Travel Themed Decor – 10 Design Styles From Around the World

a rustic living room with limewash walls and a large olive tree

The coronavirus pandemic obviously impacted our ability to pack our bags and go and explore different parts of the world. But, as we have slowly come out the other side, Britons are once again doing what they love to do best and boarding planes, trains, and automobiles to visit more places.

Indeed, UK residents took an estimated 71.8 million trips abroad in 2022, 375 percent more than the year previous as travel restrictions began to lift.

Travel Themed Decor

Traveling is good for the soul. It can reduce the impact of stress and anxiety, provide a much-needed break from the daily grind of working life, broaden our horizons, and introduce us to new foods.

Travel decor is an interior design style that draws inspiration from different cultures and places around the world. This interior design style is all about bringing the essence of travel into your home, creating a space that reflects your wanderlust and love for exploration.

Travel themed decor can be achieved in a variety of ways, including incorporating elements such as souvenirs, artwork, textiles, and furniture that are inspired by different regions of the world.

You could display a Moroccan rug, an Indian tapestry, or a Japanese screen to create a travel-inspired vibe in your home.

Interior Design

a teal living room with pampas grass in a vase and oak coffee table

Going on trips, whether a short jaunt, longer-term exploration, or maybe even on a honeymoon provides some of the most precious memories we will ever experience. For instance, staying in places like Sonesta hotels near Morrisville can offer unique decor insights that can be replicated in our homes.

So, it stands to reason that we would want some sort of reminder of our soul-soothing travels. For some, that might be putting up photos of the trip or displaying souvenirs bought from exploration.

But increasingly, traveling to new countries around the world is proving a great influence on the interior design styles of our homes.

Doing so not only provides a beautiful representation of the places you might have visited but using those memories and influences can be a great way to enrich your space and offer a sanctuary away from the stresses of modern life.

Designs From Around the World

For the more seasoned travelers, design inspirations might come more naturally. For those with limited travel experience or about to embark on new adventures maybe you’re not as sure of what to look out for to inspire you.

If you are going on tours of Europe, look out for design elements and perhaps even pieces that you could bring back with you. Below are 10 Travel Themed Decor Styles that you may come across and want to incorporate into your own home. 

1. Scandinavian

a scandi inspired kitchen with rattan bar stools and oak flooring

Scandinavian design is a minimalist design movement that originated in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. It is known for its simplicity, functionality, and timeless appeal.

Some key characteristics of Scandinavian design include:

  1. Clean lines: clean, simple lines that emphasize function and utility are key to this design style. There are no unnecessary embellishments or details, and the focus is on creating a streamlined, uncluttered look.
  2. Natural materials: Scandinavian design often incorporates natural materials like wood, leather, and wool. These materials provide warmth and texture to the space and help to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  3. Light color palette: whites, greys, and muted tones are predominant in Scandinavian design. This helps to create a bright and airy feel in the space and also allows other design elements to stand out.
  4. Minimalism: Scandinavian design embraces a minimalist aesthetic, with a focus on functionality and simplicity. This means that everything in the space should serve a purpose, and there should be no excess or unnecessary items.
  5. Functional furniture: functional and practical, furniture is designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and useful. This often means that it is often multifunctional, with storage solutions built in.
  6. Hygge: Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) is a Danish concept that refers to a feeling of coziness, comfort, and contentment. Scandinavian design often incorporates elements of hygge, with soft textiles, warm lighting, and cozy seating areas that invite relaxation and comfort.

Look for authentic Scandinavian souvenirs, such as handcrafted wooden bowls, ceramic vases, or woolen blankets.

These pieces will not only add a touch of Nordic design to your home but also serve as a reminder of your travels and can contribute towards your travel inspired decor. 

2. Japandi

a japandi style room

Japandi is an interior design style that takes the best elements of Japanese and Scandinavian styles, offering a calming and relaxing aesthetic. Furniture is placed low to the ground and uncluttered with muted colors, while lighting fixtures also follow the idea of minimalism.

Japandi design also incorporates elements of wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic that celebrates imperfection, impermanence, and authenticity. This means that materials and objects with a natural, handmade, or rustic quality are favored over mass-produced or perfect items.

Japandi decor is usually uplifted with plants to add some greenery and embrace the theme of nature. This can include potted plants, small Bonsai trees, or even a small zen garden.

Overall, Japandi design is characterized by a harmonious blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design elements, with an emphasis on simplicity, natural materials, and functional design. It is a design style that promotes a sense of calm, tranquillity, and authenticity, and can create a beautiful and serene living space.

Japandi interior design styles can often be found in hotel foyers and restaurant design, so incorporating this style into your home can easily create travel themed decor. 

3. Bohemian

While still taking on influences of nature, Bohemian interior design styles are more eccentric at heart, with a love of vibrancy from colors, patterns, and textured layers meshed together with unique furniture.

Bohemian design is a free-spirited style that incorporates elements of different cultures and eras to create a unique and eclectic look. It is characterized by a sense of individuality, creativity, and a relaxed, carefree attitude.

To me, it is the perfect travel inspired decor style as it encourages you to display and integrate all the souvenirs and items you have picked up from traveling, each telling its own story. 

Decorative items are what bring this design to life, with wall hangings, handcrafted artwork, and woven rugs. You can use this design in the home and create a boho look in your garden.

To bring this style to life, simply – 

  • Layer textures such as wool, silk, cotton, and linen to create a tactile look. 
  • Use bold and vibrant colors, such as jewel, earthy, and bright hues together. 
  • Mix patterns such as floral, paisley, and tribal prints to create a dynamic and eclectic look. 
  • Bohemian design often incorporates vintage and antique pieces, such as distressed furniture or vintage textiles. These pieces add a sense of history and character to the space.
  • Incorporate natural materials, such as wood, stone, and plants, to create a sense of earthiness and connection to nature.
  • Bohemian design incorporates elements from different cultures and countries, such as Moroccan lamps, Indian textiles, or African masks, to create a worldly and eclectic look.
  • Display your artwork on a gallery wall. This could include artwork you’ve picked up on your travels or pictures of your favorite destinations from around the world. 

The beauty of a bohemian interior design style is that it really allows you to embrace your individuality and creativity and can easily inspire you to create travel inspired decor. 

4. Arabian

We lived in Saudi Arabia for a few years and I would say Arabian home design is not too dissimilar from bohemian design.

Arabian home design is a way to bring a more regal, luxurious, and elegant look to your home by embracing bold colors and textures, and materials such as velvet settees, wood tables, and glass decor to bring sitting rooms and bedrooms to life.

Mosaic patterns are a regular theme on rugs, curtains, and wallpapers in Arabian interiors. These patterns tend to include stars, squares, hexagons, or repeating shapes.

Ornate details such as intricate carvings, mosaics, and calligraphy often feature arabesque motifs, which are complex patterns of intertwined foliage and tendrils.

Lighting is an important element in Arabian design, with a focus on creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. This can include the use of lamps, lanterns, and candles to create a soft, diffused light.

The warm lighting is perfect with the rich and warm color palette they prefer, including shades of red, purple, gold, blue, and green. 

5. African

an african inspired home with african artwork and artifacts
Image: Digs Digs

Taking inspiration again from nature, African interior is about using natural shapes, textures, and finishes. An exotic interior design style that uses rich, warm colors such as burgundy, burnt orange, and deep brown earth, in contrast to soft beige, cream, or white painted walls.

African design is a diverse style that draws inspiration from the many different cultures and regions of the African continent. It is characterized by a rich and vibrant aesthetic that celebrates African art, culture, and heritage.

African design often incorporates natural materials, such as wood, stone, and clay, to create a sense of earthiness and connection to the natural world. These materials are often used in decorative elements, such as masks and sculptures.

It also draws inspiration from the many different tribal cultures of the continent. This can include incorporating traditional clothing and jewelry, as well as patterns and motifs inspired by tribal art.

Elements, such as woven baskets, pottery, and carvings are key interior design styles on the African continent. These pieces add a sense of authenticity and connection to the cultural heritage of the region.

Animal motifs also play a huge part in African design with zebras, giraffes, and elephant prints often used in decor to celebrate the rich wildlife of the continent. 

6. Art Deco

1920s French art and design are the inspiration behind this design, which looks to use sleek, metallic finishes such as chrome, glass, and stainless steel.

Furniture tends to use jagged, pointed edges, and decorative pieces are typically larger with generous-sized chairs, dresses and couches all hallmarks of the 1920s.

The key characteristics of Art Deco interior design styles include: 

  • Geometric shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and circles
  • Black, gold, silver, and deep jewel tones like emerald green, ruby red, and sapphire blue
  • Sleek lines, curves, and symmetry
  • Marble, chrome, and lacquer to create a sense of glamour and opulence
  • Decorative motifs such as zigzags, sunbursts, and chevrons
  • Machine-inspired elements (such as airplanes and automobiles) in furniture and decor
  • Exotic influences including Egyptian motifs, tribal patterns, and Japanese lacquerware

7. Beach-themed decor

a room with coastal interior design
Beach-themed decor is all about creating a calm and relaxing vibe. Image credit: B&M Home

For the beach dwellers among you, beach-themed decor or coastal boho decor is probably more your vibe as it uses a light and airy feel to take you back to a time when you were laid on the sand with the noise of crashing waves to relax you.

Sky blue, beige, and crisp white colors are used to give that coastal feel, while weathered wood and sea glass are common in beach decor. Coastal-themed decor can include seashells, starfish, sand, and tropical plants which can all be incorporated in subtle ways such as artwork, throw pillows, or table centerpieces. 

Beach-themed decor often incorporates outdoor living spaces, such as decks, patios, or balconies, to take advantage of the beautiful coastal views and ocean breezes.

If you don’t have a sea view, create your own beach vibe with casual furnishings such as overstuffed sofas, cozy armchairs, and hanging chairs. Don’t forget to add nautical accents such as navy blue and white stripes, rope accents, and sailboat decor. 

8. Mexican Decor

bright orange walls have large motifs on them with lots of cacti, striped and geometric cushion and wooden flooring
Mexican-inspired decor – Image:

Mexican interior design styles are vibrant and colorful styles that are influenced by the country’s rich cultural heritage and history. It is characterized by bold patterns, bright colors, and intricate details.

Vibrant colors, such as reds, yellows, blues, and greens are often used in combination to create a lively and energetic atmosphere. And don’t forget the cacti!

papel picado in green, white and red hanging from a ceiling
Papel picado (perforated paper) is a traditional Mexican decorative craft made by cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper.

Mexican design incorporates folk art elements, such as papel picado (cut paper banners) and alebrijes (colorful hand-carved animal figures), to celebrate the country’s vibrant artistic traditions.

It is also known for its intricate tile work, often used in decorative elements such as backsplashes, countertops, and flooring. These tiles feature bold colors and patterns, adding a sense of drama and excitement to the space.

9. Moroccan Design

a Moroccan-inspired dining room with recessed shelves in blue and Moroccan tiles. the flooring is marble and there are pops of orange throughout
Image: Design Cafe

Moroccan design is not too dissimilar to Mexico with its intricate patterns, vibrant colors, and ornate details. Spain had a lot of influence over Moroccan architecture and this architectural style, referred to as ‘colonial style’, was brought to Mexico by the Spanish.

Both Mexico and Morrocco embraced Spanish architecture and mixed it with their own indigenous styles, hence the reason there are similarities between Moroccan and Mexican design.

Moroccan interior design styles feature a rich and vibrant color palette, with colors such as blues, greens, and oranges often used in combination with reds, yellows, and golds. These colors are often bold and dramatic, creating a sense of energy and vibrancy in the space.

However, Morocco still holds on to its Arabian heritage and features a lot of ornate details, such as carvings, mosaics, and metalwork.

It is probably most famous for its booming textile industry with bold colors and intricate patterns taking center stage and traditional techniques, such as weaving and embroidery still used to create rugs, pillows, throws, and tapestries. 

10. Australian Design

Australian interior design styles are influenced by the country’s unique geography, diverse culture, and natural beauty. It is characterized by a relaxed and informal aesthetic that emphasizes a connection to the outdoors. It is more than just beach themed decor!

The key to Australian design is indoor/outdoor living. It has a relaxed and informal feel, with an emphasis on comfort and livability. This can be seen in the use of comfortable furnishings, such as overstuffed sofas and armchairs, and the incorporation of casual decorative elements, such as woven baskets and pottery.

Large windows, balconies, and verandas play a key role in Australian design. They allow for a seamless flow between the interior and exterior of the home.

Interiors often feature a neutral color palette, with shades of beige, white, and grey being popular. These colors reflect the country’s natural landscape and allow the focus to be on the textures and materials used in the space.

Finally, Australian design celebrates the country’s rich art and cultural traditions, often incorporating Aboriginal art and motifs, as well as contemporary Australian artists and designers. If you’re looking for travel themed decor in your home that incorporates indoor/outdoor living, Australian design is just the thing!

How to Incorporate Different Designs Into Your Own Interior

an art deco style living room with large chandelier over a coffee table

Remember, there is no one right way to decorate your home using travel as your inspiration, nor does your whole interior need to be inspired by the same country or region.

Give it an authentic feel, it can be easy to fall into the pitfalls of your designs and furniture feeling tacky and cheesy. Nor should you overdo it, use the design as inspiration, not something that will throw it in the face of visitors.

Create your own personal style. Don’t get bogged down by thinking a particular piece of art or furniture doesn’t fit an overall theme, after all this is YOUR design so be yourself.

Incorporating travel-themed decor in your home can be a wonderful way to bring the world into your living space and create a unique and personalized atmosphere. By drawing inspiration from different design styles from around the world, you can create a space that reflects your own interests and experiences, and that tells a story about your life and the places you have been.

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