Repurposing our inheritance

What’s sentimental and sacred differs from person to person.

We know our possessions hold only the meaning that we assign them.

Inherited items present their own challenges. 

How best to honor the person, keep their memories alive and yet not be overwhelmed by what they’ve left you?

Even when we decide what things to keep, figuring out how to incorporate them into our homes can be tricky.

Maybe the piece of furniture fits neatly into your living room, or the picture looks nice in the hall way.

Other items might be more difficult, especially if they aren’t particularly useful or attractive.

If it is important enough to have saved, then don’t just pack it up and stack the box in your garage.

One option is repurposing the items or displaying them in a more creative way.

I only chose a few things from my mother’s estate.

Although I knew I’d never use her china tea cups, nor would I display them neatly on a shelf, I knew that she had, and that they had been special to her.  Enter my hammer, glue and box of grout. 

Now I have a mirror that I display in  my home that is a wonderful reminder and visual presence of her and  the cups.

(I had enough pieces to make one for each of my sisters, who chose not to take

any of the cups)

I have a friend who took her grandmother’s antique beaded purses and put them in a shadow box that hangs in a grouping with old photographs.

And a client who took her Dad’s collection of marbles out of their cloth bags, poured them into tall, clear vases, and is now using them as book ends.

It’s the memories and connections to the people that matter, not their stuff.

Choose things of theirs that resonate in your heart and bring to mind funny, touching moments you shared.

Add those pieces to your home with care and thoughtfulness.


If you need some ideas or inspiration for how and what you could repurpose, or if you just want to see some clever and imaginative projects, check out these web sites: