This week I was thinking of my sweet, funny Dad. It was his birthday and he’d have been 87. Dad was always the jolly good fellow that wore an ear to ear grin, making it an impossible feat not to smile and love him right back. I was rather fond of that silent giggle that shook his shoulders, causing you to follow suit.
Ah, and then there was my Mom! Whenever you went to visit her, it was never ‘the right time to leave’. She’d greet you with a serious bear hug, only to delay the good-byes for at least an hour, including waving like mad until you rounded the corner out of sight. So cute!
The sweet, gentle memories conjured from these pictures could surely fill an entire book. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Besides, pictures are prettier to look at anyway.
So displaying photos from days gone by is one of my favorite decorating strageties in keeping those cherished and quirky memories alive in a pretty way.
But… I like to deliver photo props with a slight twist. Or twisted vine maybe…
I challenge myself to further a photo’s story, by utilizing treasures that have a history all their own. Whether that be an old vintage typewriter, an old barn window, or even perhaps an old rusty bed frame, marrying old relics with timeless photos creates both beauty and function in your home.
Take this typewriter for instance.
Do you remember your own typing class in school? My teacher was Mr. Wall and I always thought he was awfully cool, especially for a typing teacher. I remember wanting a little extra attention one day (just because), and pretended to fall asleep. I waited and waited and WAITED for him to approach and nudge me awake. Well, he took so long, I ended up with homework that day! The nerve.
This typewriter didn’t come from my own typing days, but I do remember all those crazy tab buttons, dings and zings causing quite a clicking ruckus in class. All in all, typing class was one of my favourite subjects, so the memories make me happy.
Sprinkle in a few photos of your huggin’ mom and gigglin’ dad, and you have a pretty vignette full of happy memory overload to indulge in.
How to marry photos with treasures from the past:
Choose pieces with meaning
The rusty head board layered with mirrors were thrift store finds. However, the rest of the accessories on the dresser were my Mom’s wedding gifts. The entire grouping as a unit creates a pretty backdrop to allow my parent’s wedding photos to shine.
Pieces with personal attachments will speak to your heart the most. Perhaps it’s time to allow that piece from the attic to see daylight again. Why not enjoy it?
Marry the theme
My Dad was a dairy farmer, so the old barn window, adorned with rusty gears further tells my own story of growing up as being his farmer’s daughter.
There’s something about a plant that makes anything look amazing. If something isn’t working, adding a plant to it never seems to fail. Real plants look best of course, however don’t think I don’t have faux plants in stock! (for WHEN these die)
This is where I’m going to suggest to break all the rules indicated above. Just bring out a piece that inspires you in some way, then play. Think in terms of black and white photos vs. full colour against the piece. Try anything and everything, then play until it works.
So next time you have no idea what to do with your Grandma’s hand me downs, think in terms of vignette or centre piece. Plunk it down, haul out your pictures and plants, and get creative! You never know, you just may make someone’s shoulders shake… and that’s a good thing!
Do you have something cool that’s been hiding far too long?
I challenge you to give it a go!
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