Displaying, Rather than Storing, Meaningful Items

winter mantelI have a lot of great stuff . . . in boxes . . . in my basement. Can you relate?

After taking down Christmas decorations last month, I was faced with an empty mantel. The thought of putting my tried and true items back in their place seemed like drudgery.  I wanted to mix it up a bit, and that set me on a mission. I began casting a new vision for different areas of my home.

I have had several items tucked away that once belonged to my parents or grandparents. I really love their look, but have always told myself that they didn’t fit the decor of my home. I have dreamed of displaying them somehow, somewhere, but in the basement they have remained.

So now I’m taking bold new steps and creating ways to get them out in the open where they can be enjoyed. And I have started with my mantel.

Here’s a view of our parlor with my newly created winter-time mantel.

parlor with winter mantelI started this arrangement with a framed print that was being stored in our basement–because I needed a large enough piece to cover a couple of large screws that had held the previous painting that hung over the fireplace.

Then, with a nod to both of my grandmothers, and a neutral palette, I began arranging other meaningful items on the mantel.

heirloom mantel

wedding dress boxI included this box, which at one time, held my grandmother’s wedding dress, her eighth-grade graduation dress, and two little outfits that her children wore as babies. She wrote a list of the box’s contents on the outside. I have always cherished this box, but had never before considered displaying it. So glad it came to mind now.

heirloom mantel2Some other items I chose to display here included a checkerboard I remember from my grandparents’ house, old books, a pin cushion, a vintage hat, a wooden storage box and this little porcelain plant holder.

I like this look. And I like the way it makes me feel when I see it. What do you think? Do you have any interesting ways to display your favorite items?

I’ve got another little project I hope to show off soon.


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