We all know travel is good for the soul, but what about for the home? Writer Hannah Cork explains how trips have inspired her own interior style
I’m a keen hiker. I love the thrill of battling through brutal unexpected elements to the summit; the buzz from packing your rucksack light, but perfectly right; and the excitement of finding somewhere unique to stay in unfamiliar mountainous lands. So, when I planned a recent three-night trip with my partner to the glorious Lake District, I was straight onto Airbnb before a map, compass or guidebook had been consulted.
A weekend away is an opportunity to experience an unfamiliar yet aesthetically interesting dwelling – a chance to stay in a property that may not traditionally be your style. But why not? It’s only for a weekend.
On the edge of Lake Ennerdale, deep in the Lake District, I discovered the most wonderful yurt (Yurt in the Wood). And #yurtstyle was a well-used hashtag on my Instagram feed for the preceding few days.
A big, sumptuous double bed, cane rocking chairs, hand-woven woollen blankets, twinkling lanterns and the obligatory roaring log burner… What a treat, and it gave me some ideas for my own home. The Wool Company have a great range of high-quality blankets and throws, including lambswool, alpaca and cashmere. Check out The New Craftsmen website too, for a host of British designer-makers producing homeware including textiles, furniture and pottery.
Courtesy of me, #concretestyle is another hashtag that recently got a run for its money, after I spent a long weekend in Porto. I’d found a place my boyfriend described as ‘akin to a multi-storey car park’ – raw, brutal simplicity with stylish lines, minimal fuss and split-level contemporary concrete finishes. Those Porto architects nailed it, and I left inspired. Lyon Beton, whose concrete products are available online at Amara, are a mix of unique pieces ranging from a toilet roll holder (it’s better than it sounds), magazine rack and a super-stylish counter stool. Well-designed concrete pendant lights can be found at Trouva, whilst the shop at the Barbican, the home of brutalist architecture, has a range of suitable stylish accessories.
Touring a home when on a trip (Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, just outside Chicago) is probably my highlight to date and fuels the fire of interior inspiration. But actually staying in an architectural gem takes it to another level. With WowHaus and The Modern House websites highlighting the cream of the architectural crop for sale, there are now sites off ering similar niche beauties to rent. See Living Architecture, Welcome Beyond and Spaces42 for exclusive design accommodation.
So, where to visit next? Palm Springs has been steadily rising up my list (boosted by the Obama’s ‘leaving the White House’ trip, obviously) and I’ve got my eye on a modernist bed and breakfast, complete with original 1950’s décor, furniture and linen. #desertstyle sounds good to me. To create this look at home, Alfie’s Antique Market in London has a wide array of mid-century lighting and furniture, whilst online market place 1st Dibs has original finds, including Serge Mouille Lighting and Marcel Breuer’s furniture. Max Inc, a hidden gem in Askew Road in Hammersmith, is worth a visit next time you’re in West London, too.