Trend? Layers of White Global Patterns

There’s a question mark in the title because I think this will become a trend in the U.S., but I don’t think it’s a trend yet. It’s a trend when it rampages across the country into living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms everywhere. I think right now it is stepping onto the shores, testing the waters, seeing if it will be accepted.

What is it?

layers of global patterns in whites

  • Whites in different shades, lighter, darker, clean, dusty, all mixed together
  • Patterns inspired by India, Bali, Morocco, Spain and beyond, all mixed together

It looks like this from Restoration Hardware:

Restoration Hardware Layers of White Patterns

The origins of this look are shown in this image that I shared back in 2013, from Maisons du Monde:

Layers of White Patterns

I shared this image in a post called Scandinavian White Interiors with an Indian Twist. And this white layered patterns “potential trend” is exactly that — a mix of  global style with Indian, Moroccan, Indonesian, Lamu style and more all in the same room.

The look is created with:

  • Carved white-washed wood
  • Round turned wood shapes
  • Embroidered and printed patterned textiles
  • Pierced metal lanterns
  • Woven patterns in lampshades, baskets, sisal rugs

For the tension that makes things interesting, mix elegant swirls and florals with thick rustic chunky shapes. White colors tie it all together.

Someone said to me that if you want to know what’s coming soon to the U.S., look at what’s popular in Australia. My Instagram has been full of white layered patterns from many Australian companies, especially in the Byron Bay area which is on the west coast of Australia, between Brisbane and Syndey.

Here’s a few Instagrammers to watch if you want to get schooled on this style …

Bisque Traders imports to Australia from around the world and while they’re introducing more color lately, the roots of their aesthetic is in rustic whites:

Bisque Traders

Bisque Traders White Aesthetic

Bisque Traders has a website where you can find a full range of products that fit their light, white “with a touch of tribal” aesthetic.

Alabaster Trader has the look, especially with their carved and mirrored white-washed wood consoles and damchiyas from India which you can order online at their shop:

Alabaster Trader

Alabaster Trader White Patterns

The Ha’veli of Byron Bay is where you can see the look in action, warmed up with some darker browns:

Ha'veli of Byron Bay

They also have an online shop where you can get the look.

While the Grove at Byron Bay Instagram account is no longer active, it has an archive of photos that show this layered white pattern look, blended with boho macrame and woven reeds:

The Grove at Byron Bay

As shown here at The Grove in Byron Bay, you don’t have to have everything in every room be patterned. Here the background is white, the pots are white, even the rocks in the pots are white, and the glorious enormous mirror brings the patterns:

The Grove at Byron Bay

Seeing these images over the last few years definitely influenced my thinking for our apartment in Chennai, India. As I’ve written about here previously, I’m keeping the apartment mostly white-walled so it’s bright, calm and soothing. But what is India without the searing bright pinks, oranges and blues? I bought pillows and fabrics with those iconic Indian colors. But they didn’t feel like they delivered the soothing feeling that I want. I think those colors will wind up piled on a four-poster canopied daybed in the guest room. The rest of the place will look like this mock-up:

I already have all these pillows, rug and similar table. And here’s the patterned wall and lanterns in the entry area:

India pied-a-terre

We’re on our way to this look in our place in India. There’s a long way to go, though! Here’s my moodboard that guides this entry area as I add new things to it:



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2 Responses to Trend? Layers of White Global Patterns

  1. Gee, I’m loving it all! I adore hot pinks with oranges but for my interiors (that can’t be changed on a whim), I tend to go medium neutrals (taupes) then bring color in with cushions, vases, bowls, throws and I find a blush pink is pretty with taupe or aqua, of course, but I’m seeing it used too often. I have some medium/darker browns and find I like an icy “steel” blue or a dulled/dirtied lavender color as well.

    As for the whites, I am drooling over it all! Why? Because this other part of me likes white antiqued beat-up, distressed furniture BUT yet I don’t always want the shabby-chic look. To see these Indian (?) wooden pieces painted white paired with other whites, creams, exotic furniture makes my heart beat faster because I’m seeing the best of both worlds … the exotic interesting different furniture from the Middle East, for example, along with whites and creams that don’t scream “farmhouse style”. Don’t misunderstand, I like Farmhouse style but again, I’m seeing it everywhere! (I love your blog and taste … I swear we are related!)

    At present, I have some Oriental pieces – a wall hung coromandel screen and black lacquered Chinese chests that serve as side tables but now I want all that white furniture you are showing with the chunky rustic brown pieces.

    • I am glad this inspires you, Elaine! You are right, I think you can get the best of both worlds — color and whites — by using inexpensive things like pillows, vases, etc. to add color. Then change them when you want a different color.

      I also love all these white carved woods. Though I am pretty much done with bigger decorating purchases – we have all the furniture we need – so I don’t want to buy new things because I’d rather retire early! Time to hang on to all the pennies. I am thinking of getting some bookcases, adding raised patterns on them with stencils, then painting. That’s a way to get patterned white “carved” wood!

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