Homepolish designer Angela Belt clues us in to the three designer secrets necessary to create that "cultured world traveler" space of your dreams without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
You and I both know those people… your friends that are going abroad for the summer. They’ll be galavanting around Europe, seeing the world, and they will bring back all these eclectic interior design goodies like a real Moroccan pouf or a one-of-a-kind painting from an artist in Belize. You, on the other hand, will get a consolation prize postcard, because you didn’t have enough funds (or time off) to go along with them. Well, rest assured you are not alone! (I, too, long for the flea markets of Paris, but I am restricted to a Connecticut farmer’s market down the street.) Just because you have to stay at home doesn’t mean you can’t make the world-traveler space of your dreams on a staycation budget. Below, I’ve put together three designer sources that’ll give you that cultured look… but all without leaving the comfort of your home.
1. Flea Market Finds
First things first, look for the local flea markets in your area. Pretty much every town has them. In fact, the more remote the town, the better and more unique the flea and antique shops. Plus, the prices are great because your neighbors won’t recognize the value of a rare signed Paul McCobb desk like you do. Snatch up these finds, and quick!
When you go shopping at vintage hot spots, look for furniture pieces that are fixer-uppers. If the bones of the chair look great, but you know you need to paint it, go for it. You might have to take the time to reupholster an old piece. This is the perfect time to use some of that staycation time you have on your hands to do some DIY projects. Let’s face it, the pieces that need a little TLC are going to be a lot cheaper than the antiques in mint condition. Plus, refinishing pieces, repainting, or reupholstering… although all of these may seem like a lot of work for a piece, it will ensure the one-of-a-kind nature of the furnishing. Get ready to use a little elbow grease to find (or make) the pieces of your dreams. An example of this is a DIY our own did in her Brooklyn apartment.
2. Trinkets from your travels
Chances are you’re going to go on vacation at least once this summer, but maybe it’s just going to be a little bit more domestic, perhaps a road trip for two. Use these trips as an opportunity to find small-scale accessories that you can bring home and layer into your space. A great example of this is a modern farmhome completed by Homepolish’s in Chicago. The home managed to layer in multiple favorite finds from the clients, all from the Midwest region. It’s important to look for pieces that have personal meaning to you because no one can replicate that look. This might also be a good time to splurge on a unique piece of furniture that you know you will never see again. Think twice before leaving a good find behind. Don’t be like me… I still have a clock from London I regret not buying over five years ago. And I STILL wake up in the middle of the night thinking, “Why, oh why, did I not buy it?!”
3. Online websites and auctions
Surfing the web is a great way to find unique pieces from all over the world without ever leaving your sofa. Some favorites for many Homepolish designers are websites like eBay and Chairish. If you’re not familiar with eBay, please get out from under that rock right now. You can buy anything on this website. I honestly have a hard time deciding how many auctions to start bidding on at once for vintage furniture pieces. And then there’s Chairish for design lovers to buy and sell vintage furniture pieces and accessories. This website is so delicious that the design angels sing every time I open their homepage. Lastly, another favorite for Homepolish designers is Etsy. You can literally buy goods and services from artists, makers, and designers from all over the world. There are customization options up to whazoo, and there are so many vendors to work with on one website. It’ll make it a breeze to find those travel accents of your dreams.
A lot of travel-themed homes are so unique because they are curated to the individual and his or her stories. Collect art books, pieces of furniture, and objects that have a personal meaning to you. Who cares if your friend went to five countries this summer? You got to go to five flea markets, six websites, and you created a space that no one else can replicate. And you did it without using a single frequent flyer mile!