How To Tell A Story Through Decorating

You know,There are many ways to approach decorating but something that has helped me create a cohesive feel in my home is to tell a story.

I want to tell a story that is unique to my family. I know people who decorate to tell the a story of their family’s beliefs. Their walls are covered with scriptures or phrases that reiterate their ethos. Okay, I do a little of that too.

Words to live by displayed on freshly painted green walls.

Others enjoy decorating with things that point to activities they love. For example,  we have many fond memories spent at a lake house located in North Georgia that’s been in the family since the 1970’s. It was decorated to reflect those memories. The family filled it with furniture and souvenirs that spoke of fishing and water sports as well as photographs of experiences shared there. By using your story as a launching pad for your decorating your home will take on your family’s personality.

I personally love creating a sort of museum that tells the Pope-Liner story. Our heritage.

Heritage can be an extensive idea.

Is heritage your genealogy? (Have you looked into My family’s heritage is primarily English, Swedish, Scottish with a lot of German in our bloodline. Our children enjoy knowing what their heritage is. My husband’s people are largely Scottish. The mountains of North Carolina have been greatly influenced by its’ highlander background. It is enjoyable living in an area where family goes back a couple of centuries. We have roads and mountains named after the Liners. Direct ancestors are named in history books about this region. They have been very prominent in the Waynesville, North Carolina area for many generations.

Is heritage personal memories or maybe the memories of family members who are sharing their story.

I believe heritage is powerful … it is your story. We all have a story.

Heritage has always mattered to my children. It gives a sense of uniqueness. I remember my older children sitting with their grandfather for hours at a time to hear the stories of his youth or to be imparted with invaluable advice on life, work and so much more. I used to do the same with my grandparents. Their stories about their travels inspired my imagination. My grandma collected teacups from those places and now they are a part of how I tell a story of heritage in my house.

Just a few of my grandma’s teacups from all over the world.

Recently, I’ve found myself calling my parents just to thank them for giving me such an example of love and encouragement. To thank them for my heritage.

My people are a mix of Pennsylvania Dutch (I have seen records of my Grandmother’s family coming to Pennsylvania in the mid 1600’s). I also have grandparents who came from Cornwall England, the land of POLDARK (such a good show) and Sweden. Both arriving in the early 1900’s. America has provided many people an opportunity to create a new heritage. I hope we don’t lose that aspect of this great country because it’s a part of what makes this country’s heritage so diverse.

It became time for some changes.

When my son , Stefan, and I were in pre-production for our web-series, When Fact Met Fiction, we decided to use our house as the location. Jay and I had been wanting to update for awhile and the show gave us the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

  • Bird number 1, create a set for production.
  • Bird number 2, renovate the house for the first time in fifteen years.
I knew I wanted to brighten the house.

Our house had a lot of dark wood and warm colors like oranges and golds. Although I loved it for a long time but the house often felt dark but I wanted to go the opposite extreme. Therefore, I decided to bring whites with lighter colors into the main part of the home.

But I also wanted to decorate in such a way that displayed our family heritage.

Ironically, in spite of being in film-making, we aren’t the best at capturing our moments in pictures. When Ethan was getting married his wife Gabrielle asked for pictures of Ethan in different stages of life to display at the reception. It was almost embarrassing the lack of  pictures we had to give her. I remember going to friends houses and they would have a wall of family pictures. That’s what staircases are for, right? It was the reason places like SEARS had a photography studio. People needed those portraits.

Neither Jay or my families were that way. However I do have a few pictures that I set out in antique jars and yes have placed going down a staircase. They surround salt busts of composers my mother earned in piano recitals and a vase filled with dried flowers from Ethan and Gabs wedding.

Salt busts of composers and jars filled with family photos make for a nice glimpse into our family’s story.


Not Many Pictures? No Problem!

Although I may not have many pics but I do have a lot of knickknacks I’ve collected over the years.  These have become the foundation for my decorating style. For example, tea cups my grandmother collected from her travels to foreign countries are displayed to share the story of her adventures and her love for tea. I also have some candles that were my mother-in-law’s. They express her devotion to making a hospitable place to gather. Over a kitchen window hang copper jello molds my mother got as a wedding gift herald to new beginnings. Finally, paintings and items family and friends have given me over the years remind me of how important relationship is.

Drawings by my husband Jay, a signed print my parents gave us and a painting of the marina we used to vacation near creates a gallery of memories. The pen and ink of my pet cat is my favorite. We were careful to leave space for more artwork in the future.

Heritage is all about relationships  – It’s all about how our stories connect us.

Without relationships we wouldn’t have colorful characters for our stories. We wouldn’t have life altering advice. We wouldn’t have anything worth paying homage to. I love the history these decorative items add to my home. The way they keep memories alive.

What story do you want to tell?

Do you have specific items that are extra special to you? Do they tell a part of your story or the story of someone else you want to remember? Is there a creative way you like to display pictures or other mementos? Tell me in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Until Next Time,

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