Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Chandelier That Started It All

Edited on 9/18/09: Marie over at Emma Calls Me Mama is having an Heirloom Party and I have decided to revive this old post I did after I first started my blog so I could  join the party and share this crystal chandelier that I hope becomes a family heirloom some day.  If you are a regular visitor to my blog and have seen this post before, I apologize.   You can go here to see more photos and read a current post about my dining room transformation.


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Thinking back, I realize I have always been drawn to frilly and "cottagey" things... roses, lace, teacups, crystal, floral prints, pretty pinks and crisp, clean whites, bead board, sea shells...the list could go on and on. However, my home was always decorated in what I would call a "casual traditional" style.
Four years ago, my mom died after fighting lung cancer for almost a year. About 1 1/2 years later, my dad was no longer able to live alone due to many health issues so he had to be placed into an assisted living facility. It was then that my sister and I were faced with the daunting task of sorting through and cleaning out the home where our parents had lived for more than 40 years...the home my sister and I grew up in.
To say my mom had an extensive collection of crystal would be an understatement. Every year, as far back I can remember, she would receive at least one piece of crystal on her birthday, Christmas, or Mother’s Day.  Compotes, candy dishes, decanters, vases, candlesticks, stemware, lamps … she had it all.   But her pride and joy was a chandelier dripping in 48 heavy crystal "droplets" and multiple crystal swags.
Long story short...the crystal didn't fit my sister's decorating style so she wasn't interested in taking any of it. Since my home is so small, I knew I was going to be limited as to what I would have room for. As much as it pained me to do it, the large majority of Mom's crystal pieces were sold at the estate sale we held. Some of the pieces left over after the sale were donated to Goodwill.
I did bring home the stemware, a few miscellaneous decorative pieces, most of the candlesticks and Mom's beloved chandelier. I was able to find space for most of the decorative pieces in my living room curio cabinet and dining room china cabinet.

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   Just a few pieces of Mom’s crystal

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But for many months, the chandelier remained boxed up and sitting on a shelf in my garage. At the time, it seemed so grand and ostentatious that I didn't know how to make it work in my small, casual home.  Finally, thanks to all of you blogging ladies with lovely cottage style homes, it occurred to me that my home was the perfect candidate for a cottage style makeover and then this crystal chandelier that my mother so dearly loved would fit right in.
So began the process of changing from "casual traditional" to cottage style decor. Now, after being married for more than 36 years, I think I have finally found a decorating style that fits me, our budget, and our home. And I love having my mom's crystal chandelier hanging over my dining room table as a constant reminder of her.
I think she would love it too.

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The Nester is having a  Lampapalooza event.  If you love lamps and lighting fixtures of all shapes and sizes, click on the button below to see all the other participants in this event.



marty39 said...

Such beautiful crystal. It is so nice to have beautiful things that remind us of loved ones. Your chandelier is absolutely stunning. I know you love it every time you see it. Thanks for sharing such family treasures. Hugs, Marty

The Stylish House said...

Hi Shari,
What a special and beautiful makeover story. I can tell your mother’s chandelier is fine quality, but I am sure if it was made from plastic you would consider it priceless. I am happy you are enjoying your retirement and decided to switch to a decorating style you have always been drawn to. ~Cathy~

Happy To Be said...

Oh Shari its just a beauty my glad you made room for special it was you Mamaa's thats the best kind of treausure's my friend...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

Isn't it funny how we live so long with a style that we are truly not in love with? Glad you finally found the style that you love (I too love cottage style but don't have a lot of it in my home). And it is extra nice that you can love your mom's chandy every day & remember her. Thanks for sharing your story. It was very touching.

Kristy said...

**gasp** - this chandelier is BEAUTIFUL! What a precious memory of your dear mom.
Blessings ~

Sandra~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

Hello Shari, First let me say I'm so sorry to hear about the lost of your mother. OMG, your mom did have beautiful pieces just by looking at the photos. I can't even imagine the other ones you gave away. My mom also had many crystals items and I split them up with my sister after her passing. I am so happy you kept the pieces you did, because they do look good mixed with a variety of styles. The chandelier is a amazing piece and it would even look good in your stylish living room too.

Have a Wonderful Day-

Scrappy Girl said...

Everything is so gorgeous! Glad I stopped by!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Your mom's crystal looks so pretty all together like that! It's much more dramatic when it's all together!!! I love the chandelier!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! Most of the china in my hutch is from my mother too. My mom passed in 1991 and my dad in 1994. Not a day goes by I don't miss them. But when I look at their things that I was able to keep (and that they loved) it makes me happy. I see you have two German Shephards. We had a beautiful german, German Shephard, Dusty, for 7 years. We lost him to bone cancer over 20 years ago. He was the nicest dog. We have been married 35 years as of May 25th. I loved your lovely pink Birthday pillow too.

I hope to start a blog soon. I have drafted one up but haven't had the nerve to publish it yet.

Teacup Lady (Sandy)

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

Teacup Lady Sandy...Thank you for the nice comment. I hope you come back and look at these comments because I'd like for you to email me at mycottageofbliss(at)yahoo(dot)com. so I can email you.

Sonia ~ Vintage Rose Designs said...

Wow, that chandelier is just like my mother's. It hanged in our bedroom. I didn't think much of it when I was young but now, that I own my own home and decorate in cottage chic, I keep remembering that chandelier and how it may have something to do with my affection for the style.
Love the post.

the queen said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Lovely pieces, especially the chandelier

blushing rose said...

Breathtaking pieces .. wonderful warm sparkling memories for you. You are so fortunate to have these. I cannot get enough chandeliers. TTFN ~Marydon

Anna See said...

This is so neat! I am so glad you found your decorating style and how PERFECTLY it meshed w/ your dear mother's chandelier. Wow.

Sares said...

Isn't it amazing the ideas you can get from all the creative bloggers out there. Just think what a tragedy if your beautiful chandelier had sat in that box any longer! I think it looks wonderful in your dining room and all of your Mother's crystal is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us, it was all new to me!

Jo said...

What a beautiful chandelier Everything looks better w/ prisms!......

common ground said...

What a great beginning to your lifestyle "makeover"! The chandelier and the crystal pieces are just gorgeous. Your mom would be thrilled I'm sure, seeing them loved and used in your own home!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

GM Sharri, I said it before and I'll say it again just a beauty my friend...How special that it was your mama's and Sister didn't want it...May you have a great weekend my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Alyssa Barnett said...

What a great way to remember your mom - and its a beautiful piece!


Ashley @ AshleysBusy said...

Your chandeliers are pure gorgeousness. Love all of them!

Brenda said...

What gorgeous things! I'm so thrilled you found a place for them in your home. And it changed the whole way you decorate! I would be proud to have any of them. Lucky girl you!

Sandi@ My Yellow Door said...

Your crystal is gorgeous and so is your chandelier! A beautiful way to remember your mother. Oh my, but I do love crystal chandeliers! Thanks for sharing yours.


Mary said...

I never tire of seeing your beautiful things, Shari, especially the chandelier. Your crystal and china pieces are are so fortunate to have family heirlooms that have been passed to you, and that you can pass on to your daughter. They before more priceless as the years go by. Thanks so much for sharing them again!


Vintage Junky said...

What a beautiful chandelier! It is so nice that you have found a special place for all your mother's lovelies!


Yellow Rose Arbor said...

The chandy is so beautiful! I have one similar, but it isn't an heirloom. What a wonderful collection of crystal pieces your mother had.

(I'm in FL too, east coast)

Marie said...

Oh my heavens, Shari - those crystal pieces are beautiful! And I love the chandy. So fabulous. I'm so glad you have these things of your Mama's to enjoy!

Thank you for joining me for the party!


daylily777 said...

Wow , that is stunning! Such a great piece & a wonderful heirloom.