Walk a mile in interior designer Michelle Nussbaumer’s shoes, and you might trek India, Africa, China, Mexico, or various regions in Europe searching out intricate fabric, artisan tile, and antique furniture. Along the way, you’re sure to see color, lots of color, as only a true explorer can. After all, the famed interior designer Hutton Wilkinson does refer to Nussbaumer as a modern Marco Polo in the foreword of her debut book, Wanderlust: Interiors That Bring the World Home.
“What I like to do is find people who are doing the techniques that they’ve been doing for hundreds of years, and then maybe update those techniques or change them in a modern way,” Nussbaumer says. “I really like to perpetuate the handicraft that has been going on for thousands of years that is a dying art.”
This is the lovechild of a lifetime of travel that yields itself in powerful passion projects for her clients. Whether “Sailing to Byzantium” or “Finding Shangri-La,” the book’s exotic chapters are sure to excite the creative in anyone who’s ever wanted to turn their home into a functional, meaningful sanctuary for family and friends.
“So often today, things in the home don’t get utilized,” Nussbaumer says. “I want people to cook in their homes and have people over so it will inspire others to utilize the beautiful things in their homes, too.”
Published by Rizzoli International Publications, Wanderlust: Interiors that Bring the World Home hits shelves on September 20 and is available at Ceylon et Cie, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble ($50).
Oh, The Places She’ll Go
It was nearly impossible for Nussbaumer to narrow her list of places that get her design juices flowing. But after some consideration, she offered up five countries that have inspired her during her years of traveling the globe for work and pleasure.
“India is my favorite place in the world. I make my furniture line there, because if you have an idea, the people there can create it so perfectly for you. It’s such a magical, surreal, and very spiritual place for me to visit.”
Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur
“There are so many topographies, and every place there has a different indigenous people that create different objects. With that said, Mexico City is incredibly modern and sophisticated with its museums and food.”
Carlos Slim’s Museo Soumaya in Mexico City
“I’ve never seen a better market in my life than The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and the architecture is just incredible. The tilework there has been so inspirational to me, especially with the work I am doing right now.”
Pandeli Restaurant inside the spice market in Istanbul
“I love the colors and people of Morocco. When you are walking the streets of Fez, it’s really still like that idea you have in your mind of an 18th-century place. You can really step back in time here.”
Favorite Spot for Cocktails
Royal Monsour in Marrakech
“My husband and children are French speakers, and we spend a lot of time there. It’s a place that I’ve always bought furniture for my store: Think 1940s French furniture. I can’t imagine not going there always, and I hope I will always be able to.”
Favorite Resource for Antique Textiles
Galerie Leyla Lebeurrier Ahi in Marché Dauphine