Sheila Rich Interiors: Design Blog

Helpful tips and suggestions on designing your interior.

New Life for Old Heirlooms

Treasured heirlooms are something you never want to be without. They tell a story about your family history and stir fond memories, so you don’t want them squirreled away in the attic collecting dust.

Sometimes moving heirloom pieces around is the best way to help you see them in a new light. You can even change their function; for example, moving a large armoire from the dining room to the living room can not only make the piece itself look different and fresh, but in its new capacity, the armoire is transformed from a storage piece to a display piece where other heirloom collections can be displayed. The one thing to be mindful of is that the piece must be in proportion to the space it’s in as well as to the other furnishings in the room.

You may also find that using an heirloom piece in an unexpected way can also make it multi-functional. I have a Regency lady’s writing table that I use as a bedside table. It has a chair, a rollout top for writing, and a secretary on it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t put a lamp and a book on it to use it as a bedside table while it still functions as desk. Although bedside tables must match the theme of the room, they don’t necessarily have to match each other, and sometimes it’s more interesting if they don’t.

Bringing new life to treasured heirlooms is a great way to both preserve your memories and give your home a fresh look without investing in new furnishings - it's considered eco-friendly as well. Experiment with placement options and then sit back and enjoy your new surroundings!

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