There is one aspect in interior decorating that I particularly love – not only in my own home but also when I visit other people’s homes. I love when I discover interesting and beautiful items brought back from travels all around the world. And I don’t mean tacky souvenirs from the horrid souvenir shops in the main touristy corners – I mean thoughtfully chosen pieces that have an aesthetic and emotional value and often do not reveal their provenance at first sight. Those are my kind of souvenirs.
When I travel I always end up visiting home decor stores, bookshops, ateliers. I am always looking for that special item I want to bring back that will remind me of the trip. And it often has no special connection to the place I bought it apart from the fact that I bought it right there. For example I have a carved wooden picture from Rhodes, a tiny ceramic figurine from Portland, handmade vases from Israel or a vintage illustration from Paris. All these pieces are unique decor objects in my home – but more than that they are lasting mementos of precious days in special places.
My recent trip to New Zealand was once again a chance to bring back small pieces to my home that will remind me of four unforgettable weeks on the other side of the world. In New Zealand I scored three vintage ceramic vases, one vintage illustration, a cushion cover and tea towel from a local design label, one book, a tiny brass Kiwi bird, a Celestite crystal, one mini macrame hanger and plant pot, a vintage plate and a hand carved wooden Maori mask. Truth be told, two of my souvenirs point to their place of origin: the little Kiwi bird and the Maori mask.
I like that my home decor is growing with pieces brought back from my many trips. Each piece has a story and meaning – it is not a meaningless dust trap bought at a dreary souvenir shop. Some of these pieces have already found a place in my home, others are waiting to be put in action; I need to add the cushion cover and tea towel, frame the illustration and plant a little baby plant into the planter. I’ll annoy you again once I get that done. But in the meantime I wonder: Do you bring special souvenirs back from your trips? What was the last piece you brought back from a trip? I’m curious!
Photography by Igor Josifovic