Armchair Travel: What’s the Most Inspiring Place You’ve Visited?

published Apr 7, 2016
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(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

It’s now officially past the point in the year when I, without fail, begin feeling utterly despondent about the weather in London and start fervently planning weekend mini-breaks and vacations abroad with friends (most of which will never happen, because let’s be honest, paychecks only stretch so far). When planning holidays real or imaginary, I’m primarily influenced by two factors: the quality of the food, and the design of the architecture/interiors. Since this is a design website, let’s unpack that latter one, shall we?

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Style might seem like an arbitrary issue on which to base a holiday, and I’ll admit it isn’t the most practical. But from a purely emotional place, I want to be surrounded by beauty when I’m away from home. And as a designer, I take lots of inspiration from my surroundings, so exposing myself to new places, materials, color combinations, etc., is a big part of that.

From minimal, chic apartments in frosty Scandinavian cities (my holiday mainstay—what can I say, I’m a cold-blooded girl who knows what she likes) to sun-saturated riads festooned with hand-painted tiles in Morocco (top of my to-go list), each of my favored destinations has a strong visual story attached to it.

I also love to bring my holidays home with me in the form of souvenirs, and home goods like textiles, vases, art, and kitchenware are my go-to buys when I’m abroad. Having a constant reminder of your travels in your home helps keep the magic alive, especially in these dreary winter days.

So, let’s help each other out with our travel planning, even if it’s just the armchair variety. What’s the most beautiful and inspiring place you’ve ever visited, design-wise? Where would you suggest I and your fellow Apartment Therapists check out next? And what design destination is at the top of your list right now?