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Bring the world home

From the Resene decorating blog

International travel can be one of the best ways to find inspiration, relaxation and adventure. While it’s a little more complicated in today’s world to simply hop on a flight to a new exotic destination, you can take inspiration from far-off places to create exotic, relaxing and fun spaces in your home.

The trick to striking interiors inspired by travel is not to simply stack a room with country-themed souvenirs, but take a broader, more inspired approach. If you’re after an Australian-themed space, for example, it’s less about pictures of koalas on the wall and more about evoking the spirit of your favourite places, with colours and textures.

A dining room painted with sunbaked shades

Sunbaked shades, cooled with sandy neutrals lend this space the feel of an airy, desert retreat. Kate says that she built this scheme around ‘Salt Lake 2’, an artwork by Petra Leary and created a look by layering sandy tones like Resene Despacito and Resene Shabby Chic over Resene Half Spanish White walls and then picked up the pops of terracotta in the artwork by painting the peacock chair, plant pot and one of the peg stools in Resene Sunbaked. Artwork by Petra Leary from endemicworld, shoes, cushion, ceramic vase and sunglasses from Good Thing, lampshade from Trade Aid.

Do you have a photo you love from a certain destination? Use it to inspire your colour palette. Did you bring back a piece of local art or clothing? Use those as a starting place to pin down what it is you really love about the destination that you want to recreate at home. Rather than creating a tiny pastiche replica or a museum, aim for recreating the feelings and state of mind your favourite destinations evoke.

Happy travels… at home!

Departure points

Before you start with a travel-themed design, be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. The heat and relaxation of the tropics? The prettiness of English country garden? The comforting hygge of alpine apres-ski? Or do you simply want to create a zone in your house that is relaxing and reminds you of being on holiday?

Once you have an idea, think about how to make it work in your chosen room. Is the space large or small, dark or light, what is the space mostly used for. If you live in a rural house near the mountains, how will you evoke a sense of being by the sea without it jarring the rest of your home?

These are the types of things you consider before undertaking any design plan. Asking yourself these questions helps ensure your design is cohesive, works with the rest of your house and gets you the result you’re looking for.

A bold Moroccan style sitting room

This bold, colour-drenched sitting room adds light touches of natural fibres for a Moroccan feel.

Rear wall painted in Resene Poppy on the upper section and Resene Dynamite on the lower section. The floor has a base colour of Resene Wishing Well, with a stencilled overlay in Resene Time After Time for a faux tiled effect. Side table in Resene Wishing Well, vase on the shelf in Resene Moccasin and floor vase in Resene Raging Bull. Chair from Indie Home Collective, slippers from Paper Plane, artwork, bowl, rug and lamp from Father Rabbit, cotton stems, branches and throw from Flux Boutique, cushion in Moonbeam from Freedom. Project by Gem Adams.

A home interior painted with spicy shades

Spicy shades like the mix of Resene Dark Buff (upper) and Resene Korma (lower shelf) bring a sense of exotic heat to this room.

The floor is in Resene Eighth Drought and the DIY artwork and short vase are in Resene Gold Coast. Armchair from Contempa, cushion cover, candle and marble dish from Citta, Hannah Vessel from Father Rabbit. Project by Gem Adams. image by Wendy Fenwick.

Start by creating a mood board with the things that inspire you from your destination. It could include postcards, souvenirs, fabrics, magazine pictures – anything that you associate with the destination or feeling you’re trying to create, that inspires you.

Remember too, that you don’t have to try and re-create a specific place, it’s more about trying to recreate a mood.

Have a chat to a Resene colour consultant in your nearest Resene ColorShop as well or use the free Resene Ask a Colour Expert service. They will be able to suggest not just colours, but wallpaper designs, paint effects, finishings and furnishings that will help create your dream travel-inspired room.

Top tip:  If you have a memento or souvenir you’d like to add to an existing room, try placing it under a glass cloche to lend instant elegance and draw the eye. Collectibles such as seashells or ceramics work particularly well.

An outdoor area with the feel of a luxury resort

Fresh, natural shades give this outdoor area the feel of a luxury resort. Back wall painted in Resene Triple White Pointer, while the side wall is Resene Half Friar Greystone with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Quarter Friar Greystone applied to the wall using a large brush in a swirly motion then wiped off with a clean, dry rag to create a marbled effect. Floor in Resene Triple White Pointer, rear wall trellis in Resene Woodsman Whitewash and front trellis in Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. On the table the tealight holder is Resene Biscotti, the tray is Resene Blanc and the plant pot is Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. The large tree pot is Resene All Black and the smaller pot on the floor is Resene FX Faux Rust. The Jenga blocks are painted in Resene Triple White Pointer, Resene Friar Greystone, Resene Ironsand, Resene Gravel, Resene Tapa and Resene All Black. Sofa from Early Settler, wool blanket from The Warehouse, cushions (made by stylist using wool blanket) from The Warehouse, black cushion cover from H&M Home, fur cushion from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Choose your space

Some spaces in your home may lend themselves to travel themed design more than others. Here are some suggestions for good places to play with your travel inspirations ideas.

Outdoor entertaining:  A sheltered outdoor entertaining area can be a great place because it won't clash with your interior style. Play with wood stains on fences, decks or furniture to reflect different woods from around the world, such as the dark teak of South East Asia with Resene Woodsman Tamarind or pale Nordic woods with Resene Woodsman Driftwood.

Talk to your local garden centre about exotic plants that will grow in your conditions to help set your geographical mood. Invest in comfortable loungers to emulate your favourite resort, go all out with an outdoor shower or bath or even an outdoor bar to complete the escape vibe.

Outdoor shed:  These days many homeowners are adding additional space to their homes with a shed, for use as a home office, a hobby space, a children’s play zone or just extra storage. Whatever you’re using it for, your shed can be a really fun place to experiment with design ideas, particularly travel themed ideas. You could turn it into a beach shack with sandy neutrals such as Resene Merino or Resene Half Thorndon Cream on the walls and floor and bright pops of tropical or nautical colours such as Resene Hemisphere blue, Resene Permanent Green or sunny Resene Golden Sand. Alternatively opt for a ‘cabin in the woods’ style retreat with darker wood finishes in Resene Woodsman Treehouse, and warm shades of Resene Persian Red and Resene Mulberry. Add a comfy chair and plenty of warm throws and cushions.

A beautiful blue dining room

This beautiful dining room evokes a soothing sense of being by the sea, without being beachy. Walls painted in Resene Seachange with arch and shelves in Resene Awash, floor in Resene Breathless, table in Resene Rhino, pot on the floor in Resene Rhino with a stripe in Resene Breathless and triangle motif in Resene Awash and small vase on the shelf in Resene Breathless. Chairs from Freedom, bar cart from Wooden Horse, rug from Grounded Homeware, brass scoop from Good Thing, artwork from Rachel Mataira, brass tray (on table) and brass plant pot (on shelf) from H&M Home, plant from Mood Store. Project by Melle Van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

Bathroom/Ensuite:  Bathrooms can be a fun place to try and revive a travel mood, so you get a little hit of holiday every time you go in. Bathrooms also often work as their own defined design zones that don’t need to tie in with the rest of your home. Adding a layer of luxury in a deep coloured feature wall or perhaps gold or brass tapware, with plush towels and some leafy green plants, can transform your home bathroom to that of a luxury hotel or spa. For a more relaxed vibe, add natural wood finishes and natural fibres in floor mats and light fittings for a cool tropical beach vibe. Take a favourite beachy photo, blow it up large and frame it over your bath, then pick out the colours to decorate the rest of your space.

Children’s bedroom:  These rooms are a great place to keep alive the memories of fantastic family holidays – and they’re spaces where you can be a bit more literal in your holiday theme. Start with a gallery wall in one area of the room. Use it to showcase family holiday snaps in different size frames, but add in mementos that mean something to your kids, from shells and postcards to clothing, seashells, books and art. Choose items that are meaningful to you and your kids, rather than just what you think looks good, and you’ll end up with a fun, authentic conversation piece that makes everybody happy.

Around the world in colour

Colour can be a powerful trigger to evoke memories and moods of certain places. Here’s some ideas for bringing exotic destinations to life through Resene colours.

Top tip:  As well as colour, aromas can be very powerful in evoking the mood of certain places. Try candles and incense in botanical or spice notes from the region you want to re-visit.

Resene Despacito

Resene Shabby Chic

Resene Quarter Friar Greystone

Resene Half Friar Greystone

Resene Friar Greystone

Resene Time After Time

Resene Sunbaked

July 31, 2021

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