Evoking the exotic at home

Holidays abroad are a treat, if you’re lucky enough to have one, but most of us come home feeling they’re over too quickly.

Saturday, 24th August 2013, 5:00 pm
Undated Handout Photo of Colonial Circle duvet cover and pillow case, from £7, Littlewoods. See PA Feature INTERIORS Holiday. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature INTERIORS Holiday.

But there’s a way to prolong that feelgood factor – by conjuring up those getaway settings in your home, taking inspiration from the locations you love or those you dream of visiting.

Global influences have made their mark on the home collections of high street stores this year, so you won’t have to go far to find the vital vacation ingredients.

Choose your holiday style - then all you need to do is send a postcard saying: ‘Wish you were here!’

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Stylish safari

Walk on the wild side with a dramatic scheme based on African safari style.

“Accessories in tribal patterns and animal prints, with dark wood furniture, can look stunning set against a crisp white backdrop,” says Barker.

“Bring in texture with rattan storage, add dark green foliage with pot plants, and you’ll create a sultry colonial style.”

An African landscape print or mural, a globe, an animal print rug and vintage-inspired trunks for storage will give rooms a well-travelled feel.

Modern moorish

Earthy colours, patterned tiles, piles of cushions and layered rugs add up to an urban Bedouin experience inspired by Morocco.

“Paint a feature wall in a terracotta or shade of desert sand or muddy orange and this will be a focal point around which you can dress the room,” says Barker.

“Low, informal seating is characteristic of this look. If you’re into DIY you could make a simple low wooden base, top it with a mattress which can then be dressed in layers of patterned textiles and bolster pillows to act as a long, sofa. Alternatively, use plenty of floor cushions or leather pouffes.”

Striped rugs, embroidered cushions, glass in jewel-bright shades, small metal tea tables and punched metal-patterned lanterns will combine to create souk chic.

Truly tropical

Exotic foliage and deep green shades will make you feel you are in your own tropical sanctuary.

“Bring in the feeling of heat and lush vegetation through fabrics and accessories printed with island motifs and tropical plants,” says Barker.

“Leaf pattern wallpapers in vivid greens, simple white or rattan furniture, and, for an extra hothouse touch, accessorise with cushions featuring vividly coloured parrots, leaf prints or exotic blooms.”

Potted palms, faux or real, rugs made from natural fibres such as hemp or seagrass, and eastern-style ornaments or Buddha heads are essentials.