8 Tips for avoiding a Sitting Room that looks like a Souk

Ever bought something on holiday which looks weird when you get it home? Wondering how to inject spice and variety without overwhelming the room? Read on...
Anita Lal's Delhi Home
ONE | Colour
More often that not, it's colour tones that make or break whether something works or not. Avoid anything too "ethnic". Harsh oranges, pinks and purples are often tricky to blend with everything else in the room - go for softer teals, crimsons, cinnamons and raspberries.
Examples of tricky and easier colours
TWO | Fabric Texture
Shiny, synthetic fabrics will give you a "souk-ey" look, like on the right-hand side below. Look for natural fibres, such as cotton and silk, as they have on the left below, which is much easier on the eye.
Avoid shiny synthetic fabrics
THREE | Neutral Base
Go for a neutral wall colour. Dark or light - it doesn’t really matter. The key is that you can then layer bright colours and patterns on top.
Go for a Neutral Base
FOUR | Natural Sofa
Go for a calm, neutral fabric on your sofa, and a natural textile such as linen, hessian or sisal. Natural colour and texture is the perfect foil to high-octane cushions.
Choose a natural fabric for your sofa
FIVE | Use a Trophy Fabric
Pick one amazing piece of fabric, and take the rest of your colours from there. Look at how the headboard fabric has been used here to dictate the colours for the rest of the room.
Use a trophy fabric
SIX | Wallpaper
You can have loads of fun here, particularly in small rooms or awkward spaces. Go for a really bold, foreign feeling wallpaper in the downstairs loo, for example, or at the back of walk-in wardrobes or recessed shelves.
Use a bold, foreign feeling wallpaper
SEVEN | Classic Furniture
Use classical furniture shapes to provide calm against the more dynamic touches. It doesn't have to be boring - use distressed leather, or hand-embroidered upholstery on a classic shape.
Use Classic Furniture
EIGHT | Knick-knacks
More is more! If you see something you love, buy it. You can't go overboard, I promise. Bows and arrows, horns, figurines, boxes, spears, giant wooden elephants, hats, shells, stones... If you don’t have a place for it, you’ll find one.
More is more when it comes to Knick-Knacks!

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