Decorating with Heirlooms - 405 Magazine

Decorating with Heirlooms

Don’t lock treasured pieces away in a dusty closet - include beloved items in your everyday decor to surround yourself with memories all year long.


When I Was A Little Girl, I Loved To Stay The Weekend At My Grandparents’ House.

Presiding over the dining table was a shelf filled with my grandma’s collection of demitasses, teacups and saucers. I would stare at them, fascinated by their delicate beauty. At some point (probably when I had proven myself capable of impulse control and mastered some fine motor skills), she allowed me to carefully play with the small works of art under her watchful gaze.

Family heirlooms connect us to our past and provide a link to those that came before.
When I stopped by her house to select a few pieces to photograph, my grandma revealed that her mother was actually the collector, often acquiring the cups on trips to Canada. An interesting mark on the bottom of one of them read “Made in Occupied Japan,” indicating it was made between 1945-1952. It emerged that that particular cup was probably purchased over 60 years ago, and has been perched on the shelf in the dining room for at least 30 of those years. The thread of history tying the generations together is fun to contemplate. Maybe my granddaughter will dream of sipping tea with the Queen while she plays with these teacups 30 years in the future, too.

Perhaps it stems from that experience, but I am a big believer in using the items in my home. I have very few things that are too precious. Even if their utility comes from gracing walls or surfaces, things are meant to be enjoyed, not locked away in dusty boxes for safekeeping.

If you have a passion for collecting, decorate with your treasures and appreciate them, and those who came before you, every day.