Feel like your home needs some updating? To give your house a foreign allure, try some of these remodeling ideas from around the world.
Mediterranean homes are recognizable for their red tiled roofs and white stucco exterior. Lots of palm trees inside and outside and plush seating everywhere are also signature elements. The ambience of a Mediterranean home should be cool and breezy. To achieve this feeling, use airy floor plans. Add detail with arch motifs and wrought iron rails, and add window coverings to give the home an elegant feel. Mediterranean homes are well-suited to areas like Florida and California, as well as the rolling hills of Texas.
The African theme can easily become cliché and overdone, so keep décor subtle. Hang baskets, masks, or bowls on the walls. Animal print is a must, but should not be overused. Decorate a room in rich browns, tans, and blacks, with a natural animal print ottoman, couch, rug, or throw pillows. For a pop of color, add a dark red vase or some curtains. Deep purples also look good in African-inspired homes; try a painting that has a lot of purples in it. Natural-colored, tall draperies can be used to separate rooms. Decorate tables and sideboards with rich wood carvings. Everything should look very natural and flow together.
Similar to Mediterranean homes (both were influenced by the Spanish), Mexican-style homes use red tile roofs and stucco exteriors, but salmon and beige are popular colors for the outside walls. Inside, use tile floors and bright reds, oranges, yellows, and blues. Colorful paintings and Mexican-style pottery will give the home a festive feel. Textile rugs add a traditional-style Mexican flair. For landscaping, plant cactus, short, flowering bushes, and other desert plants.
In creating an Asian-inspired home, think feng shui. Everything in the house should flow—the furniture within a room, one room to the next room—to create a positive energy. Decoration should be minimal and be balanced. To achieve this, use furniture that can serve more than one purpose (futons for couches and beds, trunks for storage that double as tables).
Asian homes use a lot of bold colors–red and black for Chinese homes, tans, browns, and grays for Japanese homes—and most Asian décor has gold accents. Use bamboo for furniture, picture frames, and containers and screens to separate rooms or hide an unattractive corner.
European-style homes are generally grand in size and style. They often have two exterior materials, such as stone and brick or wood and stone. Varied rooflines give a European-style home a whimsical feel; most roofs are steeply pitched. The inside is spacious, with large rooms and high ceilings. If your home is small, focus on the details. Decorate the windows with winged shutters, planter boxes, and arches. Inside, create arched doorways and columns.
Instead of buying a cut-out kitchen or living room from Ikea to update your house, try incorporating some of these elements drawn from different areas of the world. Some you may be able to do yourself; others you may need to call a professional for (like your local Langley plumber or roofer). But the time and money will be worth it. Not only will your house stand out from the crowd, going home will feel like a mini vacation.
Author Bio: Edson Senna is a freelance writer who specializes in home improvement, business, and finance. He enjoys drawing ideas for his articles from companies like Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating Ltd. In his spare time, Edson enjoys reading, running, and updating his home with items and ideas he picks up in his many travels.