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Guest Picks: 20 Full-of-Character Furnishings With Global Flair
Layer furniture, accessories and textiles with a worldly appeal to tell your own one-of-a-kind story
The most enjoyable aspect of designing a room is layering in the owner's personal treasures and mementos. Homes that tell a story about the people who live there, their travels, experiences and interests are always a joy to be in. It's these kinds of items that give the space its character. But not everyone has the luxury of traveling the globe and picking up interesting artifacts. Luckily, it's easier than ever to find full-of-character, well-made furnishings with that one-of-a-kind appeal. From hand-painted textiles to woven baskets to raw-edged wood furnishings, you can create a warm and inviting space that seems to tell a million stories. I've gathered up some examples that are inspiring me right now. — Lucy from Four Walls and a Roof
Paulina Reyes Silk Bird Pillow Cover, Yellow - $39
West Elm has done an excellent job of partnering with artisans to create unique collections with hand-crafted appeal. I love these silk pillows, which remind me of traditional Otomi textiles.
'Ezra' Sea Grass Coffee Table - $849
Horchow's newest collection is appealing both for its price point and its eclectic range of globally inspired pieces. This bench with a woven seat and daintily turned wood legs would lend real character to a living room.
Rattan Baskets - $78
Woven baskets in various shapes and sizes always soften a room. These would be great for gathering toys, firewood or rolled-up blankets.
Arteriors Home Phillip Wood Desk - $2,520
If this little console could speak, you can bet it would be sweet, charming and the center of attention. It would bring a delightful dash of character to a hallway or bedroom.
Reclaimed Candlesticks - $59
These vintage, turned wood candleholders look like they have illuminated many evenings over the years. Consider forming a collection of similar vintage items. The repetition has more impact than the occasional one-off piece, and the effect on a space can be transformative.
Ananda Serving Table - $449
Add soul to an entryway with a standout piece of furniture like this Asian console table. It will make the space feel grounded and welcoming.
Convertible Wood Cube - $298
There's nothing quite like a solid piece of wood to bring integrity and texture to a room. These cubes look great in pairs. Just imagine them next to a plain white sofa in a sterile white living room — instant character!
Stunning Large Chinoiserie James Mont–Style Filigree Lamps by Gallivanting Girls
You can't look at these lamp bases without wondering what their story is. They look like they came from a church or a Mediterranean villa. But they'd be equally enchanting in a contemporary space.
Carved Wooden Column Table - $1,395
Architectural salvage is a great way to add interest and character to a room. This coffee table is an easy way to achieve the look.
Block Print Drawing 44 - $270
John Robshaw is known for his Indian-style hand-blocked prints. But he also sells artwork made from the cloths that covered the tables on which his prints were made. The cloths are marked with remnants of the printing process, and he then adds his own embellishments and doodles. The result is a series of unique textiles that can be framed to bring color and drama to your walls.
Dakota Mirror - $295
This mirror has a hand-carved appeal. I imagine it adding a real depth of character to a bathroom or entryway.
Bruges Chair - $879
There's something about wicker and cane chairs that spells adventure! Maybe it's the connotations of tropical climates and sun-baked porches. But adding a chair like this to a living room will instantly create a laid-back, global vibe.
Tibetan Rug with Circles - $497
A rug can set the tone for an entire space. If you want a room with character, a rug like this is a great place to start. It's not as pricey as the antique Persian kind, but it has the same faded elegance. I love the color and the geometric pattern — a true modern take on a traditional.
Woven Porcelain Tray - $75.50
Ceramics with a hand-crafted appeal will add character to your space. Choose items that are not completely perfect. This basketweave ceramic tray has the imperfections of a handwoven piece, but the surrealism (is it textile or ceramic?) is also strikingly modern.
Hand-Embroidered Otomi Fabric, Yellow by Yucu Ninu - $300
Real Otomi fabrics have become incredibly popular in recent years, and they have the ability to elevate a room to an entirely new level. The pattern, sheen and rich colors will ensure that it takes center stage in your space. If I wanted to add character to a vanilla room, I'd throw one of these over the back of the sofa, or use it as a bedspread.
Nater Berkus Safi Fabric, Maize - $29.99
As a cheaper alternative, I love this gold ikat from Calico Corners. It would add understated character to an ottoman, dining chair or pillows.
Souk Red Cushion - GBP 50
Hand-dyed fabrics have an integrity that you won't find in your average textile. I am a fan of these subtly colored, hand-dyed velvet pillows for dressing up any sofa.
French Wine Bottle Riddling Rack - $249
If I had the space, I'd love a large riddling rack to store wine. These are used in champagne cellars to store bottles at just the right angle. You can find vintage ones or reproduction pieces (like these) all over the web. It's a great way to add texture to a dining room and display your personal interests (if you are into wine).
Antique Late 1800s Wooden Letterpress Drawer by Hoof & Antler - $45
Finally, letterpress drawers are popping up all over the place, and for good reason. They have a wonderful authenticity and are often worn and well-used. They make great storage and display pieces. And they always look like they have a story to tell.
Next: 12 Ways Art and Books Can Tell Your Story
Next: 12 Ways Art and Books Can Tell Your Story