A main part of my job is helping home sellers depersonalize their home so others can envision themselves living there. But when it comes to living in your home, you should personalize your space to reflect your tastes, passions, and personality. One of the most personal and affordable way to accomplish this would be to decorate your home using family heirlooms. Such pieces are a reflection of who we are and where we come from. I have several family heirlooms on display in my home and they are a pleasant reminder of family that is no longer with me.
I inherited two antique dressers and a dressing table from my great-grandmother many years ago. I had these pieces refinished and currently the dressers provide storage for linens and keepsakes. I converted the dressing table into a foyer piece by removing its mirror.
Most recently I lost my Grandmother last fall. She was such a fun grandma with a great personality and was very passionate about her favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers! My memories of her home included two mid-century modern arm chairs and a molded brass bull and matador that rested on her big box, “old school” television for as long as I can remember. With the blessing of the rest of my large extended family, I was gifted these treasures from my grandmother’s estate. (My family is still probably trying to figure out why on earth I wanted the bull and matador. Nonetheless they now sit proudly on display on top of a bookshelf in my own home.)
The chairs were quite dated and needed repairs. I had the wood frames refinished and made new cushions. I went a little bold and chose an indigo blue zebra stripe fabric from a local fabric store. This new fresh look allows them to blend nicely with my decor, yet still preserving the integrity of the heirloom from years past. While this space is not complete, I wanted to give you a visual of the chairs. I hope to find another piece of furniture such as a table, console, or shelving unit with lamp, but design takes time and I’ll keep searching for just the right piece.
Don’t overlook the potential to incorporate heirloom furniture or accessories in your home. Blending the old with the new can create a fun and eclectic style. If the heirloom does not quite fit in the look of your home, consider a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, or re-upholster with new fabric that suits your style. You will be glad you preserved these timeless treasures for enjoyment by your family and generations to come.