Explorer trend - 10 of the best ideas

Want to put your love of travelling on show? Decorate explorer style with exotic touches and whimsical collections that show off your globe-hopping prowess... Find more great room decorating ideas at housetohome.co.uk

Position your office chair to be in clear view of everything you need to inspire your next global excursion. This neutral and somewhat masculine home office is part Indiana Jones, part Captain Scott, but has gentle flourishes, such as delicate entomology illustrations and plants potted up in glass vessels, to keep it warm and inviting. A plain white bookcase is softened with wicker and rattan drawers and a mixture of travel paraphernalia, and the woven wastebasket takes on a new life as a map-holder.

1/10 Home office with vintage travel accessories

a neutral office with wooden desk white bookcase and a leather desk chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)


Similar desk
Alexander & Pearl

2/10 Bathroom with decorative kimono

white bathroom with free standing tub teal chair and a pink kimono hanging on the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Bevan)

Show off a treasured piece from a foreign locale in an unexpected way. Here, a striking kimono takes the role of work of art in a bathroom designed for the world-weary traveller returning to soak off their jet lag. Harmonised against the pale pink wall, the decorative robe is a stunning cultural symbol of exotic travels and makes a bold yet feminine design statement. Quirky furniture in strong colours adds yet another layer of exoticism to the look.

Similar metal chair
Oliver Bonas
Albion Bath Company

3/10 Map print covered bedroom chest

a chest of drawers covered in a map print in front of a green papered wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Carolyn Barber)

What better way to show devotion to your travelling spirit than an entire piece of bedroom furniture that shouts global style? The vintage-inspired map print is actually an illustrated wallpaper that really lifts this basic chest of drawers. Muted tones keep it adaptable to any design scheme - from casual country to super-contemporary - and let secondary colours play the hero. Here, green in every shade really makes the chest stand out without looking naive or too playful. 

Similar chest
Bryonie Porter
Wallpaper (on chest)

4/10 American prairie-style living room

wooden staircase and living room with wooden furniture and patchwork throws and cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lucinda Symons)

Inspired by the pioneering spirit of the prairies? Simply wild about the west? If so, then make a bold statement by devoting an entire room to that log cabin look. Take cues from this ever-so-Americana living room and the use of blonde wood, wicker and woven rugs in a focussed palette of reds, whites and blues. Throw in an animal skull for authenticity and quilted textiles to add a soft, homemade touch and keep the look balanced and beautiful.

Similar chair
John Lewis
Similar quilts

5/10 Hallway with seafaring touches

white panelled wall with a black clock wooden stool and a blue and white striped rug on the floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Take nautical to a whole new (sea) level with a look that says serious seafaring. Chic and understated, this hallway set up makes a subtle nod toward coastal cool without the obvious elements - not a shell or seagull in sight. Instead, travels at sea come in the form of weathered woods and metals, white clapboard walls and an on-trend colour-dipped fisherman's creel... you can almost smell the salt air. It's Captain Ahab as 21st-century bachelor - with excellent taste.

Similar clock
Beau Decor
Similar rug
Designers Guild

6/10 Vintage train carriage luggage rack

a vintage train carriage luggage rack on a wall with hat, gloves and blanket

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Feel the rumble of the rails in your own hallway via an authentic and charming piece of transport history. A vintage luggage rack from a genuine train carriage is the perfect marriage of practical and fanciful and channels a simpler time in cross-country holiday travel. The ideal spot for all your grab-and-go accessories or, better yet, imagine the satisfaction of hanging your hat on one of these upon returning home, to then have your pick of seats... bliss. 

Vintage cases
U Old Bag!
Similar luggage rack
London Transport Museum Shop

7/10 Dining room with large vintage map

white dining room with wooden dining table and chairs and gallery wall with vintage map

(Image credit: Future PLC/Matthew Williams)

A map may just be the most direct way to herald your love of travel-based decorating. Here, a weathered vintage version hangs old-school-explorer style from a wooden batten. Stunning as the central focus to a collection of dining room wall art, the distressed look is spot on in conjunction with the rough-hewn dining table and chairs. And you will never be at a loss for dinner party chat - use the map as a conversation starter and dine over exotic holiday talk...

Similar map
Jonathan Potter Limited
Similar dining chairs

8/10 Hallway with tiled floor

cream hallway with white trim and black window frame with a geographic floor tile and wooden chair with cushion

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

The tucked-away hotel in Singapore? That beautiful Beijing guesthouse? That exotic Mumbai luxury five-star? No - it's your hallway, where shutters, contrast tiled flooring and super-high skirting work together to create a look that says exotic expat locale. Black and white play harmoniously and keep the look balanced, while pale minty green walls and bleached canvas accents raise the coolness factor. Add a black ceiling fan for all the drama of a 1940s film-noir thriller.

Similar wicker suitcase
Similar flooring
Mosaic del Sur

9/10 Living room shelves with a collection of travel mementos

white open frames with an assortment of blue and white picture frames and ornaments

(Image credit: Future PLC/Trevor Richards)

Tickets, trinkets, holiday snaps and the objects of your collection-affection come together beautifully in this living room when unified by a colour scheme. Here, French country blues and gloss white keep mementos looking smart and elegant when displayed in box frames. A collection of spoons is laid out in a variety of ways to keep them from looking clinical or like they're part of a dusty old exhibit, and the fading family photos are reinvigorated in this tableau.

Similar frames
Eiffel Tower statue
Not on the High Street

10/10 Living room wall with African artefacts

wooden wall panel with a sideboard with African artefacts and an animal head hanging on the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

Let your travel collection be as broad as the continent from which it came. When it comes to displaying treasured artefacts in a living room, don't fear mixing styles and colours. From natural neutrals to bold, high-gloss colours, when the theme is unified by the place where art and geography collide, anything goes. This room is a prime example of how carefully curated items - despite their diversity of style - can come together to tell a story not only of adventurous travels, but of drama and beauty as well.

Roche Bobois