Going abroad is always a memorable experience. You return home with an opened mind to the lifestyles and cultures of other countries and people. Why not bring back some mementos from your trip? I’m not talking about key chains or t-shirts. There are ways to bring home great décor pieces from abroad, whether within the country or from overseas.
Now, when it comes to international shopping, there are two types of buyers:
1. Organic, International Curators
These are my passport-carrying, travel-daydreaming, "set-and-ready to go" shoppers. If you go on a trip you are bringing something good and worthy back! If this is or will be you, before your trip, be sure to familiarize yourself with the history and art of the region from which you intend to buy. This will allow you to properly gauge the value and authenticity of potential purchases. The last thing you want is to get scammed out of your precious money while overseas…no bueno!
Also, if the item is durable enough and you are willing to check / carry it onto your flight, prepare to have to “claim” the item at customs. Your flight attendant will hand you a Customs Declaration card, on which you “declare” any purchases you made while overseas and state the approximate amount spent on those items. Don’t let the movies get your nerves riled…going through customs is not that bad. I came back from Jamaica multiple times with Blue Mountain Coffee in my suitcase and police dogs sniffed their way right on past it. No problem mon! My coffee was the least of their worries coming from Jamrock! ;)
2. International Shoppers...without Passports.
First off, if you do not have a passport yet, GET ONE! That’s the first mandatory step to beginning your world-class life journey, abroad. However, when it comes to being a worldwide shopper, passports are not required. All you need is the worldwide web! You can easily locate local or regional specialty boutiques and consignment shops. You could certainly order furniture, antiques or accessories from any of the millions of online retailer stores, as long as you are willing to pay for the shipping.
Another way to “fake it” fabulously is to buy look-a-likes! Pier 1 Imports is famous for its multicultural home décor. Try One Kings Lane, Joss & Main, Dot & Bo, and more! There are tons of sites dedicated to home décor and each cater to a variety of home styles. If Moroccan is your pleasure, go to Z Gallerie! Do you favor upscale, Italian, contemporary design? Call on Calligaris! You just have to do the research...or ask me!
Cultural home décor truly does become a treasure. From my tapestry from Istanbul to my coconuts and beads from my very first Mardi Gras while living in New Orleans, each have become so dear to me and I will never be able to give them all up. The memories are too precious for me to let go…well I did have to get rid of some beads…I had a ridiculous amount…evidence of a good time! ;)
What are some of your most prized décor pieces? From abroad or from the States…what is one piece you will never go without?
See you soon “HOME-ies”!