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Summer is in full swing, and we finally have some sunny, beach-worthy days in the books! Many of us are fortunate to be able to travel — both near and far — this time of the year. Having recently returned from a glorious trip to Italy, I have travel on my mind. Or, really, I can’t stop thinking about all the gorgeous colors, fabrics, wallpapers, and textiles I encountered while roaming the streets and outdoor markets of Florence, Venice, and the many small towns in between.

If you’re like me, you enjoy bringing something from your travels home. However, finding a special keepsake that doesn’t take up too much room in a suitcase can be tricky. Textiles, such as large pieces of fabric or vintage tea towels, are relatively lightweight and can be packed easily. Plus, now you’ve got a verified excuse to spend hours scouring outdoor markets and antique stores!

Here are some of my favorite ways to display textiles from your travels in your home:

1) On a leaning ladder. Using a wooden blanket ladder is a great way to display several textiles at once while adding interest to a corner or entryway in your home. Plus, blanket ladders provide additional storage for small spaces while also being super stylish.

2) As a headboard. This might take a bit of craftiness, but a large piece of fabric can be stapled over an existing upholstered headboard for a truly one-of-a-kind statement piece. If that feels like too much work, simply drape the fabric over a headboard for an easy transformation. 

3) Draped over a chair or sofa. Adding a textile to the back of a chair or sofa is a very easy way to display your travel finds; however, if your fabric is delicate, such as silk, this probably isn’t the best place for it.

4) Framed. This sounds more complicated than it needs to be. Simply find a frame that is a little larger than your textile, secure the fabric with double-sided tape to a piece of cardboard or mat board, and pop it in the frame. If your textile or fabric is thick, use an acrylic shadow box frame to display it. 

5) As a throw pillow. Vintage pillowcases for beds or linen sacks that once held seed or pantry items can make unique throw pillows for your living room or decorative pillows for your bed. Stuff the pillowcase or feed sack with fiberfill and stitch the opening closed. 

I’d love to see photos of your travels or textile finds! Tag me on social media @vacayrentaldesign.

Christine S. Cowles is the owner of Vacation Rental Design, an interior design company specializing in short-term rental properties. She is a certified Short-Term Rental Stylist™, member of Real Estate Staging Association, and a proud WEV graduate. She can be reached at


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