Although it's April and we're officially into Spring, I'm not sure the weather has really caught up. I was kind of hoping for balmier days and longer spells of sunshine... This lack of warmth and the fact that I still need to wear a scarf when I leave the house, has turned my mind towards holidays. Are you already imaging yourself lying in the sand, enjoying some beach-themed drink in an overstuffed coconut shell? Good, so am I. Only one problem. It's April and we're in the UK... Summer holidays are about 3 months away. How will we cope with the wait? No need to despair yet as you don't even need to leave your sofa to inject a touch of holiday vibe into your surroundings.
All things exotic are making big waves in home stores. Think natural materials such as bamboo, rattan and cane. Imagine bold prints and bright colours. Look to inspiration from South America, India and the Orient. The result? Beautiful, unique home wares that will have you cancelling that far away trip in favour of a staycation in no time.
What kind of holiday will you choose?
1) Jungle Colour:
If you're an adventurous type who likes nothing more than the idea of trekking through the Amazon with a local tribe, hunting and foraging for food (perhaps with nothing more than a loin cloth to cover your modesty), then embrace a bit of jungle colour.
Don't be shy in choosing bold, bright colours. Red, yellow, orange, green, pink and blue - be inspired by nature's rainbow. Put together with the neutral coloured chairs and adding a vibrant backdrop will make your space sing. These chairs could even have been hand-whittled on a beach as the fisherman's rope sides are supported by a eucalyptus tree frame. They blend in perfectly with their outdoor setting, or could easily be brought inside to bring the outdoor closer. Big and beautifully green palm-tree style plants will transport you to the middle of the jungle.
2) Orient Express:
Perhaps you'd prefer to travel in a bit more style? Old colonial glamour where you can enjoy your Turkish coffee or Indian chai relaxing in the comfort of something soft, the whirr of the ceiling fan giving a gentle breeze from overhead. And as night falls, there'll be gin, whisky and the chance to wear your finest silks to the socialise with others and re-live the sights and sounds of the day. Kick-back, indulge yourself and take a ride on the Orient Express.
This look is achieved with a limited colour palette and dark woods. Highly polished surfaces and mirrored objects will help the room sparkle in the evening light. Black and white is always elegant and timeless, the curved, low seating accentuating the contrast. Be brave with your soft furnishings and a graphic print in the same colour scheme will tie the room together. Lighting is traditional but with a contemporary twist, note the glass bases of the table lamps and the chandelier style drops on the ceiling light. If you must go for colour, embrace dark blue or emerald green in sumptuous fabrics such as velvet. Glamour is the word.
3) Moroccan Magic:
But what if you want a bit more from your holiday, if you want to visit a place where you can soak up some of the culture? You'll want to walk through the souks, talk to the street vendors, taste the spices and smell the incence for yourself. It's time to experiece some Moroccan magic and immerse yourself wholeheartedly.
Choose rich, earthy colours such as deep red or yellow orche. Punctuate the intensity with a large wall hanging, like this big brass plate or a finely cut-out screen. Hang oriental lights in groups or go for one large light for maximum impact. Add a textured rug on the floor, picking out those deep shades. An unusual-shaped coffee table with circular shapes breaks up any hard edges and softens the look. Finish the room with cushions in patterned silks that shimmer.
4) Spa Paradise:
Or maybe you've been working hard in the office and what you really need is a holiday where you can relax and recharge. A spa on a desert island where massage, snorkling and yoga are all part of the package. There'll be rose petals in your bath and warm, secluded showers outside under the blue sky. Let yourself be pampered, heaven really is a place on earth.
To soothe those tired muscles and rejuvenate your mind, choose an all white bathroom suite and then add touches of grey marble or stone, such as these sink counter tops. Bring that colour into the rest of the room with a mosaic-edged mirror. Add more natural elements with slate coloured towels and plants. Marble floors will shine and are also a practical choice for easy cleaning. Soft lighting will make you want to linger longer, so you'll come away relaxed and refreshed.
What a great holiday! But why not bring some of that feeling back into your own homes? You'll then be able to wallow in it for much longer than 2 weeks a year...
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