There was a time when the only reminders people had of their vacation experiences consisted mainly of Mexican sombreros, an exotic bottle of something to be used in cocktails, or a pair of Spanish-style castanets. Add to these the stuffed donkey and oversized decorative handheld fan and that was about as close to bringing home that holiday feeling that anyone ever came. Today, however, there are more opportunities than ever before to travel and experience the impact of cultures from all parts of the world. Here are a few ideas to help you bring that summer vacation back with you.
There is something about an Asian-themed bedroom that speaks immediately of balance, tranquility, and an atmosphere in which you can be calm and relaxed. Seek out furniture edged in bamboo and dark blue or black fabrics embroidered with stylish orchids or other exotic flowers. Myriad candles aligned on a mantelpiece or a window ledge are a given – their soft light enhances the ambiance. If you’re lucky enough to have a four-poster bed, then make the most of it with Bali-style gauzy white drapes to provide a reminder of the exotic nights on your vacation trip. Dress the bed with pillows that echo the sea in blue and green.
The best of Europe
If the French Riviera is your idea of the perfect vacation spot, then replicate the look when you get home by introducing wonderful wooden shutters, zany striped fabrics, and lots of shells. Mediterranean themes also include using terracotta on the walls or on tiled floors – check on Pinterest.com for some examples – and blue or green-painted shutters work really well against a terracotta background.
The mighty African continent is a major source of inspirational design ideas when it comes to replicating that safari vacation feeling at home. There are fabulous prints, captivating artifacts, and simple but clever design ideas that offer the opportunity for a fabulous home makeover. African sculptures and wall art are bold and command attention: positioning a group against a neutral background can be particularly effective. Animal prints can be used on textiles – on everything from cushions to throws to upholstery. Basketwork also creates a great theme; from wall-mounted plates and bowls to subtle lampshades, they can add striking notes to any room. African woods include mahogany, cedar, and ebony, and if you add earthenware into the mix, you will create the best effect.
There are a few items of furniture that absolutely everyone has or loves, and these are the pieces you can dress up to reflect your holiday experience. Think exotic cushions on your much-loved sofa, a throw and a new headboard for your bed, or an amazing footstool to complement your favorite armchair. No matter which holiday experience you have enjoyed the most, it’s always possible to recreate a little of that atmosphere at home. All it takes is a bit of imagination and an opportunity to forage for great budget items that suit your vacation design scheme.