By Erik J. Martin, CTW Features
It’s been said that we are a product of our environment. That axiom can also be true of home interiors, which can creatively reflect the flavors, aesthetics, and sociocultural traits of your surrounding community or distinctive geographical locale.
So when it’s time for a room upgrade or whole-home facelift, look to your local area for design and decor inspirations.
“People often live in locations that are in one way or another a representation of who they are, even if it’s small. For instance, city people live in cities, and country people live where horses are at arm’s length,” says Alexis Peters, an interior designer with Home Styling by Alexis in Nashville. “I believe it’s beneficial to continue carrying out the particular style to which you are drawn because when you love where you live, it can make you feel thrilled every time you walk in your front door.”
You can increase that thrill by implementing visual elements that replicate common, popular, and beloved characteristics nearby.
“For example, if you live near picturesque rolling grassy hills, why not bring that feeling inside by painting your walls similar colors, or incorporating natural materials like granite and wood into furniture, walls, or fixtures that reflect the surrounding landscape? By allowing yourself to look around for aesthetic inspiration from your local environment, you can truly make your home feel invitingly beautiful without ever having to leave the comfort of your neighborhood,” suggests Martin Orefice, CEO of Rent To Own Labs.
Nadine Vogel, an interior designer with Sweetgrass Living, LLC, is a big fan of this approach.
“Let’s say you live on the ocean and find the colors and scents of the water relaxing. You can use coastal colors for your cabinetry, furnishings, and fabrics that will not only blend your interiors with the exterior but will contribute to your mental health,” she recommends.
“You could choose to keep your flooring light in color via white oak, which wears well near saltwater and where sand might be regularly tracked into your home. Perhaps you want to remodel your home and remove walls for more open, interconnected spaces, or add a special entrance that includes a shower for when you come in from the beach.”
Artem Kropovinsky, the founder of Arsight, an interior design studio based in New York City, suggests several ways to draw influences from your surroundings.
“Look to your local architecture for inspiration. The style of your surrounding buildings can inform your own interior design choices. Also, use natural materials from your local area, such as driftwood if you live near a beach,” he says. “Take into account your climate and incorporate elements that will enhance it, such as light and airy fabrics for hot climates or heavy textiles for colder climates. Consider the cultural influences in your area, too, by incorporating traditional patterns, textiles, or artwork that reflect the local culture. And if you live near a scenic space or park and have a great view, consider installing large windows and a balcony.”
Peters admires how one of her clients applied creative decor to her rural property.
“She drives down a peaceful, winding road for 10 minutes passing horses and cows grazing the meadows on the way to her ranch. So she picked a black and brown color palette and mounted horns above her kitchen sink. There’s cowhide in her bedroom and black leather accent pillows tossed all over. Her several cowboy hats are used as décor, as well,” Peters explains. “This home represents a major goal for me as a designer. Your home should reflect who you are and what you love.”
Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy in Chicago, explains that blending local flavors into your interior design is a fantastic way to bring vibrancy, color, and personality to a space.
“Achieving this can be easily done by using items like area rugs, architectural fixtures, furniture pieces, or artwork. You can also add more meaningful mementos and souvenirs from key life moments in the area,” says Kazimierski.