Decorating Inspiration from Your Travels
As much as I love being at home and making it the best place in the world for our family, I like to see the world too!
I love to travel, visit new places, meet different people and try exotic foods.
But one of the best things about traveling is what we bring home.
It is the memories, the photos, the mementos and the souvenirs.
And the inspiration.
I love looking for decorating ideas when I am traveling - and you can too. It is easy and cheap - you don't have to buy anything, just take plenty of photos to bring home a piece of your destination.
Choose local restaurants and soak up the ambience. Visit interior design stores and home decorating stores to get ideas. Visit museums, and art galleries. Look at little details and how things look different from the way they look at home. Sometimes it is just different color schemes, or a different way that people hang curtains. Or sometimes you might get an idea how to hang curtains just by being exposed to different things. I was inspired to use wooden oars to hang my curtains after visiting Finland and spending some time sailing in the archipelago.
If you like the local design and what you see in the stores and have the budget - go for it. You can always ship things home, too -- you don't have to carry them in your luggage. Most design stores will take care of the shipping for you. You will have a piece that will forever remind you of your trip and delight you in your home.
Don't worry that if, on top of your travel budget, you don't have any leftover for home decorating budget. You can still bring back things for your home. The photos in this post are from Bahamas. I was on a Disney Cruise Line's cruise on Disney Wonder twice last year and had the opportunity to spend a day at Nassau both times. While I wanted to bring back some things I saw in the design store, I ended up paying five dollars for a conch that now sits on my fireplace mantel reminding me of the ocean and the white beaches of Bahamas.
Items that don't cost much or are free:
- Postcards. You can frame postcards or posters for much cheaper than bringing back local art. Visit museum and art gallery gift shops to get these inexpensive decorating gems.
- Matches in restaurants. Really -- I used to have a bowl of matches from locations I had visited and used them for lighting up candles. Such a small thing - but it would bring back memories.
- Wine or soda labels, restaurant menus (at some places you can ask for the printed menu inside the folder), drink coaster, soaps in your hotel. Think of every day objects that are different and you can use when decorating your home. One idea is decoupaging the wine labels from your trip on an object at home. You don't have to have a set idea about what you are going to do with the items - the ideas might hit you when you get back home.
- Objects from nature. Especially if you are driving, and visiting natural settings, there might be things you can bring home. Think large pine cones (which you might not find in your area), seashells, or even sand from the beach - it will look great in a vase with a tea light and you have just created inexpensive decorating item that didn't cost you much but brings back memories every time you see it.
- Photos! Take lots of them - you can do so much with your photos once you get home. There are so many ways you can print photos on different products or make them canvas art or simply just frame them for your daily reminder of the location you visited.
Lastly, what not to buy...
My own rule is that if it says "Made in China" and I ain't visiting China, I am not going to buy it. I can probably get something similar back home, or online, and it is not worth carrying home. And even if it has my destination's name, well, there will be the same item sold in other destinations too, with a different name printed on it.