When friends come to my house I always hear lovely comments such as, "Your house is so comfortable" "Your house is so relaxing" "Can you come decorate my house?". When I hear what they say it confirms that I have hit the right note with my decorating.
But what I always say to my friends is that they can do the same thing in their home. It just takes looking at things a little differently.
My house from the outside looks just like every other newish house in my neighborhood. I don't live in a cool old neighborhood. I don't have a craftsman style bungalow. No I have a very blah standard house. But once you step inside, the fun really begins. I have created my world. A world where I decorate with memories.
And you can do the same. Let's start.
Here is one of my big rules:
I never put anything on my walls that doesn't have a story behind it. Look around your house and see if your can tell a story about everything hanging on your walls. Not just "I got that at Target" but a real story.
If you can't, start acquiring items that have a special meaning or story behind them. Go to garage sales or estate sales and when you buy something ask about it. I'm sure the owner/seller will be more than happy to tell you a little about what you are buying.
How about asking your mom if she could part with items that you remember staring at day after day when you were growing up. I bet you anything, she will be flattered you are taking an interest.
Now that you are on your way with the walls. Here are some simple table top vignettes I have arranged to show you how I decorate with memories.
Starting with the top photo:
Photo 1: The vases are antiques given to me by my mom and sister-in-law. The sand dollar was from the coast. My boys were so excited to find a whole sand dollar. The blue starfish is one my little boy bought for me when we were at Cannon Beach. He was so proud of that purchase with his own money. For added interested I stamped Believe on the sand dollar. The stamping looks great and is easy to do on rocks and shells. It just adds something extra and really makes the item yours.
Photo 2: The books are books that my mom gave to me. The shells and driftwood are ones the kids have collected from the beach. The feather is one we picked up at the lowest tide of the year last year. What a day that was. So fun. The photo is of my dad on his honeymoon of course with my mom but she isn't in the picture. The vintage bottle and the pot with the plant were gifts from a friend. She bought them for me on a girls weekend. When I look at them I smile.
See you are getting the hang of it.
Photo 3: This is a baptism from my husbands side of the family. It come over from Warsaw. An old rosary is a family heirloom draped across the frame for added interest. The other two photos are family photos.
Photo 4: The next photo is a vignette on a bookcase. The heavy frame with glass is an old window converted into a mirror for shaving when the men were out hunting. I begged my sister-in-law for it and repainted it. One of the rocks is from Ireland and the shells and other rocks are what my boys have collected. The frames hold family photos. The Celtic Frame is one my husband gave me for Mother's Day years ago. There is another rosary from my husbands mom. The clock doesn't work but it's from my husbands dad and is very retro and cool.
Photo 5: Vintage spools of thread are from my mother-in-law. The driftwood is from a trip to Cannon Beach. The old vinegar bottle is from my mom. (good memories, she used that bottle to hold our vinegar growing up. I remember pouring almost the entire bottle of vinegar on my spinach. It was the only way I would eat spinach). Now I put colored water in the vinegar jar. My mom told me the jar came with her from the Ozark's.
See what I mean? Everywhere I look around my house I see memories and you should too.
It's really very fun if you start looking at decorating with memories.
Give it a shot.