Around the World with Home Decor: 10 Pieces Inspired By Iconic Buildings

Quick … what do you get when an interior designer gets a serious travel itch? Home decor inspired by iconic buildings! Take a journey through some of the world’s most famous structures, from Big Ben to The Sydney Opera House, and discover that home design inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places. Eiffel Tower-inspired kitchenware? Wall shelves that resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Believe it. We bring you 10 fun facts about your favorite world famous buildings plus how you can nab the look for your own home. Just don’t be surprised if your house guests walk from room to room admiring your decor and chanting: “I see London … I see France …” Find out how you can decorate like a world-famous architect, after the jump! — Jenn Gimbel

  • Sydney Opera House | Sydney, Australia 1 of 20
    Sydney Opera House | Sydney, Australia
    It was originally estimated that the Sydney Opera House would cost $7 million to build ... $95 million later, the Opera House was finally completed. To account for this extra load of cash, the Aussies set up a special "Opera House Lottery," which ran for 17 years until the building was finally paid off. Hmmm … we wonder if we could start a "Babble Lottery" here to fund an office slide?
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Chivari Pendant Lamp 2 of 20
    Chivari Pendant Lamp
    Okay, so you may not have world-renowned Opera singers frequenting your home, but that shouldn't stop you from bringing a touch of Sydney Opera House class to your décor with this gorgeous pendant lamp!
    Get this lamp from Chiasso, $198
  • Big Ben | London, England 3 of 20
    Big Ben | London, England
    Did you know that Big Ben isn't really the clock we all know it to be? It was actually the name of the tower's bell that rings every hour … but over time the clock, tower, and bells all took the one name we know today as "Big Ben." This giant clock is actually wound by hand and is regulated by a stack of coins. Hey, if it ain't broke …
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Big Ben Clock Wall Stickers 4 of 20
    Big Ben Clock Wall Stickers
    We can't think of a cooler way to learn to tell time than with a giant Big Ben sticker stuck to our wall — put them in your kid's room for a pop of color and a little international flair. Ahhh, to be 5 years old again …
    Get these wall stickers from Rockett St. George, $136.24
  • Beijing National Stadium (The Birds Nest) | Beijing, China 5 of 20
    Beijing National Stadium (The Birds Nest) | Beijing, China
    After complaints that this stadium, built for the 2008 Olympics, was costing too much to construct (the final cost rolled in at $500 million), some 9,000 seats were cut from the design — yeah, because the 91,000 people it already seats really isn't enough. To build this nest-like monstrosity, nearly 5,000 Chinese had to be relocated.
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Twig Mirror 6 of 20
    Twig Mirror
    If you're looking to branch out of your typical home décor aesthetic, a little birdie told us about this playful twig mirror — just the thing to bring a touch of Beijing's Bird's Nest to any room of your home!
    Get this mirror from West Elm, $169
  • Eiffel Tower | Paris, France 7 of 20
    Eiffel Tower | Paris, France
    It's weird to think that a con man would attempt to sell a national landmark (personally, we'd try something a bit smaller) … but that's just what happened when Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel Tower not once, but twice back in the 1920s. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice …
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Eiffel Tower Cookie Jar 8 of 20
    Eiffel Tower Cookie Jar
    While we doubt any conman would attempt to steal this Parisian-inspired cookie jar, you might need to watch out for the sticky hands of little cookie monsters!
    Get this cookie jar from Urban Outfitters, $34
  • Empire State Building | New York City 9 of 20
    Empire State Building | New York City
    Parking is hard enough to find in New York City, but blimp parking … not so much! Back in the 1930s, the building was topped with a mooring mast that allowed blimps to be docked atop the skyscraper. Only two blimps attempted docking before the idea was eventually abandoned due to safety reasons … go figure.
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • NYC Skyline Pillowcase Set 10 of 20
    NYC Skyline Pillowcase Set
    Although the Big Apple is known as the city that never sleeps, we'd have no problem catching some Zzz's on these hip skyline pillowcases.
    Get this pillowcase set from Urban Outfitters, $34
  • The Gateway Arch | St. Louis, Missouri 11 of 20
    The Gateway Arch | St. Louis, Missouri
    To commemorate the Louisiana Purchase and to mark Missouri as the gateway to the west, The Gateway Arch was designed and built. Taking a ride up to the top of the arch, you can see up to 30 miles on a clear day! We recommend not going on a day that's especially windy — the arch is designed to sway up to 18 inches in 150 mile per hour winds!
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Arc Touch Lamp 12 of 20
    Arc Touch Lamp
    Bring a touch of the west to your home with this sleek, modern lamp that bares some serious resemblance to its Missourian inspiration.
    Get this lamp from Chiasso, $88
  • The Colosseum | Rome, Italy 13 of 20
    The Colosseum | Rome, Italy
    If you thought Giants stadium was a warzone when battling the Jets, you ain't seen nothing. It's estimated that the centuries of games played in the Colosseum (from gladiatorial contests to animal hunts) have taken the lives of about 500,000 people and over 1 million wild animals.
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Decorative Ledge 14 of 20
    Decorative Ledge
    Rustic, Italian aesthetic never gets old … er, at least the Pottery Barn-type doesn't. This bucolic shelf is a great way to honor the gladiators of centuries past and add a splash of Italian pizzazz to your home.
    Get this ledge from Pottery Barn, $399
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa | Pisa, Italy 15 of 20
    Leaning Tower of Pisa | Pisa, Italy
    What first began in 1173 with only 60 coins' worth of stones has since turned into a tower famous for its lean. So why hasn't it just fallen already? Scientists credit this to the 177 years it took to build it — giving the ground time to settle and become compacted, strengthening the foundation and alas, saving the Tower from ruin!
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Studio Wall Shelf 16 of 20
    Studio Wall Shelf
    Say arrivederci to drab, flat-against-the-wall book shelves, and bongiorno to this leaning alternative — a must-have for any Italian at heart.
    Get this shelf from Pottery Barn, $349
  • Louvre Museum | Paris, France 17 of 20
    Louvre Museum | Paris, France
    The world's largest museum originally started out as a fortress to protect Paris from invaders, but has since been turned into an art lover's favorite place to visit. And while it's been criticized for adding the gaping Crystal Pyramid outside and even a McDonalds inside, we can appreciate the modern update. The Louvre gained even more attention after The Davinci Code was filmed there, earning the museum a whopping $2.5 million!
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Trig Cocktail Table 18 of 20
    Trig Cocktail Table
    With a cocktail table that's so classy it bears resemblance to the Louvre's world-famous Crystal Pyramid, we'd skip the PBR and opt for a more sophisticated choice of spirits. Pinot Noir, anyone?
    Get this cocktail table from Chiasso, $498
  • Space Needle | Seattle, Washington 19 of 20
    Space Needle | Seattle, Washington
    The design for this space-age landmark started as a mere sketch on a coffeehouse place mat, but eventually grew into a building with such an amazing view that it was named the "Best Place to Get Engaged" by The Seattle Weekly in 1994. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Needle is 1,320 Milky Way candy bars — 605 feet — tall!
    Photo credit: iStock photo
  • Revolve Bar Stool 20 of 20
    Revolve Bar Stool
    Add these Space Needle-inspired bar stools to your family kitchen and don't be surprised if you suddenly get a craving for Milky Ways or astronaut ice cream!
    Get this bar stool from Chiasso, $138

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