Book Review: The Well-Traveled Home by Sandra Espinet

I was thrilled to win a signed copy of The Well-Traveled Home from an AphroChic blog giveaway:

Book Review - The Well-Traveled Home by Sandra Espinet

I knew from the title and the cover, as someone who loves to travel, loves the adventurous hunt for unique things, and loves to bring them home and decorate … this is a book for me.

It’s a new book released in August by Sandra Espinet, an interior designer and HGTV star who is a lifelong traveler and global shopper. She weaves design and artifacts from her world travels into stunning homes. The book is full of photos, much more emphasis on photos than words. Which for this kind of book, is fine with  me, I get inspiration from images.

Sandra’s book gives advice for what to do with all your goods once you return home. She shows how to work them into your decor with restraint, so your home doesn’t look like the Night Market bazaar in Chiang Mai. It’s great to visit, maybe not so great to live with every day.

I know, I know, there’s so many wonderful things in the world, how can we be restrained? Well, according to Sandra’s aesthetic and advice, by having restraint and leaving open wall and floor space, you appreciate what you carefully choose to live with all the more. Conversely, if you cover every surface with treasured things, does having more to look at take away some specialness from it all?

I personally struggle with this – wanting more, more, more when we find fantastic things for good prices while traveling. But do I really want to live with it all, daily? What is an honest answer to that? What would it look like? How would it make me feel? How would it make visitors to my home feel? This book made me think about the value of making choices.

I’d like people to feel comfortable, and to appreciate beautiful things and the stories behind them. The last thing I’d want is for people to feel visually and even physically assaulted from cramped space. Which might be an easy outcome when you’re someone who likes to shop!

A few learnings from The Well-Traveled Home:

  • Most of all, go bigger and fewer
  • A disciplined, and possibly neutral, color scheme can help you fit more in without feeling overwhelmed by stuff
  • Large carved wood and stone pieces seem to be a sure bet to add impactful world-traveler style – think massive carved wood like old doors as headboards
  • A good litmus test before purchasing is, will you love it or will you just take care of it

Thank you AphroChic and Sandra Espinet! This was perfect timing, considering I leave for India next week. The book gave me some things to think about while there, good guidance for making shopping choices. Of course Sandra can buy out an entire village of textiles that she discovered while riding on camelback (yes! a story in the book), but I may need to make choices!



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3 Responses to Book Review: The Well-Traveled Home by Sandra Espinet

  1. Thank you for such a lovely review. I am glad you enjoyed the book.
    Smiles,
    Sandra Espinet

  2. An update! This book really did make me change some shopping philosophy. I used to gorge on the buffet of shopping opportunities while traveling. During my most recent trip to India, I actually bought less than any other previous trip, but LOVE everything I did purchase. It makes it more worth it!

  3. So awesome that you applied Sandra’s advice on your own travels! Lots to keep in mind when globe trotting! Great review of the book, loved all you had to say.

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