Sentimental Spaces ~ Decorating with heirlooms

Most of us have an object, photo or piece of furniture that has great value to us personally. Many times this sentimental heirloom evokes a memory of a special time or someone in our lives whether present or from the past.

Instead of having this special something from our lives sit in the garage collecting dust or in a box poked into the back corner of the wardrobe, why not use this to inspire your next room makeover?

But how on earth can I do this you may ask? There are simple steps that you can follow to make this become reality!

5 Steps to Use when incorporating Heirlooms

Selection: choose no more than 5 items per space that hold great sentimental value to you. This will keep the overwhelm at bay.
Common theme: is there a theme or colour story that can link your loved possessions and heirlooms?
Give it a second chance: try to reduce the environmental impact by setting aside a little love and time to rejuvenate special items.
Choose how you will display & use items: There are so many options, display on shelving or tables, hung, framed, repurposed in a new and creative way!
Love interacting with it! After spending a little time and effort you can enjoy the fruits of your labour! This can add value, history and revive memories to your everyday.

Image Casa Flair Interiors

Case Study using Heirlooms

To walk you further in detail of the above steps, the following story I believe will help guide you through the process.

I had a client who was located in a small coastal apartment which had a lovely art deco facade upon arrival. When I first walked in the space, it was dark, the walls were green with a salmon coloured and very tired, saggy looking lounge. Due to the small space, storage was sent upwards with tall shelving units bringing the walls inwards, almost caving in on you. Got the mental picture? (sadly I don’t have a photo!)

Image Casa Flair Interiors
Image Casa Flair Interiors


The client selected the following sentimental pieces that were very special:
A Blue and white Chinese lamp, and Gold edged mirror that belonged to his mother who had sadly passed away and the sofa which was his grandmother’s who also had passed.
Being detail oriented, I spotted a beautiful art deco shaped mirror in another room that was in perfect condition and worthy of being incorporated into this rejuvenated space.

Common theme

In order to create a common theme, the vibrant blue and white lamp was the perfect place to begin. Not only did it provide the colour inspiration to the entire lounge, it also doubled in reflecting the coastal area. A carefully selected rug and cushions were purchased to echo this theme.

The gorgeous mirror was hung above the fireplace which resonated the art deco era with its curved facade. Placing it in this spot not only reinstated the era but allowed light to be reflected into the space from the large window in front.

Give it a second chance

Grandma’s lounge was given a second lease in life by having a visit with the upholsterer. Luckily this old couch had great bones! The chair pads were newly made as the old ones sadly could not be revived. Selecting a neutral, soft Warick fabric added to the coastal vibes.

The owner was also an avid surfer who shared a wonderful story of his favourite surf experience overseas. After hearing about his passion, I could see and feel the excitement as he fondly spoke of this special event. I encouraged him to select a ‘magazine worthy’ shot and have this framed and incorporated into the new lounge. The client was very thankful for the gentle nudge at including this photo and never imagined he could also be ‘present’ within the room. This was an exciting addition, it was as if the three generations were present in his space!

Choose how you will display and use heirlooms

Naturally here it was easy to decide how to use a lounge or lamp! Though you may have family photos of previous generations that could be grouped and themed together via the frames you use, choosing similar colours or shapes.

However, trickier items such as a piece of jewellery, letter or small object could also be mounted on a textural cloth such as linen and box framed to be hung.

Love Interacting with it!

As they say ‘Everything old is new again!’ as long as you give it a chance. The flow on effect of reusing and repurposing items, will also reduce landfill. Got to love that.

Alternately the beauty of rejuvenating special momentos, it revives legacies we share with our family, but fills our souls with uplifting emotions. As Nate Berkus (famous American Interior Designer) says “our homes should be a collection of what we love”.

Need to fill your home with more love? Why not give us a call and we would LOVE to help!

Casa Flair Interiors focuses on elegantly sustainable solutions for your home either via an in House consult in Sydney Metro Area or on line consultation.


Casa Flair Interiors
0412 943 903