ASK A DE­SIGNER: Va­ca­tion vi­sions dazzle your decor

Bring that hol­i­day vibe back into your home

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - MELISSA RAYWORTH

Sum­mer travel leaves many of us with mem­o­ries of ocean sun­sets or for­eign street scenes or other only-on-va­ca­tion sights. Once we’ve re­turned home, how can we hold onto some of that beauty and bring it into our liv­ing spa­ces?

The weeks af­ter a trip can be the per­fect time to make small but pow­er­ful changes to your home. “I love what trav­el­ling does to peo­ple’s imag­i­na­tions and to their cre­ativ­ity,” says Los Angeles-based in­te­rior de­signer Betsy Burn­ham.

With min­i­mal ef­fort and ex­pense, she says, you can live year-round with a bit of the charm and feel­ing of your favourite travel des­ti­na­tions. “You don’t have to re­dec­o­rate. All you have to do is kind of pin­point what it is that evokes the sen­sa­tion of still be­ing there.”

“Look back through your pho­tos and just think about the sense of place,” she says. “It can be as sim­ple as a jar of shells that ap­pears in your guest bath­room,” or as dra­matic as re-paint­ing a room.

Here Burn­ham and in­te­rior de­sign­ers Kyle Schune­man (au­thor of The First Apart­ment Book: Cool De­sign For Small Spa­ces, due out Aug. 28 from Clark­son Pot­ter) and Brian Patrick Flynn, who is the founder of decorde­, share ad­vice on bring­ing your trav­els into your home. the first thing I’ll do is ask them to think of a time and place that they went to that re­ally made them happy,” says Flynn.

For one client, he re­painted a bath­room the ex­act shade of robin’s egg blue that was used throughout a ho­tel where the cou­ple stayed dur­ing a mem­o­rable an­niver­sary trip. “Ev­ery time she thinks of that colour, it brings her back to that time be­fore they had kids and got busy with their ca­reers,” Flynn ex­plains.

An­other client, based in Los Angeles, wanted mem­o­ries of his Aussie home. “In his break­fast nook, we went with pure, bold, al­most ra­di­a­tion yel­low,” Flynn says. “It al­ways feels sunny and re­minds him of how it feels to be in Aus­tralia.”

“I think cre­at­ing a col­lec­tion in your home from your trav­els is such an im­por­tant part of de­sign,” says Schune­man. “I ac­tu­ally have a chap­ter in my book called ‘The Col­lec­tor,’ as I think those col­lec­tions are what are so im­por­tant to mak­ing a house a home.”

Burn­ham agrees: On her fam­ily’s first trip to Paris, her kids bought in­ex­pen­sive Eif­fel Tower stat­ues sold on the street cor­ners. “It’s so corny when you’re there,” she says. But if you gather sim­i­lar items dur­ing and af­ter a trip and dis­play them to­gether, it be­comes a de­sign state­ment and con­ver­sa­tion piece. Their Eif­fel Tower col­lec­tion has grown over the years, and “all of a sud­den we’ve got this kind of funky col­lec­tion.” des­ti­na­tion or just cap­tures the area’s sen­si­bil­ity, the work of lo­cal painters and ar­ti­sans can com­mem­o­rate your trip and add beauty to your home.

You can of­ten find lo­cal art that is ex­tremely af­ford­able, Flynn says, “and it’s a per­ma­nent story sit­ting on your walls. You’re fill­ing the walls and telling a story about your va­ca­tion.”

Along with ap­pre­ci­at­ing artis­tic beauty, also keep nat­u­ral beauty in mind: Burn­ham sug­gests tak­ing note of the plants and flow­ers you saw dur­ing your sum­mer travel. If the cli­mate is at all sim­i­lar, try to use the same or sim­i­lar plants in your own yard. “Maybe it’s a top­i­ary in a pot, some­thing Euro­pean,” she says, or beach grass that evokes a sleepy sea­side town you loved vis­it­ing.

When you re­turn with pho­tos from your trip, skip tra­di­tional frames in favour of some­thing more cre­ative.

“A great idea for dis­play­ing pho­tos is tak­ing some of your favourites and find­ing a rus­tic slab of wood or maybe a sleek piece of metal,” Schune­man says. Then de­coupage the pho­tos in a ran­dom, eye-catch­ing pat­tern. “For lit­tle or no money, you have a cool art piece that will for­ever be a mem­ory board and can be cus­tom­ized to just your taste and the trip’s feel­ing.”

Choose the frame ma­te­rial based on the vibe of your des­ti­na­tion — per­haps mount camp­ing pho­tos on un­fin­ished wood or pho­tos from an ur­ban des­ti­na­tion on metal.

An­other op­tion is choos­ing “a more artis­tic-feel­ing photo — maybe a land­scape or a close-up shot — and hav­ing it blown up on can­vas. Can­vas On De­mand is one of my favourite sources for this and their qual­ity is great,” Schune­man says. “It’s a to­tal con­ver­sa­tion starter.”

Pho­tos: Brian Pa­trick Flynn, Sarah DORIO/HGTV Re­mod­els

The lush or­ange trees of Cal­i­for­nia serve as in­spi­ra­tion in a client’s den for designer, Brian Pa­trick Flynn, founder of decorde­ He lay­ered sev­eral shades of or­ange through­out the space to cap­ture those va­ca­tion mem­o­ries.

Bright yel­low tones in this din­ing space re­flect an Aus­tralian client’s love of his home coun­try’s golden sun.

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