Home Design Hack: Travel Mementos

Summer evokes the wanderlust in all of us. As school is approaching, my thoughts turn to planning one last hurrah somewhere with the family.

Recently, Lonny Magazine asked me to highlight my travel treasures that adorn my home.

anita yokota dreamy work space crate kids desk chair moda desk room and board

It was truly a fun opportunity to share my travel mementos! And it got me thinking, wait, have I shared this design hack with you guys yet?

Walking Shoes

These morrocan shoes are so special to me. A few years ago, I unexpectedly ended up on a solo trip to Spain and Morrocco by myself. My travel partner got sick and I couldn’t cancel.

Yeah, you heard right! No kids or husband. Alone.

I was a bit intimidated but at the same time determined to make the best of it.

Also, I was in a bit of a identity crisis. I wanted so much to have the freedom to express my creativity. Yet, unsure if it was even possible.

My trip to Morocco opened up my eyes and design heart. No longer did I feel like just a mom or wife. I decided then and there to take a leap of faith as a creative and designer.

When I was in a tiny shop in Casablanca, I found these bright and fun hand made leather shoes. I was elated that they had my size! It took some time digging to find it.

crate kids desk chair, vintage rug, morrocan shoes

Needless to say, I have an affinity of showcasing my shoes in my home. Well, not my Nikes but something like this works really well.

What you can do is put it to the side of the wall and use it whenever you need to. When it is not used, it evokes such nice travel memories just like any other souvenir! Very personal and special indeed.

Music for your eyes?

Next is my obsession with guitars as decor. I find it quite sexy when you see one hanging on a wall or in a corner.

In my dreamy work space, I was able to hang this cute little coconut shell ukulele. When I see this instrument, my mind immediately takes me back to our Tahitian honeymoon where I found it.

urban outfitters metal grid, ukulele, target brass lamp

Travis and I love music and we fell in love with the Tahitian sound. It is different from their Hawaiian cousins. A bit more fast paced and often with a ukulele.

If you have a rustic instrument, don’t hesitate to use it as home decor.

It doesn’t have to be just a guitar! I have always pined for a vintage trumpet too. Something like that on a shelf or credenza paired with art and books has that Em Henderson vintage look I love!

Rustic Raw Wood

Lastly, I love bringing the outdoors in. Seattle in the summer time is sublime and we often go beach combing.

I found this cute little drift wood off the San Juan Islands and it reminds me of the beautiful times there.

Also, the driftwood adds a bit of rustic raw feel to this desk.

room and board moda desk, target brass lamp

Anytime you want to add some raw organic visual to a refined space, think wood decor and tones.

So that is it! I find it amazing how we can turn travel mementos into a work of art effortlessly in these three ways.

room and board moda desk, crate and kids desk chair, vintage rug, the sill

I hope you can utilize it into your home. Don’t forget to share with me!

Happy day!


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  1. Smith wrote:

    Amazing transformations can be achieved by changing colour and texture around the house with a new coat of paint, new fabrics or overlays. A homeowner is taken by the Asian resort-style at a holiday trip to Bali wanted to give his home that same feel in his home. What he did was to overlay wooden decking in a strategic section of his living room, added indoor landscaping and enhanced his lighting.

    Posted 1.18.19 Reply