How to Decorate in Indonesian Style


A country compiled of over 17,000 islands in the Indian Ocean, Indonesia has a culture that is rich in traditions and history. Many of the decorative elements found in Indonesia have a colonial-style flair mixed with elements inspired by nature. Indonesian-style décor can add an exotic look to a home as it incorporates warm, neutral colors with splashes of color reminiscent of the country's flowers. Decorating in an Indonesian style is doable within any budget, which means that you can achieve an Indonesian look for your home with a bit of creativity.

  • Use floor coverings that are neutral in color, and have an organic look and a matte finish. Use materials that remind you of warm, Balinese sand, a traditional Indonesian home or stone walkways. Examples include a dark brown floor made of hardwood, bamboo or a laminate material. If you prefer lighter colors, consider hardwood, bamboo, tile or laminate flooring options in light brownish-gray colors. Accent the flooring with a woven rug to add an extra texture to the room.

  • Use a light, plain cream color on the walls so that they reflect natural light and make the space seem bigger. Instead of painting an accent wall, hang a carved-wood panel on it. An authentic Indonesian panel is ideal, but a substitute made in another country can work equally as well as long as the style is similar.

  • Place wooden furniture pieces in the room. Teak is a widely used material in Indonesia. However, bamboo and rattan are also commonly used in Indonesia, and are good alternatives if you are on a budget. Look for furniture that has clean lines in it if you want a simple decorative style. For a more ethnic theme, use furniture that incorporates the use of patterns carved or painted onto the wood. You can also add a wooden element to your windows with the installation of wooden blinds or shutters, or bamboo shades.

  • Use soft upholstery materials that bring a warm beach atmosphere to mind. Indonesian-style curtains include those made from light-colored linen fabric (such as might be used to create a bed's canopy) or dark-colored curtains with jewel-toned patterns. If you are feeling adventurous, use a vibrant fabric with a tropical or batik print on it.

  • Add finishing touches to the room. Accessorize the room with decorative elements such as wood relief pictures, woodcarvings or paintings depicting Indonesian landscapes. Add natural accents in the room in the form of tropical, indoor plants. Consider using banana plants, small palm trees, ornamental pineapples or birds of paradise.

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