Worldly decorating tips for souvenir collectors

Frequent travellers and jet-setters bring more than just unique stories back from their exotic destinations. More often than not, each trip comes with a hoard of interesting curiosities and trinkets from the various markets and bazaars explored along the way. With so many one-of-a-kind objects making your house their home, it can then be a little tricky finding appropriate space in your cabinets and on your surfaces to show off these spectacular items.

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To help you find room for all your souvenir ideas, we’ve created a list of decorating tips for the frequent global hunter-gatherer.

Show off souvenirs on a coffee table

Coffee tables are prime real estate for displaying your prized souvenirs. Look for a design with a hollowed out centre covered in glass, for a built-in shadow box. If you love browsing for rare tomes on your travels, stack them artfully on your coffee table to both show off their decorative covers and keep them in easy reaching distance. Photography books from past destinations invite guests to peruse at their leisure, sparking conversations.

Shop for practical pieces

For some more practical decorating tips, try sourcing souvenirs that do double duty as objets d’art and storage. Scour markets for functional wooden furnishings like vintage chests of drawers, travel trunks, and side tables. These can be worked into your existing décor for a cohesive yet uncluttered arrangement.

Seek out decorative tableware

Kitschy souvenir stalls will always line the regular tourist routes, so try go a little off the beaten track to find some local artisan pieces instead. Ceramic bowls, lacquered trays, and mosaic plates bring back fond memories with them of Moroccan markets and Mexican sunsets. These souvenir ideas can be used as practical display bowls for flowers or fruit, or as centrepieces for your dining table.

Share local flavours

Vividly hued and potent spices are great souvenir ideas, allowing you to relive your visits to bustling bazaars with a pinch of fiery paprika or canary-yellow turmeric. Store your spices in small glass jars to let their colours become a focal point in your kitchen. Equally, more decorating tips for your kitchen include displaying lavishly illustrated recipe books on side tables, or hanging hammered metal pots on hooks.

Store knick-knacks in open shelving

Clear glass cabinets, wooden cubbies, and built-in bookcases can be used to display your latest finds. Use a critical eye to curate your collection and contrast objects of visual interest against each other. A Hungarian blown-glass vase filled with buttons could occupy one space, and a Bolivian candy tin the next. Play around with different colours and textures to create an arrangement with meaning to you. Be sure to leave plenty of empty space, and avoid cramming too many items onto one shelf. Give each piece space to tell its own story.

Splash colour into your design

Chinese velvet drapery, vintage French silk scarves, and Belgian handcrafted lace are just a few examples of textile souvenir ideas. These can be mixed and matched to add opulence, colour, and tactile comfort to the home. If you’re looking for decorating tips on how to include these in your décor, create some aesthetic warmth with rich fabrics turned to practical or decorative uses. Repurpose one-of-a-kind textiles into throw pillows, table runners, or wall art.

As you embark on upcoming travels, it’s natural that you’ll find new objects to cherish back at home. Let your interior design evolve, swapping one souvenir on display for a new one every now and then. Edit your displays as needed to keep your space calm, cool, and culturally relevant.

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