Decorating With Family Heirlooms

Today I’m participating in Marie’s Heirloom Party, at Emma Calls Me Mama. My house isn’t FULL of family heirlooms, but I have some very special pieces to share with you. I might even have some ideas for incorporating your family’s treasures into your decor.

First up, is this adorable chair given to me by my grandmother. She wasn’t quite this cute when I got her. Read the story of the chair’s transformation here.
She now sits in my foyer in her flirty little skirt, greeting all who enter.

The side tables in our master bedroom are both family heirlooms. This one, on my side, was given to me by my mother. I love the curves and details.

And, this one, on my hubby’s side (I NEEDED the bigger one, you see) came from the same Grandma as the chair.

Both of these table were stained wood when I got them, and I agonized for awhile over the decision to paint them.

Here’s my first piece of advice: PAINT!
Spray paint doesn’t cover up memories, but it does cover old wood and highlight beautiful details. These tables might have been different colors, but my MAD LOVE for them matched perfectly.
Oh…then there’s this pitcher. My great aunt poured the milk on my cereal with this pitcher. I pour milk on my kids’ cereal with this pitcher. My kids will pour milk on their kids cereal with this pitcher. Now THAT’S what heirlooms are for.


In our den sits Grandma’s piano. The only song I remember her playing on this piano is “How Great Thou Art.” It’s her favorite.

My great grandfather made these alphabet blocks for his daughters, my grandmother and great aunt. I would display these even if typography wasn’t so HOT in home decor right now. There are little pencil drawings on several letters. I bet they got in SO much trouble for that.

Of course, my favorite letter gets a place of honor.

Which brings me to my second piece of advice: use and display your heirlooms! Generations of our families have loved and used these treasures, why do we think we have to pack them away to honor them?

You know what my favorite family heirlooms are? That same grandma and great aunt, who are 85 and 88 years young, and still on this earth making sure we all behave.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone.
P.S. I’m also linking up to Hooked on Friday at Hooked on Houses.

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33 thoughts on “Decorating With Family Heirlooms

  1. Beatiful heirlooms! I’ve got an old nightstand and also a hutch from my great grandmother, a platter that came over from Ireland about 150 years ago, and a gorgeous mirror! I may love them up a little soon and give them a makeover – except for the platter… Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love the table by your side of the bed. I need a roomy one too! The pitcher is a wonderful way to bring in a daily tradition/heirloom. Have the kids agreed on who gets to have it,LOL!Great Grandpa was ahead of his time with those fabulous letters!

  3. Like you, mine are on display. I may not use them for fear on the unknown and knowing that I could not replace them but I will sit them out for all to see. Thanks for sharing.
    Pam

  4. How pretty and sweet everything is Kimm – I’ve decided when Meghan and I move that I am not going to pack away our heirlooms either – I’m going to find a place to display them as well! It will make our new house a home for us!

    Love the letters too!

    Have a good weekend –

  5. Love your blog, visited many times before, and would love to hook up to Trash to treasure! I meant to this week (and several weeks in the past), but dropped the ball.
    You have such a great site, and it is what I am all about, reinventing! :)
    Alyshia

  6. Hello Kimm – oh what sweet treasures! My fave is that chair. So fabulous. Love the make-over. And you are right – don’t be afraid to paint your heirlooms! I finally painted my grampa’s hutch and I kick myself for waiting this long. I love it even more now. I really adore that pitcher too!

    Thank you for joining me for the party!

    Blessings,
    Marie
    http://emmacallsmemama.com

  7. I love those letters. (Please don’t spray paint them!) The “B” looks so cute with that pumpkin. I also like the letters displayed in the Longaberger basket… great use for the basket. The black chair is darling and love the seat cushion. I think I would take off the paisley pillow to show off the chair detail. Thanks for sharing your sweet treasures.

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