Souvenirs often get a bad rap. All it takes is a stroll through a dense tourist area filled with cheap, kitschy trinkets, and it's easy to see why. But souvenirs really shouldn't be equated with over-commercialized clutter. At their core, they are sentimental storehouses that evoke memories of cherished people, places, or experiences. And as our house tours show, souvenirs are one of the best ways to make a home feel like a deeply personal record of where you've been and how you've become the person that you are.
Here's some inspiration for displaying those vacation memories at home.
1. Rutger's "Charming Hovel" in London: Rutger's "design sabbatical" allowed him to study interior design, start a company, and travel the world. His living room features many items from his travels, including a zebra painting by Nino Palavandishvili, a Georgian artist, Chinese pots from the Compagnie de l'Orient et de la Chine in Brussels, and small statues from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics.
2. Kay's Curated Somerville Nest: Kay's den features a bark cloth she carried back to Boston from a trip to Fiji in 1996 and a white leather pouf from Zid Zid Kids in Marrakech.
3. Blythe's Bohemian West Hollywood Cottage: Blythe's dining table is draped with an Indian tablecloth that she picked up in Australia.
4. Faith's Magical Bohemian Treehouse: Drawing inspiration from "The most lovely tents, trailers and treehouses all over the world," Faith Blakeney has used furniture and accessories from her travels to create a whimsical, eclectic home.
5. Celesta & Sean's Eclectic (Fun!) First Home: The art piece above Celesta and Sean's bar was purchased from a street vendor in New Orleans while they were on an anniversary trip. Also check out their antique Asian credenza, which they brought back from a trip abroad.
6. Nicolas & Fabienne's Quirky and Colorful London Home: The lion head in Nicolas and Fabienne's bright and airy home came from Streetwires, a workshop in Cape Town, South Africa.
7. Peaches' Wonderfully Whimsical Bungalow: Sometimes souvenirs from friends' travels can be just as meaningful. Peaches' vibrant green chair features a pillow brought back from a friend's travels in India.
8. Budi & Andrew's Global Oasis in London: Budi and Andrew have used antiques and souvenirs from their many travels to create a layered, personal home. According to Budi, "The things in [our home] tell the story of our lives." The entryway features a bench from Bali and a wall feature that was originally the front section of an antique bed from Madura.
9. Julie & Jesper's Musical Scandi-Canadian Nest: The wooden photo display pieces in Julie and Jesper's living room are actually pieces taken from the inside of a wall in the first apartment they ever bought. When they moved from Montreal and Paris they brought them as a way to take a piece of the apartment with them.
10. Klemens and Robert's Sophisticated Eastern Mix: When Klemens and Robert moved from China to Canada, they brought many of their cherished Chinese antiques with them. Much of the art in their apartment is propaganda collected during their trips through the South Pacific.
(Images: as linked above)