Design Ideas from Around the World

As we wrap up Escapes month, we thought we'd take a short virtual trip around the globe, in search of good ideas for our own homes. Looking at homes in other countries always helps to expand your horizons. Even if you haven't traveled to Japan or India, you can take away tips from those who have...

  • Kyoto, Japan: In a Japanese townhouse, dark walls are offset by white paneled storage and low, white beds placed in the center of the room. Resting on top of floor mats, the beds look inviting with stacks of pillows and layers of crisp white sheets.
  • Santorini, Greece: Curtains draped across the bed act as a space divider without blocking out the light. Wood furnishings appear simple and clean-lined against white walls.
  • Rajasthan, India: High-quality materials like leather and dark stained wood lend tent furniture a sense of luxury.
  • Barcelona, Spain: Patterned tile floors are the focal point of a Barcelona apartment. To make the floors really stand out, the owners used white furnishings and bedding.
  • Dublin, Ireland: The simplicity of the hallway draws your eye to details like the vase and Oriental rug.
  • Hong Kong: This home’s entrance provides plenty of space for people to remove their shoes, coats, and umbrellas. It’s an organized system where everything has a place.
  • Holbaek, Denmark: Light-colored floors and large windows set the mood for an open-plan home. Furnishings are kept simple and utilitarian, and there’s plenty of “breathing space” between functional areas.
  • Paris, France: In an attic apartment, round white chairs play off the angularity of the ceilings. Paintings leaned casually against the wall make the room feel like an artist’s studio.
  • Pienza, Italy: The dining room is all about sensory overload: patterned floors complement walls lined with wine bottles. Simple white tablecloths surrounded by basic wooden chairs give your eye a place to rest.
  • Johannesburg, South Africa: You can tell that the owners of this home love to dine outside. Rather than using basic outdoor furniture, they’ve set up their covered patio with a substantial wood dining table and plenty of chairs for guests.

(Photos: Aaron Able, Heather Blaha, Aman-i-Khás, Habitat Apartments, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Liz, Jill Slater, Kristin Hohenadel, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Liezel Strauss)