A Haven for Vee

Monday, November 9, 2015

Grandma's Attic

Are you a Shabby Chic gal or a Farmhouse Style one? How about Arts and Crafts? Coastal? Contemporary? Prim? There are so many styles. I'd be interested to know how you label yours. You may have guessed that I label mine Grandma's Attic.

~from certificates to photographs to the bathroom sink~

Clockwise beginning in upper right corner with my mother's Steiff Teddybear, great-grandfather's journals, travel case, paintings and my son as a toddler, old photo albums, my son again and embroidery floss, my dollhouse furniture, sewing notions, Great-great-grandmother Alice,  Great-great grandmother Serepta's certificate, Great-grandfather Fred's journal entries, beautiful old canning jars

I've been thinking a lot about this now that I am receiving an influx of items from "the attic." I really pondered what to do with it all. I have even said that I would go through it and *gasp* burn a lot of it — the letters, photos, family things that one hopes not to have wind up in a flea market. 

Then I decided that I would embrace it. Yes, embrace it. Embrace whatever the rest of 
the family didn't want. 
I, the self-appointed family historian and keeper of the stuff.

It didn't seem very "embracing" to stuff it all in boxes and stick it under a bed either. And how does one embrace it when there's no extra money for paint or to build another closet? So this is what I have done. I recommend it to no one else. I can hear the giggles already. *chortle* snicker *tee-hee*

See if you can tell where some of the collage things landed.

Oops. This is what I did last week...layered a wedding gift water color from 1931 over the handpainted tray. It was done by Moncton, New Brunswick artist C.K. Cowan. He was apparently smitten with the English countryside.

Getting back to the program...

I decided to work on the stairwell wall...

This is my view from my PC. I am looking at it right now. The good news is that I am the only one who sees this view...and you, of course. (Does that bill holder seem excessively full? Do those antique hinges look odd?)

The poinsettias are in a beautiful white jardiniere...I will take another photo in the daylight and pop it in as it is so pretty with the flowers. And, yes, I am mighty pleased to get a head start on Christmas decorating.

(I didn't wait for daylight...forgive strange lighting.)

This stairwell is where I store artwork until its proper season. It works well for that. Now I've decided to load it up with lots of things from old hinges to handles and even postcards and small photos. If there was a nail hole, I filled it with whatever I could find. In this case, mostly leaves.

As you can see, I have plenty more room to add more. I may have been hanging around my friend Linda too long or perhaps not long enough. *She recently wallpapered and when she was finished there was no wallpaper in sight.* I loved that!

So I'm working on it. One box of old photos at a time... 

Thanks for stopping by today. Don't forget to tell me what your style is called or what you call your style. ☺


  1. Eclectic is what my style is, Vee...Country farmhouse, Traditional, Shabby Chic and a tad bit coastal. AND I loveeeeeeeeee everything you have done....thank you for the smiles on this very cold Monday morning from upstate NY. Blessings

  2. Morning Vee,

    Enjoyed a catch up visit this early Monday morning. There were a few new posts I hadn't see yet. It's a little like opening ones of those boxes you mention and finding little unexpected treasures of your life these days.

    I like your idea of having that stairwell wall to store out of season pictures and artwork. No using extra floor space to store in boxes. Lovely.

    My home style? I've a leaning toward English Country. I enjoy a bit of clutter with pictures and knickknacks out on flat surfaces and shelves. Lots of books about the place. With lace at the windows and antique couches, vintage desk, a few antique looking reproductions...

    It snowed here in the night, so it will feel seasonal when the sun comes up --still pitch black yet. Have a little string of cozy lights atop the bookcase in our bedroom. Turned on. It's fun to turn off the lamp and sit in their golden glow ... or sleep too as I've been up since 3:30 ish. I feel a nap coming on now.

    Wishing you a great week ahead ... happy finding places for the family keepsakes. You seem to have it well in hand already.


  3. I guess I really don't have a style. My kitchen is done in Farmhouse, but the rest of the house is Hand-me-down or Whatever. So glad you decided to embrace and show off your finds.

  4. Of course you love it all..those are family memories Vee. They provide comfort and bring to mind those that you were a part of. How fascinating to browse through those treasures....I often wonder about people who live in homes that are beautiful, yet have no hand-me-downs...it's rather a museum feeling! Hmmm....I think I love Vee's house!

  5. My style is eclectic suppose! I love that you are embracing all the family pieces and the gallery wall looks really nice! Nothing like being surrounded with our heritage and history! I love knowing the history of the older pieces I have in my home, even if they came from someone else's family! Keeps things interesting! :) ~Hope your week is off to a great start! Rhonda

  6. Love how you are honouring the family treasures! I like your style. Mine - well, I guess you'd call it farmhouse or maybe even slightly junky - eek! For sure a mixed bag and BTW I seem to be the "keeper of the stuff" in my family too. Perhaps it's time to have a closer look at the stuff and follow your example?

  7. I love the view from your PC. When I get to mine, I'm going to try to zoom in on the photo and read the book spines. It's an obsession. Good job to incorporate the treasures into your home decor. There are many things I have that I don't dare pass on our they'd end up on eBay, at best. And I agree, I hate seeing family photos at a garage sale or antique shop. I think my style is eclectic/clutter/library/country. Did you know that was a style? Oh yeah.

  8. You do have a wonderful view! When I went into my Grandma's attic, I found old wooden spools, which I have collected for years. Always a nice memory to hold them and remember her. I'll have to take a photo of my old photos I've displayed in our Powder Room with the copper ceiling.

  9. I'd love to ask a friend what they think my style is because I don't know. Being the keeper of the family archives I find great interest in what you are doing. I already have an upstairs hall wall heavy laden but maybe I could add more. Going through all the boxes is still on my to do list from retirement. Life keeps getting in the way but there's hope for this winter. I'll keep your great idea in mind.

  10. Good morning! Well as always I love to get glimpses of your home and life....Honestly I'd love to see it all in person as I know I would love it all. The way you have included and displayed your memories and pictures and treasures is inspiring! Your view from you PC is perfect! I am not sure WHAT you'd call mine. Kind of a traditional country shabby chic, lol. Which tells you nothing I suppose. It's just home....a collection of comfortable things that we enjoy! Have a good good week Vee!

  11. I think your idea of using the old photos and memorabilia is a great one! I have things that mean so much to me but that are so personal, (old love letters from my darling husband for one!) I have considered burning them, much to my sorrow. They are for my eyes and since I don't know what would happen to them I would prefer they do not outlive me. But oh it's so hard! I guess I could tell my girls to destroy them when I'm gone. What to do? As for family photos, they really only mean anything to the people who know and love the people in the photos. Two generations down the road they won't care. Again, a quandary.

  12. I think all you have done looks great!!
    I have a bit of everything so I guess I'd have to say eclectic and I like the country colors of blue, red and green. I like the old and the new mixed together.

  13. Almost impossible to answer if one must stick to one label! My home is full of things from my mother and grandmother and Aunt Ned. It's rather country"ish", English country perhaps, but I love what I love and it doesn't always fall into a style......I like warm colors - except where I like cheerful colors. I like interior decoration that depends on a lot of books! And a lot of memories.

    1. To the last sentence, let me add, "and a lot on nature".

  14. I love your gallery stair wall! I always wanted to do something like that. My decorating style is French Country/American Traditional.

  15. The gallery wall turned out great! I call my style eclectic. It's a blend of old and new...well, somewhat new. I like homes that are comfy and cozy. As for photos, I have tons of them but they are mostly small photos. I don't know what will happen to them as my kids and I are about the only ones left in the family and they don't seem to have any sentimental attachments to things of the past.

  16. Absolutely loved this post Vee! Your treasures are priceless! As I was reading I was thinking of all the treasures,(stuff) stored in the room over our garage and of all those in our barns, that once belonged to grandparents, treasures that I can't seem to part with either, and I might add plans to do as you have done,share with my family by displaying them! I agree they have no place in stored boxes!

    I live in a farmhouse, but I call my style "eclectic"! It fits me to a tee, I have never followed the rules in decorating, because it just isn't me!~smile~ When I see all the decorating blogs I swoon, salivate, but also know I have to be "Me"!
    I really swoon every time you share your home there is so much warmth and love, and this is what I have always wanted folks to say about mine, "This feels just like home"!

    I love that you have started decorating for Christmas, I took time this weekend to do some decorating too, as I will be having eye surgery over the next few weeks!
    Thanks for sharing,

    Hugs from me to you,

  17. I enjoyed this post so much Vee. I am very sentimental...my older brother and sis never wanted any of mom and dad's or my grandparents' photos, china, jewelry etc. I have several glassed cabinets with treasures stored where I can see them and yet keep them safe from cats! lol I don't know what my style is - these days I don't want anything new but I do cherish the old and the memories.

  18. Hi Vee loved seeing how you are displaying your treasures. I love all the family stuff of years gone by. I think my style might be country, french. I love yellows and some oranges. But things that hold a memory are treasures. Hugs, Roxy

  19. Vee, I'm glad to see you are the keeper of family treasures! I too hate seeing old photos in antique shops--It's just not right!! My style?--Ummm--traditional, grandma's attic!!! Are you the eldest girl in your family? I am and I think the keeper is usually given to her. I love having my family's things all around our home--it's part of who I am! ♥

    1. You guessed it! Interesting point and I have never thought of it before.

  20. Eclectic. . .treasures from his side of the family and treasures from mine thrown in with what we love and have collected. That was the great thing about downsizing ~ realizing what is important.

    Your wall of family heirlooms is priceless.

    I keep meaning to tell you that I love your new header.

  21. I love what you're doing! Putting the family treasures out for all too see! I'm glad that someone is keeping these family treasures.
    I don't think your bill holder is too full, its just filled with floppy papers. I think it is interesting to group paintings, photos, hinges etc, together.

    My style is eclectic. I like English Country, Farmhouse, cottage. My house is what it is because we've just gathered stuff that we liked or inherited over the years.


  22. No idea what my style would be called! As I am sure that you have heard me say before I am a hoarder chucker which means that I keep things for a while and then have regular clear outs, I shred old papers and burn them and never have any regrets, it is very freeing for me, although not right for everyone I realise. I am sure that you style is absolutely right for you and you arrange things very prettily indeed! xx

  23. HI Vee, I guess I'm eclectic, liking traditional, shabby chic, English, etc.,...you get the picture. I just don't like modern or ultra chic. Somehow it all works when you love certain things. I like that you're the keeper of the family treasures, and I especially love that you cover the nail holes with leaves! Great idea!!!

  24. My style is Thrift Store Eclectic. I'm sure someone would be confused as to put a label on my tastes. *lol* Your style is tasteful, refreshing and lovely. Good enough to hang in a Country Club or anywhere classy.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

  25. I think I'm also eclectic, but I do love a country and farmhouse style. My home is decorated in a traditional style, however, as that what worked best with its 1990's style.
    I am the younger daughter in my family, but I am the keeper of photos, letters and some nick knacks as I was the one who had the job of clearing out my Mom's house of 60+ years. I transported it all west with me and hope to one day organize it all. I do have many vintage framed photos on display. I like your stairwell wall and agree that walls like this look very attractive when they are covered with interesting framed photos and memorabilia--like a gallery. It's a wonderful way to enjoy all those treasures, Vee.

  26. I read this post this morning before dashing off and now I'm back to comment. Love the idea of your stairway gallery. Defining one's style is a difficult thing - I've thought about it and have come up with "Swedish by the Sea with a Touch of French Country". How's that for a mouthful? I regret that I have very few items from my grandparents. My parents are still living (thanks be to God) but they've not been the kind to accumulate stuff from the past. We have a few things from Tim's family that I treasure. Your bits and pieces are wonderful reminders of the past. I'm glad you're keeping them.

  27. I'm a little bit farmhouse/cottage and a lot grammie's attic in style. I have antiques and collectibles and new all mixed in. I've inherited a lot of things from my side and Murray's and I hate to part with it. I have boxes of old family photos from the 1800's and bits and bobs that I don't want to toss out or sell. What do you 'do' with that stuff?? No one wants it and it will end up in the garbage or a thrift store when we're done with it. I am glad you are interested in keeping the family 'heirlooms' Vee and I like how you've displayed them on the stairwell wall. And nothing wrong with hanging old hinges or whatever there too. I have a rusty foot long hinge on my 'gallery wall' over the sofa and a wrought iron trivet and a ring of old keys there too. I guess that is eclectic eh? I love the painting by the Moncton artist, CK Cowan. I wonder who he was? I knew some Cowans in school. What'll ever become of it all when we're gone. Makes me sad but I guess our ancestors probably thought the same thing. Ours may be the last generation to hang on to these things.

  28. I LOVE how you're embracing your treasures and displaying them gallery-style!! (I love the hinges in the gallery!)

    My decorating style? I call it colonial farmhouse. (With a touch of Queen Anne highboy in the mix. ~wink~)

  29. My house on the outside is Arts and Crafts, I think, due to the way our builder made the front porch posts, etc. I like it.

    The inside of my house is country, although not as "busy" as it was in our last house. I miss I don't like making so many nail holes in this new house, and those Command hooks, as great as they are, don't work for everything.

    You've got some pretty interesting stuff in your "attic" style.

  30. I'm not sure what my style is. I do know that I am a LOVER of old things and I'm VERY sentimental when it comes to family heirlooms of sorts. And maybe you can understand how I felt when I saved those old photos of my parents from being tossed in the garbage by my sister (who has not one sentimental bone in her body) and the HORROR I felt when she revealed to me that she tossed my mothers beloved bible in the garbage. I was beyond speechless and had to leave before you would see me on the evening news wanted for a horrific crime I had inflicted on my sister....GRRR.

  31. Vee, I think you have accomplished one of the very elusive things we collectors discover...organized chaos. Pat yourself on the back. It looks beautiful as well as interesting. I might add that my grandparents passed when I was very just a toddler, I so envy those that have memories and treasures passed down.

    My style? Ever changing!

    Jane x

  32. Wish there were an edit option. Meant *very much just a toddler...


  33. What a treasure to glimpse into the little nooks of your home Vee. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. As for the Christmas decorations, I visited a friend's home and she is totally decorated for Christmas, full blown. My style? You've seen my home, what do you think? Definitely not contemporary, probably more country/farmhouse? I have some coastal touches, since I love on the coast. Hard to say.
    You have a lovely day my friend. ~ Abby

  34. I was so honored to see my print hanging on your stairway wall with all the other treasures! We are about to go through this with my father in law's things soon. Hang on to those beautiful memories!

  35. You know, if you ever want to part with your things, I'd be happy to take them on, Vee ;)

    I see Catherine saw what I did. I knew it was her work immediately.

    My style? I would say it's English/American 1930s cottage if I really had to pinpoint it (although, I don't think it does lol), but it's really just things passed onto me from my family and things I collected over the years. I'm in the same position you're in. I'm the keeper of history in my family and I love it. I will say this.... I don't like new things and you'll never see me in home goods or the like. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's just not me.

    Oh and I live in the mountains of Arizona. I did a post on it awhile back.


  36. I really don't know how to label what my house style is. It's kind of a conglomeration of a few styles. I have very few keepsakes from my parents as they arrived to the U.S. with hardly anything. Anything olden in our house is probably from Dear's parents and grandparents.
    I might just be adding some artwork to my stairwell walls now that I see yours. I love that English countryside piece...

  37. Hahahahahaha!!!! I LOVE your wall and you will so enjoy seeing all your treasures! I remember back a few years ago when I was visiting you and spied a vintage letter or envelope on a wall above whatever subject or object you were talking about in your post that day. You said I had a good eye to spot that! I absolutely LOVE interesting walls!!! You will be surprised how much others will enjoy them too! They may not want them for their own - but they will love to come over and see them! That's the way my family is! Good JOB!!! Do you know how to tell when your wall is finished?? When there's no more room!! Haha! By the way - those hinges are wonderful additions! Makes the wall even more interesting!

  38. LOL! Someone has to be the 'self-appointed' keeper of stuff! I see a few treasures there that would fit quite nicely in my decor. I love your stairwell photo wall! Now I'm trying to recall where your stairwell was. I missed that, right? I'm guessing the stairs went up near the front of the house.


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