Category Archives: Home Decor

Find decorating tips and ideas that are inspired by our travels.

Budget Beating Vacation Destinations For Your New Holiday Home

Are you thinking about buying a holiday home this year? A holiday home can be a great source of a second income, boosting your finances dramatically. Of course, you need to make the right decision. You need to choose a place that you want to visit fairly often, and that will be a fantastic investment for you, perhaps growing in value. At the same time, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on your new holiday home. So, what are the best options on the market today?

Make Room For Malaga

Picture Source

First up, there’s Malaga. If you haven’t heard of Malaga, it’s probably because it’s usually overshadowed by more popular resorts like Costa Del Sol. Still, Malaga could be a fantastic opportunity for a future investment or maybe even for your future as an expat. The benefit of this location is that while house prices are rising, they are growing at a fairly reasonable amount. As such, it’s possible to get your hands on a great property for a budget price by using companies like Malaga Property If you’re not looking to spend a fortune on your slice of paradise, this is the destination for you. It’s not too far to travel each year for checkups on the property, and it could be very popular with tourists.

Though, it’s not always seen as the most popular place to visit in Spain that could be a benefit. It might be the ideal option for someone looking for a tropical holiday away from the crowds.

Orlando, We Love You

Pic Source

Alternatively, you might choose to buy a property in a place where the crowds are infamous for reaching insane levels. Orlando, Florida isn’t just a great location for beaches. It has Universal Studios and the little-known family theme park: Walt Disney World. Millions of tourists come here every year, and many are looking for a budget-friendly option that beats the insane prices of hotels on the Disney property. That’s where you can help. By purchasing a home here, you’ll have the perfect alternative to offer excited, easily targeted tourists. Of course, first you’ll need to get your hands on a property, and they certainly don’t come cheap. It’s also quite competitive with lots of people looking to buy up a part of Florida. Disney has even started offering their own alternative for investors.

However, the popularity of this location could be an advantage. It means you’ll easily be able to find services to look after the property, keeping it well maintained when you’re not there.

Beautiful Bulgaria

Pic Credit

If you’re looking to invest on a tight budget the place to beat is Bulgaria. I know what you’re thinking. Is Bulgaria really a popular holiday destination? Oh, it’s growing that’s for sure, and the cost is undeniably budget friendly. On average a second home in Bulgaria will cost you just 100K. That’s nearly one-third of what you’ll need to pay for a home the same size in Florida. Will it attract tourists? With its stunning golden beaches and gorgeous scenery, you bet it will.

I hope this helps you choose the perfect place for your new holiday home.

This post was a collaborative effort. While not written by me, Diane, I loved the content enough to publish it here, on Wife with Baggage. I hope you are as inspired, intrigued and interested in this content as I am!

Framed Shell Art

Finding shells along beaches is entertaining (think treasure hunt!) and relaxing (think a nice stroll along the shoreline!). I can’t tell you how many shells I have collected over the years; let’s just say it is too many to count. We have bowls of shells, vases of shells and now shells on our walls. Yes, that is right. I turned my countless strolls along the water’s edge into wall art for our home. It was a simple project and very inexpensive. The best part is that this travel inspired home decor project reminds me of the ocean on a daily basis!

Travel Inspiration: Marco Island, Florida

Seashell Art DIY Beach Cottage Decor

Here are the materials you will need:

  • Picture frames of choice design, size and quantity
  • small to medium sizes shells
  • super glue
  • 3-4 pages of pretty paper (I used scrap-booking paper, but you could also try high quality printer paper, wrapping paper, etc.)

The process is an easy and quick one:

  • Remove the glass from the picture frames.

Framed Shell Art

  • Cut the (scrapbook) paper a bit bigger than the size of opening on the frame.
  • Layout shells out on paper to find the design you like most.
  • Use super glue to adhere shells to paper. (Be generous, but neat. The glue will dry shiny, so don’t be messy.)
  • Place glass-less frame over the dried page of shells.
  • Close the frame by attaching the back.
  • Hang or display the frames in desired location.

DIY Framed Shell Art

How to make shell art DIY

Beach Cottage Decor Framed Shell Art

Hint: I also soaked my shells in warm soapy water for a few hours prior to this project. It cleans the sand, dirt and slight salty smell.

Now the only thing left to do is to dream of turquoise waters and sea shells by the seashore each time you pass your artwork!

READ MORE about our trip to Marco Island, Florida here!

A Patio Table with a Story

I am so excited to share this post with you! Our patio is my favorite “room” in our home and Michael worked his magic to create a centerpiece for the space. The travel inspiration behind the table is Bali, Indonesia. It is such a small island, but it left a big impression on our hearts!

Bali is a small piece of the land surrounded by the clear waters of the Indian Ocean. A part of the island nation of Indonesia, it is home to volcanoes, pearl farms, jungles, rice terraces and friendly people. These locals depend on the land and water for their income and sustenance.

Travel Inspiration:

2012_Bali 099

We were on the island for 7 nights a few summers ago – three of which were in Pemuteran, a small town on the northern coast of the island.  While on the island we saw countless fisherman heading out to sea in colorful wooden boats. At the time we thought that the boats were unique, but didn’t give much more thought to them. That is, until we returned home and stumbled upon Culpepper Nautical, a store in West Palm Beach, Florida that sells one-of-a-kind tables made of the reclaimed wood from old fishing boats – straight from Indonesia. We knew we had to have a piece of this region of the world in our home!

The search for a patio table took us to many different furniture stores (both brick and mortar and online) full of cheap, mass-produced tables that we couldn’t see spending our money on. We knew that none of the furniture would be able to withstand the sun and rain of Florida. Then we found a table top at Culpepper Nautical and created our own … with Michael’s creativity and time!

I love that you can even see the dowel rods in the wood that was once a fishing boat in the Indian Ocean!

Culpepper Nautical Tables

The next step was to purchase wood for the table’s base at the local home improvement store. A little planning and about six hours of work in the garage for Mr. Wife with Baggage (do not feel too badly for him, he loves his power tools) and we were on our way to creating a patio table from reclaimed, Indonesia teak wood.

Besides helping to pick the table, my other contribution to this little weekend project was to stain the base of the table. The best part about this stain job was that it did not need to be perfect. In fact, we wanted an uneven, almost worn look. Therefore, it was a quick step!

Dewalt Saw

Making a Patio Table

Wood Stain Patio Table

We now have a splash of color in our patio. An “up-cycled” piece of furniture that is as beautiful as it is meaningful and functional! The table reminds me of the Balinese boats we strolled by in Pemuteran and is one of my favorite pieces of furniture. 

Patio Table Project

Patio Table made from Reclaimed Wood Culpepper Nautical

A Colorful Patio Table Culpepper nautical reclaimed wood tables

Beautiful Bougainvilleas inspired by Bali

Although beautiful and sturdy, our introduction to the Bougainvillea was not a pleasant one. Michael and I both have not-so-fond memories of being scratched and poked by long, sharp thorns. Michael even had the pleasure of “taming” a wild Bougainvillea for a family member that left him needing band-aids and possible referral to an anger management class!

So, you will probably scratch your head in bewilderment when I tell you that we bought three for our own home! Are we gluttons for punishment and pain? Some may think so. However, what really happened was a trip to Bali and a chance to see how beautiful these plants can be (when properly maintained!).

Travel Inspiration:

Bougainvillea in Bali Adi Assri Resort

Here are the (somewhat obvious and not-so-difficult) steps to take:

Purchase the following from your local nursery or home improvement store:

  • your choice of Bougainvillea plants (note that they come in pretty shades pink, white, yellow and orange)
  • pots for said plants
  • soil
  • Bougainvillea food

Buy a Bougainvillea

*Here are examples of the plants we bought.*

Return home and plant the plants. (Come on people, you know how to do this!)

Don’t forget to add the Bougainvillea Food!

You’re done … for a little while at least. After a few months your plants will out grow their trellis. When this happens you can buy a pre-made trellis like these …

Bougainvillea Trellis

… or you can buy the following supplies to make your own trellis:

  • treated 1 1/2 x 1/2 pieces of wood
  • nails and hammer (if you do not already own these tools)

(*You will need to do the math to determine how much wood you’ll need, based on the number and size of the Bougainvillea you have.)

You will also need to purchase plant tie backs to gently guide the direction of growth for your plants up their new trellis.

Bougainvillea Vine Tie Backs

Bogainvillea Food

Bogainvillea Bush

Blooming Bougainvillea


We now get to marvel at these beauties daily, a constant reminder of the lush gardens in Bali! They bloom a few times each year and do really (really) well with water and the Bougainvillea food! We love our little garden and piece of paradise in the suburban jungle of South Florida!

Update: We are bad plant parents. We did not transfer our growing bougainvillea to larger pots and pretty much strangled them! No bueno. Word to the wise – make sure you buy larger pots as your plants grow!

A Wall Hanging with a Southern “Twist”

When wandering the streets of Charleston, South Carolina I noticed beautifully intricate wrought iron everywhere – on windows of homes, fences, garden gates and balcony railings. Each design was precisely welded and appeared strong and sturdy, yet the designs were soft, curving and pretty; the perfect blend of masculine and feminine.

Travel Inspiration:

Wrought Iron Window Covering Charleston South Carolina

Now, as the story goes, Charleston’s wealthy residents insisted on the real deal for the window decor. No cast iron for them. Only the best – wrought iron. But, for me and my purposes, and wallet, I needed a lighter weight (ahem! cheaper) option. My search for a wall hanging led me to this beautiful cast iron wall hanging from World Market – Cost Plus ( I flippin’ love that store).

The piece is very light weight and is held up with only one nail. This is important because I will have to fill in and paint over these holes if, or when, I move the piece. “The more the merrier” does not apply to the number of holes I bang into our walls!

Cast Iron Wall Hanging

Travel Inspired Wrought Iron Wall Hanging

There are no “procedures” or “materials” lists for this project. I mean if you can shop you’ve got the hardest part down! All you’ll need for the installation is a hammer and a common nail. Make sure you use a common nail, or a nail with a larger head, not a brad. Brad’s are nails with much smaller heads and since weight and gravity can allow the wall hanging to slip down or forward a bit, the large nail head will prevent any falls.

Charleston Inspired Decorative Iron

Florida is in the south, but is rarely considered “Southern” so I love that I can bring in a little southern charm to our home. What city inspires you?

Wrought Iron Wall Hangings

Bringing the Desert to Florida with Succulents

I visited Arizona a few years ago and hiked in Sedona, AZ with a girlfriend. While there, we passed a variety of beautiful succulents. We don’t see many succulents in Florida, so I loved this local flora.  They are sturdy, yet pretty, plants that are perfectly suited for the harsh climates and weather of the area. Fast forward to present day. We attended the 2nd birthday party of good friends’ daughter a few weeks ago. Much to my delight, the party favor (from the  “Lorax” themed party) was a succulent. At first, I wasn’t so sure the plant would survive Florida’s rainy season, but then I realized they would make perfect indoor plants!

Travel Inspiration:


I decided they’d go best next to our bay window, where they’d be on full display and still receive bright sunlight each morning. I picked two “containers” for them (buying one and re-purposing another) and used left over potting soil we had in the garage for planting.


  • succulents of your choice.
  • containers/pots of your choice
  • potting soil (We like Miracle Grow soil products.)
  • garden gloves and shovel if you’d like

Indoor Desert Succulents

Travel Inspired Home Decor Arizona

Reading Nook Travel Inspired Decor

My efforts to bring a little AZ to FL worked! Michael and I love to read and drink coffee in our reading nook, hence the coffee cup planter. The succulents add color and bring the outside in to this part of our home. The plants are low maintenance, as they only require a small amount of water each week, which is nice for two busy professionals. Plus, I scored brownie points with Mr. Wife with Baggage for keeping this project under ten bucks. I love getting my hands dirty (literally) with travel inspired DIY projects!

Creating Wanderlust in a Stairwell: Photo Collage

Do you have a big blank wall in your home? We do. It stares at me. More like yells at me. “Cover me up already!” Our naked wall is in our stairwell, a wall I pass multiple times every single day. I know something needs to go there but I do not like buying knick-knacks made in China (no offense, China!) and we do not have the budget for a large piece of quality art. Then, an obvious solution came to me when on Pinterest – a photo gallery. But not just any ol’ photo gallery – a travel photo gallery. There are so many different layouts you can choose, but I chose colorful frames in a nice and neat square. What do you think?

Travel Photo Gallery DIY

Materials Needed:

  • hammer
  • nails
  • tape measure
  • a laser level would be handy, but is not necessary 🙂

Price tag:

  • 9 frames @ 12.99 each = $116.91
  • 9 8×10 photos @ 3.99 each = $35.91
  • Grand Total = $152.82

We no longer walk past an empty wall each time we traverse the stairs. Instead, we are greeted with memories from around the world. The photos evoke feelings of excitement, gratitude and utter happiness. Who would’ve thought photos on a wall could have such a positive impact on our home!