If you spend every spare week of the year jetting off somewhere exotic and experiencing local cultures, then you’ll have come across all sorts of interior design ideas and inspiration, and come home full of ideas of recreating that Malaysian stilt house or Mongolian yurt in your own front room. Putting personality into your home and using some of the world’s best interior design is a great way to create a cosy home, but care has to be taken to ensure your house doesn’t end up looking like a theme pub.
Maps, Maps and More Maps
Any travel related interior design scheme should start with a map. A map is a daily reminder of all those places you’ve been, and more importantly, all of the places which are still on your bucket list. Make a huge impact in your home with an oversized map on a feature wall, either of the whole world or of a continent, country or area which has particular meaning for you. Alternatively, many online retailers sell scratch maps, where you can scratch off the countries you have visited. If you’ve an artistic streak, there are all sorts of crafty possibilities with maps. You can decoupage old furniture with pieces of ripped up maps, use them to cover books or even frame up sections for wall artwork – you are really only limited by your imagination.
Display your Treasures
It’s almost impossible to travel and not bring back bits and pieces picked up in foreign markets, on beaches or in souvenir shops. Once you’re home though, the difficult bit can knowing how best to display your treasures. Too often, the result is clutter and disorganisation, which just makes your home look messy. Less is always more when it comes to display, so try to be selective with what items you are putting on your shelves or in your display case. Clean regularly – nothing looks worse than a dirty display of neglected souvenirs gathering dust on the mantelpiece. Every time you come back from your travels with something new, move things around and discard things that are no longer as appealing.
If you’re looking to embrace current interior design trends at the same times as bringing a taste of your travels into your home, then you won’t go far wrong with an Oriental theme. Bamboo flooring, pale or natural shades on the walls, blinds instead of curtains and lots of potted plants will instantly transport your living space to the Far East, and you can accessorise with artwork or other souvenirs picked up on your travels. This sort of interior design does not date quickly, so you won’t be changing everything in another six months when fashion moves on.
Make Your Own Artwork
Some of the best travel memories are not the larger items which we bring back, but the ticket for that 24 hour bus journey in South America or the menu from the amazing seafood restaurant you visited in Australia. Turn these memories into a very individual piece of artwork by either pinning them to a board, or arranging them in a clip frame using blu-tack or double sided tape. Don’t spend too long over the presentation, a random look is often better. The best thing about this sort of artwork is that you can keep adding to it with another board or frame for each expedition.
Transport as Well as Travel
As well as bringing design themes, which you have experienced on your travels into your home, think as well about all of the modes of transport you have used to get there and the items you have used along the way. Old suitcases can be picked up cheaply at second hand or charity shops and can easily be repurposed as tables or used for storage or just decoration. Pictures of boats, planes and trains will evoke a travel theme, as will wallpaper printed with landmarks or a travel theme.
Stickers and Decals
If you’re in a rented property, or if you just don’t want to do large-scale renovations to your home, it can be hard to put your personal stamp on your home. Although many landlords won’t be happy about paint or wallpaper, few are going to object to stickers. Large wall stickers can be ordered online from many different retailers, and some will make up stickers with travel quotes, names or geographical coordinates to your own specification. This type of wall decoration is not expensive, and in many cases you can choose the font and colour of your sticker as well as the text.