Summer Travels: Inspiration from Abroad
Every year, my husband and I place a deliberate emphasis on taking our children abroad to not only connect them with their parents’ heritage, but to also expand upon their cultural understanding. This is something so incredibly important to me personally – since I am of the mind that the more you see of the world, the more open minded you are to yourself as well as others. So much of what we see informs how we grow, and we have found this a helpful mechanism for my little brood; both to us big and small.
Therefore this year was no different, and while our trip was focused on educating the kids, I also of course in the end got a lot of work done on my various assignments near and far. In the leisure moments, our days are filled with museum trips, food experiences, wanderlust and long conversation to absorb all the things around us. New environments provide us with a steady fix of fine art, insight into daily life, and how different that can all be in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter!).
These trips reset me. They clarify my desire to create and re-equalize my needs as a designer. They imbue me with fresh creativity and a new perspective on how I might approach a home, a way of living and ultimately the convergence of the two into any project.
This year we went to Italy, France and Ireland. Three wildly different countries, each with many commonalities. Of course nothing beats life on the Mediterranean, but Ireland, though colder in summer, certainly provide the richest palette of greens I have ever seen.
Crisp blues of the ocean and seaside towns that recall the 1950s dolce vita, made up a new kaleidoscope for me entirely. At one sunny location, I found the parasols so magnificent, I am now committed to finding them for a space! Florence was crowded, but filled with its usual detailed flourish. More decorative in its style compared say to Rome, Firenze means calligraphy-like ceilings and of lots ornately intricate marble flooring inlays. Think rich burgundies and bottle greens and yellow golds in every iteration.
The juxta-positioning of ancient Rome and its renaissance period always make me love that city. It’s chaotic, but in oh, such a good way. People eat, speak rapid-fire using their hands, and dress with an abstract avant-garde touch. While it’s a little old-school in its feel, it stands at the fore-front of cozy and chic places to eat or shop. I always placed top on my list - not a bad place for some divine inspiration!
Little towns in France were each unique – some boasting an arts lean, others displaying their impressive medieval characteristics. And the city of Montpellier, was such a refreshing reminder of how great it can be to be in a heavily populated student town, with easy and simple access to all you need. Great shops and coffee houses abound.
As you can see, I found plenty of design throughout each place (from where it was deliberately provided, but also from what I conjured it up). And with vintage finds plentiful – my senses where stimulated and ready to share with my team.
A global view – in the actual sense and in the metaphorical one; that’s what we do in a home. Uniqueness and story-telling – and this trip provided plenty of bold color and dizzying pattern for me to continue to play.
I came back refreshed and ready to tackle all things Stateside.