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Incorporating Treasures from Your Travels in Your Interior Design

While it goes without saying that there’s no place like home, many passionate travellers also leave a bit of their hearts behind when leaving a beloved destination – and often bring treasures from their travels back with them as well.  Happily, if this sounds like you, there are a number of ways – ranging from subtle to striking – to thoughtfully and creatively incorporate these treasures from your travels into the themes of your interior design.

Of course, one of the most straightforward but also most effective ways to commemorate your travels is to put them on display:

Curated Gallery Walls

The most striking and effective gallery walls are layered and eclectic, yet cohesive.  Beyond photographs, consider including not only paintings and other artwork, but also displays of other treasures such as coins, or artefacts.  Particularly special textiles such as batiks, tapestries or embroidered pieces can also be framed and included.  Maps can add context and further visual interest.   Cohesion in the gallery can be achieved through thematic colours and consistency among the frames, or simply leaning on the simple power of arrangement and proximity to tell nuanced visual stories. 

A luxurious stairway , featuring a beautiful tall staircase adorned with a Tai Ping royal blue silk and wool rug running up it, adding a touch of elegance. The walls are adorned with vibrant modern art pieces, adding colour and personality to the space. Black iron spindles provide support for the dark wooden bannister, creating a striking visual contrast. This luxury staircase is a blend of sophistication and artistic flair. Wallace picture light by John Cullen Lighting

Considered Displays

If your treasures are more three-dimensional, intentionally styled displays might be most effective and appropriate.   Whether a beautifully simple arrangement on a fire surround or a custom installed cabinet with built-in lighting, a curated display of a treasured collection can create a meaningful travel-themed focal point in your interior design.

More robust three-dimensional treasures can become an integral part of your world travel-inspired decor:

Inspired Furniture Choices

Whether brought home from your travels or thoughtfully sourced to remind you of a favourite locale, furniture pieces with distinctive cultural character can add depth and travel themed personality to your interior design.  Whether it’s a hand-carved wooden chair, Moroccan-inspired table, or Asian-inspired cabinet, notable pieces such as these can serve as functional art.

Elevated Dining Experience

The dining table is a wonderful place to showcase treasures from your travels, whether as tableware or centrepieces.   Some of the world’s most notable gastronomic cultures also feature remarkable tableware, such as Italian Majolica, Spanish Talavera, French stoneware, Moroccan pottery or Japanese porcelain. 

Light and neutral reading nook. Set of Limoges porcelain coffee cups with and American Lenox porcelain silver overlay coffee pot, c.1910

Globally Inspired Soft Furnishings

In cultures around the world particular fabrics also carry deep cultural and historical significance, making them an integral part of the identity of the regions they originate from.  Velvet, silk, brocade, wool, linen, and various decorative techniques such as dying, weaving, embroidery and pattern making celebrate various artisan skills and carry cultural resonance.  Using fabrics from different parts of the world into upholstery, cushions or curtains adds depth, interest and nuance to a travel themed interior.

Culturally Rich Rugs and Carpets

Floor coverings from around the world also evoke distinctive regional character and are inherently beautiful.   Showpiece rugs can be a wonderfully impactful statement piece in your home, whether Persian, Oriental, Kilim, Aubusson, Tibetan or another artisan creation.

neutral coastal style living space with tiled fireplace in front.
Various world traveller inspired decor influences reminiscent of favourite destinations can also be incorporated into the integral interior design of your home:

Characterful Wall Treatments

Globally influenced wall treatments can add depth and interest to the overall context of the room.  Techniques like Venetian plaster or decorative painting, and materials like stone, wood or textured wallpapers like grasscloth or silk are incredibly effective at evoking a sense of place.

Carefully Chosen Lighting

Lighting fixtures can be commissioned or sourced to reflect the traditional craftsmanship of various regions. Statement pieces such as crystal or wrought iron chandeliers, distinctive pendant lights, and traditional lanterns are integral parts of various cultures around the world and can evoke a particular sense of time and place in your home.  

Pendant lights giving a more elevated look to neutral bed. A luxurious striking hallway. The Venetian plaster walls exude elegance, complemented by a black and white diamond-shaped tiled floor. Hanging on the far wall is a vibrant painting in a sleek black frame, accompanied by an ottoman with black legs and a plush blue throw. On the right, a mirrored wall reflects the beauty of the space, featuring a doorway and a stylish black console with pull out drawers, adorned with a collection of flowers. Suspended above is a pendant light. Opposite the mirror wall, a grand period staircase by Henry Van Vijiver, with royal blue carpeting running up it, while large windows bathe the stairs in natural light. At the top of the staircase, a collection of abstract art pieces illuminated by projected lights.

Playful Patterns

Pattern can be incorporated as a cultural reference throughout the home.  Cultures around the world have wonderful traditions and distinctive styles of tile making – from Dutch Delftware and Portuguese Azulejos to Turkish Iznik and Chinese porcelain tiles.   These can be stunning in kitchens, bathrooms, entryways and more.  Distinctive patterns can also be used in upholstery, wallpaper, flooring and beyond.   

Travel-Inspired Color Palette

In addition to pattern, colour is a powerful reflection of regional character.  Whether it’s the blue and white of the Greek coast, the warm, earthy colours of Tuscany or the vibrant jewel tones of India, the intentional use of colour, whether bold or subtle, can serve as a subtle homage to past adventures and precious memories.

Reading area and media room in Coastal Style house. Both of the spaces are decorated with bright coloured furniture.

Inspired Elements

Global adventures also can influence entire spaces in the home.   Whether it’s a Zen meditation space, mosaic tiles around the swimming pool, or a breakfast nook inspired by a memorable Parisian cafe, inspiration for the elements of a gorgeous and characterful home can come from anywhere around the world.

indoor pool in a spa

Incorporating treasures from your travels into the theme of your interior design can create a space that is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also deeply personal and meaningful.  Including items and inspiration from places that are meaningful to you in the design of your home allows you to maintain a daily connection to the diverse experiences that are unique to you. Your home becomes a visual narrative of your life’s adventures. Each piece contributes to the overall story, allowing you to curate a space that reflects your personal journey and the full richness of your life.

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