Travel-Inspired Decorating Tips for Creating a Focal Point

by Mallory Knee
Room with stylish furniture

Incorporate the spirit of travel adventures with these decorating tips for creating a focal point. Use souvenirs and inspiration from other cultures.

You’d probably prefer to be traveling all the time, absorbing inspiration from all parts of the globe. But when you’re home, you can add that spirit of adventure to your décor. Try these decorating tips for creating a focal point in any room, using influences from other cultures and even the souvenirs you’ve picked up along the way.

Variety of African souvenirs exposed for sale in local market

Variety of African souvenirs exposed for sale in local market

Every room needs a focal point to serve as an anchor for the elements within. If you’re a world traveler, those elements might be very eclectic. Creating a focal point can unify, set a tone, and create a beautiful flow. This should be the first step when you’re decorating a room, and it affects your other design choices. You should arrange all your living room furniture and accents to enhance the focal point. The best part is that your focal point can be anything you love.

Fireplace

If you have a fireplace, you’ve got a built-in focal point. A mantel is a beautiful way to display souvenirs. You can also customize any fireplace with tiles you’ve collected in your travels to add a foreign flavor. You can get very different effects with blue-and-white Chinese porcelain, Turkish mosaics, or intricate, colorful Moroccan designs.

Maps

A map doesn’t have to be historic or antique to earn a prominent place in your room. A large map in an ornate frame can remind you of a favorite place. And there’s no shame in choosing a map just because it’s pretty or because it fits in with your color scheme.

Fabric

Amazing colorful Balinese sarongs for sale in Ubud, Bali, Indone

Amazing colorful Balinese sarongs for sale in Ubud, Bali, Indone

Souvenir fabrics pack well and tend to arrive home without damage. You may have intended to wear them, add them to your bed linens, or even upholster furniture with them, but they’re often so beautiful that you can also display them on a wall. Draw attention with any textile: a tapestry, an Indian sari, a Japanese kimono, or even a rug from Nepal.

Shelving

Height can be a powerful way to attract attention, and a beautiful shelving unit with distinctive details will have even more personality when you display souvenirs. These can be anything from vases and sculptures to coffee table books about places that have meaning for you.

Gallery Wall

Traditional souvenir in Granada, Spain. Alhambra decoration and mosaic. Old muslim style

Traditional souvenir in Granada, Spain. Alhambra decoration and mosaic. Old muslim style

If you prefer to avoid lugging around large mementos on your travels, you can arrange smaller souvenirs together for greater effect. Vary sizes and shapes of street paintings, landscapes, postcards, or blown-up photos of architectural details. You can maximize the visual effect with a common color theme.

Indigenous People Crafting Souvenirs For Sale

Indigenous People Crafting Souvenirs For Sale

One of the most useful decorating tips for creating a focal point is to remember you can showcase anything you want to: a large mirror, African masks, a distinctive piece of furniture, or a creatively presented collection of wine bottles. There are no limits, so transform your home with wonders from around the world.

 

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