4 Tips to Modernize Family Heirlooms to Work With Your Decor

Hand-me-downs from your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles – whoever – can be a phenomenal, well-loved, welcome addition to your home or they can be hard match, difficult to fit with your current decor (and even harder to part with).

We’re going to share a few ways that you can turn that dated piece that you don’t quite love into something that fits with your taste and your home.


Give it a new color

This is probably the easiest way to re-purpose a family heirloom and it’ll work on items of all sizes – picture frames to dining tables. With a coat of paint you can transform your new-old furniture or art into just the right accent for your specific space.

Paint isn’t the thing that’s going to do the trick? If you’re working with a chair or couch, try reupholstering it in a new, modern fabric. Coffee table, end table, dining table? A new surface – say, swapping out old wood for marble or old stone for glass – can update the heirloom without compromising functionality.


Give it a new purpose

Breathing new life into old objects not only makes them more useful to you, it gives the thing in question another opportunity to serve your family. Take that old bench and turn it into a dry bar! Frame a big piece of art in strong glass and turn it into a coffee table! Use an old bottle or drinking glass as a vase! Frame those doilies and hang them on the wall!


Make collections

Lots of knick knacks? Make little collections of figurines on bookshelves or hang a series of pictures in a tight composition on the wall. If your family has a collection of old bottles or glassware, line them up on a window sill so that the light can come through and show them off in their most brilliant formation.


Dedicate a room to that theme

If you want to maintain the original appearance and integrity of the heirloom, use a spare bedroom in your home to showcase that style in all it’s glory! This option may require antiquing and sourcing a few additional pieces that go with the period of the item you’re showcasing. Make sure that while you’re putting together this space, you’re having fun, enjoying the process and appreciating all the memories that come with it. 

Tune in in a few weeks when we’re going to show you how our very own Katherine Gardner is transforming one of her heirlooms to better suit her style! 


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