Author Archives: Trina

How to Incorporate Inspiration from Travel at Home

Image: Ilana S Photography

These days, there is a plethora of places to draw design inspiration from: décor magazines, websites, blogs, books, and the ever popular Pinterest. While I love spending my time scrolling or thumbing through styled images and DIYs I’d like to try, the most original inspiration has always come to me through travel.

Any new area you visit is sure to be different than where you live. This is always true when you travel abroad, but I’ve found it to be true even when visiting different parts of the country. No single city, state, or country has the same vibe, culture, or natural beauty.

To find design inspiration when you travel, all you need is to keep your eyes wide open. You’ll naturally notice what differs from where you live, and you may start to notice repeating patterns of popular trends in the place you are visiting.

When I was in 7th grade, we took a family vacation to the Southwest. I came home with a pink wooden coyote and a small tribal rug that I thought was cool. Before I knew it, I wanted my entire room decorated in a Southwestern theme. While I’m not into themes these days, I am into bringing back pieces you love, incorporating colors you see, and scouring for natural pieces that help you remember your travels.

A few years back on a trip to England, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the colored doors. A lot of homes are all brown brick and many are row houses (townhouse-like), not having much distinction other than the color of the door. I was totally taken with a light blue, turquoise-like, painted door. As soon as I came home, I painted my door blue. Every time I pulled in the driveway and saw that blue door, it reminded me of that trip. The door has since changed from blue to yellow, and I have a hunch that I will always have a colored door because of that one trip.

Image: Gary Mellor

Now, every trip I take I catch myself looking for any and every kind of detail in some of the most obvious and odd places. I daydream of how and where I could incorporate little details I spy along the way.

Here are a few things I’m always looking at:

Color on anything and everything. Don’t look past the well-worn exteriors. Sometimes the weather has worn down color to the most perfect shade. If you like the shade, snap a photo. It just might become the inspiration for your bedroom or a piece of furniture you’ve been planning to paint.

How to Incorporate Inspiration From Travel at Home

Image: Hotels Paris Rive Gauche

Hotels, restaurants, and stores. See how fashionable places are adorned. I’ll never forget walking into the children’s store, Bonpoint in Paris. While the clothing was beautiful, I could not take my eyes off the way the store was decorated and styled. The furniture pieces were painted the most perfect greige (which inspired the color painted onto the built-in shelves in my home). The coolest thing of all was a wooden cabin playhouse built in the middle of the store, with a crystal chandelier hanging above. I think this look was a real catalyst in my love for a mix of beautiful and playful design.

How to Incorporate Inspiration From Travel at Home

Image: Design Sponge

Look at the woodwork in this California juice bar! It’s amazing! Even, if you aren’t going to go home and cover your walls like this, just the idea of mixing bright white with natural wood and a great modern black light fixture is a great takeaway.

How to Incorporate Inspiration From Travel at Home

Image: La La Lovely

Flowers and Gardens. I love seeing what gardens look like. Anyone who has ever been to England, or even seen it on TV, likely dreams of having an English garden. I love the way these wispy white flowers drape and dress this old brick wall in England. I’d love to cover a wall or gate this way, one day.

How to Incorporate Inspiration From Travel at Home

Image: Rue Magazine

Travel Keepsakes. Bringing home items that are indigenous to the area you are visiting is one of the best ways to remember your trips and travels, and inspire design. My most favorite homes are ones that tell stories of travels, life lived, and of the people that live in them. The things you bring home are not only beautiful decorations; they are also chapters in your stories and memories in object form that are sure to bring a smile to your face every time your eye catches them.

I love the idea of bringing home something like a rug. Not only can you use it traditionally, you could also hang it as art.

How to Incorporate Inspiration From Travel at Home

Image: Monocle

Some of my most favorite souvenirs have been free. I love taking photos of things that inspire me. Sometimes I’ll make a gallery wall or blow a photo up to a larger size. And I adore the idea of making a mural, as shown above.

How to Incorporate Inspiration From Travel at Home

Image: This is Glamorous

What about keeping a map in your home and marking it with something beautiful to chronicle all of your adventures? How pretty is this one made with butterflies?

As you can see, this concept doesn’t have to cost you a thing. Every time I travel, I find myself picking up rocks (flint from England, for instance) or shells and placing them about, here and there. My home tells the story of where I’ve been, who I am, and, occasionally, where I wish to go.

So the next time you find yourself traveling, even to a neighboring town, keep your eyes wide open. Inspiration is sure to strike.

How will you incorporate your next travels into your home design?

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: Stadshem

Sharing a room with a sibling used to feel like a real bummer, but with endless creative ways to design shared spaces, these days, kids seem to be squealing over rooming together.

Room sharing is usually the conclusion of not enough space for everyone to have separate rooms. However, many modern parents are opting for siblings to share their space even when it is not necessarily a necessity. Sharing a room builds strong bonds and teaches children to share.

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: Une maison colorée au Brésil

When one thinks of children sharing a room, a bunk bed is usually the first thing that comes to mind. While a great solution, especially when space is tight, bunk beds are not the only option. Side-by-side twin beds are also another traditional option. I love the modern take on that traditional setup, pictured above. The idea of one long bed base, with two mattresses atop is a brilliant one. Notice the built-in drawers at the bottom of the frame for extra storage? The design of the drawers is so modern and minimal that you almost don’t even notice that they’re there.

Sharing a room doesn’t always mean two children, close in age, and both the same sex. The shared space below was designed for two boys and a girl, all different ages, living in a small New York City apartment. It is a great visual example of how to make a small space work.

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: Land of Nod

This room has beds lined up along one side, and desks on the other. Keeping a few design elements similar creates uniformity, even when the space is whimsical and eclectic.

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: Land of Nod

Sometimes age difference can really vary and you have to mix a crib and a bed. I love the great space-saving solution of building a lofted bed over a crib.

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: Handmade Charlotte via Scandinavian Deko

Creativity is the best thing to keep in mind when designing or decorating a children’s space; it seems that shared spaces make even more allowance for it. For instance, bunk beds don’t have to be bought; they can be built. And, they don’t have to be limited to two; they can easily be made for three.

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: Apartment Therapy

Perhaps your shared space also has to work as a playroom. Why not have the beds double as a playhouse? I don’t know any child who wouldn’t love to share a space like this.

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: the boo and the boy

While building unique beds is on trend at that moment, don’t rule out the thought of buying bunk beds. There are so many great options these days that have a modern and multi-purpose design.

Designing Creative Shared Spaces for Kids

Image: Oliver Furniture

The elements I always keep in mind when designing a shared space are:

  1. Make the space creative. Modernize traditional ideas and concepts.

  2. Have a few items (beds, bedding, lighting) matching / Repeat patterns to create continuity.

  3. Keep things somewhat minimal to ensure as much space as possible.

  4. Make designated space for sleep, study and play (if the space doubles as a playroom).

  5. Trust your imagination.

If you follow these elements as a guideline, you are sure to come up with a special space that your children will be begging to share.

What’s your favorite creative shared space idea?

Swing into Summer: Modern Patio Swings


For a season, it seemed porch and patio swings were a thing of the past. If you did happen upon the occasional one, it likely looked like it was hanging around from days gone by. However, patio swings have made a comeback in many modern ways.

Outdoor spaces everywhere are taking on a look that is, decidedly, relaxed and playful. And the popular furniture piece that incorporates both comfort and fun is the patio swing.

Today’s patio swings are unique in look, shape, and size. Some look so relaxed they are sure to remind you of your favorite beach vacation, while others take on a more minimalist style and easily complement an urban setting.

The singular hammock swing (pictured above) looks like it’s just waiting for you to sink into, as you relax to the sound of a soft summer breeze. If you don’t have a lot of space or you want to keep to a very light and airy feel on your patio this type of swing works great.

Swing into Summer: Modern Patio Swings

Image: Coastal Living

The shape of this patio swing makes a statement and is perfectly modern. But don’t feel stuck going entirely modern if that’s not your thing. Mixing straight lines with other relaxed pieces always adds interest. I like how the swing is a darker shade than the patio furniture. It adds contrast and the swing takes center stage.

Swing into Summer: Modern Patio Swings

Image: Jen Langston Interiors

Another fun interpretation of the patio swing is a swinging day bed. This variation has become widely popular. Clearly, this swing style is all about getting cozy and taking some serious time to relax.

Swing into Summer: Modern Patio Swings

Image: dwell

Don’t be afraid to think big when it comes to this style. My favorite is this nap swing, as it is affectionately called. While plush, it still has a very modern look due to the same colored cushions, the suspension in the middle of the patio, and the lack of other furniture surrounding. This swing is just begging for naps and getting lost in long summer novels.

Swing into Summer: Modern Patio Swings

Image: The Animal Print Shop

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the rattan swing, which has made a comeback. What makes this swing so fabulous is that it also works great indoors. If you live in a four-season climate, like me, then this is a great option to ensure you get the most for your money. Take it outside in the warmer months and bring it inside when things turn cold. It’s the perfect excuse to relax year round.

If you’re ready to swing your summer away, here are 3 more patio swings I am a fan of that work inside or outside.

Swing into Summer: Modern Patio Swings

Images: (1) Serena & Lily,  (2) Anthropolgie,  (3) Home Depot

Do you have a patio swing at your home?