Holidays In Your Home

For many of us, there’s nothing better than the sights and pleasures of a holiday abroad. Yet with a large proportion of British people unable to take foreign holidays this year, we are missing the opportunity to explore new exotic locations or revisit old favourites. Here, Andy Briggs, resident interior designer and head creative for Optiplan Kitchens, offers inspiration on how to extract the colours and textures that the nation’s favourite overseas destinations are well-renowned for, and then refashion them within your own home.

When we think of the some of the UK’s favourite places to holiday abroad, we evoke a wealth of sensory associations – sometimes whether we’ve personally visited them or not. For the South of France, it might be the scent and hues of lavender and the dazzling views of turquoise seas and fields of golden sunflowers; whereas for Greece, the blue and white of its flag echoes the whitewashed buildings and crashing surf contrasting with the striking backdrop of a vivid blue ocean and sky.

We stereotypically associate certain colours and textures with the countries of the world, but in my opinion it can be an outdated approach to simply replicate these within the world of interiors. For me, the fun derives from taking a modern twist on these features so you can emulate your favourite holiday destinations within your own home in a more contemporary way.

Here’s just three destinations you can have great fun with:

The Mediterranean
The bold hues of the Med offer a rich palette to work with. Earthy terracotta tones combined with mustard yellow and a pop of blue can provide a gorgeous canvas for soft furnishings and accessories such as cushions, rugs, vases and table lamps. Take the classic marble flooring and use marble-effect finishes for the likes of kitchen worktops and chopping boards. With marble continuing as a popular trend, you can source practically anything for the home with this natural stone effect, including dinner sets, soap dispensers and kettles. Interweave all this with one central traditional centrepiece. Within the context of the kitchen, this could be a rustic yet solid wooden family dining table.

Multiple tones of pinks and greens, alongside oranges and blues, are found within Moroccan decorative art. The classic centrepiece here could be a hand-woven Moroccan rug, made using the natural dyes from indigenous flowers, berries and henna. Different shades of pink can then course throughout selected furniture and paintwork. Pearlescent finishes on side table tops and trinket boxes are a popular souvenir from local markets – however a pearlescent wallcovering on a feature wall or kitchen splashback would be a great way to make more of this beautiful effect and would help to brighten any room.

The Caribbean
The colours of colonial Caribbean décor blend dark with light, creating a flawless and defining palette to work from. Think polished dark wood panel flooring in contrast with matt white cladded walls. Put a spin on this with a contemporary deep-toned wooden kitchen table, leaving the lighter elements (whether whites, vibrant greens or yellows) to present themselves through features such as table linen and accessories. With the botanical trend set to continue, there is no shortage of ways to inject a little tropical styling into your home, perhaps via a selection of wall art or fabrics for window dressing.

Regardless of which exotic location you’d like to echo within your own four walls, use a mood board to capture all the colours and textures you typically love about that place. Then give yourself some creative thinking space to work out how you can put that modern twist on each delightful feature. If you can use your own holiday snaps within your mood board, even better! This will make your finished scheme more personal as you’ll be taking design inspiration directly from your own happy memories.

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