My husband and I love to travel. Actually, love is probably an understatement—I’d say it’s more of an obsession. In the past three years, we have visited 20 different countries and all of the continents, except for Antarctica. In fact, as I write this, we are in Brazil and tomorrow we leave for Argentina. If you have a passion for travel as well, try out some of the themes you’ve seen in other parts of the world in your very own home.
Now, I don’t necessarily mean dangling dozens of paper lanterns from the ceiling after a trip to Asia or displaying plastic coconut trees and pineapple-shaped picture frames everywhere after a Hawaiian vacation—although, if you are feeling inspired to go all out, have fun with it and go for it. But if you aren’t looking to change the complete style of your home yet you would like to incorporate your love of travel into it, try a more subtle approach.
One thing that is always a ‘must’ for us when we travel is to find something small to bring back home that represents the new place we just visited. It doesn’t matter where—whether it was just a short jaunt to New York City or a long journey throughout Thailand, we always look for a souvenir that possesses the following qualities: small, unique, and something that can be proudly displayed on our IKEA cube shelf. The idea is to decorate this cube shelf in our home office with one-of-a-kind treasures that remind us of all the places we visited, while giving our home a unique and international flair that doesn’t cost much at all. I’m talking souvenirs that didn’t cost more than a few dollars each, but when they really start to accumulate over time, simply stepping in that one room can take you around the world again in moments.
The cube shelf we purchased from IKEA was only $199 and was available in a variety of colors, including white and light brown. In order to match the rest of the color scheme throughout our home, we went with the dark brown. We bought this cube shelf with this specific decorating idea in mind—to make our home pop with colorful mementos that truly make it an eye-catching and distinctive way to decorate. The shelf features five shelves with five cubes in each row.
What’s great about it is that it can continuously be worked on and developed throughout the years. Before we moved into our current apartment, our trip-inspired cube shelf was proudly displayed in the living room, which is also a great location if you have the room for it. It’s sure to be a conversation-starter whenever you have guests over, too.
If you don’t want something quite so big or simply don’t have room in your home for a large shelf, purchasing one (or a few) of these is a great option as well:
(item sold here)
Of course, design inspiration from your travels doesn’t have to stop there. Instead of spending money on pricey framed art, consider taking some of your shots from your last vacation and having them printed on 8×10 photo paper (or larger, if desired.) Buy a nice frame, and there you have it—beautiful wall art for a fraction of the cost that was created by you, and there won’t be anybody else in the world with the same photo displayed in their home. Go on with your bad self, you trend-setter you!
So next time you are out of town, whether it be a weekend getaway or a long vacation, keep your creative eye open for little things that can be worked into the design and style of your home.
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