Travelling is such a wonderful thing. No matter where one goes or how far away it is, it's great to get out of your comfort zone and go and see “something else”.
One of the best ways to find inspiration for any design or decorating project is collect lots of references as to what you like or don’t like. Each different area of the country or world has developed interpretations on furniture, decorations and art that suit them for where they live. By taking advantage of visiting the cultural institutions where you go on vacation allows you to see the local lifestyle in a way that can help to inform what you want your own personal space to look.
I am not saying that it's imperative to buy one item from everywhere you go, but at least take some time to go to a historical home, local museum or if you have the opportunity, visit a private home. Some people do make a purchase for their home on nearly every special trip
they take. A friend of mine bought a great painting by a local artist of a local subject matter on a recent trip abroad. We were discussing his purchase, his feeling was that while expensive and almost certainly not going to appreciate in value, the painting captured perfectly the fabulous time he had on the trip and he was going to make it work in his house.
I can trace my love of antiques to the fact that wherever we went as a child, I was dragged to whatever historical home was around. Let me state clearly that at the time I hated every single moment of those visits. Now I appreciate them greatly and force my children to accompany me on similar jaunts.
Books and magazines offer great glimpses into how design has evolved in different parts of the world. We often, while on vacation, tend to shy away from the “cultural” and focus on unplugging from our everyday life. I do think that having “vacation brain” offers a great opportunity to see what may work in your own home, offering great inspiration to refresh a room, consider new fabric or even a whole redo of a room or house.
On your next trip, take some time to explore the local culture and design. You may not like all or any of it, but it will give you incredible food for thought when you have your next design or redecoration project.