A recent family event got me thinking about how we honor our family (both past and present) in interior design. As a designer it is so easy to create a space devoid of all personalization and personal effects. But in reality this isn't the way in which we live or we should live. For most of us family represents our path through this life and honoring them highlights their impact on who we are. I've had the honor to work with a two couples recently in which the design for either the entire home or just a few rooms revolved around special family treasures. One couple had inherited a gorgeous Art Deco piano with intricate inlays and stunning details. This one item became our inspiration as we designed their new home. For another couple, we incorporated antiques passed down through generations into nearly every room of the house. One room in particular was all about the pieces (see below). But, what if your family heirlooms are not pieces of furniture? Or, what if you don't have any heirlooms but just want to honor the family around you? Well, here are some ways in which you can honor your family in your home. Create a family wall. The idea is simple. Take special photographs of family events and have them framed in a range of frame styles and sizes to create a family wall. Some might say this type of theme is busy, but I say it is a wonderful way to keep memories alive. As the years go by, change out the pictures with more recent ones. Incorporate in some family members from generations past for a true family wall. You might even have smaller "family walls" all around your home by taking special historical photos and creating unique vignettes. A collection of old team photographs for instance anchors this seating area by the fireplace.
Incorporate family treasures into bookshelf or mantle decorations. Most of us have small items passed down to us from a Grandmother or Mom. These trinkets are great for decorating a bookshelf. They add a personal touch and are great conversation pieces with their stories.
Use antique furniture to anchor a design. My clients wanted to create an elegant and inviting guest room so we started with some antique furniture from a great Aunt & Uncle. The antiques are the real stars of this room, while the rest of the room's design elements are just the supporting cast. members.
I would love to hear how you've incorporated your family's treasures and trinkets into your interior design.