Collected Style: Bringing the World Into Your Home

I just got back from traveling. Nowhere exotic: just to Florida for the International Builder's Show. While there I was also able to visit my brother who is a world traveler. Lucky! Displayed in his home are many unique pieces from Spain, Italy, Peru, Denmark and pretty much every island imaginable....seriously jealous.

Talking through his travels and staying in his home got me thinking about my favorite finishing touches of design. Treasured pieces like these evoke memories of exciting times with family and friends. An impressive way to prolong such memories is to integrate these unforgettable pieces into the heart of your home and into your decor.  We love that!


Travel is a huge inspiration for famous designer Nate Berkus (love him and his style). Although he doesn’t expect everyone to be able to jet across the country in search of the perfect table linen --  that is where the Internet comes in to play. “You have to be really bad on the Internet not to be able to find what you want these days,” laughed Nate. “Look at eBay and Etsy. I found a butter knife I wanted on a plane on the way here!” He continued to say that style should reflect your heritage and anything that’s important to you. “It’s not about being able to have a passport. It’s about living in a way aesthetically that is without borders.” 

And while I agree with Nate about collecting items to bring into your space even if you haven't traveled there, the goal is to have meaning behind your display.  If you can bring those memories from travel, that's great! And if that means picking up unique item from your trip to middle of nowhere Wyoming like I did this summer, that's just as great as exotic travel. It means capturing your memories and you'll be able to share stories surrounding those displays with family and guests for years to come.

Similarly, Nate explained that his favorite pieces in his own home are special because of the memories they hold. “When I look around a space, I can tell you where I was and whom I was with when I found that piece of furniture or vase,” he said. “I can tell you whom I loved or who I hoped to be at the time. I see things in my home, and they remind me of where I want to go and people that I’ve lost; that’s how we tell a story in our home.”


Recently, we were able to work with a client who also travels the world. With so many priceless pieces accumulated from their trips, we were able to incorporate such great statement pieces into their new home.

Can you spot the golden colored elephant grouping on the left? As well as her items from Asia nearby? We love the extra character and story on display. With key, ample shelving throughout their estate, plenty of room is left for future trips and for more treasures to bring back. 

Library Deer Crest

Often in a gathering room such as this library, the memories are prominently displayed to evoke conversation and memories. And while books aren't as commonly collected as in years past, books can be a great memory from prior times and special occasions.  (Like that one trip you actually had a moment to read a book!)


A word of caution when decorating with your treasures: Be careful. Too many trinkets can get cheesy quickly.

Creating a space you love means incorporating pieces that have special significance to you...not just mimicking your favorite Instagram or Pinterest room. 

Assess whether your treasures are considered variety or collectible. Variety creates a well-traveled look. As for collectibles, keep all of those displayed together. We once helped a tween girl who had a collection of snow globes. When done correctly, these displays are magnificent. So cute! 

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Vicente Wolf, another renown designer, travels extensively for unique pieces to sell in his store. With each treasure undoubtedly telling a story, with passion Wolf has said, "Good design knows no boundaries."

Create an eclectic palette in your home featuring what tells your story. Bring the world into your home and tell that story that you not only live in your home -- you live outside of it as well. 

Some of the treasures Wolf has found amidst his travels he sells in his store in New York City.

Some of the treasures Wolf has found amidst his travels he sells in his store in New York City.

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