pillow | 38. Cream Macrame Pillow

***STYLED book images by David Tsay, Target vignette images by Tessa Neustadt

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    1. Brittany, I think she means pots that don’t match each other.

      Happy Friday, EH & co…thanks for being a bright spot of my morning all week!

  1. Ugg, I’ve always loved that West Elm carved wood table and I kick myself for not buying it when they made it. Pretty please don’t tempt us by putting items in the roundup that we definitely cannot purchase!

  2. The idea that this is a “global” style is a pretty white-centric view and counts as racist in my book. If it wasn’t obvious, *all* of the styles featured on this website are global to some degree — they involve influences from around the world and incorporate design elements that span countries and eras. The only difference here is that many of the textiles and patterns are from so-called “third world” countries, which white people have historically traveled to in order to collect “exotic” furniture for their homes. Often this “global” style prioritizes natural elements, geometric patterns, and hand-made adornments — reinforcing the idea that third-world artisans are primitive and somehow closer to the earth. Conveniently left out is the fact that the African continent, India, and other developing countries moved through all of the beloved styles included on this site, including mid-century modern, brutalism, minimalism, etc. This ahistorical focus on *only* third-world craft (to the exclusion of third-world modernism, etc.) plays right into the narrative of white Europeans as civilized and artistic, and people from the global South as primitive and natural. Please research the ways that art and design are influenced by the racist histories that all of us bear in some way or another. And please research the other styles represented in these so-called “global” countries — they will not disappoint.

    1. Thank you for this comment, I couldn’t put my finger on it – but the idea of a ‘personal style’ being a conglomeration of other culture’s aesthetics / traditional goods feels weird and a bit like ‘appropriation’ to me. Not the act of having & enjoying a piece that you got on your trip per sea, but more the idea that it is a ‘look’ to aspire to.

    2. A mild “yes” to Emily and an emphatic YES to Melkorka. I am a mid-40s Caucasian female who has had an international life (first childhood, then school, then work, later travel) and I have a serious genetic mutation on my collecting gene … maybe it’s not genetic but situational because my (Japanese) husband has it as well! But when I / we lived in X (my work was human rights so I’ve lived / worked on six continents) I always found a craftsperson with whom I could study an indigenous craft. And literally every single thing I purchased (in addition to made) has a story (to ME), a personal anecdote. You know how some people say they want other people to come to their house and be wowed? Not me. *I* want to come home and immediately feel the story of my and my family’s life(-ves). Like Goldilocks, Just Right.

      A few years ago I received a misdiagnosis of malignancy, and until it was rectified a few days later you better bet I was scrambling to write the stories for everything so my (then really little) children would know what everything was and why. Even in my beautiful bright white with fuchsia polka dot closet I have a ring of petrified wood given to me by a Polish filmmaker named Monika I befriended in a tea shop in Warsaw more than twenty years ago. I was living and working in Krakow, up to Warsaw for a day and, given my sweet teeth (plural) had to stop for a cake snack. We started chatting and I oohed and aahed over this amazing ring she had on; I connected her with some film people I knew in Los Angeles, and later she sent me the ring as a “thank you.” Just seeing it in my ring tray gives me a smile with the nostalgic, human association.

      I just did not get that feeling from any of these photos. Not a one felt like a colorful story that I would love to hear over a cup of tea (+ cake). Listen, I love Target + World Market as well, but that’s just not the same (to me).

      Actually, I just read over what I typed and it reads as very elitist, and I don’t mean it that way. Not all are able to study, work, live abroad but might still be drawn to the colors and patterns redolent of a culture. So, I’m still going to submit this but with that big caveat.

    3. I agree completely. Words like “exotic” and “ethnic” often describe this style and yes, it is extremely problematic. The whole thing is much bigger than this post – I’m seeing juju hats and mud cloth alllll over instagram these days – and I really hope it can be addressed thoughtfully in the design world.

      1. how on earth is it a problem for an american to describe an item–that resembles something you might find or get from another country–exotic? merriam webster defines “exotic” as: “introduced from another country : not native to the place where found” and “strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual.” mud cloth and juju hats originate from different countries, do they not? or are you arguing that they originated here in america, where emily is writing (and where i imagine the instagrammers you are referring to live)? if they come from a different country but are sitting in some american’s living room, it is absolutely appropriate to describe them as “exotic.” lighten up.

    4. i mean, come on. take the stick out of your butt and stop looking for ways to be offended. REALLY???? you think this is RACIST? it’s people like you who cause everyone to have to tiptoe around all the time, worrying about whether they said something that COULD POSSIBLY be perceived as “racist” or “privileged,” even though they do not have a racist bone in their body. lady, do you seriously think emily henderson is racist? i’m genuinely asking…do you? you’re ridiculous if you do. i understand your argument…i think it’s far-reaching and a bit ridiculous, but i understand it. so don’t assume my annoyance with your comment is that i don’t “get” it. but, guess what? not everyone is walking around with an encyclopedia of very detailed historical knowledge (like you cited above) that would cause them to know ALL OF THE POSSIBLE WAYS their words could be interpreted as “racist.” my gosh, she is just describing a home decor style that most of her readers would understand as appearing to have been collected from different (non-american) cultures. and i presume that the vast majority of her readers are american, as she is an american designer–oh, wait, does that make me a nationalist or a racist?–so she was not completely crazy to describe it in that manner. also, just because this style is described as global does not mean that this is the only style that other countries around the “globe” have embraced. LIGHTEN UP.

        1. And Abby I would like to further add – “Lighten up” is so dismissive. Your comments are the essence of “white fragility” – the mere mention of the word “racist” and you pitch a huge fit. I think we can all thoughtfully question the basis of a post without insulting each other.

          The thing is problematic context matters. It is apparent to me in this grouping of decor items that ethnic, exotic & global is referring to cultures and people who we have had (and continue to have) a tricky history of oppression & colonization (we aren’t talking about modern European goods here). As Emily (the commenter) pointed out focusing on just the traditional hand-crafted goods from these areas also fuels into a problematic narrative.

          Discussing and considering these things are not being ‘too sensitive’. We all live within and with the legacy of our Society’s racism – acknowledging it and trying to not repeat the same mistakes is one of the ways we will be able to eventually heal.

        2. Melkorka, I think it’s unnecessarily rude ( and angry, for that matter) to call someone racist without a heck of a lot of evidence to support that.

        3. And further – Abby saying ‘Lighten up’ is so dismissive. Your comments are the essence of white fragility – the mere mention of the word ‘racist’ and you pitch a huge fit.

          The thing is problematic context matters. It is apparent to me in this grouping of decor items that ethnic, exotic & global is referring to cultures and people who we have had (and continue to have) a tricky history of oppression & colonization (we aren’t talking about modern European goods here). As Emily (the commenter) pointed out focusing on traditional hand-crafted goods also fuels into a problematic narrative.

          Discussing and considering these things are not being ‘too sensitive’. We all live within the legacy of our Society’s racism; acknowledging it and trying to not repeat the same mistakes is required if we hope to ever move forward.

          1. was she calling anyone racist? or was she saying the concept was racist? sorry double posted it wasnt showing up for me

      1. Being called out is not a criticism. It’s an invitation to learn and an opportunity to do better. As a long-time reader who loves this blog, I think this discussion is important for all of us.

        1. Thank you to those who helped clarify my original point. And Abby it’s interesting to me how defensive you are, and how resistant you are to taking this issue seriously. I did not call the author of this blog post racist — I said the idea of naming this particular aesthetic “global” was racist, and tried to explain the reasons I thought so. Many of us unintentionally use racist logic, ideas, or images, and the only way to stop doing so is to be open minded and historically aware. This is just as true when we’re enjoying our hobbies as it is when we’re more intentionally engaging in political spaces.

    5. Do you have any suggestions for labeling or describing this style that would be less offensive? Would “bohemian” be more acceptable and still accurate? I’m genuinely wondering.

      1. P.S. Most people’s “personal” style (taste) is an amalgamation of styles from around the world. To try to limit ourselves to only items designed by our own ancestors would be sad–not to mention next to impossible, as cultures have influenced each other for as long as different cultures have existed.

    6. I don’t think it is racist to refer to this style as “global”. That is the best description in my opinion vs “ethnic” or a different label. As someone from India I would prefer that people buy these crafts because they are often a very real source of livelihood for the people making them. In addition if people did not buy them the crafts would be in real danger of being lost forever. A lot of these are very sophisticated and not at all “primitive”. I do think that it should be mindful of the history or cultural context e.g. I cringe when I see objects of religious significance used without an understanding of the background. Also these countries are influenced by western trends all the time so it’s nice to see a little reverse influence as well.

  3. I agree this can be difficult to do “right” but this looks beautiful. I love all the color and texture and the mix of many cultures.

  4. I’m just trying to figure out what is going on with the window frames in the first two photos? Is it missing the trim altogether and there’s foam insulation showing? Very strange

  5. These mass produced versions that appropriate and dilute global influences exploit artisans and hasten us to a world where they no longer exist even to rip off. Today it is so easy to find authentic items on etsy and the internet with companies like citizenry. Certainly, when Justina Blakeney features a souzani or a bark cloth, she has sourced a real one. And uses her blog to teach readers about them. Buying a pouf at Serena &Lily when you can get one on etsy for less money and support local artisans at the same time is ridiculous. Ditto for West Elm, Target, etc…

    Terrible to see these extremely poor neglected places lose their only source of income to big box bandits. I am disappointed to see you encourage it so brazenly and presumably to profit from the vendor links above. You could easily point readers to etsy and the many websites that promote these vital artisans. Especially, in a post that postures itself as educational. Glad to see so many people share my feelings on this in the comments below.

  6. This is exactly the style I love ! As a traveller, I’m always on the hunt for new treasures… Especially love flea markets and garage sales abroad ! Sometimes you get to find real gems…

  7. I know that Target sorta has to get mentioned, but for global home décor that is actually made in the country it looks like it comes from, Serrv and Ten Thousand Villages are my go-to sources. They curate collections from artisans all over the world and are also legitimately ethical in their sourcing. Most people still don’t know either of them exist, which is a shame, but also means that I’m not going to see the stuff I buy at anyone else’s house. Ten Thousand Villages has stores in Canada and the US and if you can find one that carries the hand-knotted rugs from Pakistan, it is just heaven to behold.

  8. I know mudcloth is the hot new “global” text now but fwiw, it comes from Burkina Faso and is made with actual mud (and formerly cow dung) and is not cheap. Burkina Faso is also one of the poorest countries in the world. If you appreciate it as the unique textile art it is, maybe consider purchasing it in a way that supports the people who are helping the craft survive instead of buying it in a cheap knock-off version just because it is trendy.