2019 Design Trend Closer Look: Globally Inspired

Whether you’re a globe trotter with a passport that’s well stamped or a home body with a love of National Geographic, this year’s globally inspired design trend will be right up your alley. We’ve always loved to infuse our designs with collected and curated pieces from around the world, so this trend is particularly close to our hearts. From the Amazon to Peru, from Australia to India, from Turkey to the indigenous cultures of the African continent, this year’s globally inspired designs use natural materials, hand crafted techniques, and eye-catching colors to encourage spiritual discovery and escapism, right within the home. Come with us as we delve into this culturally curious craze!

Architectural Details

Across the globe, every culture has a traditional architectural design that typifies their regional look (think Roman columns or Moorish arches). Luckily, this year’s globally influenced architectural design isn’t limited to specific cultural sources from which they can draw inspiration. Instead, anywhere goes and we’re lucky for it!

Things to look for include rough hewn, stone floors that bring a touch of the Italian countryside indoors. Unornamented kitchens that are reminiscent of Japanese design and Scandinavian simplicity emphasize the functionality of the space. In outdoor design, exposed brick patterns modernize Moorish and Spanish design. Keeping in that theme, look for large arches incorporated in design, along with stair cases ornamented with paint or tile work.

For a taste of South American and Afro-Caribbean design, look for a mix of large and small scale patterns. Bright colors will play a role in this design trend, of course, but neutral earth toned rooms that draw inspiration from Australian and Californian design will remain popular as well.

Photo Credit: Reagen Taylor for Crimson Design Group

Interior Details

Globally inspired interior design will rely heavily on natural materials and craftsmanship. Carved and oxidized reclaimed wood will be mixed with brushed brass, leather, wicker, and new rosewood. Natural fibers, woven textiles, and shearling throws will also make appearances. Neutral rooms will be elevated with collected artwork, graphic wall coverings, or patterned soft goods. Drawing inspiration from aboriginal traditions, these spaces will retain a warm, earthy palette that retain visual interest with greenery, bold patterns, and distinct lighting. In rooms that draw inspiration from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, or South America, look for bold large scale patterns that are balanced with brushed metals and neutral finishes and furnishings.

Curious how we implement this style in the real world? Check out some of our globally inspired work below!

Photo Credit: Crimson Design Group


Pattern will be a huge inspiration for this trend. Look for lined patterns in muted colors that look hand crafted. Geometric patterns inspired by indigenous use of geometry in body art and design make for great interlocked repeats or for single use as a focal point. Stripes in vivid colors sit variegated and act as a playful alternative to this season’s many neutral patterns. Meanwhile, leaf prints are in conversation with the earthy palette of many interiors this season and encourage a return to the earth. Similarly, butterfly wings will act as reminder to appreciate the world’s natural beauty, both at home and in exotic climes.

We just love pattern play! Globally inspired wall coverings, pillows, and throws all make an appearance in some of our recent projects!

Photo Credit: Reagen Taylor for Crimson Design Group


Unsurprisingly, globally inspired design will rely heavily on earth tones. Sepia tan, burnt orange, terra-cotta red, and cocoa brown invoke the Australian outback. But never fear, vibrant colors still have a part to play in this trend. Look for cherry, violet, peacock blue, magenta, and candy apple red too! Brushed brass combined with forest green and bright blue will take you away to a sultan’s court while hibiscus purple layered with oranges and pinks will make you think of India in the summer.

Photo credit: Reagen Taylor for Crimson Design Group

How To: Globally Inspired Design

  1. Mixed Metal- For a bit of a global edge, think about adding a variety of metallics to your home. For a simple addition, look for galvanized metal candles or gold wash bowls. For a larger investment, mixed material nesting tables make any living room feel a bit more eclectic.

  2. Artisan Pottery- From the amphorae of Greece to the vases of the Ming Dynasty, every culture has its own tradition of pottery and ceramics. Bring a bit of the world home by investing in handmade pottery.

  3. Crafted Wood- Relying heavily on natural materials is a big theme in this design trend. Hand carved dining tables and even light fixtures that incorporate wood all bring a bit of earthiness into a home. Live edge pieces created from one large piece of wood will bring a wow factor to any room.

  4. It’s All About the Angles (and Curves)- Soft arches and curves typical of Moorish design can be incorporated into your own home design, even without changing the architecture of your house. Look for petal chairs, benches with curved legs, and the like.

  5. Pattern Play- Last but not least, an easy way to incorporate a bit of global design into your home is to let patterns do the work. Look for geometrically patterned pillows with fringe, block striped printed textiles, and fabrics that use Aboriginal patterns.

Interested in creating your own globally inspired sanctuary? Email us at ! We’d love to know more about your project!

Further Reading