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  • Writer's pictureDann Foley

Travel and the Home: Enhancing Your Style Through Observation.

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Longitude and latitude. Finding one’s direction, one’s place in the world. Maritime metaphors aside, travel and the home are intrinsically intertwined. Seek, wander, explore, this is what a full life is about.

Each year as The Standard Magazine celebrates travel in its pages, I am reminded of the power of travel on the mind, soul, spirit and of course, our sense of personal style. A wealth of experience, both near and far, can influence who we are in our lives and in our homes. So, as in years past, let’s celebrate travel and survey those places that we are drawn to and how they influence us in our daily lives and in the way, we choose to live.

For me the answer to my yearning for travel is that, it always seemed to have been a part of my DNA. I have been so fortunate to have both parents and grandparents who traveled far and wide…and often. I learned from an early age how exploring other places and cultures can so deeply affect the way I live today. Each new experience adds to the story of who I am and who I am becoming, and every new treasure holds that story and enhances my home as a part of that story.

I have in years past, in these very pages, shared with you my own experiences with both travel and how to live with and display those things that you bring into your home. Gathering like pieces, scale, finish, material, the power of contrast. But, often times we have trouble editing. It is just as important to say when enough is enough. Bounty is not the same as excess. That does not mean ridding yourself of precious items and the memories they hold, what I want for you and for all of my clients to love how they live and what they live with. To revel in the reminders of your life’s journeys.

As I am often known to say, “it is not about how much stuff you have but, what meaning it holds for you and you alone.” Good taste is all relative, it remains in the eye of the beholder and since styles change, so do our ideas of what is beautiful. So, how do you create a life and a home that feels honest, personalized and timeless? Indeed, is there such a thing as timeless when it comes to style or styling? The answer is yes…because just as good taste is all relative, so is style.

Creating a timeless style is the same as creating a personal style. We evolve and so does our style but, that does not mean leaving everything behind. The background of your home is what can change, update and edit. The soul of your home is the constant in the equation. The reasoning behind your choices tell a deeper story of you and that story is every changing. Gathering the things of a lifetime and feeling their presence around you, while not suffocating you is how you edit the ongoing tale of who you are. In other words, your choices are who you are and your home is the reflection of those choices.

It may all sound just a bit too ethereal, but the way we live reveals a lot about who we are to those we allow into our homes. Yet, it is still is not about what others will think when allowed into your private space. What matters is what you think and how you feel. Pride in one’s home is not the same as vanity no, it is the desire to share the things that have meaning to you with the people who mean most to you.

We all love seeing those magazine spreads and TV programs that take us inside the homes of the rich and famous. But, what you probably don’t know, is that many of those homes are not where those people actually live. Often times, they are carefully choreographed and curated versions of a life they to project. They are created to impress the viewer. They are still telling a story, it just may not be the most authentic one. What that can teach you is how what you present to world in the way you live, is enduring. People don’t forget something/someone/somewhere beautiful. The beauty is not just in the splendor but also in the meaningfulness of the choices.

Over the years I have shared with you my experiences and many thoughts and tips as to how one creates a beautiful home. Travel, tour, collect, gather, embrace, display, share, and the greatest of these, is to share. What good are beautiful things that are never shared? If a piece is not seen, if no one knows it story, how does it become lasting? A perfect example of lasting are antique mirrors. They are a particularly coveted item to me when searching for specialty pieces for my clients. The mirrors with their original glass are the most precious of all. What fills me with wonder is the idea of how much they must have reflected in their time. The lives of their owners, joys and sorrows, reflecting all of life, a mirror, especially an antique one, holds its secrets. It doesn’t betray the beholder, it quietly asks for more. When an antique mirror travels on to its next home, it collects more memories and retains them all.

My wish for you is a life filled with beauty, adventure and style. To live authentically is to be honest, first with yourself and then with those around you. it can often be easier to let our homes tell a portion of that story, than to verbalize it all ourselves. Let the things you live with be personal and meaningful and they will always be timeless, stylish and beautiful. Travel does not have to mean going farther than you have before or could imagine. Travel can be as immersive as your imagination. Be brave, make your home a true reflection of who you are, who you have been and who you wish to become. It is never about the monetary value of those things, it is always about the significance they hold for you.

Live Well!

Designer Dann

Designer Dann: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest & Houzz

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