There is no better home decor inspiration than physically being in a beautifully designed space, especially spaces with looks that are obtainable (Of course the Sistine Chapel is beautiful, but take it down a level, you guys.) Several people I know are very talented self-taught home decorators, and visiting their homes often gives me motivation to work on my own, or helps me think outside the box of my own preferences. But sometimes you need to go somewhere new and stay a while. That is where my very shameless and unpaid plug for AirBNB comes in. Seriously, it’s a cheap and comfortable way to travel and meet people, and you can visit some really interesting places. I could not say enough good things about it. But be picky. Not all homes are created equal.
I want to take you on a tour, spread out over a few blog posts, of some semi-recent vacations. Don’t get me wrong; this is not a site-seeing tour. We are on a mission here, a mission for you to see some well-designed homes, and for me to remember what it felt like to be there. I want to get the same feeling when I walk into my house as I did when I walked into these houses. I want to figure out the formula. This is as much a learning experience for me as it is for you. So sit back, get comfortable, grab some popcorn… or chocolate… or wine, and enjoy the ride!
First stop… Key West
Ah, the farthest Key. Key West, you are one of my favorite styles of decorating. You are easy, clean, simple, and light. You make me never want to leave. This cottage we stayed at was luxurious and comfortable, and had an old, historic feel while still remaining modern. Take a gander:
Here are some things that make it look and feel lovely:
- The cedar roof. Unfortunately I did not take many pictures of it, but this place had a high ceiling made of cedar, and it smelled amazing.
- Lots of natural tones and lots of white are a two trademarks of the Key West style of decor, and they are very prevalent in the photos above- from the gorgeous woven-grass chairs, to the dark wood sleig-bed with clean white sheets, to the orchid centerpiece.
- The architectural details. The first thing I noticed when I walked in the cottage were the two unique doorways (top, right), and the bold, simple molding on every juncture. Adding simple, flat molding like this around the windows and doorways of a home would be an easy upgrade and make a huge impact. There was similar crown molding in both bedrooms
- Lack of clutter. This was the biggest inspiration of all. Even more so than most vacation homes, this place was completely clutter free, making the space feel open and relaxing. There are no magazines, no tchotchkes, and decor was extremely streamlined. Compared to my own home which has several pieces of artwork in each room, this place had about 1 piece of wall art in each room, but the art was really well-chosen, which brings me to my next point….
- Thoughtfully chosen artwork:
The two original oil paintings above were on either side of the kitchen, and the rich colors contrasted the subtle colors throughout the rest of the cottage. The Botero Print above the bed added a raunchy playfulness to the house.
I believe that every house should have one little surprise in it, and this was it.
So in keeping with my goal of motivating and inspiring myself with these trips down memory lane, I am going to work on these 3 things: decluttering, adding woods and natural tones, and investing in (or creating) quality pieces of art, and scrapping the ones that are not adding to the beauty of my home.
Now it’s your turn- I want to hear from you! What was your most inspiring vacation spot and what did you learn from it?