5 travel-inspired home decorating ideas

If you enjoy travel, and if you’re interested in undertaking some interior decorating at your house or apartment, why not combine the two? You can collect souvenirs on trips to display in your home, or if you prefer to travel light, you can embrace a travel-themed decor style to have you and your guests always thinking about the next trip you’ll take.

Here are five travel-inspired home decorating ideas that can help add a unique personality to your residence:

— Postcard wall art

— Vintage suitcase shelving

— Travel trunk tables

— Maps

— Travel photos

[Read: How to Prepare Your Home for Overnight Guests]

Postcard Wall Art

They may not be as commonplace as they were a generation ago, but postcards are still available at nearly every travel destination. People don’t often send postcards to family and friends when traveling thanks to the constant presence of mobile devices and communication apps. Nonetheless, consider picking up postcards on your travels and bringing them home. Postcards can make for interesting wall art that hopefully have an engaging travel story to go with it.

You have a number of options available when it comes to using postcards as an artistic addition to your home. For example, you can purchase an assortment of fun-looking yet inexpensive frames to turn a wall in your home into something of a miniature art gallery. If you’re reluctant to purchase new frames, head over to a local thrift store. These outlets often have plenty of picture frames on their shelves and you can present your postcard art in an interesting assortment of eclectic, maybe even vintage, frames.

Shelves from Vintage Suitcases

Unlike postcards, vintage suitcases are not likely items that you would bring home from your travels. Still, vintage suitcases definitely meet the mark of being trendy and travel-inspired, and are often found in antique shops and thrift stores. Give vintage suitcases a second life by turning them into unique and intriguing shelves in your home.

Do note, though, that turning vintage suitcases into shelves requires some handiwork and access to power tools, like a table saw. If you’re not up for handling that sort of machinery, then do a search for local makerspaces, where members of the community can gather to use tools they may not have and lend expertise to others, which should at least point you in the right direction.

The actual procedure is fairly simple — the vintage suitcase is cut in half so the top of the suitcase with the clasp and handle are intact. This part of the suitcase faces out from the wall, so the open side is against the wall. The project is fairly common on DIY blogs and Pinterest, and a simple Google search will lead you to multiple tutorials to make your suitcase shelf project a little more beginner-friendly.

[See: 8 Things You Shouldn’t Keep in Your Basement or Garage]

Travel Trunks and Tables

Long gone are the days when people traveled using trunks. However, their prevalence in decades past means vintage trunks can easily be found in antique shops, and with little or no work make for an interesting addition to your home. Without having to scour local resale stores, you very well may have friends or family that use these sorts of trunks for storage, perhaps forgotten down in a basement or up in an attic, and they may be up for parting with it in exchange for a more modern one. What makes them unique is adding a distinguished sense of flair and personality to your home while providing the value of much-needed storage space, or an end table to rest things on.

Maps, Maps, and More Maps

With GPS at everyone’s fingertips, paper maps have largely become a thing of the past. With that said, they still exist and are printed regularly. Maps of different places and in different styles can prove to be stylish additions to your home. The spectrum from which you can select maps for your home is endless. Antique maps of your hometown or a country you recently visited can be framed and make for a conversation piece in your living room. For a more urban look and feel, frame subway maps of major cities. The map you choose can serve as an extension of your life experiences and personal interests, while also serving as decoration.

[Read: The Guide to Home Renovations]

Upgrade Your Travel Photos

When it comes to travel-inspired decorating ideas, the silver bullet solution may very well live on your smartphone. Your own travel photos, even a selfie or two, can be the basis of some cute and personal interior decorating options. Gather all of your photos from a trip and make it into an elaborate photo collage using free online tools, like BeFunky.com or PhotoCollage.com. You can also use a high resolution photo of scenery you loved or a family photo from vacation into a wall poster that you can order printed on mountable foam core. You can even develop a theme across all of your travels, like snapshots of you in front of famous landmarks or cafes you stopped in while visiting different countries. The options are endless as to how you use your own photos, but they’ll always add a personal touch to your travel-inspired decor.

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5 Travel-Inspired Home Decorating Ideas originally appeared on usnews.com

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