Wanderlust wonders: Fruity and exotic designs are a hit in our homes

As adventures overseas became all but a distant memory last year, many of us introduced lush palm prints, tropical fruit, handmade woven baskets and berber rugs to our homes. Wanderlust interiors.

And that trend shows no sign of abating — the latest exotic collections in High Street homeware stores are bursting with designs inspired by cultures from around the world.

This ‘global trend’, as it’s been coined, is a way for us to remember trips to beloved countries, or can act as inspiration for places we may hope to explore.

Totally tropical: Amara has a wide selection of palm tree-inspired pieces including the Les Ottomans candlestick, £270

Centuries ago it was a case of travellers bringing home their goodies on ships laden with treasures. Today, it’s possible to source pieces from makers around the world from your sofa.

‘The restrictions we saw during the pandemic prevented many of us from indulging our love of travel and consequently, we saw an increased appetite from customers for bringing countries and cultures into the home so they could continue to enjoy their love of far-flung places,’ said Rona Olds, head of product at Habitat, which has launched a new ‘global trend’ collection featuring cheetah print cushions and curtains, leaf bedding sets and mango wood serving bowls (from £8).

The turn of spring is the perfect time to play with the trend, as the sun begins to shine and we look to refresh our homes. 

There are no hard and fast rules. Don’t be afraid to mix cultures, countries and patterns, but if you do, make sure you keep your walls and larger furniture simple.

A slice of pineapple

Oliver Bonas's rattan storage basket is woven in the shape of a pineapple with a spiky lid (£75)

Oliver Bonas’s rattan storage basket is woven in the shape of a pineapple with a spiky lid (£75)

We seem to be going bananas for pineapples, with the tropical fruit appearing in the form of cocktail glasses, lampshades, jugs and crockery galore and printed on cushions and posters.

Oliver Bonas has a wide-range of pineapple-inspired pieces. Its yellow and green pineapple ceramic pitcher has a textile finish and will brighten up any table (£75).

If you’re wanting something more subtle, go for the rattan storage basket which is woven in the shape of a pineapple with a spiky lid; understated, but fun (pictured, £75).

Oranges and lemons were big news last year — as citrus shades and bright prints proved the perfect antidote to the doom and gloom of the pandemic. Lemon prints remain particularly popular.

Spicer and Wood have a beaded lemon patterned cushion handcrafted in India, perfect for an armchair which needs cheering up (£55).

For a cheaper option, go for Dunelm’s Lemon Tapestry cushion cover (£7). Wanting to brighten up your walls? Postery’s vintage Sorrento lemon tree print will transport you to sunny days in Italy (from £13).

Handcrafted appeal

‘Natural materials such as rattan, raffia and jute are a big trend story this season.’ says Rona Olds. 

‘We’re also seeing a demand for pieces made using handcrafted techniques such as punch-needle weaving techniques, ceramics featuring pad print patterns, handblown glassware, and wooden handcarved home accessories and furniture.’

H&M Home has a ‘straw, rattan and jute’ collection. Its seagrass candle holder would look charming on a rustic wooden table (£12.99), while the bamboo pendant would add texture to a scheme (£69.99).

H&M Home's Spring collection is full of travel-inspired straw, rattan and jute pieces

H&M Home’s Spring collection is full of travel-inspired straw, rattan and jute pieces 

Handwoven baskets, often used for storage or laundry, are proving particularly popular.

Toast’s Hogla storage basket comes in three sizes and is handwoven by Bangladeshi female artisans using seagrass (known as hogla, from £25).

Mad for palms

There seems to be a universal lust for lush jungly foliage which transports us to sunnier climes and happier days.

Amara has a wide selection of palm tree-inspired pieces, including a lime green ceramic candlestick in the shape of a palm tree (£157), pictured top), a mustard velvet cushion handstitched with a detailed palm tree print (£46) and turquoise palm tree bed linen set (from £64.50). 

Graham & Green has a set of two vintage-style palm tree prints displayed in fir wood frames (£89).

Hit the floor

Many cultures tell stories through pattern. The Otomi people of Mexico depict tales about their local region through colourful embroideries made up of the flora and fauna found in the Tenango de Doria area.

The Portuguese have told stories of their culture with decorative blue and white azulejo tiles for hundreds of years and Moroccans use the simple language of Berber patterns in their rugs. 

When looking to our floors, Morocco is a great source of colour and inspiration. Porcelain Superstore has a wide range of Moroccan tiles. 

The Tapestry Blue collection is a particular favourite (£30.60 per sqm).

Runners and rugs are a quick and easy way to add interest — and we can look to Morocco for those, too. Boucherouite rugs, woven in the Atlas Mountains, make excellent bath mats.

Online store Moussem, meanwhile, sells beautifully tasselled runners, cushions and pouffes crafted by the Berber communities of women artisans across Morocco (from £25.

Savings of the week! Outdoor rugs 

The seemingly unstoppable rise of the outdoor rug is easily explained. This item can turn a dull balcony or a terrace into an elegant space.

Its weather-proof qualities make it immune to spills, which means that it is useful inside the home, too. So why not snap up an outdoor rug bargain?

The reductions on Wayfair’s pink and beige Moroccan-style Conte Balcony rug range are 43 per cent or 44 per cent, depending on size. 

Wayfair’s pink and beige Moroccan-style Conte Balcony rugs are reduced by 43% or 44% , depending on size

Wayfair’s pink and beige Moroccan-style Conte Balcony rugs are reduced by 43% or 44% , depending on size

Prices start at £14.99. Wayfair’s range also includes the Manfredi blue and white pattern rug. 

The 160cm x 230cm size is down by 78 per cent from £206.55 to £44.99.

Quatrefoil, a symmetrical shape made up of four overlapping circles, looks like a modern pattern, but dates back to medieval times. 

A beige and white quatrefoil rug from Beliani is £179.99 for the 160cmx230cm size, down by 21 per cent from £229.

Here’s to al fresco entertaining this summer.

Anne Ashworth

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