One of our favorite things about traveling abroad? Finding beautiful pieces to bring home as souvenirs. From exploring street markets to stocks stocked with items from local artisans, there are so many places to discover the perfect purchase. Not only are these items pieces great to help you decorate your space, but they also capture the memory of your trip and the sentiment of your experience there.
Since designers are always scouting out the coolest items, we thought we would ask a few experts to share their favorite items that they picked up while exploring the world. After hearing these stories, you'll want to make your next vacation a decor scouting trip, too.
"I have several items in my workspace that are inspired by travel," shares designer and stylist Anita Yokota. "A few years ago, I got these teal and saffron yellow Moroccan leather flats on a solo trip to Spain. It was on that trip that I decided to pursue my passion for design full time so they are very special to me. Using shoes as way to add decor to the room is very personal and when seen in a photograph adds a very warm human element."
"Another special piece is the coconut shell ukulele I randomly picked up in Tahiti," she says. "While on our honeymoon, we walked through a small town and I knew I had to have it as soon as I laid my eyes on it! Hanging musical instruments is another great way to add visual interest. The reminder of music can transcend the room and offers something very fun and warm. In addition, the wood texture in the ukulele contrasts well with the other home accents."
"Lastly is the driftwood from my hometown in the Pacific Northwest," Yokota adds. "I love how rustic it looks on my desk. The natural rawness adds something organic to any space."
“It is a beautiful vintage hand carved copper Persian lunch box,” shares interior designer Joy Moyler. “I think from the 1940s. It was often used as a spice travel box. I picked it up in London many years ago.”
“The first time I opened it, faint drifts of cumin escaped in the most divine way,” she recalls. “Strangely enough, I’ve carried this as a handbag to a couple of dinner parties. I just love it. Right now it’s the keeper of love notes from when my husband and me started dating. And that’s makes me love it even more.”
"Whenever I travel, I make sure to leave room in my suitcase to bring ceramics from local artisans home with me," explains Rue Magazine and Light Lab co-founder Anne Sage. "It's a great way to build a souvenir collection that I can actually use on a daily basis!"
"I found the striped and polka dot pitchers in this image at a shop in Toronto while I was out shopping with my mom," she shares. "Incorporating them into my morning coffee ritual not only reminds me of my love for Toronto and its thriving design scene, but also of the fun I always have when I'm visiting my mom. Somehow we both find the best stuff when we're in each other's company, and these charming pitchers are the perfect example of that!"
"Every time I travel I make a point to seek out the local flea markets and thrift shops in the area," says interior designer, stylist, and editor Angela Belt. "I always find the coolest stuff at inexpensive prices. I am also obsessed with tea, so when I found this tea holder made in Hornsea England at the Columbia Road Flower Market, I had to have it."