World Tour of Design: Cuba

It’s been a while since we last took a trip on our World Tour of Design where we last traveled to the beautiful country of Russia.  In this week’s World Tour, I’d like to head somewhere a little… warmer.  After all, spring is well on its way to the States, and with it comes fresh weather and the start of vacation season.  The warm, tropical island country of Cuba is full of refreshing design inspiration to welcome spring and summer into your home.  Let’s take a look at the common design features of Cuban architecture and interior design. Prerevolutionary Cuba was known for a distinctive architecture heightened by the tastes and expenses of a rich entrepreneurial class. They maintained large sugar and tobacco plantations and mansions, and they sought interior design inspiration from the Art Deco and mid-century 1950s styles. These styles embraced luxury and comfort, integrated with a beautiful backdrop of tropical, earthy landscapes.

Cuban Mansion

Many of the mansions in Cuba have been restored to their original architectural splendor, providing plenty of interior design inspiration for your home. Parisian-inspired accents like the matching torchères sculptures and blackamoor table of the marble hall of the Museo de Artes Decorativas, once a 1920’s mansion, can be easily incorporated in your own home.  The mid-50s mahogany spiral staircase at a Guatao chapel and the Cuban butacas and woven cane chairs gracing the original decor of Ernest Hemingway’s living room at Finca La Vigia are also elements that can easily be implemented into your home.

Hemingway Living Room

Beyond the historical influence, it goes without saying that tropical plants and palm trees are essential to Cuba’s island flavor. Open interior spaces evoke the spacious and relaxing experience of watching the sparkling ocean washing over sandy beaches.


Great colors to use in a Cuban-inspired design are lush shades of green, sunny yellows, orange, coral and expansive palettes of blue for tropical flavors. Light linens give expression to the easy flow of island winds, enhanced with light-colored floors and draperies. Terra cotta also has a pronounced presence on the island. It is found not only in the architecture but also in the floor tiles and vases which helps promote an earthy feel that is natural to the island. Large, exposed windows are another important design element which connects the interior to the exterior environment that is another signature of Cuban interiors. For more design inspiration, contact me at Interior Makeovers Inc. or by calling 310-788-0990.  I’d love to hear about your design visions for your home. Stay Inspired!  
Photo Credits:
1.) Architectural Digest
2.) Architectural Digest
3.) Houzz