Style Pointers WALLS Plain neutral or earthy shades suit the look well, possibly with a broken color paint effect to suggest roughened plaster. White painted or stripped woodwork complements the rugged, rustic feel best.
ACCESSORIES Whether it’s a metal sculpture of dancing figures, an intricate wire fruit bowl or lamp base, or a length of Kulim patterned fabric thrown over the back of a chair, ethnic artifacts establish the global connection.
FURNITURE A solid wooden dining table presides over the room, accompanied by a set of dark wood dining chairs. Each chair is treated to its own cover, in a variety of coarse fabrics to match the color scheme.
FLOOR Bare wooden floorboards, stained and varnished, help to define the style. A natural fiber runner under the table is a good compromise instead of carpet in a dining room; it fits in well with the soft furnishings and is too narrow to catch many accidental food spills, yet helps prevent the floor getting scuffed by diners’ feet.
WINDOWS Unfussy window treatments are the order of the day. Tabbed sheers and a length of coarse, hand-decorated fabric draped over a bamboo rod are ideal. Stiff bristle finial-like ends to the rod are an apt ethnic detail.
Furnishings Furniture: Global style is essentially an international country look with pieces gathered from around the world. Rustic rather than refined, global dining furniture displays a forthright use of natural materials, such as wood and metal. Many retailers produce ranges of simple, sturdy furniture which work well with the style, or you could look out for similar designs in secondhand shops and flea markets. Plain or painted planked wooden tables, wrought metal chairs, benches, and farmhouse chairs with rush seats make good global basics. Tie-on cushions or loose covers give extra comfort.
For dining-room storage, choose a large wooden cupboard, armoire, or series of wooden wall cupboards to house linen, cutlery, glassware, and crockery. Strip old pieces of previous finishes and lightly stain or wash them with paint for a distressed look.
Table settings: Mix ethnic ceramics, metal platters, carved wooden bowls, and woven baskets for serving dishes and containers. Tableware should be chunky and colorful; spotted, striped, or plain earthenware in vibrant colors looks cheerful and unpretentious. You can cover the table with a patterned cloth or use individual place mats in rich or bright weaves. Many home stores stock a range of characterful dining accessories, from handmade wood ladles to hand-blown colored glass, that display the global theme.
Accessories: The definition of the global style relies on a few well-chosen accessories, rather than a mass of small curios and trinkets. Be bold and choose a few large decorative pieces, such as stoneware urns, embroidered wall hangings, and carvings to create points of interest. Too much clutter is claustrophobic and will detract from the center of attention, the table.
On the walls, display a collection of ethnic style prints, an oriental hanging, or rich appliqued embroidery. A mirror adds drama to the dining room, especially with a metal or mosaic frame.
Copyright 2009 Rhonda Morin, MyInteriorDecorator.com. May not be reprinted.