Go on holiday without leaving home

Five ways to incorporate travel-inspired decor into your space.

Who hasn’t returnedfrom a holiday feeling nostalgic for the destination they just left? Maybe you can’t stop thinking about that exotic Balinese resort, with its teak furniture and intricately carved statues, the pastel-coloured fishing villages of the Amalfi Coast, or the lush New Zealand countryside, with its quaint farmhouses and picturesque vineyards.

Travelling again may not be on your calendar for a while, but you can feel like you’re still overseas by decorating your space with furniture and accessories that remind you of your favourite holiday spots. Here are a few tips for incorporating travel-inspired décor into your home – plus, how to display holiday souvenirs and cultural knick-knacks without going overboard.


(1) Decorate around a theme

Choose a theme that reminds you of your destination, and select the colours and decorative items that best align with it. For example, if you’ve just come home from a beach holiday, you can display seashells and driftwood alongside ceramics in different shades of blue and green, for a “coastal chic” vibe.

Colette Tsai, Senior Designer at The Interior Lab, also loves to decorate according to seasons. This is a good opportunity to show off unusual souvenirs and random trinkets that you may have picked up during your trip.

“I have a display shelf at home that changes whenever I come up with a new travel theme. I’ve tried ‘nature’ with stones and pinecones, ‘summer’ with seashells and coconut shells, and ‘Christmas’ with mugs and socks,” she says.

(2) Follow the “Rule of 3”

If you don’t want to redecorate a whole room or your entire house or apartment, choose a small space or corner instead. Colette suggests following the “Rule of 3” when it comes to transforming this area.

For instance, you could place an Indonesian-style teak console table in the entryway. On top of it, you could place a wood carving, sculpture or vase that you purchased during your trip. And above this arrangement, a framed painting or photo that evokes memories of your Indonesian holiday. Because you’re only decorating a small area, you won’t have to invest too much of your time and money, and you can easily change out the items when you get tired of them.

(3)Try a photo wall treatment

Travel photos and postcards make wonderful décor items. Depending on the amount of wall space you have and whatis on display in the rest of your home, you may want toconsider creating a holiday picture wall, Colette says.

“Make up a gallery wall using 10-20 photos, put together a large collage of photos or postcards, or simply display several photos in interesting-looking frames (or frames that are unique to your holiday destination, such as those made from azulejos – Portuguese glazed blue ceramic tiles – for instance). This is a simple, inexpensive and visually stunning way to surround yourself with your special holiday memories.”

(4)Make your travel keepsakes look cohesive

Did you come home with a collection of Murano glass ornaments, Japanese ceramics, Australian sheepskin rugs, or vintage art posters from Paris? Display these in small quantities (odd numbers are best) in a specific area or room where they will go with the rest of the décor.

(5) Don’t display fridge magnets on your fridge

Some travel fridge magnets are too beautiful for the fridge. A more impactful way to show off your collection would be to arrange them on a large magnetic strip that’s been attached to a wall.