Travel souvenirs as home decor

March 21, 2016 3


home decor, souvenirs, travel memorabilia as decor, interior decor, interior styling

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.

home decor, souvenirs, travel memorabilia as decor, interior decor, interior styling

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.

home decor, souvenirs, travel memorabilia as decor, interior decor, interior styling

home decor, souvenirs, travel memorabilia as decor, interior decor, interior styling

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.

home decor, souvenirs, travel memorabilia as decor, interior decor, interior styling

home decor, souvenirs, travel memorabilia as decor, interior decor, interior styling

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


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  • Reply Love Elodie March 22, 2016 at 08:02

    Lovely collection dear. Oh yes, I do that too. I always bring vases with me when I travel. Have a great day! Elodie

    • Reply Igor March 22, 2016 at 08:06

      Well that is also a handy souvenir for you flower lady, n’est-ce pas? Have a wonderful day my friend!!

  • Reply Amy @apidaecandles March 22, 2016 at 10:16

    I love it when an object tells a story. And if it’s a story from a vacation, even better! I brought home a vintage champagne cooler from an antique shop in Provence on my last trip.

    • Reply Igor March 22, 2016 at 10:58

      That is truly a special souvenir! So interesting to see what people end up bringing back home!

  • Reply Anya J March 22, 2016 at 11:41

    Ooh you are exactly like me Igor – I carried a Morrocan table on my lap once, and a lamp all the way from Cuba 🙂 I adore the Kiwi bird – so sweet. Take care my friend – hugs A

    • Reply Igor March 22, 2016 at 13:24

      Well I know I have some really stylish interior addict friends here! At least it doesn’t make us feel alone and crazy hahahaha. Have a safe day my friend!

  • Reply Nicola Ranson March 22, 2016 at 15:02

    I love this! I also like my home to be autobiographical, filled with beautiful things I have collected. My favourite souvenir is a copper coffee set my boyfriend and I brought back from Bosnia. Here;s a photo!

    • Reply Igor March 22, 2016 at 16:55

      Beautiful Nicola! And reminds me of my family which stems from the former Yugoslavia!

  • Reply Fräulein Julia March 22, 2016 at 15:18

    Das ist unter anderem einer der Gründe, warum ich immer mit möglichst wenig Gepäck losfliege: Um viel Platz für diese ganz speziellen Souvenirs zu haben! (Bei meiner Reise nach Marokko wurde das schwer, bei diesen ganzen tollen Teppichen/Decken…!)

    • Reply Igor March 22, 2016 at 16:55

      Oh das glaub ich Dir! In Marokko war ich noch nicht. Ich glaube da brauch ich dann auch Übergepäck für Kelims, Kissen usw.!

  • Reply Jana March 22, 2016 at 18:48

    I always bring a tile (or something that resembles a tile) from my travels. So I have a growing collection of various tiles which remind me of places I visited 🙂

    • Reply Igor March 22, 2016 at 22:10

      A great idea to stick to one certain item and collect one from every visited place!! Your collection must be amazing!

  • Reply Claudetta | doitbutdoitnow March 22, 2016 at 21:26

    Hätte ich alles exakt auch so mitgenommen 🙂 Besonders der kleine Kiwi gefällt mir sehr! Sehr sehr schön und wohl das einzig Schöne am Ende einer jeden Reise 😀

    Liebe Grüße aus Berlin,

    • Reply Igor March 22, 2016 at 22:10

      Danke Dir Claudetta!

  • Reply verena + hamburg von innen March 23, 2016 at 07:44

    Liebe Igor, Du hast wirklich ein wunderbares Gespür für schöne Dinge!
    Mit Souvenirs halte ich es ähnlich, wobei ich ab und an auch “typische” Souvenirs kaufe, aber nur unkitschige. Zum Beispiel habe ich eine toskanische “Abendschatten”-Figur aus Gusseisen und einen kleinen Stein-Ganesha aus Rajasthan. Und Keramik geht natürlich überall immer <3

    • Reply Igor March 23, 2016 at 09:01

      Ich mag ja auch typische Souvenirs, wenn die schön sind und im Idealfall handgemacht oder aus einem lokalen Handwerksbetrieb oder Studio. Beispielweise ist die Holzmaske typische Maori-Kunst und die hab ich in einem Maori-Kunstatelier gekauft, wo sie von lokalen Künstlern aus lokalem Holz geschnitzt wurde.

  • Reply Bärbel March 24, 2016 at 17:11

    Hallo Igor,

    die kleine Makramee-Ampel ist ja süß! Bei den Souvenirs halte ich es genauso wie du: Ich kaufe meine Reiseandenken in den normalen Geschäften. Das kann zum Beispiel eine praktische Parmesanreibe aus Italien sein, die es bei uns nicht gibt.

    Die Dinge aus den Souvenirläden sind nicht selten “made in China” und stammen gar nicht aus dem jeweiligen Land – auch ein Grund sie zu vermeiden.

    Mein letztes Mitbringsel war das Poster eines Absinth-Ladens in Berlin. Darauf ist eine Katze abgebildet, die tief ins Glas schaut 🙂 Das Poster ziert jetzt mein Arbeitszimmer.

    Viele Grüße


    • Reply Igor March 24, 2016 at 19:20

      Da hast Du absolut recht, Bärbel. Und tolles letztes Souvenir hast Du Dir mitgebracht:-))

  • Reply elena +deco March 28, 2016 at 21:05

    I bring back pieces of wood and stones. I few weeks ago I went to the sea side for the day and I brought back a black piece of wood, charcoal outside.
    It is my balcony now; it looks beautiful, the deepest black ever.
    My 4 year old boy does the same. I often find stones in his pocket.

    • Reply Igor March 29, 2016 at 23:11

      Great souvenirs! I once brought back a piece of driftwood from the French Atlantic coast and I always use it in my home decor ever since! Simple but lovely!

  • Reply Mel March 29, 2016 at 07:56

    Love the stories they tell and theg make for an interesting home x

  • Reply Shalini June 25, 2016 at 07:54

    Frim New Zealand I brought a wood board assemble it yourself kiwi for my elder daughter. I got a lovely fern platter too.

  • Reply Shalini June 25, 2016 at 07:57

    I always bring back leaves and flowers from my trip that I press into a book. I label them too so I can go back and see where I got what. From New Zealand I found some lovely reddish leaves that had holes in them…it reminded me of the clear portions of their notes!

    I also bring back bookmarks from my travels. I got beautiful leather ones in Florence and lace ones from Venice.

    • Reply Igor June 25, 2016 at 15:04

      What a beautiful way to immortalize trips! Love the pressed leaves and flowers idea in particular!

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