This piece started out as a practical guide for incorporating your sentimental pieces in your home, but it has ended up leaving a tear in my eye and feeling very nostalgic. If you read nothing else, please spend a minute on point 8 ❤
Vintage pieces… I have such a special place for these, especially the ones that I have inherited from women before me. There was a time that I would keep them all hidden in cupboards and such, unable to decide how to showcase them. Now, while I do keep some packed away, I always have at least a few pieces out – some for the memories and beauty of the pieces and some I actually use daily.
1. Quirky and Practical
This duck stood in my Grandmother’s home for as long as I can remember, serving no other purpose than staring at visitors. From there, Ducky moved on to stand in my Mom’s house, continuing it’s vigil. When I moved out, Ducky came with me. I have no idea what attracted me to him, other than he had belonged to my Gran and he was blue, which has always been a favourite colour of mine! I guess I could speculate that seeing him subconsciously reminds me of strolls through the Ardene Gardens with said Gran as a child, stale bread in hand to feed the ducks… Whatever the case, Ducky has now found a home, and a use, in my kitchen: Storing our most used kitchen utensils. He stands proudly, now keeping watch over what’s cooking. If only he would give me some of my Gran’s cooking tips 😂
2. Farmhouse Style Storage
Ok, so this is my all time favourite piece of furniture. I’m sure that you can see why! This chest of drawers stood in my room from my birth, I’m sure. It’s been a changing table for both of my children and it wouldn’t surprise me if it were mine and my brother’s changing table as well! It could have been my dad’s as well for all we know, since it was a piece that he too grew up with. I should probably try to find out how long it’s been in the family. It’s current home is in my son’s room. It feels quite at home with the modern treehouse vibe going on!
3. Bright and Bold
Right, so on to something a little different. If you read my desk redo post, you will know that this baby was my homework desk as a child, but that the colour didn’t really do it for me. So, in keeping with my daughter’s purple and blue themed room, I attacked it with some DIY chalk paint and turned it into a statement piece in her already bold room. Of course, that wasn’t enough for me, so I added a piano stool (found on Gumtree) which was also attacked with some paint and recovered with some horses. Because, you know, horses are life!
4. Delicate Lace
I have been in love with this table cloth forever. The intricate handiwork is something to behold. It was made by a close friend of my Gran’s as a wedding gift to my parents who wed in 1977… so only about 42 or so years ago! I will admit that with this one, I’m too scared to actually use it other than to stage photos – I don’t want it to get damaged!
5. Books, Books, Books
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a book lover and that, while I have been able to switch over to a kindle with relative ease, there is nothing better than an old book. I saved these grand old ladies from my mom and aunts, who were getting ready to toss them. They work really well in vignettes, adding height and texture to otherwise boring spaces.
6. Tea Time
Another of my favourite things are old tea sets and kettles, I think I may have a problem! If you look closely at my hutch, you will see that I have 2 silver tea sets out on show at all times, along with a few other knick-knacks that I have salvaged from relatives homes over the years. Yes, I know that these items don’t often get used, per se, but they are just so pretty!
7. Notes From the Past
This is one of my Grandma’s cookbooks – a beauty from 19-something… It’s so old that it’s selling the benefits of an electric stove! The sentimental value to me though is the notes and recipes that Grandma had added through the years – tweaks and things that she wanted to try. We spent many a weekend bonding and baking up a storm in her kitchen. I wish that I had more of her recipe books, but this is the only one that made it’s way to me. I seriously need to give that Apple Meringue a go!
8. One of my Most Valued Possessions
Do you see that Holy Bible lying there? The one that’s falling apart and that you probably can’t see that it is a Holy Bible. That Bible belonged to my Gran. From what I can gather from her notes in the front of the Bible, it was given to her when she became a Cadet in the Salvation Army. She’s dated it with her title (Cadet), name and address as 25 April 1925, so I’m assuming that it was at this time she entered into the service of the Salvation Army. She would have just turned 17 at at time.
Paging through to the back of the book, I find that she also documented that she gave her life to service of the Lord on 19 March 1923 and has written a heartfelt note on her feelings around this. While she was always a very private and reserved person, these little glimpses into her life make me wish that I could sit down with her and just talk.
What was it like going into the service of the Lord when she was just 17? How did she and my Grandfather meet? Where did they go on their first date and how did he propose? Or did she propose? (Oh, I so hope she did!). What was it like with my Grandfather off fighting in the war while she stayed home and looked their 3 sons? Did he write? What was it like when he finally came home? Did they have a tough time trying to acclimate to life after the war? (I’m thinking that while it may have been rocky at the beginning, it couldn’t have been too bad since my dad came along and surprised them both afterwards!)
What was my dad like as a boy (although she often alluded to the fact that he was a naughty little boy who got hidings on the regular!)? How did it feel to meet her grandchildren – some of them running through the halls of the home where she birthed some (all?) of her children (we lived in the house that my Dad was born in). How did she find the strength to carry on after losing her husband and two of her sons in her lifetime… So many questions that I have for her now as a grown woman myself.
Though I will never get the answers to all my questions, it has made me realise how important keeping a journal is – whether that be the old fashioned kind of pen and paper, or something like a blog, Facebook or Instagram. I hope to leave my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, etc with a few answers to questions that they don’t know they have about me yet, along with some of my favourite treasures from bygone eras.
So that was unexpected…
This blog post took a rather unexpected turn! I want to thank you for taking this little trip with me though and I hope that you enjoyed it! I have so many more items that I haven’t shared in this post, from Bunnykins breakfast sets that my dad used as a child to Alfred Meakin serveware. I inherited most of my vintage items, so they have incredible sentimental value. I love them so much that I just can’t bear to think of any of the pieces breaking. I know, I know, how can I enjoy them if I don’t use them? But still, I’m not taking that chance!
Before you leave, please pop over and check out my #romancingthehome co-hosts’ vintage themed posts for this week:
Thanks again for joining me on my sentimental journey into bygone eras.
Lots of love,