Family Heirlooms Part I

Tyler and I don’t own that much stuff. We don’t yet have much in the way of furniture (or anything I would label as adult possessions) or household decorating items.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m okay with that. Because I very rarely find new items interesting or attractive. I’m not interested in going out and buying new artwork, or a new table or a new roasting dish. I really prefer going to a flea market for an item, and giving it another life. Searching for just the right thing. Doing without the said item until you find the right thing.

But what I do love, is family heirlooms. We have a few large pieces, but mostly small items. I like having these items out (and actually using them) because it makes me feel connected to those family members and the past. It reminds me how temporary life is and what is important.

So I thought I’d share a few of the items we have in our home given to us by family.

Carved Hutch

Right now, this large piece of furniture is being used as a pantry in the kitchen-where eventually Tyler will have cabinets built in. It was gifted to us by Tyler’s grandmother and is very beautiful. She and her husband had received it as a gift for their time working overseas. I was so happy to be able to add it to our home when we had absolutely no furniture at all.

Pyrex Olive Green Bowls

Tyler hates these! My mom passed these down to me from my father’s mother. I think they are fantastic. They are tough dishes and clean so easily. I don’t know why my grandmother had this slightly-off olive color, but I adore using them. I like the original two so much, I purchased two more of different sizes from the flea market last summer. Tyler was unpleased. This has only furthered my desire to have a house full.


This was my mom’s trivet. It was on our family stove for as many years as I can remember. I don’t know anything about it’s history, other than it had small feet underneath and is strong enough to handle a hot range. I was delighted to have her pass it onto me.

Thelma’s Trunk

I don’t believe this trunk was ever in good shape. In fact, I’m not sure if it was my maternal great-grandma’s originally, or if it’s from another generation back. But my parents had it in their home all my life. It smells of moth balls and is covered in rust. The locks don’t even latch anymore and the leather handles on the side have long since deteriorated into nothing. But I adore it. Sturdy, heavy, making it through the centuries.

Hannah’s Lamps

I recently acquired these from my grandmother, who had them in storage from my grandfather’s mother. Confused yet? The flowers are hand painted on the lamps. And, yes, the colors aren’t terribly classy, but they have so much character. There is a switch key you turn to click on the lights and they softly glow in the background (instead of provided my much-hated bright light found in most modern lamps).

Coffee Table

This is a fascinating (and extremely heavy) coffee table from Tyler’s grandparents. You can actually plug it in. I don’t recall why you can plug in (we’ve never plugged it in), but it’s unusual! The glass top is set over many different keys, locks, clips, small bottles, and other objects collected from when they lived overseas. The top of the table can actually raise up and come close like a tray to set things on as well. It’s the heaviest piece of furniture we own (minus Tyler’s large tools and milling machines I suppose). I’m hoping to put it in the porch when he finishes the porch. Except, I won’t be able to lift it….I don’t know how I’ll do it!

I’m so happy to take care of these items, old and older. And will continue the post next week with more of our heirlooms.

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