Thursday, March 27, 2014

Useful . . . Beautiful . . . Meaningful

As I was dusting yesterday (not fun, but necessary) I thought about the title of the book, The Way We Live With The Things We Love.


I remembered a quote by William Morris


and began looking around my house to see if I am following Morris' advice.


My baskets are beautiful - at least I think so.


And, the baskets are holding books which are both beautiful and useful.


My pitcher collection is definitely useful.


As I continued through the house, I decided that I would add one more possibility to William Morris' quote - Meaningful.


The spatterware pitcher and Manhattan plate are both beautiful and can be useful, 


but more important to me are the memories they evoke.


Beautiful, of no real use, but very special is this shell from the Indian Ocean.


When we downsized to our little cottage, I gave most of my family pieces to my sister, but these 3 items made the cut.


Another favorite piece is my mother's cedar chest which I painted white last year.


When I received these candlesticks, my friend apologized that they were used, but said she thought they would be perfect in our apartment.


This is one of my favorite pitchers and for years it sat on a shelf, but I have begun to use it regularly.


There is a purpose for nearly everything we have in the house.


I know you all have useful and beautiful items in your homes,


but what are the "special" items in your home that make you smile?

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I am joining 

From My Front Porch to Yours - Treasure Hunt Thursday

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup Thursday

Lavender Garden Cottage - Cottage Style Party

Mz. Moozy's Open House - Tuesday's With a Twist

72 comments:

Vicky Hunt said...

Oh Carol....I love this post! It was so sweet to hear the stories behind some of your meaningful pieces. I have several meaningful pieces too that I will cherish always. Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely Thursday.
Blessings, Vicky

Emma Elliott said...

So many gorgeous things. I love all you share with us :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I am so happy to see you've posted my friend.

You are really making me think here..but I have to say that there are different items that hold a special place in my heart. The furniture that my husband and I have selected together, the handmade items that YOU and other blogger friends have sent me, and oil paintings that my husband had painted for me. I do not have any family heirlooms, because there were none to keep...so I've created my own.

LOVE THIS POST, your home, you. Anita

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

So many pretties / love the meaningful backgrounds to many of them! :)

Candy S said...

This is a beautiful sentimental post. As I go through my boxes of Spring decor today I will be thinking of you and thinking of the memories attached with each of the items that I have collected through the years. Your home is beautiful decorated with love and memories. Things are not always just things. They are your life and they evoke the thoughts of the people and places that dwell in our memories. Thank you.

Izzybeads by Laney said...

I just love your house its like a treasure trove full of light and beautiful things :)

September Violets said...

Morris' quote is often in my head while I try to decide what can go. I've acquired far too many "beautiful" and "meaningful" items, but the "useful" seems to be at the bottom of the list! You have so many treausres, but it is nice (as you dust) to pick up the pieces and remember such special times with family & friends. Wendy x

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

You do have some beautiful and useful things. Always good to ponder while dusting.

Nancy's Notes said...

What a fabulous post! Oh my heavens, I'm crazy about your pitcher collection and all of your beautiful treasures! Aww, a home full of memories is a home full of love, for sure!

Dawn said...

I love the way you use your space with all types of containers. My fav is the way you are storing your flatware. Perfect!

Dawn said...

I love the way you use your space with all types of containers. My fav is the way you are storing your flatware. Perfect!

Debbie Freitag said...

I love your post and the quote by William Morris. I will keep this in mind as I begin my spring cleaning and de-cluttering. As always the pictures of your home are inspiring and beautiful.

must love junk said...

What a great post! It's so special to remember fond memories as you look around you home. I LOVE that armoire! I have some treasured things that were my grandparents' :)
Susan

Connie said...

Good Morning Carol, I enjoyed this post so much . . . and in reading it got to know you even better, I love all of your memories and the items that you have saved to keep them alive in your daily lives. So many beautiful and meaningful memories.
Thank you for sharing.
Connie :)
P.S. Your home is such a joyful place :)

ANNE said...

Beautiful, colourful, happy and loads of wonderful memories - you can't get any better than that!

I've looked at modern and zen spaces, and while I can appreciate them, they make me feel slightly uncomfortable. Give me a home full of beautiful things that create a warm, inviting space and I'll stay forever...

Cheers!

Pamela Gordon said...

I enjoyed this post and seeing the beautiful, useful and meaningful. I think I need to start editing my stuff. LOL Have a beautiful day!

Kathy said...

I love this post and all the stories. My house is the same way, nearly everything has a story behind it. That is one of the reasons it is so hard for me to switch things up for a new look. I tire of the things but not of the stories.

Vintage Jane said...

What a lovely post full of special memories. I have many beautiful things that I could easily part with but also have some not so beautiful things that carry memories and I cannot ever part with!

Jeanna said...

Lovely post Carol. I enjoyed reading about some of your treasures and why they are so special to you. You have a wonderful home obviously filled with love. Thanks for sharing.

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

So true, Carol. The beautiful and useful things are nice to look at, but the meaningful pieces are the ones that evoke wonderful memories. Thanks for reminding us of their importance. :)

Melanie said...

I loved this post! I really enjoyed taking a walk with you around your house as you showed us some of your treasures and what they mean to you. You and Steve have led a very exciting life with lots of travel! I have always wanted to go to Taos. That's on my bucket list (in my head).

Stacey said...

Your home is truly special. I love that you are using those candle sticks that were wedding gifts. We still have things like that too. I wonder at times what I would grab if the house were on fire....it would be the pictures of my boys. They have the most meaning to me.

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

What a great way to look at the things we surround ourselves with. Love all your special and meaningful treasures. I cherish everything that was passed down from my grandmother.

The Painted Garden said...

What a lovely and heartfelt post- I loved every word and photo of your beautiful and special photos you shared.
Thank you.
Blessings, Erin

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Carol,
I love this post. I live by it, understand it's concept and respect the message... I can honestly say there is not one thing in our row home that does not have heartfelt value.
I feel such energy in my antique Buddha's, African stools and artifacts. But the most moving and meaningful pieces to me are the ones my son had his hands, creativity and his love attached to, the energy is loving and strong.
Happy day mon amie, you are very special to me Carol.
XO,
Vera

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Carol, this post touched my heart! My home is filled with useful, beautiful and meaningful to me. So well said and it's how I want my home to be. It's also what I will use to help my Mom downsize from a large home to a small one bedroom apt in her Independent Living place. Thanks for always sharing your heart,your home and your thoughts.

Linda

Lorrie said...

This is a wonderful post. Like you, I can glance around my rooms and envision the memories that come from the objects I see. This is what creates a home.

chateau chic said...

You're right, the stories and memories items invoke make them priceless! I have many wood creations from my father and antiques, accessories, quilts from my grandmother, all of which are cherished.
Mary Alice

bobbie said...

I've always loved that Morris quote, and your home is the epitome of it!!
Some of my favorites ~ a 3 piece set of doll furniture from my childhood in Germany; my Mom's and mine Hummel figurines, seashells from all over the world...

My Garden Diaries said...

I loved the way you wrote this post friend! All of your pieces are ever so beautiful and their usefulness can be seen but the meaning.... That is what makes them just awesome!! How awesome to be surrounded by so many beautiful memories!!!

camp and cottage living said...

This is such a fabulous post!
Thank you for sharing all your special treasures and the memories that make them so special

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

aww, i need a tissue. what a perfect post. i love memories. happy you shared with us. "precious memories". i love how you have so many pieces with thoughts & great times. i love that you were in the Peace Corp. i have often wondered what it be like??! i am shocked to hear you say you "downsized" ... wow, i always think you have such room. lots of pieces. all that space. maybe it is just how you take pics or show them to us? not sure. ( :

Jen Ham said...

I love how you have so many precious items in your home with meaning! You are such an incredible role model for us all to remind ourselves that "stuff" should have meaning rather than just "look at how many beautiful things I've bought." xoxo Jen Living a meaningful life is what it's all about.

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I've been asking myself this question for a good while now.
I really just need to weed out the undesirables... and only live with what I love.
I liked seeing all your collections and how each of the special items has meaning for you, and has brought you smiles throughout your life time.
You also have a wonderful way of displaying them.
Pat

cathy@my1929charmer said...

I really loved this post too, beautiful, useful and meaningful, I don't I will be able to look at my treasures without thinking about this. I will also use this to weed out things that don't meet this category. I love seeing you collection/treasures. They share with me a little bit more about you! Living a life that is meaningful is so important since my illness.

NanaDiana said...

Carol- I absolutely love this post. You have so many wonderful things that are functional, beautiful and/or meaningful. It is hard when you downsize sometimes to decide what to keep and what must go. I will be doing that not too far in the future and it is going to be hard.very.very.hard. You did good.very.very.good! xo Diana

Kim M said...

Carol, I just loved reading this post and the descriptions of all your precious pieces. I totally agree, fill a house with meaningful items that you love and you will have a home! :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Loved this!

Special?

My father's bird dog whistle, his pipe, his glasses. A very odd nut tree in a tole container that a friend thought was awful and refused to let me but pt. I drove to Orlando, where we were shopping, the next day with my husband, and we bought it. He loved it, too! All sorts of things that delight us and no one else. A friend told me once how she thought it was wonderful that I surrounded myself with things that delight me. I do. And it can be a two dollar trinket or a masterpiece. I am equally delighted when I buy something or select something or am given something I love.

xo

Sheila

The Quintessential Magpie said...

"Let me buy, but..."

podso said...

Things that mean the most to me are the ones with stories! You have some lovely treasures!

Sarah said...

Carol, I've always liked that quote, and find your post charming. It's the memories attached to things that give them value for me. I always learn something about you when you share. Didn't know you and Steve served in the Peace Corps. Doesn't surprise me! Love seeing your beautiful, useful, meaningful treasures.

Jann Olson said...

Love this post Carol and I am so glad you added meaningful! You have so many wonderful items that fit the bill. My home is filled with things that I could put into the same categories. Thanks for sharing your lovelies with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Consider It All Joy said...

The items that really make me smile now are ones that belonged to my late husband ~~ There are just some things that will always be special. You do have many Beautiful items!! I Love your love of color!!! Blessings, Cindy

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Carol, love this post - so many beautiful meaningful items. I love keeping things that are given to me that have meaning.
Everything works so well in your cottage.
Thanks so much for sharing with us.
Have a great weekend.
Mary

Poppy said...

SO enjoyed reading about all your precious pieces that decorate your home and fill your heart with love!!

Poppy

Sue said...

I'm late to the party today which is a good thing because it was so crowded I couldn't get a good look. I think I like this post most of all with the precious memory cards next to each item. Incredible exchange of binoculars for seashell. I just took the tour again and love it all.

cynthia lee designs said...

Carol...love this post. What wonderful pieces that have such sweet memories!!
hugs,
Cindy

Suzan Sweatman said...

What a beautiful post Carol - really loved that you shared the memories of your treasures with us -
And they ARE treasures ( even just to gaze at from afar )
XOXO

Art @ Home said...

Sweet post, Carol. Things that are special and make me smile? Our kids' school pictures and art; puppy chew toys; favorite books!

Little Miss Maggie said...

You have beautiful collections and I think they all fall into your three categories. I love all your beachy colors. Your cottage sounds like it's filled with love and wonderful memories.

Scribbler said...

Fantastic post -- I could certainly take a lesson about getting rid of a lot of stuff. The thing is, my mother said that all the Thompsons (Daddy's side of the family) were born with "keepitis". There are lots of things in my house too which have a family connection, or that I have a memory attached to, or I just plain love it that I seem to have a hard time letting go.

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

I loved reading about all of your beauties you picked during your travels. You have a lifetime of beautiful things in your home. I love having useful collections, like my dishes and vases.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I think when we live in small cottages, things must be both beautiful and useful... But I count reminding memories and making one smile as "useful"!

fiona anderson said...

I have the William Morris quote under my header and try to live by it. I like Magali's thoughts on useful, but I've always put the cherished family heirlooms under beautiful, because I love them.
I really enjoyed your post because of the interesting lives you've lead and the lovely memories you've created with your family.

Susan ~ Southern Fascinations said...

Carol..we all have our meaningful life souvenirs that are so precious to us. I hope that when these pass into the hands of my children and grandchildren there will be loving thoughts to hold them meaningful! So enjoyed your post!

greenthumb said...

So many lovely peaces you have, as I have said before.

francis said...

thank you for making this beautiful story of your life by showing your memories to us in and around your home .
I love the way you always combine everything .
Your life your love your home ...
it's always like seeing a feel-good
romantic movie with beautiful music and happy ever after .....
Thank you Carol . In Holland miss Spring is wearing her most summerish dress today ....

Tassell, Tea pot, and life down under said...

Hi Carol, so many beautiful useful things in your garden. I never really thought of using baskets as storage but you did a good job. And your jugs are all unique and comes with their own stories. Very cosey!! I love going through each photograph. I enjoyed my visit.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Blessings,
Aida

Tassell, Tea pot, and life down under said...

Sorry I meant beautiful useful things in your home. 😊

Dee Lapin said...

I love all your treasures and memories Carol.

Debbie said...

What a delightful post!
As I'm sitting here typing, I'm looking around wondering about the questions you asked.
At times I go through the house and let things go that won't break my heart as they leave. Some days it seems easier than other days. I realize today wouldn't be a good day to part with anything.
Thank you for your nice comment on the post at Kris' blog for the Saturday Spotlight Feature today.
I enjoy your blog very much.
Debbie@Lakehouse

Jennifer @ Town and Country Living said...

Everything in your house is beautiful. It's so cheery. It just says "happiness" to me!

White Weathered Hutch said...

Great post Carol! Thanks again for the tags. They sit in front of me on my desk! How creative!!

Doreen@househoneys said...

As I read through your lovely post, I imagined a little girl dressing up in items discovered in the trunk. I imagined a young man surfing in the beautiful Maldives and making the wise decision that a seashell was more valuable than binoculars, and I imagined a mother and daughter scurrying about in the hustle and bustle of NY and visiting the landmark Fishy Eddies and finding the perfect souvenir...one that is useful, beautiful AND meaningful.

These are not just things. They are our lives., and yours has been blessed with love and good times Carol.

Carol Z said...

Great post. I have lots of meaningful. They have a corner of my heart and I am filled with memories when I look at them.

Marcia said...

Carol, I've missed visiting Art and Sand and taking in all the inspiring glimpses of your cottage by the sea. It's as bright and colorful as when I last visited. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us.
xoxo's

Ivy and Elephants said...

Everything you have is beautiful!!!
And so beautifully displayed.
Hugs,
Patti

Susan said...

I have almost nothing from my family in England, Perhaps I'll go on a bit of a treasue hunt when I'm there next month. From the Canadian side of the family, my dear MIL's apron hangs in the kitchen-everyone wears it.

Leslie Harris said...

Oh Carol, I loved everything about this post. I felt like I was right next to you while you pointed out your sentimental pieces. I always find it so fascinating to hear the stories attached to one's favorite objects. And I didn't miss your mention of being married almost 43 years. Wow, congratulations. I hope you're having a great time at your craft event. I sounds so interesting I hope you share your experience with us.
xo
Leslie

CatieAn said...

I am just getting caught up on my blog reading since we were on vacation. What a beautiful and meaningful post.

Laura Lane said...

I like it all! You've got a wonderful homey bright and cheerful style.
Thanks for "talking back" to me at Harvest Lane Cottage.

Laura

Laura Lane said...

I like it all! You've got a wonderful homey bright and cheerful style.
Thanks for "talking back" to me at Harvest Lane Cottage.

Laura