HON's Best of Morocco & Paris

Just a few days ago we got our passports freshly stamped, making it home after two weeks in Morocco and Paris! We brought back with us some of our best sourcing memories to date and what we loved about this trip to Morocco (our second sourcing go-around in Marrakech!) is that we saw familiar faces. Habib, the Moroccan artisan who creates HON’s round pillow collection, was someone we had long anticipated seeing again, to talk business, design new products and enjoy a rooftop meal together. While we went last year without a single acquaintance, this year reconnecting with friends and making more connections felt so right. It’s like Marrakech is starting to feel like a little part of the world HON belongs in.

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Here’s our best design and travel memories that we want to share before tucking them away for next time!

1. Day at the Coast

One of the first days in Marrakech, we took a day trip to the Moroccan coast to meet with a new vendor. Not only were the coastal views stunning, but we got to design new pieces for our shop (which opens Nov. 9!), which is always a favorite project for HON. Looking through the vendor’s vintage rugs, we were educated in the rug-making process. Little did we know that the faded rug trend that's really in right now means that there are literal fields of rugs! Artisans take vintage rugs and lay them in the dessert and it’s their full-time job to rotate the rugs everyday creating the desired outcome.

2. HON Dreams of a Riad

When booking details for Marrakech, we came across the most charming, locally owned riad run by Alice and Gaby, who say they hope whoever books a stay leaves as a friend. And it’s so true. Everything about the riad was beautiful — the hospitality, the stunning design and impeccable breakfasts delivered to our rooftop. It’s a hidden gem that’s a simple left, then right off the main medina (last year we were often lost, wandering the narrow streets trying to find our hotel). 

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This dreamy spot had us dreaming of starting our own riad in Morocco! It’s made it’s way to the top of our dream list and we cannot wait to tackle a design and a space we can share, extending the same welcome we felt with Alice and Gaby.

3. Moroccan Rooftops

Moroccan food hasn’t always been a highlight (minus fare and cocktails at El Fenn) but this trip we found Terrasse des épices in Marrakech. The menu features a modern take on Moroccan foods with a Mediterranean twist, and it’s perfect. And the location is right across the street from Habib’s shop, so we felt at home. We ate on the rooftop, allowing us to get some air, and it the even had a great DJ. Added bonus? They served wine, which is rare in Morocco.

4. Food with a View

Paris was so fun — and everything about the city is beautiful — and decadent. Starting with another rooftop highlight, we had rooftop cocktails at our hotel (what a view!). 

Some of our favorite Paris memories were the foodie spots we found in the Montmartre neighborhood we stayed in. Just around the corner, we discovered Le Petite Moulin, a locally-owned charcuterie spot with seating for just a few. Featuring natural wines and a great selection of fresh, locally made cheese, we got to watch the chef craft each board. It was just perfect.

5. Rattan Everything at MO

It was a dream come true to go to Maison & Object. Everything we saw was rattan and cane, baskets and texture, Africa and basket walls — everything we love! Rattan is truly timeless, something that can fit in with most styles well and adds texture and we loved seeing it stay as such a trend. A favorite vendor was Rock the Kabah, who specializes in textured light fixtures with the best scale. We were hooked!

A favorite Maison experience was seeing our Turkish rug vendor — a familiar face halfway across the world! We purchased gorgeous silk pillows for the shop and he talked us into a sourcing trip to Turkey next year! We can't wait!

6. The Showroom of our Dreams

Going to the showroom and shop for India Mahdavi was hands-down a life changing experience. She's a designer with so much talent that we’ve adored from afar and seeing her style in person was dreamy. Truly, she does nothing wrong and creates playful, colorful pieces with unique silhouettes that are so inspiring. She doesn’t take it all too seriously, and that’s what we love. 

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For more photos of our Morocco and Paris travels, check out our instagram and the highlight reel of our travels! And Queen City locals, mark November 9 as our shop grand opening —  come see our finds in person! We just received more than 100 Moroccan rugs yesterday and are so excited to share our sourcing trip goods.

Stay tuned for our full Guide to Paris that we’re releasing soon, adding it to our Travel Guide collection

HON's Best of Bali

It’s been just a week since our plane landed in Charlotte, delivering us and our memories of beautiful rattan everything back to the Queen City. Unlike Morocco, we weren’t able to pack part of what we sourced in our suitcases (turns out rattan does not compress as well as Moroccan pillows) — but an entire shipping container is its way to our studio. We’ll be sure to let you Queen City locals know when it arrives and our loot is ready for shopping!

We’re back in the swing of life in the studio with design consultations, installs and photo shoots, but took a bit to reminisce on our top moments in Bali. Here are the sights, memories and food we will always carry as our first taste of Bali — but not to be the last!

1. Rattan Workshop Visit

What surprised us the most was debunking our assumption that certain rattan pieces might be crafted in a factory! Every piece is TRULY hand crafted. We watched artisans hand bend the rattan to make each and every shape for bar carts, hanging swings and so much more.

The second surprise was realizing we could design our own rattan pieces! From a bar cart, headboards and coffee tables to a beautiful caned-back shelf, hanging swings and accent chairs — we cannot wait to see these custom rattan items come to life.

2. Trade Safari

Our first two days in Bali, we boarded a trade safari where a guide took us to all the go-to spots for sourcing, introducing us to artisans and guided us to custom design locations. Second after our rattan experience -- a favorite was a visit to a manufacturer for Australia-based Barnaby Lane, where we designed some of the most beautiful things we have ever seen, including a favorite hide to be crafted into sling chairs. 

Then, we visited an artisan wood carver where we designed side tables. Not only did we shop a range of traditional, gorgeous Balinese pieces but also ordered custom decor and tables. On another day, we met with a lighting artisan and created designs for HON custom light fixtures — AND met with an incredible leather artisan! We can’t WAIT to share what the Bali artisans are busy creating and shipping our way soon!

3. Air B & B

After our 32-hour trip from CLT to Bali, it truly felt like we woke up in a Domino Magazine. It was an incredible surprise to wake up in this space where every detail had been thought of and every space was thoughtfully designed. From the round pillows to the combo of blush and orange, it was impeccable and so inspiring! A favorite memory was the dance party we had in the pool! If you ever go to Bali, it's a must-stay!

4. Cooking Class

Our favorite way to get to know a culture is to do a cooking class at every new destination. We both love cooking (and lucky for us, so do our husbands!) so once they arrived, we booked a cooking class with the Kenduri Project.

She came to our villa, not only bringing spices and ingredients for a feast but flowers for a tablescape. As we ground spices in a traditional Indonesian mortar and pestle to make sambal paste, we heard the story of her business launch and marriage to an Australian native who relocated to Bali. It was such a fun evening! 

While our favorite of the class was the Kenduri turmeric chicken (a traditional chicken dish made with local ingredients), we’re always up for a good dipping sauce. A menu stand-out was the peanut sauce we made, served with homemade prawn crackers. So delicious! 

5. Sundays Beach Club

After all the sourcing, it was a luxury to sit in a lounger right on the ocean and watch the surfers — and enjoy a drink! What made Sundays Beach Club stand out from other Bali beaches is its location a cove. It took us 1.5 hours to get there and once a day, the tide calmed and we snorkeled and paddle boarded in the insanely bright teal waters. That was a memory worth the 32-hour trip there.

6. Cove Island Essentials

There were so many Balinese shops we adored, but we stumbled upon a retail shop we wished we could copy and paste into our retail location in SouthEnd — Cove Island Essentials. They even had a candle and a perfume they dubbed ‘Nomad,’ so obviously, those made the cut and came back to CLT with us. Next door, a chic clothing boutique owned by the same person offered some amazing coats that we were crazy about. We can’t wait to bring some of this inspiration into our shopping space as we overhaul it this fall!!!

Stay tuned for our full Guide to Bali that we’re releasing soon, adding it to our Travel Guide collection

It's Bali Time! Shop HON's Suitcase

BALI — here we come! After dreaming and months of planning, we’re putting the final items in their suitcases and headed to Bali on Saturday! First, we’re jet setting for the Bali markets sourcing gorgeous handmade rattan everything — then headed for a little R&R! While it’s fresh on our minds — here’s our best travel tips, do’s and don’t’s of international travel!

1. Before You Leave

  • Grab your passport and check the expiration date. If needed, apply for a renewal - ASAP!

  • A passport holder is a fun way to keep track of your important documents!

  • Once your flight is booked, check your airline and download their app. Sign up for flight status notifications. Create the wallet option on your smart phone so you’re not juggling passports and tickets and boarding passes.

  • Research the converter you will need! Before you hit the airport, make sure your phone is charged so you aren’t in line worried about showing your boarding pass before your phone dies.

  • Apply for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry! We think the $85 membership fee for five years is WELL worth it — it’s a lifesaver, especially for the trip home! Keep in mind you have to apply in plenty of time prior to leaving on your trip but it saves (ALOT!) of time in customs and security lines both going and coming.

  • Download 3-4 movies, a few podcasts and a book on your Kindle! Last trip, I stood in the airport trying to get my movie to download and it never did. Make sure you go board ready with some fun media to look forward to!

  • Search “sleep” on Spotify and download a sleep playlist. It’s so worth it!

2. Pack in These Bags

  • And what we mean by “bags” is BAG! We never check a bag — unless it’s an EMPTY duffel to bring back full of goodies for our shop! This is a favorite suitcase!

  • Pack light! Just fill your carry on what you love! This not only cuts down on travel prep but strangely cuts down on stress during the trip. Your favorites are always enough. Five days prior to leaving, lay everything out that you might bring. Set the items in your guest room bed, perhaps, so that you can walk in and out a few times a day and start removing things you’re not thrilled about bringing.

  • This Calpak laptop bag is tried and true and we’ve found nothing safer or easier to carry for our computers! It’s a backpack and stylish, too.

3. Tuck these in your carry on

  • Nothing is worse then chapped lips on a plane! We never leave the house without this!

  • Travel-size dry shampoo is your best friend while en-route and all trip long.

  • This (travel size) facial spray is magic for when you start to feel like you need a mid-flight refresh.

  • These no-leak containers are perfect for toiletries.

  • We are both are suckers for a travel uniform, meaning our favorite joggers, a T-shirt, lightweight and comfy sneakers (perfect for when we have to sprint to our gate!) — and most of all, soft socks. Sounds ridiculous but it makes the hours and hours on a flight that much more comfortable.

  • Tiger Balm is magic — it’s a tiny container, perfect for your carry on and takes away headaches and neck/muscle tension quickly.

  • We love having these Colgate Whisps on hand to freshen breath in between flights.

  • Neck pillow — this one is perfect! It inflates/deflates so doesn’t take up too much space, and truly we can’t sleep without it!

  • Benadryl — take it 20 minutes prior to being ready to go to sleep and turn on your sleep playlist!

  • Investing in these noise-canceling headphones is a no-brainer. They dramatically changed our experience on flights! They’re incredible.

  • Eye Masks really help get your zzz’s in on a flight!

4. Airport Tips

  • When you have long layovers, find the closest lounge to pay to get into and use their shower! Definitely worth the fee!

  • Buy some healthy snacks ahead of time or in the airport shop — they always have a nice selection and will help you feel better during your flight.

  • Buy a large bottle of water prior to boarding your flight — and try to get some steps in. We walk our terminal at least twice, just trying to prep for a long time staying seated.

  • We only share this with a laugh — we both get cankles easily so always grab the largest container of water we can in the airport and sip it constantly while on the plane.

Follow our Bali adventures on instagram at @houseofnomaddesign! Watch for posts with photos as well as photos on the instagram stories. Cheers to summer travels!







Travel Tips from Thailand

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I just returned from Thailand, which is hands-down my favorite place on earth! While I’m still unpacking my bags and it’s fresh on my mind — here’s my best travel tips, and Berk chimed in here, too! Here goes our do’s and don’t’s of international travel — with some favorite Thailand shots thrown in.

1. Before You Leave

  • Grab your passport and check the expiration date. If needed, apply for a renewal - ASAP!

  • A passport holder is a fun way to keep track of your important documents!

  • Once your flight is booked, check your airline and download their app. Sign up for flight status notifications. Create the wallet option on your smart phone so you’re not juggling passports and tickets and boarding passes.

  • Research the converter you will need! Before you hit the airport, make sure your phone is charged so you aren’t in line worried about showing your boarding pass before your phone dies.

  • Apply for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry! We think the $85 membership fee for five years is WELL worth it — it’s a lifesaver, especially for the trip home! Keep in mind you have to apply in plenty of time prior to leaving on your trip but it saves (ALOT!) of time in customs and security lines both going and coming.

  • Download 3-4 movies, a few podcasts and a book on your Kindle! Last trip, I stood in the airport trying to get my movie to download and it never did. Make sure you go board ready with some fun media to look forward to!

  • Search “sleep” on Spotify and download a sleep playlist. It’s so worth it!

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2. Pack in These Bags

  • And what I mean by “bags” is BAG! Berk and I never check a bag — unless it’s an EMPTY duffel to bring back full of goodies for our shop! This is a favorite suitcase!

  • Pack light! Just fill your carry on what you love! This not only cuts down on travel prep but strangely cuts down on stress during the trip. While in Thailand, I had less options to chose between day to day. Your favorites are always enough. Five days prior to leaving, lay everything out that you might bring. Set the items in your guest room bed, perhaps, so that you can walk in and out a few times a day and start removing things you’re not thrilled about bringing.

  • This Calpak laptop bag is tried and true and we’ve found nothing safer or easier to carry for our computers! It’s a backpack and stylish, too.

3. Tuck these in your carry on

  • Nothing is worse then chapped lips on a plane! We never leave the house without this!

  • Travel-size dry shampoo is your best friend while en-route and all trip long.

  • This (travel size) facial spray is magic for when you start to feel like you need a mid-flight refresh.

  • These no-leak containers are perfect for toiletries.

  • Berk and I both are suckers for a travel uniform, meaning our favorite joggers, a T-shirt, lightweight and comfy sneakers (perfect for when we have to sprint to our gate!) — and most of all, soft socks. Sounds ridiculous but it makes the hours and hours on a flight that much more comfortable.

  • Tiger Balm is magic — it’s a tiny container, perfect for your carry on and takes away headaches and neck/muscle tension quickly.

  • I love having these Colgate Whisps on hand to freshen my breath in between flights.

  • Neck pillow — this one is perfect, Berk and I have both used it every trip we’ve taken! It inflates/deflates so doesn’t take up too much space, and truly I can’t sleep without it!

  • Benadryl — take it 20 minutes prior to being ready to go to sleep and turn on your sleep playlist!

  • Investing in these noise-canceling headphones is a no-brainer. They dramatically changed my experience on flights! They’re incredible.

  • Eye Masks really help get your zzz’s in on a flight!

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4. Airport Tips

  • When you have long layovers, find the closest lounge to pay to get into and use their shower! Definitely worth the fee!

  • Buy some healthy snacks ahead of time or in the airport shop — they always have a nice selection and will help you feel better during your flight.

  • Buy a large bottle of water prior to boarding your flight — and try to get some steps in. We walk our terminal at least twice, just trying to prep for a long time staying seated.

5. Once You Arrive

  • When you get into the international airport, make sure to stop at the kiosk and swap out SIM card on your phone! All international airports have numbers of places to do this — and even better, it is really economical!

  • On every trip, we also rent a hot spot so we can work remote — and stream music/vidoes while we travel on the bus/subway!

Next month, expect a Guide for Thailand to be released and a summertime Guide to Tulum! In the meantime check out our Guide to Marrakech and Guide to Sayulita.

Cheers to a new year full of travel!

Introducing Our Guide to Sayulita!

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If you’re looking for an epic way to clear the winter blues, consider jet setting straight for Sayulita. It’s surprisingly affordable (check out this poolside VRBO villa!), a short flight away not to mention incredibly beautiful and full of creativity that forever changed our perspective on handmade goods.

We’ve created a downloadable Guide to Sayulita to make the trip enjoyable at every turn — best places to stay, eat, shop and enjoy a drink. Here’s our inside scoop to Sayulita with stories from favorite moments, items we brought back — and a recipe to our go-to best Mexican cocktail (no matter the weather!).

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Quickly, we learned the Sayulita artisans are not only talented — but endlessly patient. These gorgeous macrame masks had a high price point because they can take more than a WEEK to craft. Each stitch is handmade and the entire mask is covered in intricate, gorgeous designs.

We snapped these photos outside the local shop, Evoke the Spirit, and wished we had time to sign up for a class — next time, we’ll work that into our agenda. Also — invest in a mask! Every time we think of this day, we regret not bringing back more and they’re stunning art pieces!

A highlight of our trip was the Saturday market in the center of downtown Sayulita! Be sure to plan the trip around shopping this expansive market, it’s where we found all of our best handcrafted items. Artisans come from all over Mexico to sell their work at this market — from pom pom strands to otomi (traditional Mexican embroidery) to straw masks.

No joke, we immediately bought up 60 strands of pompoms from white to bright, multicolored strands to turquoise and brown — we fell in love with them. Just to give you a glimpse: we were dying laughing trying to make a path in our hotel room — we had so many bags of pompoms we could barely walk through our space.

We’ve loved working these pieces into clients home such as this little girl’s bedroom in Davidson, where our last multicolor strand was just the think to make her window more playful. The straw mask added some personality to the open shelving in a client’s Uptown apartment — it was so him and the perfect finishing touch.

We don’t just love the items in client’s designs — but we designed our personal spaces with these items in mind! In Kell’s living room, you can see that this corner includes a hammock handmade in Sayulita, a bright cactus planter we picked up at the Saturday market — and a mask handmade in Sayulita. Not only do these pieces add personality, but they give Kell a reminder of our adventures, and to keep a global, creative perspective. Our spaces are curated with things we love and items that evoke inspiration.

A BEST memory of Sayulita was the hammock. Kell landed in Sayulita with the goal of finding a black hammock for this corner and NO LIE — every local artisan we talked to told us that there was not a single strand of black string left in the town! We didn’t give up. By the end of our days in Sayulita, EVERYONE at the market knew who House of Nomad was because we were the blonde duo who kept asking for the black hammock. On the last day, one of the vendors met us with a black hammock they had just woven. So — she is extra special piece!

A trip to Mexico would never be complete without some mezcal! We stumbled upon Cava, where we did a trio mezcal tasting — and that’s when our love affair with mezcal got deep. There are days we will just dream of these modern bar stools, the warm Sayulita wind pouring into the restaurant and the kick in our favorite mezcal cocktail.

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It’s absolutely delicious and they even passed along our favorite pineapple mezcal recipe from the trip! It is not only refreshing but has a good kick to it! If you can’t fit in a trip to Sayulita, at least make this drink for a wintry Charlotte day and help you dream of warmer days. Cheers!!

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Pineapple on Fire

  • Mashed pineapple

  • Chilli Serrano (2 slices)

  • Coriander

  • Lime

  • Salt

  • 1 shot mezcal

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