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One of the best things about settling down is getting to decorate a home with items that represent my my travels. I’m moving in five days (eek!) and I’ve been perusing the web nonstop for unique items that will reflect my interest in travel.
I’ve never been much of a souvenir buyer (my photos are my souvenirs!) so in some ways, I’m starting with a blank canvas.
Here’s the thing — I don’t want my place to look like a giant travel museum. I’m multidimensional — we all are. Travel should be just one of a variety of interests and curiosities that we cultivate.
The solution? Primarily subtle decor with a few well-placed, quirky travel pieces. I think that the kitchen and bathroom in particular are the best places to go a bit crazier than usual.
I’ve been working with the company Airportag over the past few months, and in addition to cool travel shirts, they also have a lot of cool travel and airport code-themed quirky accessories for your home.
Here are some of my favorite home decor items that you can get on the site:
Airplane Shower Curtain
I am kicking myself that I didn’t see this before buying my own shower curtain for my all-black-and-white bathroom. This shower curtain strikes all the right notes — it’s fun, it’s patterned, it’s black and white! (They also have it in pink and blue.)
(Also going up in that bathroom, eventually? A black and white map of Bangkok and a black and white photo I took of the superkilen in Copenhagen.)
Airport Code Refrigerator Magnet
Refrigerator magnets are one place where I think you don’t have to worry about subtlety — feel free to go crazy! I think a collection of magnets from your favorite cities would be nice, and this Amsterdam magnet would be nice paired with a few others.
These also make great cheap, low-key gifts for friends who are into travel.
Airport Code Magnets — $4.90 each
Jet Lagged Blanket
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from Europe and have ended up sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, just trying to keep my eyes open past 10:00 PM. I love this jet lagged blanket because it’s black and white and recalls the designs of old-fashioned departure boards with a modern,tongue-in-cheek saying.
Airportag also has blankets with passport stamps, world maps, European airport codes, and more.
Airport Code Canvases
I love canvases because they’re lightweight, tough, and you don’t have to worry about framing them. I saw this Edinburgh canvas and fell in love with the purple color! Not to mention that Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities.
I think these would look best stacked up in a row of three. Choose three of your favorite cities, or three cities with a theme. Here’s an example:
I think they’d look good in a hallway. Lucky for me, my new place has a long, gallery-style hallway leading to the bathroom!
Airport Code Canvases — $39.90 each
Pillows are one place in the house where I wouldn’t want to go too outlandish — but one matching, well-chosen pillow on an otherwise solid couch is a good mark of style. A Union Jack pillow is classic, but if that’s a little too Spice Girls for you and you still like those colors, how about the Norwegian flag? It would look great on a navy or blue sofa.
Note that these are all pillow covers. You’ll need to buy a pillow separately.
Flag Pillow Covers — from $24.90
Don’t overlook posters as an adult — just make sure you frame them, ideally with a matted frame! College is over and we’re definitely done with the dorm look. (My dorm was an homage to Paris, Paris sunsets, Paris black and white photography, and the movie Moulin Rouge. My first roommate hung up printouts of U2 and Dave Matthews lyrics. It…was not a fit.)
I really like this passports poster — and it also gives you an opportunity to appreciate your privilege for having a passport that gets you to most places in the world without much trouble.
Passports Poster — from $34.90
Mugs are my favorite way to go crazy with decor. I love having friends over and picking out a mug for them based on their personality! (You should see people’s faces when I offer them my “I had sex with an elf in Iceland” mug.)
This way, you can subtly suggest cities that you think your friends would love visiting. You can even take it further — serve tea only in a London mug and coffee in a Mexico City mug.
Beyond the Home
Decorating my new place is going to be a long process — I might get the bathroom done quickly, but it will be months before I’ll be able to show you the finished product. Anything else you suggest? I’d love to hear it!
35 thoughts on “Seven Quirky Travel Accessories For Your Future Home”
I love travel prints, like this one, from Rifle Paper Co.
These prints are great! I’ve never seen this company before so I am bookmarking it now. Thanks for the tip!
Beautiful! I’ve always loved vintage travel posters.
One of the coolest things I ever bought on my travels was a fox skin from Egypt for about $20. I feel pretty guilty about buying/owning that but it’s still one of the very few things I am saving for the day I decide to settle down..
Oh wow! I can see why you’d feel conflicted, but what a souvenir.
Oooo I didn’t know they were making flag pillow covers now, too! I got two airport code pillows from them for Christmas (London and Auckland), but I think I totally need a NZ flag pillow for my red couch now, too!
That would be perfect for you! Get it quick, before they change the flag. 😉
I love quirky, yet subtle, travel decor. One of my favorite “souvenirs” is the tiny, funky-patterned Buddy Bear figure I got in Berlin. He hangs out on the bookshelf in my living room. Love the mugs from Airportag!
I had my own Berlin Bear for quite awhile…
I’m not a big trinket buyer when I travel either. But I do look for two things – artwork and Christmas ornaments.
In my entryway I have two watercolors that I bought from an artist in one of the plazas in Florence, Italy. In my dining room I have a pen and ink drawing that I bought in Xian, China. In my guest bath I framed a few postcards from Paris. And I’m looking to get another piece of artwork for my main floor hallway when I road trip through New Mexico in a few months.
In my stairway I have several prints from this Etsy shop lining the wall. I picked ones that represented some of my favorite trips – Shanghai, Paris, London and Montreal.
Oh, and over the past year I’ve started collecting original art watercolors from a particular American artist that were painted onsite in Paris in the 1940s. Those will be framed and put in my bedroom.
For me it’s not about being matchy-matchy. It’s about what little things represent the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen. And most of all, what makes me smile.
I’d love to see your apartment for myself. It sounds awesome.
All these are really cool, I really like the shower curtains and the passport canvas! I bet your apartment is going to look amazing! Have fun decorating and settling into your new place!
Thank you! I’m looking forward to it.
Love this! I rarely purchase souvenirs when I travel these days. Instead, I plan to have my favourite photos taken while travelling transferred to canvases for an entire wall of travel memories when I finally have my own home! oh, and I consider my blog my ‘written’ souvenir 🙂
My blog is mine, too! So glad to have it.
Hi love the pillows – definitely need some of these in my life!!
You could have a United Nations couch!
I’d love to get a pillow done up in the Thai flag – love that country so much!
That would be another great one for a red or navy couch!
Wow! That passport poster is brilliant. I’ll need to bookmark that for my eventual move. Thanks for sharing!
Good luck with your move!
Great Collection! Thanks for sharing
well there are some very unique ideas Kate!
Your honesty is a great gift to your readers. Thank you. Deep breaths and good health to you.
I love the idea of having flag pillows on the couch – three would be enough. I’m quite sure my dog would love them too…
I am in love with the airplane curtain shower
After your original post about airport tag I went looking and got myself the Dublin airport shirt. I also got some of the magnets for my cousin. She travels a lot for work and loved them. I definitely see getting some mugs in my future.
I love all this things. when I travel I normally buy a PIN for my collection, I’m around 120 or so.. I just really love having something for anywhere I’ve been really <3
Love this post. And I love the pillow cover and passport posters 🙂
I’m head over heels in love with that jet lagged blanket! I’ll stick that on the B’day wish list & hope for the best!
Love the idea of framing posters to give them a more sophisticated look. Why did I never think of that?
I need that blanket!! So excited to start my new life in Spain this fall and buy cute travel accessories for our home!
I love these!! Especially the jet lagged blanket! Xx
Quirky, I love the mug and airplane shower curtain. I too like to collect such items from my travel. And then you have to get rid of them. 🙁
I love everything you suggested. I like to travel, but I haven’t think about souvenir as a decoration for my room. I’m going to refer them. Thank you. I especially liked that you said “serve tea only in a London mug and coffee in a Mexico City mug.”