Mexican and Central American style furnishings, which we are calling Latin American décor in this blog, are characterized by colorful patterns, vibrant hues, and bold prints. This South-of-the-border-inspired décor is a contemporary way to energize your home with some handmade and cultural accessories that boast serious flair. In contrast, to say, Asian Home Decor which is structural and deliberate, Latin American home decoration is relaxed, free, and full of warm vibrancy.
The 14 countries that make up this region are influenced by:
- The surrounding continents.
- The settlers throughout history.
- The Mediterranean-type climate.
- A rich, bold color palette.
- Ethnic motifs.
There are no strict rules to follow making this decor style highly recommendable to free spirited easy-going admirers of this amazing South American culture.
Art & Tradition
Strongly connected to interior decor, the immensely diverse art and culture of Latin America are influenced by many indigenous cultures. This indigenous work is known as Pre-Columbian art. With no known writing system, visual art was the main way of communicating and preserving life. This language is expressed in vivid detail on:
- Wood panels
- Walls (home interior murals)
There are a million ways to give your walls personality. The results may vary from minimalistic to bohemian if you combine it with colors, but it’s always going to be pleasant and exotic. This is all about being creative, so don’t be afraid of mixing tradition into your home décor.
- Accessories for wall décor inspiration such as straw hats or traditional artifacts.
- Exposed cement
- Wooden walls
- Talavera Tiles (Mexico)- colorful and patterned tiles are a perfect option for your bathroom, kitchen backsplash, or stair decoration. They can fully cover a wall or only partial sections here and there.
Bathroom: add a colorful border tile line to give the bathroom a polished look, and elevate the area even if your original color scheme was plain white.
Kitchen: add in a few colorful tiles by replacing some of your existing tiles. This will lighten the space and make for a striking experience.
Plates and dishes: colorful tile patterns in your dishes is another simple way to add a Latin touch to any room. Use them to store keys, display fruit, or as a centerpiece on the coffee table.
The Color Palette of Latin America
Latin Americans are known to be exotic and daring, and these characteristics definitely show up in their vivid home decor. If you enjoy dynamic hues and comfortable surroundings, Latin decor will certainly be a perfect match.
Beyond just painted walls, color can be implemented in multiple ways: tiles, wall decor, blankets, decorative pillows, or art and accessories.
It’s also important to note that spirituality and religion play substantial roles in Latin American life. Spiritual symbolism and significance are demonstrated quite strongly through the use of color in people’s homes. It may be more understandable why you will see such a diverse and distinctive palette of colors in these residences. All together these colors evoke fun, warm, and relaxing vibes in your house.
Blue- Catholicism is widely practiced and in this religion blue is a religious symbol, thus present in the household. Blue is associated with hope, good health, and prosperity. Blue and red are also prominent colors on the flags of numerous South American countries, including Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina. With a strong presence of country pride, red, yellow, and blue can be found not only on national flags but also in interior design.
Orange- symbolizes the collision of the sun and earth. The sun in this part of the world feels stronger due to its geographical position and close proximity to the equator, and also providing a wide range of orange hues that show up in decor colorings.
Red- is associated with religion, thus using red objects to decorate is a way to display those beliefs.
White- can be used to represent peace and harmony.
Lighter Latin Touch
Love the idea of Latin decor but not as huge a fan of such vigorous color, you can choose a couple of less intense variations to get the same dramatic effect.
- Use a lighter color palette with more whites and lighter shades of the citrus rainbow.
- Insert small patterned or colored accent pieces such as linen, dinnerware, or drapes.
- Tropic plants can bring in that colorful vibe to your home.
In most traditional Latin homes you can find big and bold archways that separate spaces. These attractive open archways let in additional natural light making spaces look larger.
- If your home is blessed with arches, now is the time play them up and highlight their beauty.
- If you don’t have them, there are archway conversion or insertion kits that can transform a space and completely enhance your Latin home style.
Peru is a favorite location to find home décor inspiration. Renowned for its textiles, handicrafts, and colorful fabrics, you will always find amazing decor pieces here. Characterized by their colors and designs, they represent the different characteristics of the artisan communities that make them in the different regions of this country.
- The frazadas (meaning blankets or bed covers) are one of the most popular. Frazadas are even thick enough to also be used as area rugs.
- Made from 100% sheep wool, woven by hand, and dyed in the rural villages of the Andes by Aymara women.
- Using techniques inherited through generations, it can take weeks to finish one frazada. With villages located over 9,800 feet above mean sea level, these blankets are used to protect Andean people from freezing temperatures.
- The versatility of these textiles allow them to be used to create new decorative elements such as cushions, furniture upholstery, and more.
- Thus, they can be found in the bedroom as a headboard, on the sofa as a blanket, at the foot of the bed, entrance hall, in children’s rooms, and more.
Handmade Heritage: Natural Materials & Elements
Latin America has a wide variety of indigenous communities renowned for their craftsmanship. This results in pure love for artistry, present in most homes of the region. Handed down thru the ages are the famous weaving and embroidering techniques native to the indigenous communities of this region. They are the result of hundreds of years of history and tradition.
- Arts of this nature are a way for them to transmit their beliefs and tell stories about their identities.
- Besides adding style and color to your house, these home accessories represent a sustainable choice.
- Handmade décor is done with organic materials, natural fibers, and dyes, so it is eco-friendly.
- What is beautiful about these elements is that they are all unique. No piece is the same, thus adding to the individual creativity you can express in your home.
- Andean communities from Peru use natural dyes from roots, leaves, fruit, and insects. No chemicals are involved. You can feel happy knowing that your home décor did not harm the planet.
- Handmade accessories come in every form and shape: a woven basket made by the Amazonas; a traditional hammock from the Warao in Venezuela; decorative pillows from Peru are just a few examples.
- Add a mural and feel free to add glass, pebbles, and other 3-D material.
- Lots of live green plants are another very Latin accessory to add.
- Strips of colored tiles.
- Bold, heavy rustic and raw wooden pieces.
- Seating is comfortable with plush fabrics.
- Side tables and coffee tables in wood and natural materials.
- Wrought iron and metal is integrated in pieces as well.
- Styles can range from simplistic to ornate carved and hand painted pieces.
- Fireplaces are very common in Latin American home decor.
- Accent these with Latin inspired art accents and other Mediterranean related fireplace accents.
- Embellished archways.
Decorating with mirrors adds life, depth, brightness, and expansion to any room. Peruvian handcrafted mirrors are carved in wood and hand-painted with flowers.
- The Peruvian art of Cusco painted glass can be seen in these beautiful handmade mirrors.
- Sunburst mirrors with gold leaf applications on wood are another typical design you’ll find.
- Combining different sizes and shapes of mirrors enriches a wall the design overall achieving a nice Latin style result.
Wooden & Clay Sculptures
Woodworking and clay work are a big part of many designs in Latin America and can aid in this unique decor style when designing your home.
- Metalworking is another big part of the Latin home decor and worth considering as an accent decoration.
- Any natural or hand-made piece will fit perfectly in a home or room dedicated to Latin American design.
Native Latin American homes are full of natural elements, with top choices being plants, flowers, and other types of greenery from the surrounding countryside.
- Nature is highly respected in this culture as is shown to the way it is used in intimate settings at home.
- Add a variety of different plants and flowers native to South America, each with different shapes, colors, and scents to achieve the Latin ambiance.
- Natural elements like seashells, rocks, and other earthy items are also commonly included to provide a laid-back and natural look to the home’s decor.
Latin American art and souvenirs are another ideal resource for your home décor accessory design. Arrange your South American souvenirs on a coffee table and admire the improvement in your home.
Latin style is free and allows for full expression of imagination. One of the main advantages of this style is absolutely the expression of your creativity.
- Be bold with colors and mix things you maybe never mixed before. Several colors on one wall, one for each room- go wild.
- Make it personal and lovely.
- Add plants, because this style is strongly connected to nature.
- Both geometrical and floral shapes in your accents are acceptable.
- Mixed material furniture made of wood, tile, or glass all works.
Latin American home décor is an attractive decoration option and a different perspective on life. It’s easy to fall in love with this style because it is so fun to play with all the warm and artistic options. Surrounding yourself with color, art, culture, art, and tradition creates vibes of a rich Mediterranean life.
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