Renovation & Design

Making home your destination

There's a world of decor possibilities to spruce up your staycation hot spot


Using a Wayfair ‘global’ wallpaper as a starting point, you can build a den that feels far more worldly than a basement hideaway.

Melissa Smuzynski

A decoupaged in a U.S. map on the wall in a travel-themed nursery.

Melissa Smuzynski

A framed poster paper of vintage luggage tags hanging in a travel-themed nursery.

Melissa Smuzynski

A travel-themed nursery

Stephen Young and Laura Casey

This dining room in Charlotte, N.C., was designed by Laura Casey around an up-close photograph of an African zebra.

DALLAS — Maybe it’s your budget that’s keeping you from skipping town — or perhaps your boss is to blame. Even without an out-of-town adventure or hotel overnight on the calendar, travel-inspired interiors can get you away from the daily doldrums.

Introducing elements from your favourite destinations into your home can help make every day feel a bit more like vacation — or at the very least, remind you of a time when chores and the daily grind weren’t top of mind.

Here’s how some of Dallas’s interiors leaders are using design to take them places:


For a serious shot of old-school glam, consider a Hollywood icon.

The Beverly Hills Hotel may have made the Martinique Jungle Palm wallpaper a legend, but the legend can feel right at home in lots of spaces.

"The large-scale pattern of this banana leaf paper is the perfect solution to give an entry the illusion of height," says Emily Johnston Larkin, who used the print in a Greenway Parks entry with an eight-foot ceiling.

And then, there’s the wow factor of that punchy, tropical pattern.

"It’s a complete departure from something you’d normally see on the walls of a home in Texas," she says.


One of designer Abbe Fenimore’s favourite things about travelling is discovering unique hotels and lodging options.

"I love staying in hotels where each room has a different design and style," she says.

Fenimore looks for spaces that have unique elements that make them memorable places to relax and crash after a long day.

To get the look of a luxury hotel suite at home, pile on rich linens, memorable task lighting and standout patterns and textures.

"Make it a relaxing getaway that’s rich in unique design elements to make it memorable," Fenimore says.


The trick with design inspired by other places is to incorporate it in a way that makes sense with the rest of your house, Tara Lenney says.

Want a French-feeling kitchen?

"You can’t just plop down the kitchen from Ratatouille in the middle of your Dallas ranch house and hope it all works out!" the Dallas designer warns.

What you can do is make architectural tweaks for a more Parisian style that’s at once sophisticated and chic but also casual and effortless.

Use a home’s exterior brick colour in the kitchen to make it appear as if it was always an exposed brick wall. Hardwood floors in a European-style herringbone pattern and black windows add to the French ambience.

Really go for it with a copper vent hood over the professional gas range, "because nothing really says French cooking like copper," Lenney says.

Bring it all together by incorporating artwork and cookware from France.

"And of course, bread," the designer says. "You always need bread."


Bring the calm and serenity of the ocean inside with a rich, neutral palette.

When designing a beach house on the Bahamian island of Exuma, Emily Sheehan Hewett really took advantage of its seaside location.

"We incorporated textured neutral fabrics with pops of soft blue for a tranquil and casual feel," she says of the project.

Also consider nods to the sea and its nautical nature when layering in accent pieces, Hewett says.

A porthole-style mirror and decorative coral play up the theme without going too cutesy. But she let the ocean do the heavy lifting.

"Because the focal point of the room is the electric turquoise water view through the window, we opted to minimize the colours and contrast inside the room," Hewett says.




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