When you land somewhere new in the world and think, ‘You know what, I might stay here for a bit. I quite like it!”, you know you’re going to be experiencing something special. There’s nothing quite like fully immersing yourself in a new city or country for a substantial amount of time and absorbing every part of the culture.


There are aspects to the city that you would never experience if you only whipped through in a weekend. To stay for a bit is the ultimate way to really see a new place and live the lifestyle that the destination is known for.

However, there is one niggling annoyance. Being a traveller who doesn’t know quite how long you’ll be nesting for and not knowing when you might book your next flight presents an issue of how to decorate your new pad. Whether you’ve found a house-share through Gumtree or other roommate websites, or have bagged yourself a long-term hostel room with some besties, how do you go about turning your temporary accommodation into a home?

Photo 04-12-2014 21 54 19

There are certain factors that held me back when I was living in Melbourne. I ended up living there for a few years, but I didn’t want to buy big items as I knew I’d have to resell when I gave in to my itchy feet or decide to move back home. The thought of leaving behind beautiful items immediately destroyed my urge to buy. If I did splash out, I wanted it to be on memorable things that I could ship home.

It has taken me a little while to figure out how to decorate a temporary home, but now I’m at the point that I can’t break free of this style of interior design and can imagine that this is how I will continue to furnish my nest forever more.

PicMonkey Collage

If you need some help in decorating your abode when you know that you’ll be flying free soon, I’ve collated some bedroom inspiration for you to peruse and glean some decorating tips!

Paint Old Furniture

An easy step to decorate a travellers home is by upcycling furniture. Just pick up old pieces of furniture from second-hand stores that look a bit tired and shabby. Sure, you could work the shabby chic look, but if your whole bedroom is full of it, it may quickly look more like a charity shop front rather than your cosy home. Lightly sand down the wood of old chairs or tables and give them a lick of paint to turn them from shabby to chic. If you can, get chalk paint to give your items a lovely matt effect.

6a00d8358081ff69e2019b01ae84eb970c-800wi A Beautiful Mess

Cushions and Blankets

A lovely cushion or blanket in an eye-catching design can give your room a boost of much-needed colour. Not only will it brighten your bed up and become a feature of your bed, but it will give you something cosy to nestle up to at night.

flamingo pillow Tropical Flamingo Cushion Cover – Etsy

They don’t have to be super expensive, but if you’re handy with a needle and thread, why not make your own covers? Can you crochet? Why not whip up a blanket in funky colours! Ok, it will take A LOT longer to create a hand woven blanket… but it would look stunning!

crochet blanket Crochet Blanket – Etsy

Picture Frames

Wander into any second-hand store and you’ll surely find some framed pictures. You’ll be lucky to find a beautiful picture in the frame in these shops, so take out the picture and replace it with any inspirational magazine pictures torn from your favourite local publication. Fashion or travel shoots can be out of this world and make great images to adorn your bare walls.

inspo print Hand Lettered Calligraphy Print – Etsy


Jewellery Holder

If you don’t fancy using your picture frame to hold a poster, then there are other ways to utilize the wall hanging. Remove the back of the picture frame and get hold some thin plastic twine, like fishing line.

Press thumb tacks into the horizontal parts of the back of the frame and wind the twine around the twine to create level lines. By hanging this structure on the wall, you instantly have a rack to hang your earring and necklaces. Sure makes a pretty feature!


Alternatively, try using mesh and a staple gun like in this Camille Styles tutorial.

Bunting or Fairy Lights

Some girly additions to your room can really make a difference. You can hang cute bunting around the tops of your wall or around your bookcase, or drape romantic fairy lights around your bed frame.

fairy lights Roses String Lights – Etsy

Not only does it add decor and lighting, but it’s cheap and easy with minimal DIY skills required. If you are a seamstress, then try making your own bunting…

map bunting  Map Bunting – Etsy


Needless to say: They freshen up your bedroom (or any room really) and add a splash of seasonal colour to your life. A fresh bouquet of roses, tulips, daisies or lilies can brighten up a room, and when they begin to wilt they can still be of use. Hang them upside down and dry them out – they’ll last for ages and can make a lovely wall feature.




These little spikey babies require minimal attention and look awesome! I’m obsessed with them and have a huge range littering my kitchen table and bathroom surfaces. You can pop them in vintage cups, crystal ashtrays, pottery or shallow vases and they will instantly give your room a quirky feel. Cacti for the win!



Jam Jars

Recycle any old jam jars and they can be useful for a whole heap of things! From containers for your rings, earrings, cotton buds and miscellaneous bits n bobs; to small tea lights for a glowing light on your bedside. Candles in jam jars or any other glass containers provide safe and atmospheric light to romantically dim your room for when you want to chill-out.


Pretty Fabrics

Pick up old net or lace curtains, or bright funky swaths of fabric to use in your room. They can be draped over your bed for a quick canopy and turn your room into a haven. Decorating can be easy and quick, and making a canopy is one of the top ways to do it.


Attach the material to thumbtacks pressed into the ceiling or off curtain rails, and it can also work in hanging it off your bottom bunk bed to give you a bit of privacy. These make a great addition to even the Murphy bed that you’d have in the master bedroom. Alternatively, use that pretty sarong you got at your last destination to hang off your walls.

il_570xN.732437874_9jfg Embroidered Lace Curtain – Etsy

Hard Rubbish

In Australia, we called any furniture left out on the street ‘hard rubbish’. It’s usually been ejected out onto the street because someone just wants it out their house and don’t have the means to take it to a dump, or there’s a special pick-up service that will collect it off the street.

If you happen to see a pretty table, a cool chair or even a sofa (I found the cutest set of velvet armchairs in Melbourne!) then grab it and take it home. Recycling is great and if no-one wants it, why not give it a new house to live?

Old Tiles

There are some really pretty tiles out there that are stunning but unneeded. You can find them at markets, car boot sales, charity shops or by trawling the internet. One or two can make lovely coasters for your mug of tea or vase of flowers and can add that little detail that a home requires.

tiles Handmade Turkish Tiles – Etsy
tiles 2 Tavertine Tile Coasters – Etsy

A Big Pin Board

Sometimes you bear the burden of being banned by your landlord of sticking things to your wall. But fear not! Don’t let the man get you down and get hold of a big pin board instead. Give it a lick of paint (I like mine WHITE) and use it to pin all your travel moments.


From postcards to photographs, ticket stubs to keyrings, you can make a lovely arrangement without touching the precious walls. Prop it on your desk to give you inspiration as your jotting all your adventures down in your travel journal.


If you spy a beautiful poster, then go for it. Buy it and put it proudly on your wall! You can easily roll it up when it’s time to depart and send it home. It’s lovely to return home and have some travel moments waiting for you which you can unroll and pop back in your room. You could invest in a gorgeous huge map to mark all your travels on and help give you inspiration on your next trip!

il_570xN.640161427_9517 Yorkshire Type Map – Etsy

Charity shops, markets and car boot sales are the top places to scavenge great items for your travellers temporary home. But there are plenty of ways to recycle everyday things to help kit out your rooms.

If you need more inspiration on how to decorate your travellers home or ideas on how to go all out on adorning your permanent home, check out our Travellers Home Pinterest Board!


Images 3 via Caroline, Annika & Chic&Basic, images from Etsy marked (affiliate links), image 9 Camille Styles, & all other images by Sophie Saint.

Sophie Saint was one of the original travelettes, from 2009 – 2017. After fleeing the UK with ink barely dry on her graduation certificate, she traversed the world with a backpack and spent a few years living in Melbourne – one of her favourite cities in the world.

She finally returned to the UK after a few years where she now whiles time away zipping off for European escapes, crocheting and daydreaming of owning her own hostel somewhere hot to live out eternal summers. See what she’s up to over on her blog saintsonaplane.com and instagram: @saintsonaplane