Vacations do a lot more than give us a break from the daily grind. No matter where you travel, if you have an open mind, you’re almost guaranteed to meet new people, see new things, and discover new cultures. Each person has a story to share, every place has a past, and every culture is rich with its own knowledge. Let yourself soak in all that surrounds you and bring it home so that you never forget your adventures!
Bring Back a Thoughtful Trinket
It seems that the need to acquire souvenirs from our vacations is almost embedded in our DNA. Why not skip the cheap magnets and snow globes and opt for something that will add character to your home? The next time you travel, research what food and crafts the region is known for, and track down authentic examples to bring home, whether it be handwoven Peruvian textiles or Moroccan ceramics. Follow your instincts, and if you see an antique or piece of art that calls your name, make it yours — if you can buy it from a street vendor for a bargain, all the better.
Travel Photos Turn to Art
Consider yourself a bit of a photographer? Have your favorite vacation photos printed and hang them with pride. Taking photos of your loved ones in front of famous buildings or scenic vistas is great for family albums, but consider taking photos specifically to have printed as art. Most cameras over 10 megapixels can produce high-quality art prints. Take a picture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris at sunset, Mount Washington in New Hampshire blooming with fall color, or Stanton Park in Washington D.C. as the cherry blossoms bloom. Traveling can open your eyes to new and beautiful sights. Capture them, edit them to make the best possible image, and have them printed and framed to remember your trip for years to come.
Get Inspired by Architecture
Traveling the world can open your eyes to new architectural styles, resulting in fresh inspiration for your projects back home. Discover history as you see influences of cultures from all over the world in modern buildings. For example, traveling to Washington D.C., you may see Greek and Roman influences everywhere from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House. The next time you travel, soak up design details like hand-painted tiles, colorful doors, and stained glass windows.
What about inside the home? How are we drawing in the lines of architecture? When traveling to Spain, you might be inspired by colorful tile and bring this into your next kitchen remodel, or when looking at an ancient ruin in Rome, you may discover a pattern you have to have for your living room rug. Inspiration is all around us as we travel. Pay attention and use these designs — they have stood the test of time. Not only will using these designs add international flair to your home, but it will also remind you of the wonderful memories you have of your travels.
Laurie Laizure is the CEO of Customized Walls and founder of the largest online community for design pros, Interior Design Community. Laurie’s work has been featured on various cable networks and top publications in the interior design world. She currently also writes for the Shutterfly.com home décor team, sharing her expertise in wall décor. Check out some of her favorite items here and connect with her here: Google+.