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How to Decorate Ethnic


NEW YORK, NY - With all that is happening in the world today - the threat of war, falling stock prices, a recession (in spite of what economists say) - more and more of us are nesting. That is, we are spending more time at home.

While it is hard to control what happens in the outside world, home is where you decide the who, what, where, when and why. Ethnic decor is filled with endless options to spice up your living space. However, you may wonder, what is ethnic decor.

"Ethnic decor is more a feeling than a science," says Marcelo Velez of the interior design firm Velez Hayes in New York City. "When you say modern, country, French, et cetera, an instant picture comes to mind. Ethnic decor is different. Many cannot define it, but know it when they see it."

This open-ended approach is what makes ethnic decorating fun. It's eclectic, inclusive, colorful and most of all, unique. It allows you to fill in blanks for yourself, using an internal palette to satisfy decorating needs.

Here are five handy ideas to get you started:

Pick a room to start: Thinking in terms of one room narrows your scope so the project doesn't seem overwhelming, while also limiting cost as you feel your way into the project.

Decide which ethnicity(ies) you will focus on: African style is different from Middle Eastern is different from American Indian, et cetera. However, don't be afraid to blend elements from several cultures. Again, that's the fun of ethnic decor - the possibilities are endless.

Start with an object as the focal point and decorate around it: This can be an ethnic painting, a sculpture, a piece of furniture, et cetera. The bigger the better. Be careful, though, not to overwhelm your space.

Choose a color scheme: Ethnic decor is very festive, so think outside the box in terms of colors, patterns, surfaces. Soon, you will find yourself drawn to a few colors that work well together.

Listen to your likes and dislikes; your instincts: Many times, an object or color will "speak" to you. And, if everyone insists that this painting doesn't go with that rug, but you like it, go with it. The final product should make you the happiest.

Now, relax and enjoy!

About The Author

Yuwanda & Cassandra Black are co-owners of Ethnic Home Decor offers soft home furnishings with ethnic themes at affordable prices. For more information or to schedule an interview, send email to

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