Bring the bright colors, rustic vibes, and eclectic quirks of Cuba into your home.
Even before the U.S. formally restored diplomatic relations with Cuba and the small Caribbean country was on every traveler’s bucket list, the island had captivated the minds of writers (Ernest Hemingway lived there for 20 years), artists, and ordinary people alike.
Christopher Columbus noted back in 1492 that it was “the loveliest land ever beheld by human eyes." And more than five centuries later, his observations still hold true.
Cuba strikes with its authenticity, impulsiveness, the kindness of its people, and vibrant views at every turn. This is exactly what impressed Laurel & Wolf interior designer Heather Brents.
“Cuba is the most colorful country I've ever visited. In Havana, especially, seeing a turquoise building with an emerald door next to a pink building with sky blue trim is totally normal,” she said.
The city’s eclectic architecture is truly something to behold — a mixture of beautiful colonial, baroque, neo-classical, and Soviet-inspired buildings can be seen throughout the capital, reflecting the country’s rich history.
“Design inspired by Cuba has to embrace a contrast of bright, saturated hues along with lighter pastels," Brents said. "Quirky elements are a must."
If a recent trip to the Caribbean island has inspired you to redecorate your home, then focus on adding color through artwork or décor accents, she suggests, to ensure "the eclectic vibe is intentional."
“I'd use patterned rugs in bright colors and chunky wood furniture for a rustic, textural look,” Brent says.
And for designer Stacy Graves, it’s all about drawing inspiration from Cuba’s tropical landscape — turquoise waters, lush greenery, yellow sunshine, and orange-pink sunsets.
“The easiest way to decorate a modern home with the Cuban aesthetic is to paint the walls in a saturated hue,” Graves says. “I would do this with a lime wash paint to give the walls a weathered look reminiscent of the textured layers of paint and plaster found in Cuban homes. For furnishings, I would juxtapose distressed vintage pieces with the simplicity of mid-century modern furniture.”
Because of the hot tropical climate, Cubans prefer natural fabrics and materials that are cool to the touch — marble, metal, tile, and stone are best, according to Brents. And Graves recommends cane, wicker, and rattan pieces as well as incorporating large tropical plants such as a Bird-of-paradise or banana tree.
Take a look at 40 home décor items that will bring the character of Cuba into your home.