Solutions: Items evoking the past bring comfort at home

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

There’s something to be said for having nostalgic objects scattered around your house. For some items, it might be the memories they generate or the way they encourage us to slow down the frenetic pace of our daily lives. Whether you prefer authentic relics, reproductions or a combination of the two, pieces from the past lend a little charm to your surroundings.

When we received the record player that made my daughter’s recent Christmas list, it reminded me of my own childhood spent listening to albums instead of iTunes and reading books before e-readers ever came into play.

Although she wanted her record player in a soothing shade of blue, the end result was the same as I remember back in the day, especially when I heard her playing my albums from the ’80s in her room.

Since I had a case of sticker shock when I learned the average cost of today’s vinyl records, she may have to use mine for now.

Another blast from the past that graces our home is my daughter’s faux fur bean bag chair that may be more stylish than the one I had as a teen, but it still provides the same level of comfort that envelops you like a hug.

Even the vintage-inspired clocks in our home offer a trip down memory lane as younger generations are more familiar with digital timekeepers than analog varieties.

An old banker’s lamp that my father gave me years ago found a permanent home on my husband’s nightstand where the green glass shade complements the colorful artwork that hangs above. My daughter became enamored with the convenient pull-chain feature that can be easier to navigate than a traditional switch.

She’s also developed a liking for old typewriters like the charming one given to me by a friend who remembered this detail.

When I consider how long I’ve had other items like the vintage dishes we often use, they seem like antiques. One particular set that my sister convinced me to buy while visiting her in San Francisco more than 30 years ago has been a part of my regular routine ever since.

A Lazy Susan given to me by a dear friend who has since passed away also got a lot of use before I stashed it away at some point. I think it’s time to take it out again because it comes in handy when entertaining.

Many of the reproduction vintage posters in our home have graced our walls for more than 20 years and I still enjoy them as much as I did when I first discovered them.

While sorting through some belongings, I came across a few old photos of my aunt and my grandparents among other loved ones we’ve lost through the years. Perhaps this is one of the best ways to add a touch of nostalgia to your surroundings in the form of family treasures that help to keep their memories alive.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at