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What We Love: Souvenirs for the Home

Great finds from your vacation can add sensational style to your home for years to come -- and bring back sweet memories.

While vacationing, skip the tacky snow globes and bring back something special: a memento that not only sparks a memory, but looks good doing it. "Decorating with souvenirs is a great way to personalize your decor," say Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil, authors of Decorating With Funky Shui(www.oneilsisters.com). "Sure, World Market has some exciting objets d'art from foreign countries, but think of how much more fun it would be to decorate with some you imported yourself."

Whether you're hiking a national park, tossing the dice in Las Vegas or touring Italy, these trip mementos will help you to create a mini-vacation in your home.

Along with hiking blisters, you can bring home a very stylized and fun pillow from that national park you just visited, courtesy of catstudio, with The Geography Collection of regional pillows, dish towels, place mats and more. We love this pillow celebrating the most-visited national park in America: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 19" x 19" square is hand embroidered and has brown velvet piping. From catstudio.com.

Great Smoky Mtns. Pillow, (catstudio.com), $136

It's fun to find a souvenir that truly captures the spirit of a vacation destination. If you've ever been to Biltmore House, the grand mountain home of the Vanderbilts in Asheville, N.C., you know it's full of beautiful artwork. Next time, take home a copy of one of the home's famous pieces. We love how Pierre-August Renoir's Young Algerian Girl absolutely glows on the walls of the Chippendale Room. It can glow in your home, too, in two sizes. From Shop Biltmore Estate Online.

Young Algerian Girlprint, (shop.biltmore.com), (23.5" x 22"), $277.50

Flea markets and antique malls are great places to scout souvenirs, especially glassware, while vacationing. But if you'd rather skip the shopping hassle, consider these striking frosted tumblers that commemorate the 50 states. From The Thoughtfulness Shop.

State Glasses, (www.thoughtfulnessshop.com), 15 Oz. Frosted Tumblers with 7 colors + matte gold, $10.95 each.

Chicago, not your average sleepy Midwest city, is full of things to do, like visiting The Art Institute, sailing on Lake Michigan or shopping chic Michigan Avenue. It also has an amazing history, including the seminal 1933 World's Fair, which really put the "city of progress" on the map. That's why we love this set of old art deco postcards commemorating the fair's sites, from the Avenue of Flags to the Enchanted Island in Fort Dearborn. They'd look even more beautiful framed. From Ruby Lane.

Set of 11 Vintage 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Postcards, (www.rubylane.com), $33

Vacations are a fantastic time to explore local craftsmanship. Instead of taking home that totem pole made in China, consider the crafts of the area. You'll have a beautiful souvenir that supports a local artist. Taking a desert trip? Try this "Cactus" basket by artist JoAnne Russo. From Guild.com

"Cactus" Basket", (guild.com), $550

Visiting Mount Rushmore? Think North by Northwest. New York City? Breakfast at Tiffany's. Atlanta? Gone With the Wind. A movie poster of a famous landmark is a piece of art all by itself. From MoMA.org.

Breakfast at Tiffany's poster, (moma.org ), $12

You don't need a horse to take home something beautiful and totally "Santa Fe" from The Brown Cow Saddle Company. Artist Christina Bergh and the other artisans at the company in the beautiful New Mexico town can design and weave a beautiful custom rug for you. They also make amazing tablecloths, blankets and place mats.

The Brown Cow Saddle Company custom rugs, (www.thebrowncow.com), $65 per square foot

Maps, whether they're antiques or modern-day versions, can be beautiful and artistic reminders of a favorite destination. We love this frame-worthy antique map of Italy, but we’d be just as happy papering a small bathroom wall with Paris or NYC subway maps. Cheap, memorable, inspired and inspiring!

Helmink.com, Call or e-mail for prices

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