Growing up with The Well-Travelled Postcards: An interior design idea for travellers
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The pandemic made interior designers of us all, did it not? I’ve certainly cared more than ever before about my living environment and over the past year have upgraded almost everything, from silk curtains to bed linen, pillows to towels, new chests of drawers and an ever growing population of house plants. I’ve finally got a Lumie Bodyclock light alarm clock (I cannot recommend it more highly!), I’ve put up shelving, hell I even categorised the ‘library’ shelves in our living room. I live with my sister in London and we are lucky enough to have a small third bedroom suitable for converting into a study, so we’ve also re-purposed that entire room.
I finally learned how easy it is to hammer nails into the wall, and I set about framing and hanging pictures I’ve had gathering dust in piles for years. I bought this set of square frames for £11.49 each (at time of writing) and I’ve filled my bedroom with photos of seascapes to inspire calm and sleep.
A fortnight in Cornwall back in May also armed me with plenty of seascape prints from around St Ives, which are next on my to-list for hanging.
But my big interior design achievement of this year has been finally completing a project I set, to dig out and display my beloved postcards from storage, some 4 years after I last took them down from my bedroom wall in Uppsala in summer 2017. You see, this blog is named after the postcards I acquired on my travels and took with me from home to home as I moved abroad between Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. I previously had them up in this London flat back in 2015, back when the flat was in dire need of redecorating and would certainly survive a bit of white tack.
Ironically, as a renter you’re often not told to use white tack on the walls, so one of the theoretical perks of home ownership is that you can finally put things wherever you want on walls! That is until you redecorate said home and then can’t face leaving marks on nice freshly painted walls, so then you’re back to square one, without any nostalgic postcards on your walls! I had really missed seeing those postcards of mine, which transport me back to places and memories I’ve loved. Realising that the postcards needed to grow up with me, and could no longer be stuck merely with white tack, I finally devised a plan to display a selection of my postcards in more grown-up style.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the easiest and possibly cheapest décor I’ve ever done, which I also absolutely adore:
- Select your postcards. I had a big pile to choose from, so I decided to concentrate on a blue/white colour scheme, to match the palette of the flat.
- Choose where to display them. I opted for the staircase to my room. Choose your spot and measure up.
- Buy frames tailored to the size of the space. I bought these 50cm x 100cm frames for £24.99 each (at time of writing) with a white frame to not distract from the postcards, and the frames are great.
- Flip over the sheet that arrives inside the frame, and plot out the layout of the postcards. I had three frames and chose to split them up by region: one is UK & Northern Europe, one is continental Europe, and one is the rest of the world. The layout is like a big tetris games and takes some time. Don’t forget to leave some white space between the postcards, or else they may look too crowded.
- Stick the postcards to the paper. I used white tack as I wanted the option to re-arrange them in future, if it takes my fancy. I also fancy adding to the collection in future years, creating a growing gallery of my travels.
- Hang on the wall! Voilà!
What do you think of the end result, and would you do this? Do you still white-tack postcards to your walls, or do you prefer my grown-up version? What other travel themed décor have you spotted?
That’s a great idea Virginia and, as you suggest, postcards being the DNA of your website the result is a highly appropriate display. I particularly thought the blue (or darker) wall background was a master stroke at bringing out the colour of the cards, especially as most postcards include a white border. I was going to scold you (ha ha !!) for not including Hong Kong, but then I saw it in the fourth collection down, bottom row – excellent ! You certainly have a fascinating array of interesting destinations and themes, the problem for me if I ever visit your place is that I will have great difficulty in tearing myself away from these marvelous displays !! I also have many postcards which I sent to my parents long ago but, for the moment, they are stored in albums. Incidentally, do you feel the habit of postcard sending has slipped recently, perhaps a victim of modern technology ? I send a few from time to time as do certain friends, but always the same people – can this great tradition ever be revived ?
Love the idea of a colour-coordinated framed postcard collection! I used to do something similar with holiday mementoes, and frame a couple of postcards along with tickets and coins from the trip.