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  • candice_olson_article

    Candice Olson can be seen as the host and designer of HGTV’s Candice Tells AllDivine Design and as a judge on HGTV Design Star.

  • contemporaryculturaldesign-2

    Candice's transformation of this space gives it a warm, welcoming feeling with a chic global vibe.

  • candice_olson_dr

    A long, narrow room like this one is ideal for creating separate furniture groupings.

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A long, narrow room like this one is ideal for creating separate furniture groupings.


Culture Cues

To effectively create a contemporary cultural design, be sure to edit your inspiration. Don't try to literally replicate a style in every aspect—instead, focus on a few key elements that represent the style. Then relate them to your choices of pattern, color, and texture.


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  • Candice Olson Creates a Contemporary Cultural Design

    Expert advice on how to design with cultural inspiration without being cliche.

    by Trisha McBride Ferguson

    Fans of Candice Olson know she's a master at blending colors, patterns and textures to create a particular mood. When it comes to design with a global feel, the combinations can be tricky. A little too much of a certain color or design element and a room looks themed or cliche. Not enough, and it doesn't have interest or excitement.

    Here's a look at how Candice created a culturally inspired retreat for a space in desperate need of a makeover. She brings an exciting modern Masala vibe to what was once a dated, dull golfer's den.


    An Underwhelming Space

    In the before picture of this living room, it's easy to see the room needed professional help. Without a working furniture layout and color plan, it looked like the owners had just moved in.cta_105_contemporaryculturaldesign-1


    Warm and Welcoming

    One of the biggest changes to this space is the way it feels. No longer does the room have a "thrown-together" appearance. It's now balanced in every way.



    Transformed by Color & Texture

    This space has been transformed with a warm color palette of tans and browns accented with gold and orange. The sofa and chairs are upholstered in a neutral beige linen, while the walls feature a textured sisal twill wallpaper.



    The Punch of Paisley

    The most dramatic color in the room comes from the stunning floor-to-ceiling drapery panels crafted from a fabric that features a rich palette of globally inspired hues in a traditional paisley pattern. Natural woven blinds complete the window while adding another layer of texture.



    Warm Woods

    The natural focal point of the room is the fireplace and it does not disappoint. Wood tiles above the fireplace add a substantial, exotic touch. They're contrasted with the rich, smooth Palissandro marble of the fireplace surround. The warm wood tones are carried throughout the room and can be seen in the finishes of the tables and built-in cabinetry.



    Finishing First

    To really appreciate the beauty of this room, you need only look to its finishes. Variations in color and texture are masterfully blended to create a space that is warm and comfortable yet classy and contemporary.