Let me show you a few examples.
First up, the hallway of memories I recently hung. And by recently I mean before Thanksgiving. I might have forgotten to blog about this little spot. I chose to use all black frames which I think contrasts nicely with the wall color and white trim. Some of them I had already, others I simply painted black with a little spray paint. There are family pictures, pictures of grand parents, great-grandparents...even great-great-grandparents. Artwork by the kids. And a few other odds and ends that remind us of something-or-another.
Then there is this. One of three prints I bought from a Paris street vendor many years ago on a business trip. I kept them for years rolled up in a drawer but finally had them framed and have loved them ever since. I can still remember buying them and the view I had of the city when I did. Ah memories!
And this picture group of my great-grandfather's barbecue. He lived in Waynesville, NC (ironically where my where my dad grew up too) and made homemade BBQ and sausages that he sold. There are three pictures, again rescued from some old pictures that were found, and a copy of his old BBQ sauce recipe. This is just another tie to our family and the many memories we share. Well I wasn't born when these were taken but it reminds me of how much my family enjoys cooking.
Perhaps one of my favorite pieces is this one. After my grandfather designed and built their house, it was featured in a little publication called Popular Home. We came across the magazine when we were going through old pictures and paperwork after they passed away. I took a copy and had it framed. This is the same house I've always spent Christmas and where I have so many memories. The cover features my mom and her three brothers when they were little. There are even some pictures of my grandmother and grandfather and how they used the house to entertain and also raise a family. Even when the house is eventually gone, I'll always have this to remind me along with all those wonderful memories.
So you see, not all things are purchased prints from a store or gallery. Next time you are looking for art for the walls, don't think "art", think "memories". When you put these things in to the mix, the house becomes truly yours, not just a pretty (or maybe even blank) wall.
But that's not really the point of this blog post. Not long ago I received an email from a friend asking me to contact someone named Ann. Turns out Ann grew up in our house!
Let's meet Ann.
Her parents had the house built in 1955. She grew up here with her brother and wanted to see the house, which I was thrilled to show her.
It was such fun visiting and hearing stories like...
how she and her brother washed and dried the dishes in front of the kitchen window...
that some of her favorite pets are buried in the backyard...
how she used to hop on her pogo stick in the den...
and that the boy's room used to be her room.
It sort've sounds like a country song, doesn't it? That's OK. I love country music too. I loved hearing that another loving family grew up in this house. Turns out we are only the third owners of the home. Once her mom passed away, they sold it to her brother's French teacher. He lived here for the remainder of his years. It was neat to know that it's such a small world.
She even gave us a beautiful door knocker. It was given to her by a neighbor as a wedding present but she put it on her mother's door since she had two. The brass didn't quite match our hardware so I painted it with wrought iron spray paint and now it's back on the same door her mother had it on. It still makes me smile when I see it.
Notice the color of the door has changed? More on that later...