After having just returned from London last week, I shared with you all what I learned about the European design world. I think, perhaps, I haven’t quite settled back to reality. My head and heart are still in London. And with that I was inspired to write about travel and decor.
I love to travel. I love the adventure of it all. I love learning about new cultures and tasting new flavors and seeing new sights and meeting new people. Travel is an art and a privilege. It is the best gift you can give to yourself or a loved one and is one that continues to keep on giving – in our hearts and in our memories. The gift of travel can live on forever in our homes.
Whether you’re traveling an hour by car or crossing oceans and continents, each trip is a journey to be savored. The next time you go someplace, whether to the mountains, ocean, or desert, or a land far-far away, be sure to take it all in – open your eyes and look all around you. Close your eyes and listen to all the wonderful sounds. You’ll find they differ from place to place. Taste everything around you. Experience the cuisine and taste the local flavors. And feel the difference – in the air, on the ground, everywhere. The art of travel becomes so much richer when you utilize all your senses. And whatever you do, don’t leave your camera behind!
Whether smartphone, inexpensive point and shoot or something more serious like a Nikon, don’t forget to look through the lens. You will be amazed at all the new things that jump out at you and come into focus.Zoom in and capture intricate details. Zoom out and capture magnificent landscapes. And whatever you do, get these pictures off the camera and onto paper! The more pictures you take the more likely you will have a few that will capture your heart. Once you do, why not incorporate them into your home’s decor.
Frame your photographs and display them proudly on your walls. Nothing adds a more personal touch than adding one’s own artwork to one’s space! Create a gallery or incorporate them into an existing gallery. If you’re a bit hesitant to hang them on your walls, create your own coffee table book filled with your photographs. Sites like Shutterfly, Mixbook, blurb, Snapfish and My publisher offer a much more elegant and sophisticated alternative the scrapbook and can make your project truly look like a work of art. You can also consider blowing up a photograph to create an incredible statement and focal point. Try this in an office, hallway, playroom or child’s room. Staples offers large poster sizes and even larger engineer’s prints for practically pennies. Do you have a photograph that you really love? Consider turning it into a sustainable, reusable, removable mural or wallpaper! For more on this visit Customized Walls, a unique and bespoke wallpaper company.
Perhaps photography is not your thing. Perhaps you unintentionally cut off people’s heads, or blur the subject matter. Not to worry, there are so many other ways to bring your travels back home. Curate your own collection. Invest in a piece of art or a sculpture. You don’t need to spend a fortune, consider a watercolor or charcoal from a local artist. A piece of sculpture, a bust, some fabric, some pottery, a rug… something picked up off the beaten path… You can bring home anything you wish, though heavier objects from overseas should be shipped or your airline will likely charge you an astronomical fee! If you’re traveling by car, as long as space permits, bring home whatever you want! Even simple things can make a statement. Collect matchbooks from all your favorite restaurants and display them in a beautiful glass bowl. Collect armfuls of driftwood – I’ve noticed that driftwood is quite the rage these days – and group them together. Shells, pine cones, and river rocks can all be gathered from nature and make for wonderful displays. Whenever you look at these items you’ll remember your travels and smile.
Sometimes nothing says welcome home as much as remembrances from all your travels!
*all photographs are property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and may not be re-used or reproduced without prior permission