Design and Styling: Nancy Lane Interiors | Photography: Ellen Renee Photography
I have always made it a priority to keep pieces that mean something to our clients, and if it that special something transformed into art to be displayed and walked past every day, all the better. This sweet family had SO many jewels to pull from that I thought it might be helpful to see how we worked these pieces into a cohesive full remodeling and furnishings project.
Scroll through for inspiration as to how your own house can become your home through the use of art and sentimental items.
This pew is such a special artifact of this family, and I believe a holy one for various reasons. This is the literal pew where our client's father sat in church with his own family every week in Missouri. His dad passed away a few years ago and his mom saved it in storage for years. Because it's so large, it had been tough to find a place to house it...until now. This house had already been gutted when we onboarded this project. Later, when I asked if they had any collections or specific items they wanted to use to decorate their new home, he told me about this pew. Without hesitation I knew I wanted to incorporate it somewhere. Later when we took measurements of all the room, as I measured that wall, I thanked God and just laughed, because it couldn't have been a more perfect fit. The client drove it back from Missouri with so much excitement knowing that it could now fit in such a prominent place!
On top of all that, the number plate on the edge that you saw in the first photo in this post was the number 7, which has always held significance for me personally, as it is believed to be a holy number in and of itself.
These antique metal records had been stored in a garage for years, but these were enjoyed and listened to by many generations of this family. As soon as I saw these in a cardboard box, I immediately had a vision of framing them in acrylic frames like this in my mind, and knew we had to make it happen!
Designer tip: If you have spaces in your own home that are empty and begging for life, take a look through things you've kept for a very long time in storage, and see if anything could be used either on a shelf for display or repurposed as art in this way. Either way serves as a visual reminder of people you love and great memories. No use for them gathering dust in a bag or box!
I talked about this piece in our dining room post, but as a reminder, this photo is depicting the (since demolished) stockyard in Missouri where both of our client's parents worked as large animal veterinarians. To watch him talk about it, and see the gratitude in his eyes as he shared stories about how hard working his parents were and how they raised him and his four brothers, I knew this needed a place of honor in their home.
In fact, all five brothers have a copy of this 3' x 7' photo but he is the first to actually hang it in his home. This size may be extra long when it comes to large scale art to be able to use in any space, but a large wall like this is a perfect place for something that big!
This is definitely a matter of personal preference, but I love family photos in a few (at least) key spots in a home. Our clients had recently had professional family photos taken and we used large black metal frames with oversized offset mat frames to showcase the gorgeous captures. This wall in the living room was a perfect place to accent those memories. As their babies get older, it will always be a sweet reminder of how small they were (don't mind me in my last days of high school for my twins sentimental reflecting mode).
You know so many of us take these family photos and they end up sitting in a gallery link in our email inboxes - so if you're like me, go find your favorites and get them printed and framed asap! You're welcome in advance. ;)
One of our client's brothers has a big passion for trees and forests, and unsurprisingly works for the U.S. Forestry System. He travels a lot for work, and actually collects wood from fallen barns or buildings all over the country. Back home he makes absolutely beautiful furniture from his findings, including this desk in our client's office space. This wood came from property owned by their parents, so it really has double meaning to them, and I love that beyond words!
The art piece in the background is another small homage to the stockyards where his parents worked as well.
Bottom line and one of my favorite designer tips for making a house a home is to use items that have history and meaning then use them in a way that tells a story about you and your family. Explore the garage or attic wherever you store things like this (or if your own parents are still alive, search theirs) - these clients had so many hidden treasures in storage, and all it took was a bit of a search, and a vision for how to display them throughout their house.
What would you love to use in your home as an art piece, but you have no idea how to make it happen? Let us know in the comments! I'd love to hear all about it.
If you're looking for full service design services to furnish and decorate your own home this year, we're here to help. We’re currently booking new projects for start dates in mid to late summer and early fall, so chat with us sooner rather than later! We also offer one time Chit Chat Design consultations for clients whose project needs do not require remodeling or construction services and/or our full service design at this time. Either way, let NLI help you love where you live so let's get started!
Design and Styling: Nancy Lane Interiors
Professional Photography: Ellen Renee Photography