Travel as Home Decor!
I am so excited to be writing this post – there is so much chitter chatter on the web on planning your travels and what to do while travelling and then on the other side so many DIY home decor ideas. I haven’t come across very many ideas that combine the two and it’s something my fiancé and I do often. We figured why buy photos of beautiful landscapes when we have those photos taken by us? Why go to Homesense and buy statues as decor or coasters for our tables when we can get those from Thailand as a souvenir and always remember our trip? (Plus, it costs less too!)
The idea behind this blog is to provide ways to travel while starting out your life. Not only is purchasing a home or renting a apartment expensive but furnishing and decorating is also very costly. My fiancé and I have used all of our adventures as a way to decorate our home & with it we have created a place of happy memories that are always inspiring us to do more and go more places. So check out the list below of the 6 ways to bring travel home with you.
My fiancé and I sat down one evening and picked out our favourite travel photos. We edited them then went out and bought frames for them from a variety of places like Walmart, Michaels, Ikea & Homesense. We bought all different colours, sizes and styles. We then wrote down the sizes of the frames and the photo we wanted in it then took those notes with us to the Walmart Photo Centre where we printed out all of our photos, from a large poster to standard 5 X 7’s & everything in between. Every photo hanging on our wall was taken by us from different places we have travelled to (and all with our iPhone camera’s!). It also leaves us tons of space to continue to add as we keep travelling to new places!
From a pizza slicer bought in Italy to salad tossers from Africa, Costa Rica & Thailand the possibilities are endless with kitchen essentials you can buy while abroad. The key is to not go crazy all in one place, buy 1 or 2 things from each trip you take that you can use in your kitchen. From salad bowls, to good old Starbucks mugs from their “You are Here” collection (these can definitely be over priced), to oven mitts and silly aprons. Buying souvenirs that serve a purpose in your home is key! That way you don’t end up with clutter, it gets used, and in the long run you’re saving money because these things are always cheaper in other countries.
Now some people may think that souvenirs are a waste of money or space, but I beg to differ! Why buy the elephant statue from Homesense for $30 or the fake rocks from Ikea for your candles when you can get beautiful hand carved wooden elephant statues from the Elephant Nature Park Sanctuary where the money goes directly back to helping save elephants and… it only costs you $15. Yes, I said rocks. I’m weird and when I go to a beautiful beach and see pretty shells & little cute colourful pebbles I want to collect them. Call me weird…but now I have them in cute little glass tea light holders. Every step you take throughout our home provides a memory and story. They’re not things that were just bought from the same store as all your neighbours.
My fiancé and I got our engagement photos done in Amsterdam while on vacation (check out our photos here) as well we have gotten our photos taken in Mexico then printed out a canvas from Walmart of one of the photos for our bedroom! Holland holds a very special place in our hearts for multiple reasons that I will get into details in a later post. But travel has also been a very important aspect of our relationship & has brought us closer than I could have ever imagined. We took something like engagement photos that are usually done in your home town and added a story, memory and meaning behind them. So you’re not engaged? You can take family portraits, couple portraits, maternity photos, even paying for the photo package at the Disney Parks is totally worth it (my little sister and I did when we went and totally felt it was worth the money!) With that being said – I’m not saying pay for professional photos every time you travel. But if there happens to be a special reason or opportunity I say take it! They make for great memories and decor around the home!
Bring The Flavour Home
Food & alcohol are always such a big aspect of a country and its history. They both tell such important stories about the places you’re visiting & the best part is…every place has something different to offer. Some examples of how we have accomplished this through out our travels are:
Not only did we try pizza and pasta at every restaurant we went to but we also went on a 1/2 day wine tour through Tuscany. It was absolutely amazing!!! We not only got to learn the traditional ways of making wine and walk through a wine cellar with bottles of wine as old as 114 years; but we also were able to taste traditional Chianti’s, Italian meats & cheeses and homemade olive oil. We brought back 2 bottles of white wine, 2 bottles of red & a bottle of olive oil which also turn into great kitchen decor items. Our wine bottles were repurposed buy cleaning them out, buying a couple fake flowers from the dollar store and putting them in the bottles to display on our bar shelf. I hope one day I can go back again…but I’d definitely send cases of wine and olive oil home!
While we were planning our trip to Thailand we came across Pum’s Cooking School. That’s right, we took a Thai cooking class, not only did you get to learn some of the Thai cooking traditions, cook a meal & eat it, they give you a recipe book to take home. I highly recommend doing something like this on your next adventure!
I am lucky enough to have my best friend living in London and sharing all the insider secrets with me. When we visited London we participated in traditional High Tea, a classic Sunday roast dinner and visited Circus one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever been too! Basically they have one large long table that seconds as a stage with typical restaurant/lounge seating surrounding the stage table. Throughout your dining experience they put on a variety of shows on the stage table! And then of course I had to buy myself some tea while I was there as well which looks adorable staged by my teapots!
We came home with quite a variety of dutch things, from the Stroopwafel Likeur, to actual Stroopwafels, wheels of Gouda cheese (actually bought in Gouda!) as well I actually brought home some tulip bulbs to plant in the spring to decorate my patio.
Invest a couple bucks into a shadow box (a type of picture frame that you can put larger things in (ex. Sports jerseys, wedding dresses, coins etc.) I always try my best to use up as much of the small bills/change that I am carrying by the end of our trip but I find were always left with some random small stuff that the banks won’t change back. So you can keep a little bit of currency from each place and display it in a shadow box. It would make a great decor piece for an office.
I hope you enjoyed some of the ideas listed above! There are so many ways to utilize travel as a way to not only go through these experiences but continuously be able to remember and relive them through the decor in your home.