Your apartment decor should, ideally, say something about you as a person. When your friends or new acquaintances come to visit, they’ll see the art hanging on your walls and patterns of your furniture, all of which reveal a bit about your tastes.
Of course, if you consider yourself a globe-trotter (your passport will likely agree), you may want your apartment to feature elements from your travels. Besides, decorating according to the places you’ve visited may help you feel like you’re back in your favorite city, wherever in the world that may be! Not to mention the souvenirs you display make for great conversation starters. Take a look at these apartment decorating ideas to help you on your latest journey:
Revisit Photo Albums
The images you snapped while backpacking through Europe, hiking the Alps or exploring the Far East are treasure troves of decor inspiration. Use them not only as brainstorming tools, but as actual decorative elements.
While you rifle through your albums, pay special attention to the colors, patterns and shapes common in each culture. For example, you may note that the Middle East had lots of curved, ornate pieces, wooden furniture and metal lanterns while Greece displayed a combination of blue and white. These features are all ones that may make their way into your apartment decor.
Mix and Match Cultures
If you’ve “been everywhere man,” (to Reno, Chicago, Fargo, oh you know how it goes), you may have a lot of cultural elements to use. You can incorporate elements from all of your travels into your apartment design if you so choose. Either way, proceed with care (otherwise the decor will be all confused)! Here are some tips for harmonious cultural-design blending:
Pick a Universal Color Scheme: Decor inspired by Feudal Japan does not look like that from Medieval Europe; sorry pal. But you can bring them together in a somewhat congruent way. If you want to mix and match your souvenirs and other decor elements, pick a color scheme to which everything will stick.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: The principle of repetition mandates that you pick an element and use it throughout your apartment design. Doing so connects the numerous components you’ve acquired throughout your travels. You might decide that all of your furniture will feature dark wood or that you’ll incorporate square shapes. Your picture frames, throw pillows and souvenirs can all be square. Read more tips for apartment decorating using repetition.
Create a Focal Point: With all the interesting objects you’ve collected from across the globe, your apartment can feel overwhelmed. Use the concepts of focal point and details when decorating your space. Basically, you’ll want to create an area or select an object that is the center of attention in your room. Everything else should blend into the background. You can make this object stand out by painting it an accent color that really pops!
Fill in the Blanks: You can also create a harmonious apartment (full of unique travel paraphernalia) by outfitting the space with modern furniture. Contemporary design is simple and sleek, giving you an almost blank canvas on which to finish your decor. Once you’ve established your apartment’s basic look, start displaying the items you’ve collected from other countries or states.
Use Your Souvenirs
As you’ve probably already planned, you can and should decorate using the things you’ve picked up during your travels. The vase from Venice, rug from Mexico and lamp from Morocco are all amazing pieces perfect for adding intrigue to your apartment. Hang them strategically so your visitors will notice them (it’s a good way to break the ice).
As you shop for more decor, consider picking up objects that match your souvenirs. Now, you likely won’t find perfect duplicates, but filling your apartment with approximations in addition to the real deal will complete the design.
Create a Gallery Wall
Gallery walls are a trend in interior design right now, and they’re fun to create. All you have to do is choose one wall in your apartment to become the focal point of a room. It should be a large wall, as you’ll be hanging a lot of pictures.
Then, you simply choose photos, prints, paintings, frames, etc., to hang upon the wall. Arrange the pieces however you want, as long as the final product is interesting.
Read: Decorating with Maps
As you are a world traveler, after all, you might want to include a map that marks all the locations you’ve visited. Around that, display images from your trips or art you purchased while traveling.