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Incorporating Family Heirlooms into Home Décor

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Often, the only thing we have left of cherished family members are the memories they gave us, the stories they told us and the treasures they left behind for us to enjoy. These relics provide a link to our ancestral histories and displaying them is an important way for us to remember both who they were and who we are. Here are some great ideas to incorporate the past into your present without compromising on your unique style.

Vintage garments - Old dresses can be placed behind a rectangular shadow box frame to make a dramatic statement as well as protect the integrity of the garment. A baby gown or a wedding dress should be cleaned and pressed first. Secure the frame around the dress to ensure it will preserve correctly.

Aged Photographs - The key to a good gallery wall is to keep a theme running throughout the pictures. Themes can be baby pictures, wedding pictures, school pictures, sibling pictures, beach pictures or whatever category you find to fit the photographs. Mix up the shapes and sizes of the photo frames but keep the same color for a unified look. Large oval frames and round wooden frames in shades of white or black are perfect for a gallery wall.

Vintage Manuscripts - Frame old handwritten letters behind vintage oval picture frames and place them on top of a desk or a bedside table. Handwritten recipe cards also look adorable framed in antique round picture frames and displayed in a kitchen near the stove. Old awards, drawings and even maps are once again made special when framed behind dome glass and displayed. Keeping these treasured messages out in the open will keep these memories close to the heart.

Antique Linens - Hang old quilts on walls or drape them behind beds to use as a headstand. Frame old needlework pieces behind distressed window frames. Use pieces of cross-stitched or crocheted fabric to add to pillows and seat covers.

Aged Furniture - Update old furniture with fresh upholstery or a coat of paint. Switch out broken or ugly handles for new ones. Using antique pieces of furniture in unexpected places is a great way to get good use out of them. For instance, an old dresser can easily be used as a television cabinet or a baby changing table.

The biggest key to incorporating family heirlooms into home décor is to pick a few pieces to treasure and let the rest go. Remember your memories are the most important gift your loved ones ever imparted to you. The rest is just stuff. If you can’t use it, it’s okay to sell it or give it away.