Wojo: Coaches crying, boosters buying — college football in chaos

Solutions: Hang on to favorite moments

Jeanine Matlow

Now that summer vacations have come and gone, there’s no reason to leave all those memories behind. Instead, there are plenty of ways to preserve the good times.

Just follow the lead of Tracey Garcia, interior designer and owner of TG Designs. She and her husband, Al, are avid travelers.

The distinctive displays in their Farmington Hills home pay tribute to their trips, like the wall clocks in the family room that portray past, present and future locations with different labels and time zones. One commemorates a recent stay in Cuba and another features London, which may be a future stop. The clock in the center represents Detroit.

On the same wall, a world map is surrounded by travel photos taken by Tracey on vacations that range from Cuba and Costa Rica to San Diego and Spain. There’s a fun picture of their family dogsledding in the UP, while Charleston and Italy are among the other scenic shots.

With a passion for travel, it’s only natural for Tracey to gravitate toward the globes, which are shown throughout the house along with souvenirs from their favorite places.

In her home office, a vintage globe joins travel photos and a piece by a street artist in Rome.

“I always try to buy some kind of art. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be cute postcards,” she says. “It’s more special that way. It just reminds you of those places. If there’s a little history or story behind it, that’s even better.”

Tracey also encourages her clients to display personal items. “Most people have travel pieces. It’s about the memories of something you did and enjoyed,” she says. “You can have your photos blown up on canvas and put in prominent places so you have a happy memory.”

For a local client with a Florida condo, Tracey found some beach scenes from the woman’s time there to hang in her Michigan home.

Back at the designer’s house, there’s a sign that says: Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.

A mix of pillows also picks up on the theme, including one that depicts a vintage travel poster. Others were made with map fabric by Tracey who added a footstool to match.

In the living room, there’s a side table she covered with a vintage map.

DIY travel decor also makes a great gift, like the art she made for Al by cutting maps with the cities they visited into heart shapes and attaching them to a plywood board.

For Tracey, her daughter painted a canvas with a canal scene from Italy and her husband colored a picture of the sunflower fields they saw in Tuscany.

“Even if you don’t go far away, it can be small adventures. Al and I take vacation days where we go to a local city to go shopping and out to lunch,” she says. “I like anything that takes me to another place. It’s not that I don’t like it here, there are so many cool places; I just want to see them all.”

For information, call 248-417-5943 or go to traceygarciadesigns.com.

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