Home Decor from Around the World

From figurines to cozy comfort items, find beauty in all kinds of homes.

a Feng Shui home designer arranges a bowl on a table

We often hear that "home is where the heart is"—so it's no wonder that the way we design our living spaces has held meaning across time, space, and cultures. In this listicle roundup, we've chosen to highlight just a few home design philosophies and elements that reflect the diverse cultural values and traditions of people from across the world.


1. Feng Shui

A Feng Shui garden
Wikimedia Commons

This ancient Chinese philosophy focuses on designs that maximize good energy (qi), which is considered in many traditional home and building designs. The placement of stairs, doors, and beds can all help maximize this energy. It's also common to see purposefully placed decor that reflects the 5 earth elements, like waterfalls, pottery, mirrors, and plants.


2. Riad

a Riad courtyard/garden
Pexels

This ancient Moroccan home design is defined by private open-air courtyards and gardens. Riads are traditionally decorated with white walls that contrast with exquisitely detailed tilework. Most of these spaces will feature inward-facing windows, a fountain or pool, and plenty of bright greenery for decor.


3. Shibusa

Shibui interior of a house in Kyoto
Wikimedia Commons

This traditional Japanese design philosophy revolves around the beauty of natural simplicity. These homesare minimalistically decorated and create a feeling of peace with their clean lines, neutral tones, and uncluttered appearance. The few decor items are often meaningful and made with natural materials, such as wood or stone.


4. Vastu Shastra

an Indian elephant figurine
Yury Karamanenko / Getty Images

This ancient Indian design philosophy blends Buddhist and Hindu principles with architectural science to promote positive energy. Homemakers consider the four directions (north, east, south, west) when deciding where to place everything from windows to home decor elements, like paintings, elephant figurines, and aquariums.


5. Hygge

A wooden tray with tea and cinnamon sticks on top of cozy blankets
Mizina / Getty Images

This Danish cultural concept revolves around creating a feeling of coziness and well-being within the home. In cold climates, Hygge can be achieved with calming, neutral-toned decor items like lights, candles, warm textured blankets, and natural elements, like wool and wood. When possible, Hygge design might be centered around a well-placed fire.

 

What kind of home design do you associate with your own roots? Are there certain elements that still evoke a feeling of peace or nostalgia for you?