The Key Characteristics of a Peruvian Kitchen
If you’re a fan of bright, playful interiors full of color and personality, you’re going to love Peruvian design. Homely, eclectic and full of the kind of fixtures and fittings that make any space seem cozy and comfortable, it’s a style that’s guaranteed to turn any house into a home. One word of warning before you start: if you’re a fan of contemporary interiors, this one may not be for you. Peruvian interiors are all about the rustic, the snug, and the welcoming- if you want sleek modernity, you may need to look elsewhere. Here, we take a look at some of the keys elements that can transform any kitchen into a Peruvian paradise.
Be Adventures with Color
Walk into any Peruvian home and you’ll be struck by the many varied colors scattered around. But when it comes to their walls, Peruvians prefer to keep things simple. Walls tend to be white (a perfect blank canvas for the many colorful tapestries and wall art which characterizes Peruvian interiors). If white is too basic for your tastes, opt for a light, neutral shade that adds just enough color to satisfy your needs, without proving too much of a distraction to the other key elements in play. When it comes to color elsewhere, Peruvian’s like to play against the neutral walls with lots of bright, bold accents. As Kas Interiors notes, reds and sandy shades are especially popular (and as an added bonus, they look especially good against the wooden furniture that forms an integral part of Peruvian design). Turquoises and earthy oranges are always great additions, providing a great little “pop” and “zing” to your room.
Be Extravagant with Wood
As mentioned above, wood is a vital ingredient in creating a truly authentic Peruvian interior… and if for any reason wood won’t do, go for an alternative in an equally natural material (plump for plastic at your own risk). Countertops, tables, chairs and units are all ideal opportunities to add some wooden elements into your kitchen (if you like, you can paint over the wood in one of the many shades from the Peruvian color palette. Alternatively, keep things in their raw, untreated state if you prefer a more natural approach).
Go Big on Decorations
Peruvian interiors might be rustic, simple affairs, but this doesn’t mean you need to eschew all decorative touches in your interior. The kitchen is the ideal place to add a few traditionally Peruvian flourishes: try adding a beautifully embroidered runner (or even a full sized tablecloth) to the table (which of course, has to be wood); a magnificent tapestry in all the big, earthy shades of the Peruvian color palette to your whitewashed walls; or a stunning, hardwearing rug to showcase the Peruvian predilection for items that manage to be both functional and pretty at the same time. Smaller decorative items also play a part in the overall scheme of things: vases, bowls and other functional items can be beautified with the addition of some hand painted, Incan inspired designs, while a few paper lampshades will add a great homely touch.
Go with the Spanish Influence
Peruvian interior design didn’t evolve in isolation- of it many influences, Spanish design is perhaps the biggest. The playful take on color, the insistence on wooden everything, and, perhaps most crucially, the abundance of tiles can all be traced back to the country’s Spanish heritage. Speaking of tiles… where better to add some beautiful examples than in the kitchen? Whether you limit them to a backsplash or a countertop or go all out with a tiled floor and walls, tiles are a great way of introducing some Spanish- flair style into your kitchen.
Go Potty for Plants
Potted plants aren’t uniquely Peruvian, of course, but combine them with our other styling tips and you’ll really up the ante on the Peruvian vibe. The plants can be any type you prefer but try to keep things varied by introducing a few different species (and at least a few with the kind of unique, interesting foliage that makes a great focal point for your room). Plant them in a terracotta pot or painted plater, and you’ll be good to go.
Go Traditional with Textiles
If you don’t plan on introducing at least a few textiles into your home, you may as well give up now. As Aracari notes, everywhere you go in Peru, you’ll be dazzled with the array of textiles on sale, with vendors offering everything from traditional alpaca blankets to ponchos, from chullo hats to tablecloths. With such an abundance of textiles on offer, there’s no excuse not to bring at least a few into your home… and indeed, no Peruvian worth their salt would allow their home to be seen without at least a handful of rugs, throws, blankets, and cushions scattered around the place. Even if the kitchen might not necessarily seem the most natural fit for soft furnishings, you’d be surprised how far you can go with the concept regardless.
An alpaca rug handcrafted from the softest, coziest alpaca wool, emboldened with an eye-catching Peruvian design, will look great stretched across a wooden or tiled kitchen floor, while a kitchen chair can be instantly enlivened with the addition of a few silkily embroidered cushions. If your kitchen is big enough to accommodate an easy chair, a woolen blanket thrown across its back will add a touch of textile perfection.
Go Arty with Kené
As La Casa De Freja notes, Kené (a type of design traditionally used by the shipibo-konibo people), is huge in Peru. The design system, which is seen as often on the body as it in the home, uses a combination of materials (including vegetable dyes, seeds, cotton, fabrics, wool yarns, and beads) to come up with some truly arresting, unique works of art. If you can, add a few pieces to your kitchen to create the kind of talking point that is guaranteed to get everyone jabbering.