The end of the year is a perfect time to indulge in making future travel plans or simply fantasise about some far-flung destinations. So I would like to use this opportunity to talk about interior trends inspired by travel in the latest collection by Etro Home Interiors. Travel is one of the few spheres of life that appeal to our imagination and inspire dreams. No wonder that it’s always been a treasure trove of inspiration for the design world, both in fashion and interior decoration. Marrakesh, India, Uzbekistan, the Far East and Bali are all mainstays on the list of destinations that inform the visual imageries of today. Have you been to any of them? Would like to know how their culture and aesthetic influence interior decor? Or maybe you’re looking for ways to include the spirit of wanderlust into your own space? Either way, here’s a recap of my visit to the Etro Home Interiors stand during the last edition of Salone del Mobile in Milan. 

Etro Home Collection 2018 Woodstock sofa
The Woodstock sofa in red velvet Photo: dreamsanddesign

But first, let’s start with a little history. Etro is one of those brands that base their DNA on wanderlust and nomadic sensibility. This year, the Italian company celebrated its 50th anniversary with ‘Generation Paisley’, a special exhibition held at Mudec, Museum of Cultures in Milan. Paisley is a classic bohemian print in a shape of a teardrop, which entered the Etro vocabulary right in the beginning, when the company was founded by Gimno Etro back in 1968. The pattern originated in the ancient Persia, later became a part of Indian iconography and eventually made its way to Europe in the 18th and 19th century. ‘It symbolises the tree of life, the palm seed and fertility,’ said Veronica Etro, the brand’s creative director, who frequently reinvents the signature pattern in both men’s and women’s fashion collections. Vivid colours, a mix of ethnic patterns and luxury fabrics are by now recognised as indispensable ingredients of Etro’s boho chic aesthetic linked to the exploration of foreign cultures.

Etro Home Collection 2018 Janis cabinet
The Janis cabinet covered with the Paisley pattern Photo: dreamsanddesign

And how does this nomadic style translate into home interiors? This time again, Etro has painted a sophisticated travel dreamscape with a brush full of exotic references. Goa, Samarcanda, Jaipur, Agra and Delhi – the names of products alone spell wanderlust in capital letters. The collection, created in collaboration with Jumbo Group, channels the magnetic mysticism of India by drawing inspiration from fairytale palaces of Rajasthan, the majestic Taj Mahal and kaleidoscopic colours of local spices. Other cultural quotes include destinations along the Silk Route, most notably the ancient city of Samarkand.

Etro Home Collection 2018 the bedroom
Sophisticated bedroom decor with the Bombay bed, decorative screens and the Goa bedside table Photo: dreamsanddesign

This part of the world, enveloped in an aura of mystery, has already inspired some exquisite fashion editorials. One that immediately comes to my mind is an iconic photo of Lily Cole shot by Tim Walker on the scenic staircase of an abandoned palace. Obviously, this is an idyllic view, one that excludes the dark side of life in contemporary India, and instead focuses on fantasy, culture and aesthetics that have always attracted the West. It’s a similar kind admiration that I’ve found at Etro.  

Tim Walker Inspiration: an image by Tim Walker from a 2005 British Vogue

While visiting the stand, I was impressed by the striking colour palette that can be divided into three distinct styles. The first was about deep hues of red, a colour that in Indian culture symbolises fire, purity and fertility. The second, more light and nuanced, featured delicate silver and gold tones. Perfect for the bedroom and private zones of the house. The final style was about the Paisley in its psychedelic, 1970s-inspired version pointing to the creative freedom of that period. 

Etro Home Collection 2018 Paisley prints the McKenzie lamp
Psychedelic Paisley prints and the Mckenzie lamp Photo: dreamsanddesign

My favourite pieces included the Delhi chest of drawers with its ethereal, glass exterior packaging a front covered with Oriental patterns, the Goa bedside table composed of two matching ellipses and the Caral sofa with its linear lines, paisley upholstery and caned backrest. Refined fabrics such as jacquard, velvet and linen, marble table tops, soft cushions and ottomans created a feeling of comfort and luxury throughout the entire presentation. Curiosity and a dialogue of cultures remain at the heart of the Etro Home philosophy, so this collection will likely ignite the #passionpassport feeling, and who knows, maybe inspire a future trip to India. 

Keywords for the Etro Home Interiors collection:

  • Rich colours inspired by India
  • A contemporary spin on the Paisley
  • Gold tones and luxury fabrics
  • Tassels and fringes