Discover Home Decorating Ideas While on Vacation

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that one of the best ways to get inspired to decorate your home is to do a little research.  The best place to do that research…… on vacation!  Now doesn’t that sound like a good idea?  Here’s a for instance:  you know you’ve wanted to create a tropical paradise in your master bedroom for years.  Well, how are you going to do that right unless you experience the tropics for yourself?  I mean we want to be authentic don’t we?

Williamsburg BuildingsWell, I used this logic on Matt and he fell for it…. I mean, he thought it was an idea that had merit.  So, we took off for warmer climates.  It wasn’t tropical, but it was warmer than Cleveland, Ohio.  We took a quick trip to Colonial Williamsburg, and I’ve been in love with Williamsburg ever since.

Williamsburg AccessoriesMatt and I spent about three or four days visiting the homes and businesses in Colonial Williamsburg, taking in the sites, the smells and the tastes.  We purchased a couple of colorful books on the topic, and actually purchased several items right there in the gift shops to bring home with us to decorate a master bedroom.  I also had taken tons of pictures, and took copious notes of all the details I could from the rooms we had seen.

Williamsburg FireplaceFor instance, all bedrooms had a fireplace, which our room didn’t have.  And, if we wanted to stay true to Williamsburg style, we would have to address that in our master bedroom project. A fireplace offers so much more to a room than it’s warmth.  This one created a wonderful spot for two wing back chairs and a side table. It creates an area for art, lighting and collectibles as well.

Williamsburg Draperies

The wealthier families had layers at the windows and very decorative valances using nice fringe and trim.  Candles were a must, and area rugs were plentiful.  These were the decorative ideas I thought we could somehow incorporate into our room back home.

Williamsburg InspirationWhen we did arrive at the room to be decorated, we started with our inspiration piece, the Williamsburg Garden Images comforter.  An inspiration piece can be the key to your entire decorating project if you let it.  You will find wall colors, furniture and drapery colors, along with accessory ideas all from whatever you choose to be your road map.

Williamsburg WallsFrom our inspiration piece, we pulled two soft yellows to create a gentle stripe technique above a chair rail which is oh so Williamsburg! A stripe is a great technique in painting because it’s easy to do.

Williamsburg Poster Bed

Our four poster bed was perfect in the room, and instead of splashing it with color from the comforter, we chose to fold it at the end of the bed and stay more muted with a matlesse coverlet from the Williamsburg collection.  For the windows, I sewed pairs of co-coordinating floral print draperies, and made valances that were shaped and trimmed out in a soft green ribboning.

Williamsburg Faux FireplaceTo accomplish the fireplace idea, Matt built a faux fireplace with a hearth that sat right on the floor, and a mantle that attached to the hearth and the wall.  We covered the firebox opening with a decorative fireplace screen, and no one was the wiser.  I must admit that even with all my sewing and selection of materials and accessories, I believe that the faux fireplace actually made the room.  It added an architectural element that is normally very expensive for a fraction of the cost.  It also gave us a new area to accessorize.  This became the best place for a mantle clock and candles.  We were also able to hang a print we bought on our vacation right above the mantle.  It brought the whole room together and was a wonderful reminder of a fun trip.

Williamsburg Finished BedroomIn the end, the finished room had “Williamsburg” written all over it. We had the right wall treatments, window coverings, a fireplace, candles, framed prints, our Williamsburg printed comforter and an area rug to support our theme.

So, you never know what will come from a special vacation. In our case, it was a Williamsburg style master bedroom that was perfect in every detail.  Certainly one of the best rooms we’ve accomplished so far, and it came together through a process of much joy for us.  We made memories that we’ll treasure forever.  Try it, and you will too!


P.S. – If you are interested in building your master bedroom around the same comforter that we did, you still can – check it out!


  1. Carole ward says

    Hi Shari, Matt or whomever,

    A few weeks ago I inquired as whether you had the Williamsburg , Virginia faux fireplace directions. Since I did not hear back I am going to assume that you were not able to access them. I thank you for looking.



    • Shari Hiller says

      Hi Carole, don’t give up yet. Matt may have the instructions in a file from when we decorated that bedroom. We are still looking!

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