Exotic decor can breathe new life into any space. Whether you’re looking to give a room a dramatic facelift or add subtle touches of intrigue, incorporating exotic elements is an exciting way to refresh your home. From far-flung cultures to bold patterns and vivid colors, exotic decor envelops spaces with an air of adventure. Read on to discover inspiring ideas and helpful tips for using exotic accents to revitalize your rooms.
Define Your Exotic Style
The first step in exotic decor is determining the style you want to cultivate. Exotic design encompasses influences from around the world, so consider which cultures most appeal to you. For instance, are you drawn to:
- Moroccan motifs like geometric shapes, vibrant patterns, and ornate metalwork?
- Asian sensibilities like minimalism, nature themes, and pagoda or bamboo accents?
- Tropical touches from the Caribbean, Central America, or Polynesia featuring palm prints, woven textures, or threatening animals?
- Indian flavors with embroidered fabrics, carved wood, or colorful spice jar displays?
- African artistry involving masks, beads, animal prints, drums, or sculpture?
- Middle Eastern elements like glass lamps, ceramic tiles, or luxurious furnishings?
Once you settle on a direction, browse décor indicative of that region. Curate pieces expressing its aesthetic in ways that speak to you. This establishes cohesion while allowing your personal taste to shine through.
Select Statement Pieces
Every exotic space needs eye-catching focal points. These special statement pieces grab attention and anchor the room’s theme.
For living rooms, choose commanding furnishings like a intricately carved wood armoire, vibrant circular settee, or hand-painted cabinet.
In dining rooms, make a dramatic centerpiece like a low-laying hammered metal table or ornately tiled buffet.
For bedrooms, pick striking beds like a canopy draped in sheer fabrics or richly colored headboard.
When selecting statement décor:
- Opt for quality construction using solid wood, durable upholstery, or handcrafted details so the piece lasts.
- Pick a style that intrigues you so the statement resonates with your tastes and personality.
- Ensure adequate space so the substantial piece has room to make an impact without overwhelming.
- Highlight with strategic lighting to draw attention to the statement décor.
Layer in Supporting Accents
After choosing anchor pieces, add flair with supporting exotic accents. These supplementary touches round out the theme and create intrigue through contrasting colors, patterns, textures, or materials.
Lighting makes a statement with pendant lamps featuring decorative metalwork, paper lanterns, or Woven baskets around bulbs. Opt for smart technology to control ambiance.
Rugs ground a space with dynamic patterns like Moroccan tiles or colorful tribal designs. Layer exotic rugs over hardwood or bamboo floors.
Textiles add visual interest when draped over furniture, hung as curtains, or displayed in coordinated pillows. Use silks, batiks, or embroidered fabrics.
Artwork reflects exotic influences through sculptures, masks, paintings, basketry, scrolls, or gongs. Spotlight with track lighting.
Accessories provide exotic accents through items like incense burners, vases, hookahs, mosaic tiles, weapon collections, or hand drums.
Plants generate natural intrigue with choices like air plants, orchids, palms, fiddle leaf figs, or bamboo. Use decorative planters.
Absorb Cultural Influences
Immersing yourself in the cultures inspiring your exotic space fuels further design ideas. Some suggestions:
- Try authentic cuisine to discover new flavors, ingredients, and presentations for the culture’s aesthetic. Replicate dishware or cookware as décor.
- Listen to native music to notice instrumentation and patterns echoing broader design elements. Display instruments as artwork.
- Study traditional dress to identify fabrics, embroidery, patterns, or accessories to incorporate. Display as wall hangings.
- Learn native folklore and legends to discover symbolic animals, characters, or motifs that might inspire metalwork, carvings, or artwork.
- Research architecture to note floorplans, layouts, or building methods and materials to mimic. Incorporate carvings, tiles, or arches.
- Observe natives in media to pick up on behaviors, mannerisms, values, or customs that might inform styling choices or accessories.
Immersing yourself opens up endless possibilities so your exotic decor authentically captures a culture’s essence.
Shop Global Marketplaces
To find exotic décor locally:
- Visit import stores specializing in foreign furnishings, textiles, clothing, or art. Handle pieces to assess quality.
- Explore ethnic grocers and eateries to discover statuary, pottery, baskets, and serving pieces imbued with cultural heritage.
- Check international district cultural events for booths of traditional artifacts and handiwork straight from native artisans.
For more exotic options, shop globally:
- Order online from specialty retailers like World Market or Novica for global handicrafts. Read reviews andpolicies carefully.
- Join auction sites like eBay to snag deals on rare exotic pieces from faraway places. Verify seller reliability.
- Commission native craftspeople found through Etsy or Upwork to get custom exotic pieces made authentically.
Mix Old and New Mindfully
When combining exotic décor with modern furnishings, take care to avoid clashing. Some tips:
- Exotic statement pieces look best against simple, neutral backdrops that don’t compete for attention.
- Repeat colors from exotic items in cushions, throws, or modern artwork to create unity.
- Echo exotic textures and materials with contemporary but natural-looking ones like rattan, bamboo, jute, or stone.
- Match metallics by incorporating bronze, copper, nickel, or iron tones in both old and new pieces.
- Harmonize shapes and silhouettes by opting for similar proportions in pairings like slender table legs and tall vases.
- Limit mixing in intimate spaces like bathrooms where too many styles feel disjointed in tight quarters.
Showcase Displays Creatively
Exotic pieces deserve creative display for optimal visual impact:
- Spotlight cultural figures with focused track lighting or illuminated glass shelves against dark walls.
- Elevate special objects in nooks, on columns, or atop plinths well above eye level.
- Arrange vignettes of related decorative items on tiered shelves, clustered tables, or inside curio cabinets.
- Draw focus to artwork by hanging it prominently over couch backs, at the bed’s focal point, or paired symmetrically over buffets.
- Encourage interaction by mounting drums or gongs at standing height or displaying exotic games on coffee tables.
- Set the scene by decorating around big statement pieces to reflect their origins like safari animals near African masks.
While refreshing, beware extremes that lose authenticity:
Avoid caricatures. Don’t rely on tacky faux representations or overly stereotypical interpretations of a culture. Research designs that originated from native hands.
Resist going overboard. Unless designing a theme restaurant, refrain from engulfing absolutely everything in loud exotic patterns or materials. Allow the exotic to be special, not excessive.
Don’t force combinations. If exotic additions feel visibly incongruous with a home’s existing scheme, they may not be the right fit currently. Wait until undertaking a major redesign that allows a cohesive overhaul.
Refreshing Living Spaces
The living room sees heavy traffic and lots of use over time. Eventually its furnishings start to look tired and its style feels stale. Exotic accents can revive a worn-out living space with exciting new energy and transform it into an exotic oasis perfect for entertaining.
Upholster worn couches and chairs in vibrant patterned or luxuriously textured exotic fabrics. Update carved wood frames with a fresh coat of stain or paint.
Replace sagging cushions with firmer inserts and custom covers made from exquisite silks, colorful mudcloth, or Batik fabrics. Add exotic throws or pillows.
Sand dull, scratched surfaces then refinish in darker wood tones like espresso or with ornamental paint techniques like decoupage or trompe l’oeil patterns.
Lay an antique rug over worn carpeting or swap out old rugs for exotic statement ones like Turkish oushaks or Indian dhurries with elaborate patterning and fringes.
Freshen dingy carpets by layering dynamic tribal print or geometric patterned exotic rugs on top. Affordably masks aging.
Remove wall-to-wall carpeting to refinish hardwoods. Then define spaces with lush area rugs inspired by exotic cultures, like Moroccan wedding blankets or Indian wool dhurries.
Replace outdated lamps with exotic lighting like colored glass lanterns or hammered metal sconces reminiscent of Turkey or Morocco.
Remove cluttered bookshelves and replace baskets, vases or organizational items with ornately carved boxes, painted figurines or foliage from tropical locations.
Take down dull wall art and replace with exotic masks, floral or abstract paintings with colorful palettes, or display handcrafts like woven baskets or batik wall hangings.
Refreshing Final Touches
Display fresh flowers in ceramic vases with Middle Eastern geometric patterns or painted with Ndebele techniques from Africa.
Infuse inviting scents using incense, essential oils, or potpourri made from tropical or Asian flowers and spices, like jasmine or lemongrass.
Install dimmable lighting to set the mood from bright for tasks to lower light levels for relaxation. Program smart bulbs to shift hues.
Living Room Refresh Ideas
Some exotic living room revamp ideas include:
Moroccan – Paint walls in rich jewel tones, use a patterned rug with fringe, display a hammered brass tray coffee table, and install a Moorish style light fixture.
Tropical – Bring in a carved woodenanimal statuette, houseplant in brightly painted planter, citrus scented candles, and accent pillows in tropical prints.
Asian – Incorporate a minimalist Zen water fountain, cherry blossom artwork, origami paper light fixtures, and bamboo décor pieces throughout.
Indian – Use throw pillows with sari fabric, hang beaded doorway curtains, display Hindu figurines on shelves, and bring in embroidered tapestries.
Exotic Dining Rooms
The dining room often gets neglected as a boring space. Give yours new energy with exotic décor that encourages people to linger longer by immersing them in captivating global styles during meals.
Refresh a dated dining set by painting the table and chairs in glossy lacquer tones like ruby, emerald or sapphire. Add exotic carvings along the edges.
Swap an worn table for one with mosaic tilework, ornate metalwork base, or handpainted patterns reminiscent of Mediterranean, Asian, or South American motifs.
Replace worn chairs with intricately carved ones with caning, embossed leather, or embroidered fabric upholstery. Add eye-catching print or batik seat cushions.
China Cabinet Changeouts
Paint the interior of a dated china cabinet an exhilarating contrasting color to showcase vibrant dishware.
Swap plain cabinet hardware for ornate glass, quartz, stone or shell knobs. Etch decorative designs into door fronts.
Display exotic dishware like patterned china, hammered metal platters, and intricately carved wood or stone serving utensils.
Global Fabric Upgrades
Reupholster chair seats in tribal prints, embroidered tapestries, or woven textiles from exotic locales.
Sew new slipcovers for seat cushions using ornately patterned silk or chenille fabrics inspired by the Orient and trim with exotic fringe.
Craft window treatments from colorful batik, Indian sari or African mudcloth fabrics. Install bamboo blinds.
Mount a dramatic carved mask, printed parchment scroll artwork, or large mirror framed in handcarved wood atop the buffet.
Fill buffet top with sculptural objets d’art like coral, shell or geode specimens alongside handcrafted vases.
Display exotic musical instruments like bamboo flutes, tropical wood drums, or ceramic ocarinas dangling from racks mounted on the walls.
Dreamy Decor Directions
Some exotic dining room remake ideas include:
Bali – Use a teak dining set, rattan pendant lighting, batik fabric on seats, and tropical flower centerpieces.
Arabian Nights – Showcase a low brass table, silk pillow seats, hammered metal accessories, and ornate lanterns.
East Asian – Pull in a red lacquered table, porcelain dishware, paper screens, and feng shui mirror placements to harmonize energy.
Exotic Bedroom Retreats
Bedrooms offer a relaxing sanctuary from busy days. Take your exotic oasis design to the next level by crafting a bedroom that envelops you in global influences as you unwind, meditate and sleep.
Paint walls in rich spiced hues like cinnamon, saffron or cumin reminiscent of exotic marketplaces. Use stencils to apply ornate geometric or floral designs.
Install intricately carved room dividers or bead curtains separating sleeping areas from dressing spaces while permitting air flow.
Display handwoven tapestries, skull or mask artwork, or decorative weapons above beds or along the walls as exotic focal points.
Pamper with silky sheets in jewel tones, like a sapphire blue, paired with piled blankets made from shearing wool or threaded cashmere.
Toss out tired old bedspreads and replace with hand blocked prints or quilts made from vibrantly patterned fabrics like Hawaiian kapa, Mexican salts, or Guatemalan weavings.
Get cozy with lots of smaller throw pillows covered inJi plush velvets or zany ikat prints. Trim with exotic tassel fringe.
Paint worn nightstands in glossy black or robin’s egg blue and stencil with gold leaf designs inspired by Persian tiles or Ndebele patterns.
Display colorful candles in hammered brass holders next to stacking bead storage boxes to organize nighttime essentials and jewelry.
Illuminate an intricately carved Buddha statue with battery powered lights to set a serene mood.
Install intricately stenciled or handpainted ceiling medallions infused with metallic leafing and ornamental imagery.
Use smart technology like remote controlled dimmers or color changing LED lighting to set sleep-inducing moods.
Mount a hammock chair or embroidered cotton rope swing for relaxing with an exotic printed throw pillow and a cup of nighttime herbal tea.
Bedroom Theme Inspirations
Some exotic bedroom remake motifs include:
Spanish Colonial – Add a wrought iron canopy bed, embroidered fabrics, copper basin sink, and hammered tin lighting.
Amazon – Bring in a macrame hammock, woven straw mats, potted palms, and rain stick instrument.
Mumbai – Include silk pillows, carved teak furnishings, beaded curtains, and imagery of Hindu gods.
Exotic Bathroom Retreats
With plumbing and moisture concerns, bathrooms require some special considerations when incorporating exotic décor. Carefully chosen accents can transport you to spa-like spaces invoking global regions.
Paint walls with moisture-resistant paints in steamy jungle hues like rainforest green or in sunny yellows reminiscent of Moroccan kasbahs.
Clad surfaces in easy-to-clean glass, ceramic or marble tiles intricately patterned with details echoing Turkish mosaics, Talavera, or Asian chrysanthemums.
Display handicrafts like baskets or art only on exterior surfaces, avoiding exposing items to direct humidity which can damage fragile materials.
Avoid hanging textiles like tapestries directly on damp surfaces. Instead mount them in frames on walls or displayed under glass.
Select shower curtains in water-resistant fabrics like polyester or nylon printed with Balinese floral motifs, aboriginal art, or other exotic patterns.
Opt for bamboo blinds rather than cloth draperies around exterior windows to suit humid environs. Keep any soft furnishings minimal.
Fixtures and Furnishings
Choose plumbing fixtures with hand hammered metals or colorful enameling reminiscent of exotic copperware or ornate samovars.
Incorporate intricately carved stools, tables inlayed with semi precious stones, or statuary hand sculpted from natural materials to hold folded towels or bathing accessories.
Illuminate space with wrought iron lanterns, frosted glass lamps, or ceramic table lights featuring ornate filigree or mosaic patterns.
Store soaps and bath salts in hand thrown pottery with freeform glazes, hammered metals, or etched imagery associated with exotic locales.
Incorporate all natural bath accessories made from local ingredients in baskets, woods, and fibers native to exotic cultures worldwide.
Display flowers and greenery from tropical regions. Choose hearty varieties that thrive indoors like orchids, birds of paradise, or bromeliads.
Some exotic bath inspirations include:
- A Bali style with woven baskets, tropical florals, bamboo shelving and ornately carved stools.
- A Middle Eastern oasis with glass lanterns, ceramic tiles, hammered copper vessel sink, and embroidered textile art