© Daniel Pafford

Since moving to Manhattan in 2003 and starting my own residential interior design business in 2006, I have been fortunate enough to travel the world sometimes for work, but mostly for pleasure gathering a varied array of visual inspiration for my work with interiors. When I began traveling abroad – first, to the beaches of Harbor Island, the Riviera Maya, and Capri, then to the old world cities of Paris, Munich, and Rome – I would often purchase clothing, jewelry or small objects of interest – designer and otherwise – as souvenirs of the time that I had spent on holiday. However, after returning home from my first few trips overseas, these souvenirs soon would be tucked away into a drawer or kept in a box for safe keeping only to be brought out when the appropriate occasion arose. Indeed, small items like cuff links, ties, rings, handkerchiefs and small leather goods can sometimes become indistinguishable if your collection is large enough, and the original venue of purchase or story behind the hunt can become foggy. Likewise, clothing items can get lost in an array of hanging couture and folded frocks. I wanted something visually tangible that could remind me every day of the places that I have been to and inspire me to continue traveling.

While beginning to design my own home in 2010 on the West Side of Manhattan along with my partner, who is even more of an avid traveler than myself, I began to understand the importance of purchasing hanging art – not only as an essential decorative element to help connect the color story of a room or to fill a key focal point on a wall, but also as an investment and reminder of how many wonderful and unique places there are in the world to visit. The inspiration to fill my walls with beautiful art from places that I have been to has only left me wanting for more travel. After a recent trip to London while our apartment was being freshly painted, the walls were left blank upon our return. While shuffling through the paintings, etchings, prints, and frames that were now scattered throughout our space I became inspired to condense our favorites between a pair of 1940s brass and crystal French sconces hanging in our Living Room that I had picked up at the Marche aux Puces in Paris years earlier. I began my salon style hanging with a 1950s painting from a visit to Rio de Janeiro in 2010. I then added several watercolors of Japanese Gardens from a trip to Tokyo and vintage black and white cityscape photographs from a trip to Hong Kong – both in 2011. I backtracked and hung a vintage etching of the Trevi Fountain that I picked up in Rome in 2007 and a vintage map of Norway that my partner picked up as a reminder of his trip to visit relatives in Nordfjord in 1999. Folded on a gray velvet slipper chair near our bar and the newly hung art I added a deep turquoise and gold woven textile that works beautifully as a throw from a trip to Cambodia in 2006. Before I knew it, the freshly painted once empty wall in my Living Room was filled with a well curated visual guide of every single international travel experience that I have had over the past decade. Later on that evening while enjoying a cocktail and showing off my latest bit of interior decorating, my partner asked what I had added from our latest trip to London? Realizing that I had failed to remember this collectors mission on my most recent trip I immediately finished my cocktail and booked a flight back to London.

  Daniel Pafford Daniel M Pafford Interior Design pairs 1940s French and Italian Antiques with mid-century modern classics, while personally tailoring taste to clients needs.