Interior Design

Decorating with Family Treasures



We have a bunch of old optometry-themed pieces.  I used to display the stereoscope with a single card before we moved, first on top of the piano then on top of the mantle.  This time, I wanted to create a themed display that would be more visually interesting and more of a conversation-starter.

The large 24"x30" shadow box came from JoAnn Fabrics.  The inside back surface it came with was a black felt-like fabric.  I wanted more visual contrast, so I had the custom framing department at Michaels cut a piece of acid-free mat board to put in front of the fabric.  The cards are held in place with removable Scotch Wall-Mounting Tabs. 


My father-in-law and his father, too, were optometrists.  They would have used the stereoscope and these fun cartoon cards to check how well a child's eyes were working together.  The two images would appear as a single 3-dimensional image through the stereoscope, and feedback about whether or not objects appeared to align would be used to diagnose vision problems, such as "lazy eye."


There is plenty of trendy stuff out there that has one purpose - to catch your eye and convince you to buy it.  You know the stuff I am talking about - the "that was SO yesterday" decor you see all the time at garage sales.  You have to listen very closely to that little voice when you are out shopping, asking you, "Is this just for a future garage sale?"

And, maybe search the attic first.  Sometimes a little creative thinking can result in something you would have paid money for -- but is so much more meaningful because it has a family story to tell.

Our living room

I thought you might enjoy seeing what is happening at my own house.  Our house is new (not my own design -- we bought an already built home for the location).  So, my challenge has been to add a youthful vibe and transform the ocean of beige walls and carpet with just the right furniture, artwork, and window coverings.  Maybe you can relate?

Here are the before and after photos:

The sofa and chairs are from Kasala (the chairs were a custom leather).  The coffee table is vintage find, made by Lane, found at Antiques Liquidators in Seattle for $130 (a steal!).  The shelves are from Land of Nod.  The Metropolis lithograph was an anniversary present we picked up at Jack Galleries in Las Vegas (no longer in business).  

On top of the bookshelf is a vintage stereoscope from my father-in-law's former office (both he and his father we optometrists) next to a shadow box full of stereogram cards. Once useful, forever sentimental, and now beautifully displayed.  

I often call upon what William Morris once wrote as I am making decor decisions:  "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

I am working on all of the other rooms, too.  I will post more pictures as we continue to nest and decorate.  What are your decorating challenges? 

(And, yes, that is Zippy the Pinhead hiding amongst the books! )

Many of you have asked about my interior design services.  If you would like me to help you make your house the home of your dreams -- whether you need furniture and decor guidance, plan to build a new home, or want to remodel the one you already have, contact me here to tell me more about your project.