If you find the decor of your house or office interior is too cold or sterile, an excellent remedy is the addition of crafts and textiles. Authentic handmade goods provide a warm addition to an interior and soften the hard edges of a space. However, it is important to distinguish between crafts and tchotchkes, or knickknacks, when changing an interior.
Tchotchkes are the souvenirs and dust collectors people acquire over years of visiting tourist traps and family members. These objects usually hold nothing more than a faint sentiment and are often forgotten as soon as they are hung or placed.
Crafts are objects created by individuals who are fulfilling a need or exploring form-making with readily available materials. These objects are usually as diverse and unique as the people and environment that create them.
Though a conglomeration of trinkets can provide an ironic viewpoint to a Post-Modern condition, such a collection usually is pervaded by inauthenticity and misguided nostalgia. Authenticity is the key, and objects made in China for other countries and cultures should be avoided. Instead, artisans and craftspeople local to a given place provide the best opportunity for authenticity and cultural value.
In the end, the objects that you acquire should be interesting to you. But, your choices should hold your curiosity and attention for years to come, not a cheap, quick stereotype or reminder.
Beyond the fascinating and exotic locals you visit, there are many other places to find crafts and textiles. Look to nearby artisans and craftspeople to give objects with a true spirit of place, or genius loci, to your interior. An excellent website with many crafts is Etsy.
If you are interested in seeing an example of a Modern house that is fitted with many crafts and textiles, please see the Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California.