Design Trends: Ethnic Inspired Interiors

We delve behind the growing trend for ethnically inspired furnishings.

The trend for ethnically inspired interiors has its roots in the market’s growing demand for handcrafted products with impeccable provenance. Today the story is as important as the piece itself with the source,  technique and design of equal importance.

 Over the past few years, designers that incorporate the traditional methods into their collections via master craftsmen have seen their profile raised considerably. The media have also taken note with Wallpaper magazine’s recent Handmade 2015 campaign attesting to this trend. Collating the ‘world’s finest creative minds and manufacturing talents’ for their annual celebration of craftsmanship.

We’ve put together our shortlist of favourite designers and companies that are embracing this philosophy:


Barlas Baylar founded the Hudson Furniture Gallery 10 years ago in New York’s Meatpacking District. His concept design showroom features a variety of furniture and lighting designs, all hand-crafted by a specialist in-house team of artisans.

The designer’s approach is similar to that of a sculptor or artist. His early work with lighting, featuring dramatic nickel and bronze chandeliers to the more rough lux timber and lacquer, represent his exploration into the meeting of masculine and feminine forms. Drawing inspiration from the art deco era, Balar studiously researches the modern classics, working them into his unique approach. His influences are clear to see and include Brancusi, Noguchi, Jean Michel Frank and Ruhlman.

From an early age Balar was exposed to European artistic traditions as well as Eastern design concepts. Utilising this international upbringing with his unique approach, Balar has created a rapidly expanding brand with an enviable reputation. Today the company boasts showrooms worldwide along with collaborations with some of the world’s leading designers, including Alexander McQueen, The World of Interiors and Tom Ford, 2014 Oscars, among others.



112 W 20th St 2nd Floor New York, NY 10011



De le Cuona is a UK based purveyor of fabrics and home accessories. Founded in 1992 by Bernie de La Couna the company is renowned for their signature raw linens, contemporary paisleys, cashmeres and elegant velvets.

Now with twenty years in the industry, Bernie has acquired a envious reputation for developing exquisite fabric collections, harnessing the colour and beauty produced by the best International master weavers. Working only with the finest artisans and mills, de Le Cuona explores old and new finishing techniques that bring her designs to life. The often diverse methods range from stonewashing, embossing linen with antique rollers to weaving paisley via original looms. It is the iconic ‘weight’, ‘handle’ and ‘fall’ of the fabric that truly set de Le Cuona apart from the crowd.

De le Cuona use these artisan techniques to underpin each fabric introduced into the collection, including their latest African inspired range Rugged Elegance. This collection comprises eleven new fabrics in over 50 colour ways and presented in a variety of raw linen, wool, velvet and metallic threads. The ethnic inspired patterns are brought to life through a contemporary twist on traditional African designs, while more traditional paisleys provide a subtle elegance to the collection.


Head Office

Mistress Page’s House, 13a High Street

Windsor, SL4 1LD, United Kingdom

+44 1753 830 301 /


Native & Co is an independent homeware shop based in Notting Hill London, offering tableware, textiles, kitchenware and accessories. 

Set up in 2014, the official launch of the business was at Design Junction during London Design Festival. Jointly owned by Taiwan born Sharon Jo-Yun Hung and British-Japanese Chris Yoshiro Green, the two met whilst studying foundation degrees at the Chelsea College of Art. Sharon explains “ By chance, we continued together at Central Saint Martins for Product Design. During our studies we both had the feeling that we wanted to be part of a creative start up but we just never realised that we would end up forming that start up together.”

The boutique specialise in high quality, crafted home products sourced from small suppliers and local craftsmen in Japan and Taiwan. Both Sharon and Chris felt that Japanese craft products were either hard to source or restricted to intimidating specialist shops. Taiwanese products were “also either poorly  represented or not at all.” Sensing the opportunity to combine the two under a singular aesthetic has become one of their core values.


Native & Co

116 Kensington Park Rd,

London, W11 2PW


The Banda Journal