Friday, October 16, 2015

British Colonial styling

I've long been fascinated with colonial architecture and design.  Louvres, ceiling fans, campaign furniture, palms, rattan, and even perhaps a bit of netting - all combine to set a mood of slow, languid, hot, lazy days.  I could imagine myself dressed in a long flowing white cotton dress, with elegant leather sandals on my feet and perhaps a pith helmet at the ready for tackling the outdoors.  In these moments, I am sitting on a large wicker chair on a wide, shady verandah, with a gin and tonic (make that a pitcher) on the table beside me.

I've just stepped off the verandah for a stroll in the gardens.

Since the early 17th century the British empire expanded to all corners of the globe, including Australia.  As a schoolgirl I remember the old canvas map, occasionally pulled down in front of the classroom blackboard, being liberally dotted in pink to denote the British empire.  The British colonised large parts of Africa, India, Asia, and the Americas. At its height, the British empire ruled over a quarter of the world's land and peoples.  Not so today.  However, the British colonial architect still resonates today, along with French and Spanish influences.

I'm particularly partial to a bit of African and Asian British and French colonial myself.
But going with the British African colonial, doesn't a bit of faux zebra work well?  I'm not into animal heads, particular not the real ones.  Indeed, I abhor game hunting.  Such a disgraceful act.
However, as for the zebra pattern in soft furnishings, that can work very well as a design element.

My own touch of zebra inspired colonial in the bedroom

While living in Brisbane we picked up this zebra patterned chair and footstool.  Just the thing for the bedroom, I thought.

But the chair was looking lonely and needed something to tie it into the rest of the room.  How about matching cushions and a throw for the bed, I mused. But where do I get zebra cushions and a throw in a matching tan fabric?  Well, what did we do without the internet? I did visit a few of my favourite homeware shops but had no luck.  So, I went online and found a company called Unique Home Decor based in the Gold Coast - they had exactly what I was looking for.  And even better, they source their cushions and throws from local craftsmen and women in Africa, helping to sustain local communities.

But I'm now feeling the walls need a bit of zing and while I have never been a wallpaper person I'm starting to think perhaps a feature wall could benefit from some wallpaper?

I quite like the indo-chine look, but would it go with the African zebra theme?

Or perhaps the tropical palm feel?

What do you think?   The bedroom looks just looks a little bare don't you think?

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