Old is the new new. Family Heirlooms and why they are so special.

This is a sponsored post for True Value Hardware. All opinions are my own.

Do you have any furniture that you’ve inherited? I have inherited two pieces of furniture from my grandparents. My piano and my bedroom set. (So I guess technically that would be 4 pieces of furniture.)

When I was a little girl I learned how to play the piano on this piano. My mother learned how to play on this very piano when she was a little girl as well.

And now my children are learning to play the piano on the same piano.

When my mom was a child she wanted to take piano lessons so my Papa (my mom’s parents are Mamaw and Papa and my dad’s parents are Grandma and Grandpa) found this used piano and bought it for her. When she grew up she brought the piano with her. I spent many hours as a child and teen at this same piano, and when I grew up my mom gave me the piano. Now my children are learning to play on it as well.

There’s so much history in this piece of furniture knowing that three consecutive generations all fell in love with music at the same ivory keys. At one point I considered painting the piano, but now I think I want to strip it down and stain it again to keep it classic looking.

The other furniture I have is a bedroom set I inherited from my grandparents. My grandparents had the same bedroom set in the same configuration for as long as I remember. They purchased two dressers and a headboard in the 1950s and had them until they both passed.

Here are the dressers. I attempted to refinish them when I was 21, but really had no clue what I was doing. They are on my re-refinish to-do list.

The headboard I turned into a sideboard a few years ago and have never regretted it.

I absolutely love my new sideboard. And the best part? I think of my grandma and grandpa every time I look at it, which always makes me smile. I love the style, how it’s retro (it was made in the 1950s). I love that it is so unique. People ask about it constantly and want one. I love having a piece of furniture that’s a one-of-a-kind.

And fun side-story… the people who purchased our previous home loved the sideboard too and actually tried to write it into the contract to stay with the house. It was the only thing they wrote into the contract. I was worried they would back out of the deal, but there was no way I was parting with my grandparents headboard. Fortunately they bought the house anyway once we explained that it was a family heirloom.

Inherited furniture brings back memories and has a rich history. Brand new furniture is pretty, but old furniture, especially if you give it a new life with some elbow grease and stain or paint, brings a warmth to your home that only old furniture can.

True Value Hardware believes in keeping antiques alive as well. Watch this beautiful video about the the True Value of DIY and keeping heirlooms alive – it got me all weepy thinking about my grandparents and I bet it will make you nostalgic about your childhood too.

I would LOVE to hear about your family heirlooms and the stories behind them. After you watch this short video, comment below about your favorite heirloom. What is it? Who owned it before you? What is your favorite memory of this item? Let’s all swap stories in the comments section below.

*I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. My opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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  1. I have a cedar chest that belonged to my great grandmother, my Grampy gave it to me as a wedding present. He also gave me a dresser which was the first piece of furniture he and my Granny bought when they got married and my Granny’s old rocker. Having these pieces mean so much to me because they are both gone now. Funny how sentimental furniture can be.

    • I think it’s so sentimental because it’s such a staple in our lives. My grandparent’s dressers were in their bedroom from as early as I can remember, so when I see them in my house I am immediately taken back to their bedroom with their white quilt and mirrored closet doors. Ah, the memories. I wish I could see and hug them just one more time…

  2. I have two bedroom suites that belonged to my grandparents. One has ‘modern’ lines similar to yours and the other is Early American. I have since given them to my grown sons, but they are neither one crazy about the ‘orangey finish’, which I totally understand. They wanted me to restain them into a dark stain that they prefer. OH.HOW.I.THOUGHT.ABOUT.THAT!!! After long deliberation, I agreed to restain them darker for them. My grandparents were very practical pieces and probably would have laughed at me for even pausing if it meant that someone would use the pieces. The Early American set turned out STUNNING in the brownish/black stain and my son loved it. The other grouping is ‘on the list’ of projects. The furniture and the sentiment has moved on to the next generation. I absolutely love what you did with the headboard piece!

    • I bet the Early American set is absolutely beautiful! I can just picture it. You can totally finish the other set. Take a deep breath, stock up on caffeine, and get to work! lol

      Thanks for sharing your story. Hearing all these stories is so fascinating to me and keep sparking new memories that I had forgot about.

  3. Stephanie L says:

    Our drysink (now that’s a retro term!) was my grandmother’s. It’s at the top of the stairs and has the most beautiful, one-of-a-kind hardware. Even though we keep Christmas decorations in it, I still expect it to smell like mint since Mom-Mom always kept Andes Crème de Menthe candies in the bottom cabinet. Not that I have a long-term memory for where the chocolate was kept at any given house….

    It had a mirror attached, which I removed and hung in our downstairs powder room. Apparently they used to pour cement behind the glass as an adhesive, because it’s crazy-heavy.

    • I have never heard the term “drysink”. I learn something new every day chatting with you ladies! I know what you are saying about the scents and the memories. I can still smell my grandma’s Aqua-net hairspray – haha! And I had no clue about the cement on the back of mirrors. Interesting.

  4. I can’t get over what a difference a coat of paint made on that sideboard!! Great!

  5. I have tons of heirloom furniture, but the thing that comes to mind first is my “heirloom” crab apple tree. My Great-Grandmother bought it for my Father at least 35 years ago because, as a child he would steal apples from hers. The tree was transplanted when I was in 5th grade and we moved. It was transplanted again to my house about 10 years ago when it outgrew its location at Dads house. Last week my 7-year-old picked a 2-gallon bucket full of sweet little apples off the tree that was purchased by her Great-Great-Grandmother that she is named after.

  6. My fiance’s family owned the farm where the Battle of Sayler Creek, the last major battle of the Civil War, was fought. The dining room table and chairs we will have after we get married were made from trees from the farm, sometime before it was turned over to be preserved as a historic site. We’re both history nerds, so it’s kind of surreal to be sitting there eating pizza and think about that!

    • Okay, you win for best heirloom story! What a rich history! My big claim to fame is that my ancestors owned Zilker Park area in Austin (Barton Springs to be exact) but ugh, they sold it off way before it was worth anything. Darn! And you probably have to be an Austinite to even know what I’m talking about.

  7. I LOVE the sofa table!! What an awesome idea! I have a little clock from my parents that I’ve repainted and an old cedar chest from my great-grandparents, but the piece that is actually the most important to me is the transforming dining table that my husband built. He created it just for me to fit into our tiny house, and it was his first woodworking project (he’s always wanted to be a furniture designer, so this was a big deal for him!). It’s made of poplar & maple and I absolutely adore it! I’m hoping it will last long enough to be considered an heirloom for our family one day 🙂

    Here’s a link if you want to see it! http://www.prettyorganized.com/organizing/design-ideas-diy-projects

  8. Well, yeah, you really made me think about my childhood) Do only family heirlooms can do that? I can’t but stop smiling when I remember my Grandpa’s Pembroke table. I’m not a specialist in all these stuff, but I truly believe this three-parted kitchen table worth speaking about. And I’ll tell you why. My Grandpa got it from my great-grandfather when he got married to my Granny. They told me that they wanted to keep it for future generations and they did (it’s white and large). I’m using it now when we sit with friends in my kitchen.

  9. I had no idea people could write pieces of furniture into the contract to try and take them from you when you’re trying to move. That seems…awkward.

    • Me neither. It was awkward. Our realtor was nervous to tell them no, and I was was like, “I don’t care. They can’t have it.” I did consider for a hot second offering to try to make them another one instead, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Plus, I don’t owe them that. They either want the house or they don’t.

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