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The Well-Traveled Home

Kite Shelf by BDI

Looks We Love:
The Well-Traveled Home

Gathering trophies from your travels is part of the fun of going on vacation, but they can clutter up your modern space. We'll show you how to keep the collection looking chic, not chaotic.

When it comes to showcasing a space that truly tells your story, there's nothing more personalized than an artful display of eclectic decor, found and collected over time. Whether you're just starting out on your design journey or you've been down this road before, there are some things you should keep in mind to create the well-traveled, yet still modern, look you want for your home.

Here's your itinerary:

Plan Ahead to Keep Clutter Under Control

Design by Kate Marker Interiors  |  Photo by Margaret Rajic

An eclectic or global design scheme is inherently risky when it comes to clutter. In your excitement to show off your favorite souvenirs and rare finds, you might want to put everything everywhere. But such an approach can feel unfocused and messy (in addition to simply collecting dust).

To avoid the chaos, plan out your design goals in advance. What do you want the focus to be from one room to the next? Whether it's one piece, a collection of items or the room itself, choose your goal and move forward from there.

Show off your travel-centric trinkets and furnishings deliberately and with care. To make the most of your ethnic pieces, consider using larger furniture pieces in a somewhat neutral color palette. This will create a monochromatic canvas from which more colorful and textural pieces can pop and grab attention.

Choose One Theme... or Several

Image via Girl and the World

If you love everything about Morocco or Japan, by all means, make that single locale source of décor inspiration throughout your home. To keep your interior's design feeling polished and consistent, as well as worldly, distribute your regional finds evenly throughout your home.

If you appreciate multiple cultures, you don't necessarily have to choose just one. In this case, you may be tempted to show off each region separately (each in its own room, for example) to give it emphasis. But clumping similar décor together can make the overall flow through your home feel disjointed, jumping from one theme to the next.

Instead, blend the décor from different areas together for a truly global feel throughout your home. One way to make it feel cohesive is to group items based on shared colors, patterns, textures or other complementary details. Or, embrace the contrast between pieces. Just be consistent with your contrast; keep it going throughout your home. And always remember, be strategic. Too many pieces can prove distracting and feel cluttered.

Whether you opt for one or many regions to represent, keep things balanced to show off your design loves well, without making your home feel like a theme park.

Display Décor to Help You Reminisce

So, how do you decide what pieces you should use to establish a modern, collected-over-time design? The easiest way to start your well-traveled design scheme is to use authentic pieces you may already have.

You can hold onto the feeling of a favorite vacation by displaying the pieces you got while you were on it. And you don't have to stop there. If that vacation has proved particularly inspiring, you can continue to add to your collection with pieces that were handmade there and/or have details that evoke that time and place.

Add Décor to Help You Aspire

Perhaps there's a journey that you have not yet taken, but yearn to. Bring pieces into your home that are representative of this trip-to-come. Not only will they express your pre-existing appreciation of a culture, they can continually remind you what you're looking forward to.

Change Things Out Seasonally

Do you already have a lot of global décor and knickknacks that you love? You don't have to get rid of items just for the sake of keeping your home clutter-free. Simply rotate the items you love based on the season (or your mood). An unexpected benefit that comes from this approach is the sense of rediscovery that comes every time you unpack a cherished statue, blanket or piece of furniture.

Constant discovery and renewing your sense of wonder: That's just what travel—and the well-traveled home—can do.

SHOP THE WELL-TRAVELED HOME