Decor ideas for the housebound traveler
If your actual travel plans are on hold, you can soothe your wanderlust with a few home decor change-ups or additions.
Whether you're wishing you were at a wilderness cabin, the beach or an exotic passport destination, designers and retailers are offering clever ways to bring the world into your quarantined home space.
Can't stroll the real streets of Italy? You can clad floors or walls in a kitchen, bath or family room with a surfacing that evokes that feel. Italy's ABK offers the Nuovi Mondi capsule collection of large-format ceramic tiles digitally printed with painterly landscapes and whimsical illusory elements like tightrope walkers, bicyclists and playful children. Termed "ceramic wallpaper,'' its scenes include cityscapes of Rome, Venice and Milan.
Another Italian tile maker, Refin, offers Risseu, a collection of porcelain stoneware tiles inspired by Genoa's historic, cobbled courtyards and city gardens.
Alessandra Wood, vice president of style at the online interior-design platform Modsy, says you can evoke the feel of your favorite coastal getaway through some well-chosen prints and materials.
"Look for pieces that have a subtle tropical vibe via foliage, like palms, as well as natural raw wood or rattan textures, and fun global prints,'' she says. "Incorporate prints and objects that depict shells and sea life."
Lamps Plus, Lightology and Burke Decor have table lamps with resin bases crafted like pieces of coral.
Missing your favorite beachcombing spot? Small touches, like changing the lighting or choosing new cabinet pulls, may be just the ticket.
"Beach destinations have long been an inspiration for my design style," says interior designer Jeffrey Alan Marks in Santa Monica, California. "My favorite place is Malibu; I just love walking the beach and experiencing the ocean atmosphere."
He's re-created the vibe with a pendant fixture that's part of his Point Dume collection for Progress Lighting; tiers of blue-toned, galvanized metal are inspired by lapping waves and the industrial materials found on the pier.
Get a few of CB2's polished sandstone and agate stone doorknobs, or Wayfair's knobs made of ocean-washed pebbles gathered in New England, and every time you open a cabinet you'll be reminded of shoreline walks. Or opt for a set of Two's Company's remarkably realistic sea-glass plates, fashioned in the shape of oyster and clam shells, at Burke Decor.
New York textile design studio Eskaye l has a new pattern called Out East; founder Shanan Campanaro's watercolor toile paintings were drawn from photos of the Hamptons sourced through interior design firm Curious Yellow. Montauk landmarks like the lighthouse and clam bar, Sag Harbor's windmill and theater, and Sagaponack's vineyards and stables are among the images. The collection is available as both wall covering and fabric.
At Serena & Lily, they've got photo prints of soothing, beachy scenes from various artists. At Murals Wallpaper, you'll find vistas of the Canadian Rockies, Scottish Highlands, Iceland and even Mount Everest, should you be pining for the mountains.
Color is another easy, subtle way to call to mind a vacation destination, Wood says.
"Think about the bold pops of color you might see on an island getaway. Or opt for layers of serene blues and sea foam greens paired with neutral hues to evoke the sea and sand and create a calming backdrop," she says.
If a sophisticated hotel is more what you long for, Wood has suggestions.
"Chic hotels have a few key components: luxurious materials, sleek furniture and restrained styling. If you're feeling bold, start with a saturated wall color. Choose case pieces that have an interesting material burl or metallic textured finish. Add glam accents such as velvet and gold, and finalize the look with abstract or geometric art, sculptural vases and art books," she says.
CB2 has the exotic yet urbane Kinzie credenza designed by Mermelada Estudio, with swaths of hand-applied bronze and gold metallic paint on mindi wood, a type of white cedar.
Got a million destination photos on your phone or computer? Consider making a coffee-table book -- perhaps as a gift for a wistful fellow traveler. Chatbooks and Parabo Press are two options.
Parabo will also turn a favorite scenic shot into a square, large-format print, canvas or framed work. Have it turned into a mural at Murals Your Way. Or consider having the photo printed on ceramic tiles at ImageSnap; choose from tiny 2-square-inch versions or larger 1-square-foot ones.
Want something more painterly? Various artists on Etsy.com will transform your travel photo into a wall-worthy acrylic or watercolor original painting.
If armchair travel is the way we'll be going for awhile, keeping that last great adventure fresh in mind may be only a decor order away.