Take Me Away

Left Bank vignette
Vintage oil portraits, dark blue walls and leather-bound books create a bohemian Left Bank feel, reminiscent of Paris in earlier times. Photography courtesy Kate Benjamin

If you have a serious case of wanderlust, consider decorating one or more rooms to enjoy the ultimate staycation by replicating that place you can’t get out of your head. Maybe it’s an enchanting destination here in the Great Lakes or an exotic locale in another country that leaves you longing for more.

One way to pay homage to your favorite travels is by decorating with accessories like maps, globes and decorative luggage and trunks from sources like Pier 1 Imports (pier1.com), pieces that complement souvenirs from your stays. They provide pleasant reminders of where you’ve been.


Map artwork
Souvenirs, maps and other touches bring exotic locales home. Photography courtesy Pier 1 Imports

As an avid traveler, Terry Ellis, interior designer and owner of Room Service Interior Design in Troy (roomserviceinteriordesign.com), knows how to recreate the feel of a favorite vacation destination. “Paris is just a dream place to revisit, like New York, and in terms of décor, a trip to their flea markets yields wonderful finds,” she said.

Special mementos can be enhanced and given pride of place by framing, added Ellis who also suggested displaying apothecary jars, leather-bound books and vintage oil portraits that define that distinctly Parisian feel.

In a vignette of the Left Bank (which depicts the city in an earlier era) that she created in her studio at the Michigan Design Center, blue walls provide a soothing backdrop for wrought iron pieces reminiscent of French gardens and gorgeous portraits that suggest Bohemian artists and salons. “Blue walls are so alluring,” she said.


A lighter shade of blue appears on the walls of a boy’s bedroom that features a surfing theme. “Blue and white always has a coastal feel, like a Tahiti-inspired island,” Ellis said. The beachy embellishments mounted to the bed can easily be removed if he grows out of it.

The same adornments that create a faraway feel in the boy’s bedroom often translate well to a bar area or an al fresco kitchen. “It’s a fun seasonal treatment for an outdoor space, like a cabana,” Ellis said.


Nautical room
Lighter shades of blue and white are used to create the calming feel of water in nautical and maritime themes. Photography courtesy Kate Benjamin

Calming blue walls also envelop the master bedroom of another client, a touch inspired by trips to northern Michigan. “At the end of the day, she can go to her room and just relax. It’s soothing,” said Ellis about the space that combines neutral carpeting with blue accents for the effect of water and sand. “It has a pure, natural look to it.”

For those looking to emulate a waterfront location, the whole coastal look can be achieved with texture from materials like canvas rope, along with beautiful colors and a lot of light, Ellis explained. Lastly, she said, “It should be relaxed and casual with nothing that’s stiff or formal like fabric.”

After all, that’s what travel is all about.

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