While traditionalists archive travel memories in photo albums, a modern wave of jet-setting wanderers is choosing a more dynamic approach for reminiscing about past travels—fashioning their homes with carefully curated curiosities collected during far-flung adventures. With considered choices and strategic placement, a walk down the hall becomes a stroll down memory lane.
Miranda Cullen, owner and principal of design firm Inside Stories, has a knack for personalizing projects with clients’ travel accessories. “Artifacts, and all kinds of objets d’art, are some of my favorite relics to display,” she says. “I absolutely love putting these personal touches into all of my projects because it makes a space feel more specific, distinctive, and homey.”
Trends Come and Go but Memories Last a Lifetime
Displaying heirloom-quality pieces obtained during your travels transforms homes into high-end galleries, elevating the display of meaningful artifacts beyond cluttered shelves. This could be a hand-painted nutcracker you fell in love with at Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt in Germany, an artisan-woven throw you haggled for at Les Nomades de Marrakech, or a vintage treasure you unearthed at Paris’ Les Puces market—any striking object that catches your eye and reminds you of your exotic escapes. For displaying smaller items, Cullen says a collection can sit nicely on a bookshelf, credenza, dresser, nightstand, or really anything with a flat surface. During your treasure hunts, keep an eye out for stunning frames that you can use to showcase photographs from your trip, too. If you are drawn to kitschy trinkets, Cullen suggests considering ways to repurpose them. A coffee mug, she says, could make a stylish pen holder on the desk in your home office.
Decorating with travel mementos isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about encapsulating personal adventures and creating unique narratives within the home. These souvenirs form a cherished collections, becoming evocative vignettes that remind you of your journeys. The look you’re going for is cohesive, not cluttered, so opt for pieces with similar characteristics or color schemes to bring home.