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.
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.
Just a few pieces of Mom’s crystal
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.