Global Style: Necklace Displays

In the Marrakech souks, I was drawn to these chunky beaded and silver necklaces — you can see big displays of these everywhere in the souks:

Beaded Necklaces in Marrakech Souks

Yeah, I know it’s hard to focus here, there’s so much to see. It got overwhelming because everywhere you turned, there were scenes like this. I was able to focus and find a few things to buy in this shop, which was my first experience with negotiating in the Marrakech souks. Even though I probably still paid way too much, this man was nice and made the experience fun! It was like bargaining anywhere else, especially in Thailand where they make it a fun game.

Marrakech Souk Shopkeeper

But I didn’t buy any necklaces. Why? I know I wouldn’t ever wear them. Often we see things on vacation that are great in that vacation setting, but when we get back home to our regular lives, these things just don’t fit. The colors don’t go in our house, the style doesn’t go with our everyday work clothes, etc. It’s like getting back to the reality of our lives, versus what we’d like our lives to be when we’re on vacation. Maybe I’d like to be a bohemian babe who wears piles of these necklaces with caftans and I drift barefoot along long sunlit hallways all day, caftan fabric flowing and chunky beads clanking.

That is a magazine shoot. Or an Instagram shoot, more likely nowadays! It is not me or my real life. More likely I’m in a beige office in a basic all-black outfit, responding to email, or reading and highlighting a scientific paper and writing lots of notes in the margins, before I run to the next meeting of the day.

So. Felt like a fantasy just came crashing down there.

So I did not buy chunky beaded necklaces in the Marrakesh souks. But one night there, while at Le Tanjia restaurant, I spotted something. Something on the wall:

Le Tanjia Framed Necklace

My apologies the photo is so bad, but Le Tanjia is lit entirely with pierced metal lanterns so the atmosphere is dark and shadowy, and I may have had several strong mojitos before snapping this!

But you get the idea. Necklaces can be works of art. So why not treat them like works of art? Why not frame them and hang them? You can use shadowboxes for thick beaded necklaces like this. Here’s a few more framed necklaces I found online — this framed look is especially good with tribal necklaces with big style and personalities. These are from Neiman Marcus (left) and Amalthee Creations (right):

Framed Necklaces from Neiman Marcus and Amalthee Creations

Choose simple frames and matting to let the necklace be the visual focus.

You can drape necklaces on a vintage dress form. Put a plain dress or tunic on the dress form so the spotlight is on the necklace. This necklace was sold by Etsy shop MorningDoveDesign:

Necklace on Vintage Dress Form from Etsy Shop MorningDoveDesign

It appears these necklaces have sold, but this Etsy shop has many other beaded necklaces.

You could go crazy-nutso and pile a whole bunch of necklaces on a small vintage-style dress form that’s sized to display necklaces on a dresser or tabletop:

Necklace Display on Tabletop Dress Form

You could also pile beaded necklaces in bowls. Here’s a pile of old beaded necklaces I spotted in a bowl at the Antique and Garden Fair at Chicago Botanical Gardens:

Beads Piled in a Bowl

For a neutral look, here are strung African beads piled in a rustic industrial bowl that I saw at Randolph Street Market in Chicago years ago:

African Beads in Rustic Industrial Bowl

If these were turquoise, amber or carnelian color beads, the color pop could be really interesting.

If you come back from a vacation with jewelry that you feel doesn’t fit into your regular everyday life, try framing it or piling it in a bowl. Or display it some other way. This way, whenever you look at the jewelry, you can get the vacation fantasy and feeling back in your life, if even for a moment!

I seem to make a Pinterest Board for everything, and I made a board to collect ideas for displaying necklaces. Check it out for more ideas:

Follow Nomadic Decorator’s board Necklace Displays on Pinterest.


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How to Mix Mid-Century with Global Style

Mid-Century Modern style — AKA, “MCM” — is hot right now, but I have to admit too many smooth simple surfaces leave me a little cool. Unless they’re mixed with dashes of patterns and textures from around the world. So when Chairish challenged me to do a Mid-Century Modern Mix, I could do that! I could mix MCM with things you’d never expect!

And here you go, a global mid-century look:

Chairish Mid-Century Modern Mix

Here’s a formula to get the global MCM look …



Mid-Century Modern from Chairish

To establish the mid-century style, first choose your big pieces from this style. Here we used a sleek velvet sofa, a chenille chair and a storage cabinet all from the Chairish collection of mid-century furniture. Then choose a few mid-century accents:

  • The floor-to-ceiling atomic tension pole lamp (hiding in the plant!) is the coolest thing that reminds me of my 70s childhood — my parents had a pole lamp in our family room and I have it now, lighting up a walk-in closet.
  • The wall art — a painting and two blingy starbursts — are mid-century. The painting shows people, which helps tie in with the idea of global pieces from people and cultures around the world.
  • There’s a little brass pineapple on the cocktail table which is mid-century but I’ve also seen brass pineapples from India too, so it serves dual style purpose.



Global Accents from Chairish

Once your mid-century look is set, look for accents from around the world to add textures and patterns. Here, I accomplished that with:

Indian Chest from Chairish

A great trick to add a well-traveled touch to a room is to use a chest from another culture — or a vintage or antique chest — as a cocktail table or side table. Here, the Indian chest used as a cocktail table adds that touch. Because the furniture is so colorful, I chose an Indian chest in a neutral color, like the storage cabinet, so your eyes don’t go too crazy from too much color. The neutral touches add places for eyes to rest.

Check: Do you have texture?



As I mentioned above, rooms that have all smooth sleek surfaces feel cold to me. Mid-century modern has lots of smooth sleek surfaces. I think a good trick to warming up a room and adding comfort is texture. Here, you can find many textures in the:

  • Basketweave detail on the cabinet
  • Actual baskets on top of the cabinet
  • Nubby rug
  • Embroidered pillow
  • Starbursts
  • Embossing on the wood chest
  • Feathery fronds of the plant

I hope this Style Challenge has showed you a different way to style with mid-century modern furniture!

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