Heirlooms and Antiques decorating ideas: Anuradha Varma
Traditions and heirlooms were not something I took very seriously before marriage or prior to moving thousands of miles away from home! I took a lot of things for granted back then. The various things around the house looked lovely, but they were always there. I was in my comfort zone. When I was setting up my own home, I realised that apart from the people that I missed being around, I also yearned for the familiar things I grew up with.
Over time, and after numerous trans-Atlantic flights, I gradually brought a few things from my parents’ house to my own. A lot of the pieces were gifts from my parents because they knew I liked them. There were some things from my grandmother as well. She always remembered to gift me something special on Diwalis, birthdays and other important occasions. Over a period of time I realised that I had developed an emotional attachment to these things.
I really like the words by Ralph Lauren that I read in a design magazine recently—“The most beautiful homes have a touch of history, of memory, of things that have been passed along, living side by side with the very modern. For me, this is the very essence of personal style”. I completely endorse this. My style is truly an amalgamation of the old and the new. Traditions and memories of yesteryears have shaped my design aesthetic and my home reflects that heritage.
An antique or a family heirloom need not be lavish or extravagant. Even a simple thing associated with a childhood memory may eventually become a treasure. I have been blessed and fortunate as I have a few things in my home that date back more than a hundred years. I love thinking about their history and the stories they could tell if they could talk— I like to think that they bring me closer to my roots. Instead of putting them away under lock and key, I have my treasures, big and small, displayed all over the house. Though there are many fancy and gorgeous products available in stores today, my fascination with antiques endures.
Old family portraits, knick-knacks, artefacts, paintings —the list is endless. A tiny shell from a fun family vacation, a simple letter, or even a photograph, all can become treasured possessions for future generations. Something that might not be significant to you can be a beautiful reminder of a time gone by. Treasure your memories and take pride in where you come from. I have a set of postcards that my father sent to me from Moscow when I was five years old. My mom and I were in India, away from him for a year. The postcards are as important to me as the silver heirlooms my grandmother gifted me. Having beautiful things in your home is always an added advantage. However, what is even more important is that your home should make your family happy. I do believe that would be the best legacy to leave behind for my children.