I was feeling inspired by Tony Duquette's over-the-top exotic rooms and decided to try to conjure one of my own. I'm feeling the need for a lot of color, texture and pattern with a few more modern pieces to keep it playful.
I've long had a fascination with cork wallpaper. Not the thick chunks that used to line walls in the 70's, but thin paper-like sheets with interesting colors peeking through the crevices - or, better yet, a metallic bronze twinkling just enough to keep it from feeling too rustic.
from designyourwall.com, $24/yard
But I am also in love with all things Gracie - this hand-painted wallpaper is decadently beautiful (and expensive), and I might have to sideline the cork dreams for this. An entire room wrapped in this orange would feel just magical.
Gracie wallpaper SY-233, $1,275/panel
This carpet is totally '80s Dynasty and borderline ugly, but I think the bold emerald is fabulous (especially against a dark wood herringbone floor...sigh) and it is such a good quality piece that it will fall into the kitschy-cool category rather than the kitschy-crappy one. Plus, it just makes me smile.
Climbing Leopard, Diane Von Furstenburg, The Rug Company
By all rights this belongs in a bedroom, but I love the idea of using this marble-topped masterpiece as a bar during a party or a station for hour d'oeuvres.
Syrian chest of drawers, $6,500, 1st Dibs
The mix of classic Louis XVI and bold zebra stripe have great tension. It feels wild, but stuffy/proper at the same time.
Sophie lounge chair, $2,750 Oly Studio from Tonic Home
A kilim is a must in any 'exotic' room, but it gets new life when repurposed on a sofa. Though I'm not sure how comfy this would be with all of the scratchy fibers...just another excuse to buy lots of soft and cuddly throw blankets!
Kilim sofa, George Smith
Stuffed with pillows draped with fabric, this wedding bed becomes like a hidden cocoon, a room within a room. I always wanted one of these for my bed when I was a little kid in Singapore and now I feel like it would still be the coolest addition to my grown-up living room.
Chinese wedding bed, Black Zebra
This table is intricately carved and totally unique - the little drawers open all the way around and are the perfect totally decadent place to hide keys, sunglasses, you name it.
Camel bone console table, 1st Dibs
I would pair these two tray tables side by side as an oddly paired coffee table or flanking the sofa as playfully mis-matched, but stylistically similar pieces. The python piece seems to define 'exotic' and would be great as extra seating and the vibrant lacquer adds a nice modern punch to the room.
Faux python bench, $475, Two's Company from Tonic Home
Antelope tray and luggage bench, Dransfield and Ross
Moroccan poufs are a must and this lovely turquoise hue adds more great color to the room. Maybe a cluster of three would be pretty - turquoise, metallic gold and a pink shade? Amazing.
Moroccan pouf, about $140, Kazzbar
I saw a mirror just like this in one of the Ralph Lauren stores and wanted it immediately. I will admit the bit of zebra mane at the top is a bit macabre, but it's mitigated by the clean lines and seemingly mitered corners.
Zebra mirror, $1,850, Jayson Home and Garden
A wall of odd and interesting prints lends a certain museum-like quality to the room. Plus, who doesn't like to check out pictures of Narwhals?
Prints, from $145, Panteek
I'll add these to the mix just because I love the color and because they feel like a new adaptation of the ubiquitous, but still cool, foo dogs.
Pair of 1940's ceramic cats, $1,200, 1st Dibs
Ikat is madly trendy right now (actually, it may be waning...), but I think used well, this fabric is a luxurious staple that never goes out of style. I would layer these on the Kilim sofa (I think the crazy patterns would actually be really cool together) and carry them over to the zebra chair as well.
Ikat pillows, $56, Pillow Pagoda
Hand-painted and beautiful, this cushion feels regal but is toned down by the simple canvas fabric.
Painted elephant pillow, $218, Anthropologie
This mammoth lantern would only work if I had a towering ceiling (it's around five feet tall!), but imagine the statement this would make hanging in the center of the room. Or positioned in a corner like an unexpected floor lamp.
XXL Rustic lantern, $1,400, Just Morocco