Saturday, August 2, 2008

Grandma's House

We all have vivid memories of our own Grandma's house. Here at HiHo we here people say "oh my Grandmother had one of these" and "this reminds me of My Grandma" at least once a day. I had the pleasure of attending a family gathering last week, where there was mention of my Grandma King. She raised four children and was blessed with 27 grandchildren, she was the mother of my mother. This meant she was also blessed with very large holiday meals in her home. You know the gathering where you were banished to the "kids" table. At my Grandma's house every holiday meal included hot sticky buns for everyone and her best china for the adult table. Her home had a porcelain kitchen sink with a curtain under it, wall metal heat grates, heavy drapes ( with a palm pattern), large colored glass ashtrays, a front porch, garage with a sliding door and a rose garden bordering the neighbors yard. She also had over sized living room furniture that had scratchy fabric, emerald green, burgundy, dark wood, well you get the picture. There was always a full cut glass candy dish and those very small red cinnamon candies in her cupboard to decorate cakes with. I loved to sleep over at Grandma's house, the time spent with cousins was fun. The best part of a sleep over was choosing a flannel gown from the cedar chest at the foot of her bed. I also cheered when she brought out boxes of photo albums. Stories of the past, and lots to look at: fantastic clothes, shots of relatives home interiors, beloved pets, funny stern expressions. Grandma was always accessorized, earrings, necklace, pin, pocketbook, shoes, all matched. Now I realize as an adult that her home was too, a complete look. I was a around eight years old when Grandpa passed, he was a large quiet man who smoked cigar/pipe, wore argyle socks, washed his car for Sunday drives and was dedicated to his church. I'm sure there was much more to the man, but I was young and I only saw him in midst of the holiday crowd. Within a year of his passing Grandma decided to redecorate her room, she really made a pink ruffle girlie room for herself. The featured piece of the room was her dressing table, (where she taught me the right way to file my nails).
I think the most important decorating tip I've learned from reflecting on my Grandma's home is, the importance of our homes having a personality that embodies who we are. I'm sure she would tell you to share it with the people you love, fill your home with memories.
I poured over the pages of books in HiHo's loan library, looking for interiors that might resemble my Grandparents home. I found nothing close, the majority of their furnishings must have been purchased in the forties and our books range from the fifties to the present. We encourage visitors to borrow from our library of decorator books, they are a great source of inspiration. I'm sorry I can't share a photo of the interior of their home, the picture of them together at Alleghany State Park in the fifties says it all.