top of page
  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

Learn As You Travel

Here I am, resting on a beach somewhere along the Mediterranean Sea, my favourite place to spend time away from work. And just like any other time I’m out of my studio, I am looking around, up and down, absorbing as much as I can about Homes, Architecture, Exteriors and Interiors of where I am (in fact, I don’t think there’s anywhere I've been that I’ve not learned something for my work). Far from what we would generally describe as a 'restful holiday' (I’m sadly far from a cocktail by the pool sort of guy!) my time away is usually spent walking (lots of it!), watching and mostly trying to experience how the real people, ‘the locals’ live in any of the places we end up visiting. How do I choose traveling destinations? Well, blessed with an artist partner who loves architecture and art history as much as I do, our choices are easy: anywhere that has history and, if we can combine it, it's close to the sea.

Gallipoli, Italy

all images © James Treble

How do I learn whilst traveling? I walk off the main track and I'm curious.

LOOKING DOWN: you know how much I love floors; well, I never stop looking. Homes, churches, footpaths ... the more I look, the more I learn, and very often flooring designs we see nowadays as 'new trends' have actually been around for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. A perfect example is the contemporary 3D Cube design which I’ve also admired first hand in Pompeii.

LOOKING UP: Don't you love Arches? We all seem to fall for their charm; do you wonder why? Reminiscent of tall trees and protective canopies, tall columns and spanning arches are somehow very familiar to our understanding of beauty; whichever our background, we’re drawn to them. Yet we don't see them adopted in contemporary housing very often ... Why?

LOOKING AROUND: I love discovering how the local people live among the beautiful places we travel so far to admire. Indeed, we can all be guilty of taking it for granted, all that is familiar to us, our surroundings might not seem so exciting; yet to the foreign eye local traditions, history, colours and artisans' skills are truly fascinating. I take loads of photos everywhere we go and through these I try capture what is that makes me feel engaged, to keep the memories and feelings alive.

LOOKING THROUGH: the materials used throughout history are basic, yet strong, flexible and rich with still relevant beauty. One of my favourite materials, bricks, is still everywhere to be admired, or rediscovered as soon as a layer of plaster or a coating of paint falls off. Clay indeed has followed human evolution and served us very well. So well indeed that bricks are still one of the most popular building materials today.

Finally, what do I learn from the OLD sense of aesthetics and how can NEW can be introduced without shock... how does Old and New live together... what of the Old is still relevant... what’s New that is truly new?

Rome, Italy

all images © James Treble

My traveling routine? After a morning swim, we often get in the car for a drive towards unplanned destinations. Most likely, we'll soon drive through small towns unheard of, and there will be a town square, most likely with a fountain in the middle and a very old church with frescoes on the ceilings... unspoiled by touristic pressure the food will be true to local traditions and there we'll find that unique souvenir to buy, often from a second hand store.

I truly advise you to travel extensively when you can, and especially where you can learn something new. Challenge yourself, walk off the main road, find what is a treasure to the locals. Walk, walk, walk! To see where I'm traveling to this time, follow my Instagram and Facebook pages. I'll be posting regularly and as I try to share the trip, I’ll also be purchasing a gift, something a little special to share with one of my followers, as I always do, and the lucky one could be you. For your chance to win, stay tuned :)

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.


bottom of page