Until I worked out that they were a match made in heaven, I used to spend alot of time trying to balance my love of interiors against my love of travel. At times this has stopped me from buying some of the cool things I’ve spotted whilst on holiday for fear of how they would work once back in our 1930s bungalow.
But, the more I’ve learned about interiors, and the more I’ve developed my own sense of style, I realise that I’ve been holding back unnecessarily. In my head bringing back a Turkish rug or Moroccan tea set, for example, would mean I would need to redesign my living room to look like a souk in garish pinks and oranges (although I do love pink….) and vibrant metallics.
Until more recently I was a victim of the matchy-matchy interior style – i.e. I was petrified of mixing different styles and periods. This meant that my rooms were, frankly, a bit ‘meh’. Luckily, I have since seen the light, and, rather than shying away from buying quirky bits and pieces to make my home my own, I now actively seek them out as stylish souvenirs that will serve to remind me in years to come of the awesome places I have visited.
Now these don’t have to be big pieces – I don’t like having to pay for extra luggage. But I do enjoy looking out for locally made or handcrafted ceramics, like these gorgeous bowls from Warsaw.
Or how about these Art Nouveau mugs from Riga?
Or these excellent FIKA cups from Stockholm?
If you’re really short on suitcase space or there’s nothing that takes your fancy (sometimes I find if there’s not enough time to get off the beaten track it can be difficult to buy anything other than touristy tat), then how about quirky postcards or prints? This one I picked up in Berlin.
And I couldn’t resist these postcards when I visited Tel Aviv.
Ikea RIBBE picture frames are an easy way to display prints and postcards around the home, and I love that you can change things up when you feel like it.
Since I’ve made an effort to seek out stylish items when I’m overseas, I feel like my home is much more, well, mine. I get daily reminders of good times abroad – of sights, sounds and smells – just by looking at, or using, the items I’ve brought back. And they usually make a good talking point when friends and family visit – I get alot of ‘oooh, where did you get that?’ questions and it makes me happy that I can tell people about where something is from and how cool a particular country is, rather than tell them that I picked something up in a high street store.
What are your favourite holiday finds or must-buys when you are overseas? I’d love to hear about them and see your shots of how you’ve incorporated them into your own home.
Happy travels and shopping,