Interior design styles come in as many themes as there are shades on the color wheel. Decor that will suit the modern Buddhist to the imagination of a child just figuring out the world to the exotic and most outlandish of styles you can dream of. This particular home decor style guide roundup is for those who want to add a splash of “flavor” to their home settings. Adding features such as water elements, a jungle of plants, and gold-trimmed furnishings- these will all fall into the exotic style of decor. Read on for the summary and key points to help you discover your design passion.
Most Exotic Style Guides in Review
- Asian Style Guide
- Brazilian Style Guide
- Egyptian Style Guide
- Gothic-Rustic Style Guide
- Maximalist Style Guide
- Mediterranean Style Guide
- Mexican & Day of Dead Style Guide
- Moroccan Themed Style Guide
- Rainforest Style Guide
- Urban African Style Guide
MOST EXOTIC STYLE HOME DECOR KEY TIPS
From elegantly simple and clean lines to ornate furnishings with bold colors, Asian-style interior design covers the cultures of Japan, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. This guide takes a look at the three most prominent styles of design from the orient: Chinese, Japanese, and Zen.
CHINESE DESIGN: The Art of Balance & Placement follows the guidelines of Feng Shui which is based on the theory that all objects have positive or negative energy and need to be balanced in each room or space.
- Colors: Red and black. The immediate colors that come to mind when visualizing Chinese design colors are no doubt high-gloss lacquered red and back. For a more modern Chinese palette, combine gold, gray (or muted silver), and white.
- Furniture: Current Chinese furniture mimics traditional styles as they both are defined by natural materials, simple design, and exquisite craftsmanship.
- Accessories: From folding screens to figurines, and pottery and porcelain, chinoiserie is still widely coveted and used in today’s Asian inspired decorating.
- Animal Motifs: Chinese decor is studded with all sorts of animal motifs, including mythological beasts, such as dragons.
JAPANESE DESIGN: This design style is more calming than its Chinese counterpart. Using natural materials and subdued colors will begin to create the base for your Japanese-style home decor.
- Colors: Browns and greens soothing color palette of beige, tan, dried bamboo, plus fresh greens of local plants provide one of the main foundations for a Japanese-styled home.
- Furniture: Furniture tends to be clean-lined and simple. Minimal bedding such as futons is traditionally used for bedroom furniture. Low tables and floor cushions are the norms for dining areas
- Accessories: Floor mats, screens, wave prints, crane art, and bonsai trees are all traditional Japanese accents.
ZEN DESIGN: Zen interior design focuses on emphasizing harmony, tranquility, and simplicity resulting in a unique style that’s simple and minimal but also features rich layers. The core of Zen décor is a sense of tranquility rather than specific features.
Brazil’s cultural history is an amalgamation of indigenous Indian tribes, Portuguese conquerors, and a wide array of settlers coming from Spain, Asia, Germany, and Italy, thus the overall design aesthetic can share an eclectic mixture of decor styles. Brazilian home decor also differentiates itself thru the use of locally sourced natural elements unique to their country, such as native wood, cultural components of lace and wool, and appreciating the crafts created by local artists. Spaces are filled with natural elements, texture, and vivid hues.
- Unlike the Spanish decor style or the vibrant Latin style, the Brazilian style is more subdued, rustic, and pulled together emitting an overall welcoming feeling.
- Minimalism- Decluttered minimalism sets the stage for focusing on displaying a few items that you truly love.
- Natural elements- Wood, sisal, jute, and stone as the centerpieces of decor and furniture in your Brazilian-styled home.
- Color- Brazil, like the tropical style of the Caribbean, mimics color choices from the surrounding natural landscape: turquoise blues of the ocean, the lush greens of the rainforest, plus a range of oranges from local flora and produce.
- Furniture- The star of the Brazilian home decor furniture setting is wood. Covered sofas and chairs lean towards a Mid-Century Modern style, sleek and simplified. The overall style is clean and straightforward.
- Plants- Greenery is an absolute must for Brazilian-style themes. Big ferns in a handsome pot on the porch or balcony work. So does an array of delicate succulents.
- Accents- Native artwork creates interesting focal topics and points of color in the room. Botanical-themed art and accessories are quite popular.
Royal, timeless, elegant...words to describe the heart of an Egyptian-themed home. These elements come together through the use of color first and foremost. Then by adding textures, solid furnishings, and an abundance of Egyptian-focused accents, an opulent atmosphere is created. The Egyptian culture is mysterious, still keeping secrets from us all these thousands of years later. Bringing the essence of this rich, ancient culture into your home will create an atmosphere of historic intrigue.
- Color- Bold rich shades and contrasting neutral color palettes are the foundational essence of Egyptian style decor. Deep and vibrant shades of blue- represents royalty. Browns, reds, oranges and yellows, metallic golds.
- Textures- The textures and materials used in building interior home decor in ancient Egypt included: Wood, marble, stone, and reeds.
- Furniture- Avoid modern and light-colored furniture. Furniture is geometric in shape. Oversized pieces such as a large dark leather couch are perfect.
- Drapes- Full, heavy drapes that fall the entire length of the wall around your windows are part of an Egyptian-themed room.
- Accents- Egyptian accents will completely tie the room together and bring in that element of classic, royal Egyptian style. The fine details of this type of mysterious and symbolic art impart a regalness in any room.
- Ceramics- Egypt has deep roots in the beautiful craftsmanship of ceramics and pottery.
Gothic is Rustic. Rustic shares more than fifty percent of the same applications as Gothic design. The main difference between the two lies in the heavier, darker, and more detailed elements of the Gothic style. Rustic has taken the natural elements from Gothic and simplified them. When merged together, the Gothic-Rustic look creates a modern home design that exudes a harmony of classic metal works and raw nature in all aspects.
- Color- Gothic colors are dominated by dark and heavy. To combine this style with rustic, we can keep the richness of nature or earthy-toned colors, but limit them to accent walls or single pieces.
- Furniture- When working to integrate Gothic and rustic furniture styles there are a few points to consider. Most Gothic furniture tends to be ornately carved and heavily stylized in its design. When combined with the rustic traditions, you’re looking for the more natural wood, solid and chunky pieces from that period. These tend to be smaller, more accent-type selections.
- Lighting- Glass, metal, wood, and wrought iron are both popular in Gothic and rustic lighting options.
- Fabrics- Natural, solid fabrics are the best fabrics for the foundation of the Gothic-Rustic style; linen, wool, woven textiles, burlap, and canvas are automatic choices.
This decor style is jumping back into the mainstream in response to a life lived in the homestead for the last two years. It’s an expressive, bold decor in response to the routine of everyday life. Maximalism takes your ordinary space and fills it with a deluge of personality. This type of interior provides an escape, an essence of fantasy in which to lose yourself. It’s the desire of wanting to be surrounded by beautiful things, decorating solely for your own decor sense of joy. Maximalists incorporate well-considered and bold color palettes, interesting prints, statement lighting, and curated accessories.
How To Get The Maximalist Decor Look- While maximalism is not 100% clearly defined there are some common elements that can be followed.
- Multiple patterns in one area are connected by a common color palette.
- Unique architectural shapes, especially when it comes to furniture forms (stools, sofas, mirrors, etc.).
- Design accents that are visually stimulating, are purposely displayed, and add interest to the overall design theme.
- Uniting mixed color schemes and patterns by layering.
- The use of saturated colors energizes a room.
- Unique statement pieces like bold art, oversized fixtures, or one excessively large furniture item. Something that stands above and beyond the crowd, calling attention to it and holding court over a room.
- Gold accents- Maximalist decor goes all out, i.e. goes for the gold. So it is very likely you’ll find some strong gold accents in this type of decorated room.
Located between the landmasses of Africa, Asia, and Europe, this abundant, gorgeous sea has unified these lands for centuries. From this melting pot of a rich array of cultures, comes a mixture of unique art and decor traditions that merge to form a Mediterranean style. The main feature of this style is about bringing nature inside the home. Interior and exterior are carefully blended by using wood, organic fabrics, and refreshing color tones.
Main Decor Ideas
- Abundant patterns and textures.
- Curved doors and windows.
- Handmade accessories.
- Mosaic embellishments.
- Rustic finishes.
Colors- Warm terracotta, calm beige, frisky lime, ocean waves of navy blue, crisp skies, soothing lavender - colors in each of these categories can do well anywhere in a Mediterranean house.
Furniture- Mediterranean tailored furniture design is solid and sturdy, ideally made of wood or wrought iron. Furniture pieces tend to be shorter, with ornately carved legs and feet.
Tiles- The most visible expression of Mediterranean interior design is the display of mosaic tile work.
Accessories- Handmade is key. Ceramic bowls, terracotta pottery, carved-wood items, baskets, and metal works- all manner of handmade, vintage, and antique relics from the Mediterranean region.
Soft rugs and Mediterranean decor go hand in hand. Use a variety of textures, colors, and overlapping layers.
Mexican style home decor is quite an eclectic look that has emerged from a combination of elements from many different cultures: the Spanish missionaries and conquistadors; the native Aztec and the Mayan tribes; plus Native American and Southwest influences as well. The blending of all these cultures has created some of the most colorful and vibrant decors found anywhere on the globe. The feeling is warm, inviting, festive, and cheerful.
- Color- Earth tones- such as browns, tans, dusty reds, and soft pinks that mimic the natural surroundings of stone, wood, adobe dwellings, terra cotta clay, and the dry desert Mexican landscapes.
- Furniture- is rustic in appearance combining heavy wood and metal details. Woods of pine, mesquite, reclaimed pieces, and wrought iron are typical materials. Dark wrought iron is used to complement light wood tones. Iron drawer pulls and handles are common.
- Textiles- handmade weaving, Mexico’s textiles infuse color as well as a pattern into their creations. The typical striped blankets called “serapes” are decorative textile additions that make beautiful throws or cushion covers for your Mexican-inspired home.
- Tiles- One extremely popular and defining Mexican style home decor accent is the famous and traditional hand-painted Talavera tiles.
- Lighting fixtures- Tin fabricated stars, frosted or colored glass, geometric African pendants fusing metal and glass.
- Pottery- Talavera pottery has intricate and colorful designs, many of which are influenced by the culture, flora, and fauna of Mexico. Talavera pottery can include tiles, dishware, platters, trays, serving pieces, wall art, and other decorative accents.
A blend of African, French, Indian, and Spanish styles, the decor of Morocco, also known as Marrakech, is dramatic, elegant, and supple. It’s about gorgeous colors, comfort, and exuding an inviting and relaxing atmosphere where all are welcome. Moroccan homes are interior oases from the desert heat, created by combining all the design elements taken from the melting pot of the region's cultures. Moroccan-inspired interior design is extremely grounding, embracing, and sensual in a way. Though it is more thought of as a bold and dramatic style, you can easily tone it down and just bring in some of the elements on a more subtle level.
- Color- Reds and oranges; earthy hues, and jewel tones with gold and silver highlights.
- Flooring- Terracotta tiles, stone, dark woods, detailed tile work, and layers of color-packed Moroccan rugs.
Key features of Moroccan-inspired furniture are:
- Low seating- piles of pillows, comfy ottomans, shorter sofas
- Tables- low to the ground
- Elaborate metal work
- Ornate wood carvings
- Patterned upholstery
Tile work- Morocco is famous for its tile work featuring geometric designs. These stunning tiles can work well in any room of the home and on several different surfaces.
Lighting- Another recognizable feature in Moroccan interiors is the lanterns, lamps, and hanging pendants made with colored glass and carved metals.
Moroccan metalwork accessories are intricately carved pieces placed as accents in most rooms of the home.
To bring rainforest-style decor into your home means welcoming an atmosphere of tropical warmth and exotic accompaniments. This type of nature-themed decor can induce a very calming setting or one that’s a bit more wild and untamed.
Jungle colors for rainforest-themed rooms are inspired by the variety of jungle flora:
various types of trees, plants, flowers, roots, woods, barks, vines, mushrooms, and almost every animal in the rainbow. These are the colors that will supply the foundation for themed rooms.
- Greens: from pale lime to dark, rich emerald.
- Browns: from mahogany to tan, caramel, beige, sand, earth, and every shade in between.
- Blues: these are mainly the colors found in waterfalls and other bodies of water as well as on some of the exotic birds, butterflies, and other rainforest flora.
- Red, yellow, burgundy: various pops of bright colors will act as your rainforest accents hues.
Furniture- Choose wood furniture of various types.
- Bamboo, wicker, and rattan are also perfect types of furniture pieces for a rainforest room.
- Painted furniture in bold shots of rainforest colors, green, yellow, or blue, adds a modern vibe.
- Accessories- water features, animal prints, plants, bamboo.
African design style is defined by nature and raw elements. The components of African decor feature details that range from energetic, vibrant colors, to primitive minimalism in the art form, and textured textiles. African style fits anywhere, whether your home is modern, traditional, minimalist, or urban. African art pieces add a touch of originality to any interior, from modern polished to Hollywood glamor. Simple rule, don’t go overboard. Choose just a few African pieces or textures to shine.
- Use of sustainable natural materials in earthier shades is more common in the urban African design style.
- The result is one that imparts shades of sand and sun, with contrasting animal prints, and streamlined sculptures in ebony.
- Urban-African design style seems to be inspired by the exotic nature of safari, and by widening our cultural and historical perspectives of this region of the world.
- Incorporate rich deep colors, combined with modern components for this theme.
DECORATING ELEMENTS: feature the timeless nature of Mother Earth.
- Art- sculptures, masks, baskets, textiles, and wood carvings.
- Animal prints- As long as faux animal skins are the chosen option, using cowhides, zebra skins, or tiger prints yell African decor with enthusiasm.
- Baskets- African handicrafts such as woven baskets, range in such a generous amount of color and texture that it is easy to fit them into any room or decorating style.
- Textiles- Nothing could impart the ethnic mood of Africa better than handmade fabrics residing on your furniture coverings, wall hangings, or floor spaces.
- Furniture- Begin your Urban-African furniture collection with the notion of mostly wood, organic, sustainable, and hand-made materials.
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