One of the reasons I love incorporating vintage pieces into the design of my home is their connection to the past. Every item in my home has a story and each room in the house holds at least one antique family piece. This is an intentional part of my design and ensures that we are surrounded by the memories of loved ones as we go about our daily lives. This connection to the past and our loved ones has always been an important part of my life, even as a young girl.
Recently we lost my husband’s grandparents. They were such a central part of our family and they are greatly missed. They were high school sweethearts and from the time they started dating until the time they left this earth they were together for 70 years. They died just ten weeks apart. I like to think that they missed each other too much to be apart for long. They lived full lives and their passing was peaceful, and for that we are thankful.
My husband’s grandparents started dating in high school. Grandma W was in the school band and so Grandpa W joined the band to be closer to his girl. The fact that he couldn’t read music didn’t deter him. He simply memorized the songs!
Grandpa W was incredibly smart and could build anything. It’s a skill that he taught my father-in-law. They were always working on projects together, building the family cabin in Canada and creating things in his woodworking shop. One of my favorite memories of him is from shortly after my husband and I started dating. When I first met my husband I was recovering from a broken heart and so we were just friends for a very long time. We had finally started officially dating and were a week into our newly defined relationship when Grandpa W called. “Ask Sandy if she wants me to build her a baby cradle,” he instructed my future husband. And I thought to myself, I think this family likes me! Seven years later our newborn son slept in that baby cradle and I smiled at the memory of Grandpa W welcoming me into the family.
Grandma W was very loving and kind. She welcomed everyone into her home and was a wonderful hostess. Everyone who walked through the door was greeted with a hug and a smile. She knitted each of our children a soft baby blanket and a beautiful sweater, and she created a scrapbook of pictures and memories for each of her grandchildren. A few years ago she put together a family cookbook with the help of her daughters, and it is such a treasure to have so many family recipes from previous generations.
It is important to both my husband and I to incorporate things that belonged to his grandparents into our home as a reminder of their lives and love. When my husband was little he and his brothers would go to his grandparents’ house before school on mornings when his parents had to go into work early. His grandma would make everyone waffles and pancakes, and his grandpa would scoop his coffee out of this tin. It now sits on our kitchen shelf next to my coffee cups and we remember him every time we look at it.
Grandma W loved to host the family at the holidays and she had a beautiful collection of milk glass. This cake stand is one of my favorite pieces in her collection. The detail on the base and the ruffle around the edge are so pretty, and I think of her every time I use it. I like that she will still be a part of our family celebrations in this way.
I keep this chalk board on my windowsill above my kitchen sink so I can write little reminders to myself each day. The chalk is tucked away in this pretty decorative shoe that used to sit on the mantel in Grandma W’s home.
Grandma W loved to collect oil lamps. This copper one stole my heart and is now displayed on my gallery wall. I think of her and smile every time I walk down the hall.
The pattern on Grandma W’s vintage floral purse is so whimsical and blue, and I love how it looks in our home. My husband has Grandpa W’s fedora hat. It reminds me of Gene Kelley in the movie Singing in the Rain, and I fall in love with my husband all over again every time he puts it on!
Incorporating these family treasures into our home is a way to honor the memories of our loved ones and keep them close to our hearts. I love that pieces from their daily lives are now integrated into ours. And someday I hope to pass these pieces down to our children and future grandchildren and share with them the stories of our loved ones.
Have a beautiful day, sweet friends. Hug your families and tell them how much they mean to you. And preserve the memories and mementoes of those you love. You won’t regret it.