Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY.

Bob's Bloggers

A community of bloggers who live and die to DIY


Decor Through the Ages: 5 Tips for Decorating with Family Heirlooms

By HomeCentrl on Nov 12, 2012

Family heirlooms framed on a wall, sitting on a shelf or displayed in a shadow box are an ideal way to decorate your home with what matters most to your family. Serving as conversation pieces that distinguish your home from all others, family keepsakes should be protected and preserved, but not hidden. Here are five ways to display your heirlooms around the house.


Use a Display Hutch

For your grandmother's china or your papa's pipe, an open hutch serves as a fine host lifted above the chaos of kids or pets. A hutch can sit comfortably in your formal dining room, casual living area or open kitchen. Glass windows can add a layer of protection from dust and dirty fingers if you think your items may be at risk. For an extra pop, glue decorative wallpaper to the interior backing of hutch shelves to bring displayed items out of the dark.

Show Off With a Shadow Box

Some items are too fragile to easily display at home. For precious keepsakes like your mother's wedding dress or great-grandfather's World War II sniper's bassinet, a self storage unit can keep your heirlooms safe and secure. For equally fragile items you can't bear to stow away, consider using a shadow box for protection and display.
A shadow box can preserve a christening gown worn by generations of family members or a fallen soldier's military uniform by protecting it from dust while displaying it proudly on your wall. A gold timepiece or old journal kept in a shadow box will be a statement piece in your home, giving you plenty of opportunities to be reminded of your rich heritage.

Keep Out of Direct Sunlight

Old items can be damaged if exposed too heavy light. Protect heirlooms by keeping them out of direct sunlight. Consider placement in accordance to windows, and check your light bulbs. Continued exposure from incandescent or fluorescent lights can also cause damage, as ultraviolet rays and the heat produced from them are what causes the deterioration of organic items. Also be aware of temperature, humidity, pollution, vermin and theft risks.

Secure Your Shelves

Shelves are an easy and inexpensive way to display family collectibles around your home. Floating shelves above an interior doorway provide visual appeal to any room, displaying your items without making them the focal point of the room. Secure your shelves and be aware that even someone bumping into the wall they shelf is mounted to could cause items to fall. Don't store anything breakable on a shelf that has the risk of disturbance.

Utilize Low Traffic Areas

For handmade quilts, a low traffic area like a bed in a showpiece guest room or the wall in your formal sitting room is a great place to be used and admired. Old shawls or throws can be arranged on pianos, draped over the backs of chairs and sofas or stacked in a linen closet. An easily accessible cedar chest can hold quilts and shawls for the rare moments you want to snuggle up with a photo album and remember.

Mollie O'grady Mollie loves shopping, skinny-tinis, high heels and Macy's.



Visit HomeCentrl »

blog comments powered by Disqus