How One Photographer’s Travels Inspire Her Home

For Claire Cottrell, a new trip means new decor.

Purple Vignette

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


Director and photographer Claire Cottrell shares the ways traveling and exploring her Los Angeles neighborhood inform her home. Inspired by architecture, people, light, and color, she shows us how her visual world impacts her decorating style.

White Staircase

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


Last summer, I stayed at Le Belvédère du Rayon-Vert, an old hotel in the South of France. The town used to be a destination for starlets in the 1930s and ’40s and is still very cinematic. I knew the hotel was a significant work of Art Deco architecture, and when I saw these pale blue marble stairs surrounded by white walls, it didn’t disappoint. 

White Living room

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


Similarly, I love the shape and subtle elegance of this sofa in my bedroom.

Purple Vignette

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


In my backyard, peach and apricot trees grow next to six different kinds of cherry trees that were planted by my neighbors—set designers for Quentin Tarantino who traveled to Japan often.

Find more inspiration in the fall issue.

White Bedroom

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


At home, if I need a change, I sometimes sleep on my guest bed. I bought it in grad school and didn’t have the budget, but I thought, I have to have this. Returning to an old thing in a new state can change your relationship to that object.

Gray Outdoor

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


On the same trip to France, I visited Cadaqués, a fishing village on the Costa Brava that is the first place the sun touches in all of Spain. It’s a bohemian community of artists and free spirits. This woman was out for a stroll, and I liked her dress. 

Blue Vignette

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


Another detail I loved was this fantastic fresco and clamshell candleholder back at Le Belvédère.

White and Wood Living room

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


My kitchen and dining nook have similar shades of pale pink and lavender.

Wood Kitchen

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


Find more inspiration in the fall issue.

Pink Vignette

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


More color inspiration from Le Belvédère was this rich burgundy curtain, like the bunch of wild roses by my bed.

White Bedroom

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


Taupe Study

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


In the living room, I keep books, gifts from friends, and small artworks in my creative storage trunk.

Blue and Taupe Vignette

photography by CLAIRE COTTRELL


Everything has a story—a branch from Joshua Tree, a Scenes From a Marriage poster (I’m a big Ingmar Bergman fan), a blue ceramic pot. I only brought back photos from this trip, and I’m planning to print a few to hang at home as a souvenir.

Find more inspiration in the fall issue:
Tour a Mid-Century Hacienda Filled with Modern Charm
Rebel Girl: Reject Tradition With These Irreverent Designs
The Simple Swap That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Decor

Published on September 28, 2017 - 11:45am EDT

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