Elevate Your Souvenir Swag

30 Sep 2021

By Amanda Stewart

As Covid travel restrictions continue to lighten up, many of us are able to resume road trip vacations, beach visits, and last-minute getaways. We all want to make that feeling of an exhilarating vacation stay with us long after the last suitcase is unpacked. Unfortunately, the allure of the exotic sojourn often seems so far away amidst piles of bills, stacks of dishes, and loads of laundry. Here’s how to incorporate some basic interior design rules into your procurement and placement of travel treasures; whether you already have them or spending an afternoon to go find some!

How to choose and use your next trip’s souvenirs:

Stick to a color palette.  Curate your selection of treasures to stay within the color palette of your home. If you’re not sure what each room’s color palette is, here is a crash course in Design Style 101:

For optimum viewing and living pleasure, follow the 60/30/10 rule for color in your home. 60% of a room should be one color, followed by 30% of another color, and a final pop of 10% of a third color. Don’t worry; neutrals such as white, grey, black and brown can be used judiciously in addition to these three colors.  

Make it a treasure hunt! Survey your home before you leave and note anything that is missing: a throw pillow for the guest bed, a piece of art for the entryway, or a statement serving piece for your dining room. Each time you traipse through the local markets, be on guard for anything that will fit the bill. Make sure to take measurements before you leave
if applicable!

Find things that are beautiful AND functional. Experience your new locale with all five senses, and let that inspire your souvenir purchase. Whether it’s an antique mortar and pestle to remind you of the rich culture in Peru, a candle that perfectly diffuses the unique spices and seasonings of the food in India, or a sumptuous Moraccan wool blanket, your senses will transport you back to that place and time immediately upon coming into contact with it. Design that looks just as good as it functions is the key to creating a space that you love being in and always want to come back to.

Tips for using what you already have:

Group collections together so that they have a bigger impact (i.e. a gallery wall of cityscapes, a bookshelf filled with baskets and trinkets, or a group of glasses and vases).

Rotate special items. If you have a lot of special memories from your travels, give individual pieces their own time to shine by rotating seasonally. One of my favorite life sayings is, “if everything is important, nothing is important,” and this certainly holds true in design. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to only covering 50% of a flat surface with decorative items; everything else goes into storage until it’s time for their turn in the spotlight.  

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