Monday, 3 September 2012

Guest Post: Salvaging Sentiment: Finding New Life for Old Family Keepsakes

Hello, dear friends,
Today I welcome on Happy Turtle,
designer Jessica Phan, who writes about repurposing family keepsakes and antiques.
Thank you, Jessica!
*If you want to guest post for Happy Turtle while we are going through a major change in our lives, please contact me at happyturtledeco {at} gmail {dot} com. *
The unique charm of antiques and family heirlooms will always be their history. Anything handed down from previous generations is a precious object that no monetary value can match. Each piece has a story to tell which makes it valuable because it gives you an insight on how your ancestors lived.
This is why many people find it impossible to dispose them, no matter how useless others think they are.
With creativity and ingenuity, however, any heirloom can be repurposed. Doing so not only preserves the family history but also adds points of interests for the home’s design.
Here are some ways you can repurpose family heirlooms and turn them into functional objects.  

Old Piano

Pianos have lifespans and when they don’t sound as crisp and in-tune as before, there’s really nothing left to do. Some homes keep the old piano around for the sentiment and although it may still work, it won’t be able to produce good sound. Instead of turning the old piano into a repository of framed family photos, transform it into useful furniture. Remove the insides such as the steel wires, hammers, and other parts. Add a shelf and turn the covered piano into a computer table. You’ll even have more space left for CDs, DVDs, and books.

  Grandma’s Old Sewing Machine

Your grandmother’s sewing machine is a great find as it has the charm of the old world. If it’s unusable, it would be hard to keep it clean especially if it ends up in the attic. Just add a few drawers beneath the table and you’ll have an instant work desk!  

Vintage Mirror

Old mirrors framed with ornate borders are worth keeping. If the mirror is broken or has stains, take out the glass completely, but keep the frame. Have a cork board sized to fit the mount and you’ll have an elegant bulletin board for the bedroom wall or home office. Tack your favorite photos, as well as your daily reminders and schedules.  

Bird Cages

Bird cages can be turned into a lamp or light fixture. First, paint the cage anew. Then place a light bulb inside. If you want another approach, put some Christmas lights around the cage. Putting the lights inside is also great for casting dramatic shadows.  

Grandfather’s Clock

Contained in tall, cabinet-like furniture, the Grandfather’s clock is one of the most popular family mementos. To make it more useful, keep the clock and turn the bottom part into a bookshelf.  

Antique Lamp

Old lamps are always useful but if you want to have another use for it, turn it into a coin bank. The clear glass will help you keep track of your savings. Moreover, keeping coins inside the lamp will give the item an aesthetic boost. Use it as a table centerpiece and let the light shine on the coins to make them sparkle. There are many ways to incorporate family heirlooms into everyday life. By doing this, you’re keeping the family history alive and never forgotten. Let your imagination flow to turn any memento into an interesting piece of home decor.

 Jessica Phan is a designer for a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping .

love, Irene

1 comment:

demie said...

Such clever and creative ideas!

Ειρήνη μου, χάθηκα το ξέρω. Ελπίζω πάντα να είστε καλά γλυκιά μου.
Πολλά φιλία απ'τον βορρά

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