6.25.2015

6 Tips for Travel-Inspired Décor

I have a secret. When I don't want to do my work I escape by looking at real estate and hotels. It's kind of dangerous because it keeps me from doing my work, which is why I have to totally disconnect the internet when I'm writing a lot. Because I've been on vacation and am still working on my N.C. wine travel guide for #OutaboutNC, I have a guest post by Jennifer Riner of Zillow. Soon, Zillow will be interviewing me about my favorite things in Raleigh, N.C.and I'll be on its blog.  In the meantime, they are the experts on decor. I love Jennifer's ideas for travel-inspired decor. 

6 Tips for Travel-Inspired Décor


Wanderlust is the strong inclination to travel the world. The word originated in Germany in the early 20th century and has made its way to adventure seekers across the globe. You may have a strong case of wanderlust, especially during the summer season, but your budget or career limits how often you can explore new cities.

Even if you can’t physically visit new territory, you can incorporate cultural flair into your interior design. Check out these six options for travel-inspired home accessories.

6 Tips for Travel-Inspired Décor; Frame maps as artwork

1.      Framed Maps
Create some global flair in your home with large, framed maps. You can opt for color, sepia or black and white maps, depending on your current color scheme. If you have a strong color like yellow painted on the walls, go with black and white. A colorful map might make your already bright space look like a classroom.

Skimbaco Lifestyle curates this Big Apple print in its store.
Skimbaco Lifestyle curates this Big Apple print in its store. 



Printed maps like this make great travel-themed art.
Printed maps like this make great travel-themed art. 


2.      Travel Paper Collages
Even in today’s world of tech-based documents and electronic filing, traveling still comes with back-up hard copies of boarding passes, passports, identification papers, frequent flyer cards and baggage claim tickets. Rather than discard old or invalid papers, consider using them as design elements. Purchase a large corkboard and pin various documents in a slightly overlapping pattern. Then, hang behind a sofa or bed as a frequent reminder of your past trips.



3.      Repurposed Suitcases
Old, broken suitcases can be reused as storage pieces or décor statements at home. You can even use old suitcases outdoors as fun, garden-friendly planters. If you’re limited by space in an apartment, you might consider container gardening on the balcony as a way to exercise your green thumb without a yard. Suitcases are the perfect mediums for flowerbeds.

6 Tips for Travel-Inspired Décor; repurpose old suitcases


Inside the home, you can use the fronts of suitcases as wall shelving. You’ll need a table saw – which requires caution and some expertise – and some sturdy, square suitcases. Vintage travel trunks are filled with character and by simply adding legs you create an eclectic style coffee or end table. If you don’t have old, hard cases, try the nearest thrift store. No matter the project, don’t worry about luggage being in pristine condition. The more dings and scratches, the more memories each suitcase holds.

4.      Landmark Art
Plenty of design-savvy homeowners incorporate artwork featuring landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Taj Mahal, depending on their favorite destination abroad. Why not incorporate more than one cultural landmark for an eclectic vibe? Just make sure that all photographs and prints have the same or complementary colors with similar framing. Otherwise, your artwork appears chaotic instead of worldly.

Prints that inspire travel decor
Add these city landmark prints to your own to inspire travel. 


art that inspires travel decor
These fashionable prints will have have your apartment chic in no time. 


5.      Book Tables
Novels and hardcovers are classic representations of various lands and languages. Instead of overfilling your bookshelves or adding clutter to your coffee table, stack books and use them as end tables on the sides of sofas or beds. Coffee table books aren’t inexpensive, so using your previously acquired literature is recommended. If you desire the stacked look but lack the inventory, make this a long-term project so you know what to seek out as souvenirs on your next trip.

6 Tips for Travel-Inspired Décor; Use books stacked for tables.


6.      Eastern Rugs
Persian, Moroccan and Oriental patterns are some of the most traditional ways of adding sophisticated character at home. When purchased in the U.S., authentic Middle Eastern and Asian carpets are considered rare and therefore come with higher price tags. The next time you are visiting a country specializing in handmade rugs, shop around the small boutiques and street vendors who likely sell them for far less than U.S. prices.

6 Tips for Travel-Inspired Décor; search for rugs in antique stores and small boutiques when traveling abroad.




Just because you can’t travel doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by various cultures around the world. Spice up your interior style with travel-inspired décor whether you’re cramped into a small Raleigh apartment, visualizing your lifestyle while shopping for a home or settling back into your house after a month abroad. You’ll feel most at home when your interior design truly reflects your style.

Photos by Zillow.com, Great.ly.com and Amazon.com. 

Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links where I receive compensation for purchases. 




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