How To Decorate Your Home With Happy Memories Without Feeling Stuck in the Past
A Fresh Take On Old Things
You know how sometimes you’ll come across something that triggers a happy memory from the past and suddenly you’re flooded with all of those good feelings once again?
For me it’s the smell of apple pie baking in the oven that reminds me of digging in to the holiday feasts that grandma had spent hours preparing, and how I jumped for joy when she told me and grandpa to go out back to the shed & get a carton of ice cream out of the big icy chest freezer so we could top off the apple pie.
And the macramé plant hanger hanging in the window that makes me feel like I'm suddenly eight years old again, sitting with my mom at my family’s Formica dining table, tying the macramé knots I'd been practicing for days and being so excited to dive right in & create my very first woven masterpiece.
When something triggers our happy memories of the past, it can make us feel so incredibly joyful! And chasing good feelings is what life’s all about! It makes us feel alive!
But sometimes we can get too much of a good thing & it can backfire on us.
For instance when you find yourself surrounded by so many memories of the past that you feel stuck in it. Like you can’t move forward. And suddenly you don’t feel so good any more.
While a trip down memory lane is certainly fun now & then, you have to keep things feeling fresh and alive and moving forward in order to be truly happy.
So how do you create a home for yourself that balances experiencing the good feelings of happy memories of the past with moving on & living your life to the fullest in the present?
Here are a few things you can do…
1. Add new pieces to your home that are a fresh take on an old style you fondly remember.
I have this brightly colored spiral rag rug in my entry that I absolutely adore. It reminds me of the spiral rag rug that I used to sit on at my grandparents home as a child, while playing with the toys my dad had played with when he was little. Now if I had the actual rug from my grandparent’s house sitting in my entry, by now it would be very outdated looking & not go with my things, not to mention it would be very worn & dirty. But this new modern version of an old rag rug triggers that memory & gives me those happy feelings while still being fresh & new.
2. Pick a few of your most favorite happy memory triggering pieces from the past, & mix them in with your more modern pieces as part of your own unique eclectic style.
A couple of my great grandpa’s old tools are now decorative accessories in my parent’s home. If my mom had saved them all and shoved them in the garage, they would just have become clutter. That wouldn’t have been a very good tribute to her grandpa, nor would it have made her & my dad feel very good. But she did something really cool with them. She created a vignette with one of my grandpa’s old garden tools, a plant, & a little rabbit sculpture I’d given her. Now it tells a visual story as well as bringing back the good feelings that come with those old happy memories.
3. Remake an old piece into something new.
The designer David Bromstad designed this really cool eclectic dining room years ago that my mom & I still talk about to this day. He took this old fashioned antique chest and refinished it in a fresh bright turquoise blue paint color, and placed it against a contrasting salmon colored wall. It looked absolutely incredible! Having too many antiques in your home can make you feel like you’re living in the past. But taking an old piece and adding a modern touch to it lets you live among things that feel fresh and new and keep those past happy memories at the same time.
So when it comes to incorporating happy memories of the past into your home, the key is to create a good balance between the past & the present so you can enjoy those happy memories & the good feelings they give you, while at the same time moving forward & enjoying all the wonderful new experiences life brings. It’s a really wonderful opportunity for you to get creative and have fun!
Are there ideas suddenly popping up in your mind of how you can apply this concept to your own home? Share with me in the comments. I’d love to hear!
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