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  Global style: Making your souvenirs stand out.

Thanks to globalization and the internet, it is easier today to add an ethnic or global touch to your home without leaving your home country. But I still like collecting treasures you can get only from traveling, and afterward finding the perfect spot for them in my house. They remind me of my trips, the people who were there, and the feeling I had at that moment….thus, bringing more meaning to a tchotchke then a t-shirt with a catchy slogan bought in the airport would have.

A few of the items that always bring a smile to my face are the shells I have collected while scuba diving or beach combing in Belize, Fiji, and the British Virgin Islands. I keep them front and center in a silver tray in my house because I love to be reminded of those amazing trips.

Or display prize shells here and there for individual accent…I love them on book shelves…

or in china cabinets.

You can collect your own shells from any beach vacation…but if you are collecting from an international location, just be sure the laws don’t forbid taking a certain shell home in your luggage!

Here is an urn from Morocco…..

Gold candle holders from Paris….Remember, something that may look dull on a store shelf can take on a whole new look when you put it in a new place.

I really love finding art from local artists. Here’s a portrait of me and my Mom while in Rome. We were suckers for some artist who painted us into a cafe scene. I am still glad we bought it. Paintings are great to mix it up a bit on a shelf with framed photos.

Here’s a water color from San Gimignano in my daughter’s room…I like adding mature treasures to my kids rooms also.

Here’s local pottery from Bariloche, Argentina.

And this is priceless: A room sign that was made to hang on my door at Fiji’s Turtle Island sits on a shelf in my office. Use your gut to determine where something will be most appreciated, and look appropriate.

I also like incorporating travel-inspired pieces in my home to reflect my passion.

Right now, these steamer trunks are hot – you can find them in Restoration Hardware…or these in the showroom of H.D. Buttercup in Los Angeles.

I found one a while back in Southern California and have it in my own house.  (It sits below art bought from a local artist in San Francisco…)

My kids’ entire playroom has a travel theme.

Map mural on the wall…(hopefully the geography lesson will sink in)

Decals of international monuments pasted on the walls….

These are just a few ways to bring travel home.

So on your summer travels this year, be cognisant of the things you can take back and  add to your whole style and design. It makes the memory stronger….can be a conversation piece….and can look good too!