The Best Places to Travel for Home Design Inspiration

When people travel to foreign locales they tend to come home with a lot more than a camera full of pics and a suitcase festooned with bedbugs. Many world travelers pick up pieces of their destinations and bring them home. For some people this could mean adopting a new style of dress or picking up trinkets from the local bazaar, while others will try their hand at learning the language or cooking traditional recipes when they return home. But one thing you may not notice is that visiting another country and culture has shifted your design sensibilities. So if you're looking for worldly inspiration before you start your home renovation, here are a few locales you may want to add to your travel list.

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1. Rome, Italy. When it comes to stately architecture, you can't do much better than a visit to Rome to check out the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and Saint Peter's Basilica, just to name a few famous buildings. If you're looking for something stately and impressive for your own home, a Roman holiday could offer you just the architectural inspiration you need.

2. Vancouver Island, Canada. Although there are many reasons to visit this island off Canada's western coast, including charming, cottage-style homes interspersed amongst more modern buildings, the main draw comes not from the architecture, but from the beautiful, natural surroundings. Of particular interest is the Butchart Gardens, a one-time limestone quarry that Robert and Jennie Butchart converted into a massive botanical garden structure shortly after the turn of the century. The idea was to rehabilitate the unsightly mining pits and turn them into something beautiful, and what resulted was a truly miraculous transformation. With Japanese, Italian, Rose, and
other gardens, along with elaborate bird houses (not to mention a variety of wildlife), artwork, and other objects the couple and their family acquired on world travels, you'll find tons of inspiration to influence your home design project.

3. Paris, France. The Louvre. The Champs-Élysées. The Eiffel Tower. The City of Light has a lot to deliver in the way of design ideas. With larger-than-life structures, ornate embellishments, tons of color, and of course, the many beautiful lights that make the avenues sparkle, you'll quickly fall in love with this romantic city. And you'll surely find plenty of creative ways to work it into your home design.

4. Kyoto, Japan. You might wonder why Kyoto is on this list instead of the more modern Tokyo. The reason is that Kyoto is a city caught between two worlds, giving you double the bang for your inspirational buck, so to speak. You can visit traditional Japanese tea rooms and Buddhist temples one day and tour ultra-modern Tadao Ando structures the next. So whether you're into the ornamentation of classical Japanese architecture or you prefer the simple, clean lines and "placelessness" of critical regionalism, you can find them both in Kyoto.

5. Sydney, Australia. This city is home to one of the most famous buildings in the world, and if you can't find inspiration in the Sydney Opera House then you'd better just hire KitchenRenovationsPerth to design your remodeling project for you. With an assortment of architectural styles, including Neo-Gothic, Georgian, Victorian, and Modernist (amongst others) featured throughout the city, you're bound to find plenty of eye-candy to ogle. And some of it is sure to stick when it comes time to plan your own home upgrades.

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