Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Recommendation: Living with What You Love: Decorating with Family Photos, Cherished Heirlooms, and Collectibles by Monica Rich Kosan

I have always been enchanted by homes that, rather than having a "decorator" look, reveal the personalities, tastes, and values of the family members who live there.  The presence of family photos, heirlooms, and collectibles illustrate the author's observation that "a house is not a home unless it displays our most cherished possessions."  Living with What You Love gives us the inspiration, tools, and suggestions to approach our own possessions with the goal of reminding ourselves (and others) of who we are, and how we can display our precious objects with creativity and style.

I have years of accumulating photographs, books, and other precious items behind me; my challenge is to be selective in my choices for display.  We are reminded, though, that "cherished objects are not just things of the past.  Whenever we take a photograph, add a personal touch to something that belongs to us, or select a new piece for a collection, we are in the process of creating heirlooms."

A section of the book shows us the value of mixing the old and the new all around the house, especially in regard to photographs; mixing generations of family members can introduce discussions of the past and present.  Also within the pages of the book, you'll find ideas for displaying large and small photos, as well as using technology for always-changing photo display.  Photographic illustrations include an heirloom silver tray holding small, intimate photos framed in silver and a large tv screen devoted to rotating family photographs.

Since my home is filled with books, I was particularly interested in the ideas for mixing them with photos and other items. 

I was also reminded that other precious items can be framed, including certificates, letters, and diplomas and placed on the wall with treasured photographs.  For a start, I'm going to copy the back of my and my husband's birth certificates, showing our baby footprints, for a photo area in our guest bedroom.

Other suggestions included leaving albums and loose photos out in  open boxes or baskets for friends and family to thumb through.

A chapter heading called "Intimate Landcapes"  refers to little areas that remind us of what is important to us.  Tabletops, shelves, mantels, buffets, wherever there is a flat surface can be used to put together family vignettes, which can include memories to hold in your hand, such as individual or collections of rocks, jewelry, or other mementos.

Devoted space can be places individual members of the household use for their own purposes, including personal offices or studios or spots as small as a closet or even an open drawer -- any place that can be used to reveal and enjoy the individual's personal choices of photos and memorabilia.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in decorating the home with a more personal touch and especially for the beautiful photographs, which can serve as a springboard to more ideas for creativity and personal pleasure in our surroundings.

You can purchase Living with What You Love from Amazon or borrow it from your public library, as I did.


Joanne said...

I must look for it at my library!
Lately I have so little time to read...but sure could use the inspiration!
Thanks for sharing!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I will have to look for it. Thanks for the suggestion. Hugs, Marty

peggy said...

I'll be sure to ask for this one at the library. I already have a house where everything has a story, but I'm sure I could do it more artistically if I had some help. Thanks and Happy Days to ya!


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