Family Heirlooms to Display or Gift

October 20, 2020

Whether the family heirlooms in your life are priceless in sentimental value or priceless in terms of actual value, treat them with the care they deserve. That means pulling them out of the attic or storage boxes and giving them a cherished place in your home, as well as planning how they will live on in your family’s life for generations to come!

Precious Memories Carefully Displayed

Find a wall or shelf where your beautiful historical keepsakes can be displayed as works of art. Use vintage frames to show off antique doilies as well as protect them. Real Simple suggests using shadow boxes to display small items such as medals, ribbons, baby items, and collectibles.

Paper heirlooms, photos, and fabrics may require special attention when it comes to putting them on display, but don’t be afraid to bring these precious pieces of family history into the light!

Protecting old photos, diary pages and maps from the sun and uneven temperatures is the most important consideration. Family Tree Magazine recommends taking a tip from museums and be sure that anything that comes in contact with the document—from backing to border—is acid-free.

Re-Purpose Your Heirlooms

If fancy dinner parties aren’t a big part of your life, you might wonder what to do with your grandmother’s soup tureen or her box of antique silverware. Try re-purposing them in ways that work in YOUR life! 

Vintage tureens and carafes make great vases, and Country Living suggests an even more radical transformation for the silverware—turn them into handles for your cabinet doors and drawers! 

Design Around Them

Regardless of your design style, you can work heirlooms into any room. Design Sponge shows how functional family antiques such as chairs, settees and corner cupboards can be given a new vintage finish and add a flair of nostalgic romance to any room! 

Plan Ahead — Or Give Now

While it’s a good idea to have conversations about which heirlooms which family members would like to someday inherit, it’s an even better idea to start giving them away now! 

Senior Life Solutions recommends going through closets and storage areas to find forgotten items that were passed down to you and re-gifting them to your kids as a way to share in the joy. If there are items that may cause conflict (more than one family member would like to receive them), make up a simple game of chance to determine the winner!

Tell the Story

Regardless of who gets what, don’t forget to tell the story of the item and the people that surrounded it! The Family Curator says this is the most important part of passing along heirlooms—making sure the family history is intact.

It can be as simple as a handwritten note attached to the item with a ribbon—“Wedding Present 1954”—or a longer explanation about where the item came from and why it was important to the family member. You can even record your items digitally in the Heirloom Registry so future generations will always have a way to look back and remember!

Create Your Own Memories at Southshore!

Whether you are receiving or passing along treasured family heirlooms, there’s no better place to enjoy them than your own home in the master-planned community of Southshore! Custom new homes in Aurora’s only lakeside community offer a peaceful, family-centered neighborhood. Take a tour of the brand new homes from Richmond American Homes,Toll Brothers, and Taylor Morrison for a taste of Life at the Lake. These ranch and two-story designs are priced between the $400s and the $700s.