Family Heirloom: Inspiration For Home Decorating

Family Heirloom: Inspiration For Home Decorating – For many people, the past holds significance so strong and special; they do not want to let it go. Memories on eras before their own time, especially when they have family or sentimental significance, are all some folks need to create an ‘family heirloom’ home decor that speaks of deeply treasured keepsakes.

Tastefully decorating a home with family heirloom doesn’t mean that everything has to be a 50-years-or-older antique. Whether it’s a child’s painting from kindergarten last year or grandmother’s prized china clock, it’s the way that the items are selected and arranged that makes them priceless.


For example, one of the finest heirlooms someone could have would be a set of oriental rugs. This is a general category for kinds of rugs that have been made for decades in places such as Turkey, Iran (formerly Persia), India and China. Oriental rugs typically are made from long-last wool, woven by hand in brilliant colors and stunning patterns. One of the reasons that many of these rugs are worth thousands of dollars by the time they are handed down is because collectors believe that rugs such as these are at their finest when they’ve reached a minimum of 40 years old. Having an oriental rug to serve as a room’s focal point would be the ultimate in family heirloom home decorating.


Oriental rug

From the sublime point of an oriental rug, inherited handcrafts such as braided rugs, quilts and crocheted and knitted afghans are textile arts from a different perspective. These works represent hours of loving care from their makers, who created them partly for the satisfaction of making something beautiful and partly for practical considerations to keeping off the cold. Thus they can serve a dual purpose. Anyone lucky enough to have several quilts or afghans from talented relatives can change them out as the seasons change. A cedar chest handed down from another relative would be the ideal place to store these beauties.


Handmade crochet lace tablecloth

Needlework such as needlepoint, crewel, embroidery and counted cross-stitch can provide masterpieces of craft from previous generations. Pieces such as samplers that mark weddings or births could find an honored place on walls or shelves. Embroidered pillows, needlepoint pillows and chair cushions, even bell pulls to hang on the walls would provide unique decorations for an heirloom theme.


“St Mary vs FC Milan” modern embroidery wall art; applique, oil crayons on textile; made by textile artist Tamara Jelača (parent’s portrait – heritage for future generations)

Family photos offer another way to commemorate the past. Rather than hanging the photos randomly, try to create a certain theme with them, such as family vacations or Christmas celebrations. Black and white photos from years gone by are some of the most distinctive photo decorations for an heirloom theme. Whether gathered together in a large wall montage, or scattered throughout the home, family photos are sure to be a conversation starter for many guests.


Old table clock

In the end, what constitutes an ‘heirloom’ is a very subjective choice. While professional antiques dealers might look down upon a Christmas poem that a son or daughter wrote and illustrated, that same verse, when matted, framed and hung on a wall, is a treasure greater than jewels to a family. Cookbooks published long before the age of food processors and microwaves may seem archaic, but with grandmother’s notes written in the margins, they’re more precious than gold.

Choose your heirlooms for the value of their connections and display them with honor.


Framed embroidery as living room wall decor


A typing machine (bedside table decor)


Old sewing machine – repurposed


‘Memories from the battlefield’ room decor


Needlepoint pillows


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