I read an article today about picking the "right" paint color. One of the "rules" was to pick a color you have ALWAYS loved.
So when I was taking pictures for this post, I began to walk around my house and ask myself "What do I really love...." (aside from the people in my life). Funny, I described myself in an earlier post as having fallen out of favor of the more "traditional" home decor. Truth is, the things I love most in my home are those things that have been here for years, and that I would consider very traditional.
Often we decorate with "style" in mind...the newest trends...what's hot on the blogs and Pinterest. And that is okay. But we have soooo much in our lives that have meaning...family heirlooms, family photos, favorite children's art....things that should be displayed and honored...because truthfully, those things you will love, regardless of how many times you paint the room or change out the furniture.
So let me share with you a few of the things in my home I love (again, people and pets aside!) Most of these things have been on my walls or on display since I first decorated this house 13 years ago, or since I first acquired them.
Extensive...but honestly, its not all.
My point....look around you. Surround yourself with things you love...things that remind you of the people you love...things that have meaning....things that represent the legacy and lives of those who are no longer here.
You will be surprised at how much you love your home if you fill it with things you truly love....
Family China....Years ago I asked my mom to give me one dessert plate for each of all my grandmothers' china. We have written who they belonged to and where it was acquired (if known) on the back of each piece, and they are displayed in my dining room along with one from each of my sets.
I have also displayed one serving set from each, as well as other family heirlooms and treasures, in my little curio cabinet....everyone should have a place where they can display family heirlooms...whether it be a curio cabinet, china cabinet or display shelf!
You can add to this collection, but I promise, if they are family heirlooms or things you "love", you will never remove them, even when you change your "decor."
Old family photos....this display has been on this wall for 13 years. The high school football picture of my grandfather's...from 1939. The five generation photo when I was a baby. My baby picture and birth announcement. A picture of my mother when she was about 5. Each are displayed in an inexpensive frame, but I have put them on foam board to create a "three dimensional" look. Beautiful!
This is the five generation picture of my grandmother, mother, me, my oldest daughter and my oldest grandson. It was taken about 2 months before my grandmother passed. It is displayed with a little decorative picture saying "A mother holds her children's hand for a while, their hearts forever."
BTW, I have a philosophy about pictures we should ALL live by....you probably look better NOW than you will in 10 years....SO TAKE PICTURES WITH YOUR LOVED ONES NOW!!!! Trust me, in ten years you will be glad you did!
Family photos on floating shelves...inexpensive frames look good and are easy to change out. Sea shells and star fish sprayed with glitter paint...and the most treasured item...my father's Orvis fly reel. As much as I would love to use it, I couldn't live with myself if I lost it...
My dad is no longer with us here....but I have several pictures of him that are proudly displayed!
Are you seeing a "theme" here? Decorating with family pictures is one way to make sure you "love" your home! And you don't have to buy expensive frames!
Diplomas/certificates/awards...this is my great grandmother's college diploma from 1920. I have several old certificates waiting to be framed as well. My children's rooms are adorned with their framed certificates, diplomas and awards.
My BFF Brian and I have traveled to Colorado in September twice...no skiing, but the Aspens are GLORIOUS that time of the year! So naturally we take 300 or 400 pictures...of trees. Thrift store frame...trees. Beautiful. And reminds us why we make that 13 hour drive ever few years.
Not the WHOLE tree...but fall leaves. Not sure the significance of these particular leaves...I think they were from the first year in my home....13 years ago. But again, inexpensive frames and mats...whatever you think is beautiful and makes you smile.
BTW, in this picture you get a sneak peek at my black doors and crown door trim....something to look forward to in a future tutorial. Just let me say...a MUST for anyone looking for a way to change the entire "feel" of their home decor!
I'll say it again, and again, and again...I LOVE my Lane Acclaim tables. Love them. This is my first...picked it up while emptying an apartment and started to toss it in the back of the truck...don't ask me what I saw in the nasty little thing. But I brought it home and stripped it down.... the beauty of this table is breath-taking! Oak and walnut!! The tables were made in the late 50s and early 60s...but they are sturdier than anything you can buy on the market today...and again, BEAUTIFUL! And strokes my lust for all things walnut!
Side note....I'm not sure what type of wood the bowl is made of...but there is a little brass plaque on it with an engraving...."Schofield Officers Bowling Lge. , 1962, High Series 620, S. Stewart" Obviously something my grandfather, Lt. Col. Sanlen S. Stewart, acquired as a result of his bowling prowess while stationed at Schofield in Hawaii. Naturally, I stripped it and coated it with tung oil. Beautiful.
Speaking of my lust for walnut...found this perfect mid-century walnut coffee table in one of my favorite flea markets for $100. Needed a little TLC, but after a little strip job and 4 coats of tung oil....complete awesomeness! Some day I will share pictures of the walnut furniture my father made umpteen years ago....this piece fits right in!
Again...an Acclaim table (did I mention I love them). But I have used it to display some very cherished family heirlooms. Wood tape measures and a wood level (wow...a wood level!) that belonged to my great-grandfather and a leather hand-tooled briefcase that belonged to my grandfather...veeeery special pieces worthy of display! Someday I plan on having the leather case restitched and conditioned. But seriously, who do you trust with something this special.....
This is a family heirloom on two fronts....it is a cross stitched family tree given to my maternal great grandparents over 30 years ago...stitched by my mother! The polaroids are of my great grandparents opening it! My mother also made one for both my grandparents, but I believe those will go to my brothers. But I have this one and I absolutely love and cherish it!
Yes girls, cross stitch was all the rage in the 80s. And while mine was not near as extensive as my mom's, it was still a labor of love...especially considering it was given to my dad as a Father's Day gift the year my son was born...I would have been a busy bee! But it is one of the few items I have of his and I remember it displayed in his office. It is in its original frame, although I did paint the frame to match my new dresser (yet to be seen!)
"A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but always a guiding light whose love shows us the way." That was my father...a guiding light. A huge reason I am who I am and do what I do and love what I love.
To this day, one of my favorite smells in the world is sawdust...funny huh? But it reminds of my dad....my guiding light.
My kids....they are awesome. While none are really "artistic" by the world's definition, I think their original pieces of art are just AWESOME. The frog is a piece my daughter did in elementary school. The colors are incredible!
The one on the right was painted by oldest son while he was in college. It was displayed during an art show at USC! One of his many talents ;)
My grandparent's steamer truck...traveled many miles while they were in the military...Germany, Japan, Hawaii...and while most would jump on it and give it a good "makeover" I find it to be beautiful just the way it is....you can even make out my grandfather's name!
One thing I truly cherish is ANY handwritten family letter, note or recipe. I have hundreds of hand written letters written by my great grandmother, grandmother and parents from decades ago....a lost art in todays world of digital! So I love displaying these recipe cards written by my mother and grandmother!! During the holidays, I change out the holders and recipes to Christmas ones!
Quirky is always fun! Brian was in the navy for four years...and oh the stories he would tell about his sailor exploits...until I realized the boys were enjoying them WAY too much. But when I saw this sign in a flea market, I couldn't resist!!!
A little cedar box....$1 at the thrift store. Was a mess but a little strip job and a few coats of tung oil shined it right up!!!
Interesting story about these little Lane cedar boxes. Wasn't sure what the story was behind them so I did a little research. Seems Lane gave these away to girls graduating from high school. Kind of an incentive for them to purchase a Lane cedar hope chest. Precious little boxes that have minimal value but are beautiful when restored and great for storing "trinkets."
Okay...again quirky and weird, I know. But I saw this "starburst" clock on Craigslist when I did a "mid-century" search. I thought it was cool, but thought "naaaaa"....THEN, like two days later, I saw the same exact clock in a room makeover on the HGTV show, Property Brothers. Craaaazy.
So I went up to the little flea market that had advertised it on Craigslist and picked it up for around $43. It is an original...ugly cord and all. But I LOVE it...fall is my favorite time of the year and this silly little ugly brass clock just fits right into my love of fall and my touch of quirky.
When my oldest was a baby, my mother began giving all the grandchildren a few VERY special ornaments every year for Christmas. So after 30+ years and 4 children, my Christmas tree is a treasure of beautiful and meaningful ornaments...it is truly spectacular and I am so grateful to her for starting such a special tradition.