When we met in Tahoe recently, for some reason my long-term friend Alexia and I came to discuss our respective interior design styles. No doubt, we tend to dress up our homes in totally different ways. I like everything modern, no clutter, tubular steel furniture, a fairly restraint color scheme and bare white walls. Alexia’s style meanwhile is thoroughly Peruvian! “Peruvian?”, I wondered, what exactly is that? When I saw a few pictures of her beautiful home, it rather struck me as “new Bohemian“: lots of plants, paintings, many personal items neatly arranged on tables and shelves, bright colors, ‘old’ and ‘new’ skilfully combined, no fear of patterns and textures …. (see also our review on Justina Blackeney’s great book). However, my friend did not seem to entirely agree with that “analysis”. To clarify the issue, I thus asked her a few days ago to explain to me what Peruvian style really means to her. Here is what she wrote …
I was recently asked to describe what “Peruvian style” means to me. It is very simple… having a lot of things in a house that I would have in Peru, got in Peru, or could be Peruvian. For example, there would be a display of many elaborate silver frames with many family pictures in a central focal point of any living room.
Then you would have comfortable furniture that invites you to sit in, and all the “typical” Peruvian things that you would find in many homes.
Beautiful tapestries, colorful embroidered pillows, runners or rugs. Religious objects.
Walls will probably tend to be white or light colored with plenty of wooden furniture. Then there would be many coffee table books and beautiful art by Peruvian artists.
Peruvians are not afraid of color… especially reds and sand colors, which against white walls and wooden furniture looks great.
A Peruvian house is not complete without brick and iron gates – which is the Spanish influence.You also find hats in the entryway, and why not – perhaps the casual wrap or poncho for the cooler winter days. Always casual elegance.
Anyway… I guess you have to be Peruvian to walk into a house and be able to recognize a “typical Peruvian decor” and say “feels just like home in Peru”…. 🙂
There you go … So in essence this means, yes, there is something Bohemian about the Peruvian style, but that is by far not all. If one looks more closely, one can clearly detect Spanish-Colonial influences (e.g. the dark wood, the tiles, .. ) and much, much more … how much more, probably only a Peruvian can tell!
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