Little treasures -- from antique spoons to unique flea-market finds -- can be a decorating windfall. The Funky Shui sisters show you how to decorate with souvenirs.
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Global chic is everywhere. Walk through your local home decorating store and you’re bound to see motifs with international roots. Accessories like hand-carved bowls from Thailand, hand-woven kilims from Morocco, and hand-hammered tin mirrors from the Mayan Riviera infuse your decor with texture and color. But why buy the same picture frames and candleholders as your neighbors when you can add spice from your own personal travels? As you hit the road this summer, keep an eye out for decorator touches posing as souvenirs. Look for items your destination is famous for, such as linen from Ireland, pottery from Portugal, and baskets from the Bahamas. Then give those mementos a place of honor in your home and every time you see them, you’ll think of your trip to another country, not your trip to Pier One.
Fabrics from exotic locales pack well in your suitcase and pack a big punch in your decor. Look for locally crafted textiles like French country tablecloths in Provence, batik bedspreads in Bali, and raw-silk runners in India. Reverse appliqué Molas from Panama make bright and beautiful wall hangings. A cushion cover from Peru adds a touch of South America to any room. If your trip doesn’t take you abroad, you can still bring home fabulous fabric furnishings. Think quilts from the Amish country and wool from Pendleton, or visit a sidewalk art show for one-of-a kind pieces by local fiber artists. With such striking fabric accents, even your home will feel refreshed after your holiday.
Our 10-step budget guide will help you set up and stick to a decorating budget without blowing it.