Decorating your home with internationally inspired garments

Decorating with internationally inspired textiles can turn an empty space into a gorgeous, personalised dwelling that shows off your personal style and makes you feel like you are at home. Even if you only have a few pieces of simple furniture, accessorizing with textiles will transform your flat or your room from plain to spectacular.

Whether you are drawing inspiration from your world travels or you want to pay homage to your own culture, you can use garments such as Indian saris, Japanese kimonos, and African geles (head ties) to swathe your space in beauty, colour and texture both originally and affordably.

  • Kimonos – The traditional Japanese garment, kimono literally translates to “thing to wear,” and was historically worn by both men and women. In contemporary culture, the kimono is most often worn by women and is associated with formal occasions, geishas and the tea ceremony.

There are many ways to decorate your home with kimonos. You can hang a particularly lovely one on a wooden dowel to display it in its glory, or you can purchase bedding, blankets, cushions and table wear that are inspired by these exquisite silk garments.

  • Gele –This is a Yoruba word (from Southwestern and North Central Nigeria) for a woman’s head wrap, and is the inspiration for the mother/ daughter duo behind OT&O Home Interiors. They utilise the vibrant patterns and high quality fabrics of these traditional gele in order to create stunning wall hangings, carpets, cushions and home décor accents.

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Spreading just a few of these elaborately patterned cushions around your home will draw your room together and add a pop of colour to your day – perfect for the UK in the winter (and usually the summer, too!). The eclectic Erykah rug, shaped like a beautiful African woman’s face and head wrap, will be a statement piece that will provoke conversation and positive vibes for years to come. 

  • Saris – A sari is a traditional South Asian woman’s garment that consists of approximately 5-6 meters of fabric that is wrapped around the hips and shoulders and pinned in place. They are often characterized by their bright, sparkly fabrics, and can be embellished with glitter, fringe or jewels. Stepping into an Indian sari shop is a delightful experience; the eye- popping colours and silky textures will brighten anyone’s day.

You don’t need to be satisfied simply wearing your sari – you can decorate your home with these feather- light, vibrant textiles and transform your home from dull to fantastic - affordably and easily. You can use saris very similarly to the way that you can use fabric in general – they can be draped over chairs or sofas; sewn into cushion covers and pillowcases; used as bedspreads; and hung on the wall in lieu of framed art.

As you can see from these examples, using garments and textiles to decorate your home is affordable and beautiful. Have you tried any of these (or others)?