We spent the weekend spring cleaning the house and garage, everything indoors was dusty and cluttered and the garage was the definition of a disaster. Last year, we’d brought home from Matt’s grandmother’s estate furniture and boxes of belongings and we’ve been housing it in our garage, slowly distributing the possessions to relatives.
I try not to be too sentimental about my own material things since they can get lost or destroyed, and when I die someday I’m not taking them with me. But some of my things possess meaning because they were a gift, are attached to a special memory, or belonged to someone I love.
As I was sorting through the last two boxes of her things, I came across a charming little pot. What was so interesting about this particular pot was that I had been casually looking around for a chinoiserie ceramic version for an orchid, nothing cheap looking, one with intricate detail and personality, and there to my surprise in that last box of possessions sat the prettiest little pot there ever was with no indication as to whom it should go to. At that moment, it was if it winked at me.
Grandma Verna labeled all of her things the last few years of her life, jotting down the origination since she had kept only the special treasures from her travels. Most everything had a note about the source and who she wanted to have it. She and her husband had traveled all over the world, Europe, Africa, India, etc. and she kept journals of her travels, ones we brought out from time to time to read to her but not that it was necessary, her mind was as sharp at 103 as it was at 53 and she could recall every detail she had written down in those journals from fifty years before.
The pot had no note attached to it so I decided to adopt it and make it part of the collection of things she had already intended find their way into our living room. Grandpa’s piano. Artwork from their 1978 trip to India. Their Swiss gold LeCoultre Atmos clock from the 1960s.
The find inspired a spring refresh in the living room, it’s the first room you come into when you enter our home so I like it to be bright and welcoming, elegant yet casual. I swapped a few things around from shopping my house, like the wing back chair that sat upstairs.
I brought in some of my old favorites, the white sculpted urn, the fretwork canister. I also added a few new things, the chain link mirror I ordered from Lamps Plus and a few accessories found at HomeGoods such as the navy geometric pillows and the orchid pot on the mantel.
Matt is an orchid whisperer and his grandmother was one too, she had the most beautiful orchids all over her home, many gathered on top of her credenza and in bloom throughout the year. Whenever we would visit and comment on their beauty she would say “Never over water!” and “Find them a happy place!” (in filtered light).
When I was a little girl, calla lily plants grew outside my bedroom window in the side yard of our house, we’d run past them when we were playing and my sister and I could see them if we leaned out the first story window in our shared bedroom. Big bunches of them even in in mini form remind me of my childhood home.
I bought a few orchids at Trader Joe’s on Saturday, they have so many inexpensive exotic varieties. That beautiful blue vase filled with cherry tree clippings from our yard was also from HomeGoods. I wish I could claim it was DIY but it’s not, how cool is the drippy paint effect? Three of the four art prints I created on my own, the abstract is from Minted.
A trio of pillows found their way to sofa across from the mantel, the diamond Ikat is from Joss & Main purchased a few years ago, the medallion pillow I found at Pier One.
All of it inspired from a little pot that made its way into my life, my new treasure. A reader shared this is a classic pattern, Mottahedeh’s Tobacco Leaf pattern.
Isn’t it funny how certain flowers remind you of things from the past just like calla lilies remind me of my childhood home. I’m curious, is there a certain flower that you attach to a memory from your past? I’d love to know! …