Although Pier 1 Imports has ventured into selling other styles, its signature look remains the same: a mix of exotic imports from remote locales across the globe. The look is lush and layered, which makes it pleasing to the eye and family friendly. You won’t notice a jelly stain amidst a pile of patterned pillows, and you don’t have to obsess about an extra ding on deliberately distressed wood.
The Pier 1 palette includes a bold mix of both earthy and intense colors. On the earthy side, you’ll see dark gold, bronze, pumpkin, rust, russet, pistachio, fern and olive -- as well as tans and browns ranging from wheat to espresso. Accent the earthy colors with more intense citrine, amber, tangerine, coral, vermilion, crimson, raspberry, aqua, azure, indigo or peacock.
Before you can furnish your global-inspired space, you need the proper background. Paint the walls any color in the palette. If you’re unaccustomed to strong wall colors, opt for the earthy shades. For something more exciting than solids, stencil on a Moorish tile pattern, or paper walls with woven grasscloth. If you used a medium-to-dark wall color, avoid stark white for the trim in favor of black or black-brown. If you just can’t go dark, opt for ecru or a rich buttercream. Style-appropriate flooring options include hardwoods, mottle-finished tiles and brown-toned Berber carpet in a shade no lighter than sand. If you’re stuck with less suitable floors, cover them with bound jute or seagrass rugs. You can always layer on more decorative rugs later.
Mix bamboo, rattan and abaca wicker with distressed wood furniture in medium-to-dark stains. Add a painted chest, metal table or both for contrast. Look for exotic details such as inlaid shell, embossed nailhead trim and tropical-motif carving. A four-poster bed carved with banana leaves instead of rice or wheat is a good example of the latter. Mix pieces from different international locations, such as a Chinese altar table and an African stool. Opt for spool feet on sofas and club chairs with soft track, English or Lawson arms. Add rattan-framed occasional chairs with removable cushions. Instead of a cocktail table, place an oversized pouf or old wooden trunk in front of the sofa.
Keep sofas and chairs family friendly by upholstering with hard-wearing, neutral-colored chenille, cotton duck or distressed leather. Add color with a mix of patterned pillows, perhaps made from interwoven ikat, hand-dyed batik and salvaged sections from damaged Tabriz and Agra carpets. Dress beds with easy-to-wash cotton coverlets or duvet covers in white, ecru or khaki. Pile pillows at the head and lay a kantha quilt or embroidered suzani at the foot. Soften the floors with striped dhurrie and figural kilim rugs, or hang them on the walls as artwork. On the windows, combine bamboo matchstick shades with floor-length curtain panels of unlined cotton or linen, natural or bleached.
Finish your Pier 1-inspired look with a mix of imported accents and accessories. Stash your stuff in baskets and carved wooden boxes. Display wheel-thrown pottery and colorful, hand-blown glass on table and dresser tops. Hang Moroccan lanterns or blown-glass pendant lights overhead -- or install a ceiling fan with blades shaped like banana leaves. Opt for table lamps with pottery or hammered metal bases. Decorate the walls with hand-woven textiles, carved masks or pierced Indian jail screens.