Travel-inspired Interiors

colorful tiles and wall art
Photo by Maria Orlova on

Vacations are an opportunity to find appealing and unique treasures from your travels to decorate your home.  As I have mentioned many times, your home’s interior should tell a story.

How do you add visual interest with vacation finds? Follow my three simple rules and you will be filling your suitcases with beautiful finds. 

First, choose quality items: therefore, avoid the souvenir shops and their kitschy cheap products. However, there is always one exception, right? Consider purchasing some higher end, photograph-style postcards to frame or to create a shadow box or collage on a large, framed map. 

Second, wander through the local flea markets, fabric stores, art galleries, craft fairs, and specialty boutiques like glass and ceramic shops to find those one-of-a-kind treasures.  We all think twice about “what can fit in our suitcase” but if you find the perfect mirror, rug, light fixture or piece of art or sculpture, it’s worth the shipping or extra airline handling fee.  Think about spreading that cost over twenty years of enjoying something and the price seems rather affordable. Speaking of budget, skip one of those fancy hotel restaurant dinners so you can spring for that beautiful crystal vase you admired every time you walked past the shop window. 

Finally, go back to the basics of interior decorating when deciding what to choose for accessories.  Purchase items in colors that will go with your current interior. Either the same color family, analogous (colors next to each other on the color wheel) or complementary colors will work with what you already own. Look for something that might be a new focal point. Don’t forget balance, scale, and proportion. Add interest with texture and layers.  Or maybe start a collection to which you can add from future vacations.

In closing, follow the golden rule of decorating: live with what you love.

Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering creative solutions at reasonable rates. Learn more about her decorating, downsizing, decluttering and home décor sewing services, decorating workshops, and quilt programs and shows at and enjoy her art quilts on Instagram @secretaryinteriordecorating. You can reach her at 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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