My family is about to embark on our spring break trip so I have travel on my mind. Travel is a tremendous source of design inspiration. Seeing new environments, spending time in new locales, homes and hotels, and shopping in local boutiques and markets are all sources of design ideas. Last year we traveled to Italy, which of course, was incredibly inspirational. The photo here is the view from our rental home in the village of Monterosso al Mare on Italy's Northern Mediterranean coast. The house is the summer home of a Milanese family that has been in the family for several generations. It was decorated so chicly yet it was a classic family beach house. It was a blend of amazing vintage furniture, family mementos, and Ikea. So perfect. There was a set of vintage rope dining chairs that I still dream about. I am now on the perpetual hunt for rope chairs at any flea market or auction I attend. Beyond Chic! But of course, they reason they were so chic is that they were perfect for that setting and that family. Successful decorating is all about suiting the place and the people who live there. This is what evokes an emotional response to a home.
This year we are traveling to an entirely different locale -- Costa Rica. We will be surfing and hiking in a state park with monkeys, turtles and a volcano. Plus plenty of swimming and hammock time reading books and back issues of World of Interiors on a beach on the Pacific Ocean. We are staying at a small, locally-owned family resort right on the beach that is low key and off the grid. I am looking forward to being completely unplugged, relaxed, and inspired by nature. I will let you know what inspires.