Shelving Memories

>I finished decorating my bookshelves. I did use a few books, mostly vintage ones that I've collected with wonderful titles like How To Be Happy Though Human, Rest And Be Thankful, How To Live. And books with foreign titles that I would love to be able to pronounce.I packed the shelves full of mementos from foreign places; places where family and friends have been, places I hope to one day visit. I wanted each shelf to tell a story. This may be too much visual clutter for some, but I love it!
There are remembrances of Germany, where my husband spent two years on a mission for our church, and of Russia, where my middle son served. There are souvenirs that my daughter brought back from Africa, where she volunteered at a school for the deaf.
Tokens from Holland, Denmark and England are under a cloche, safe from toddler hands.There's keepsakes from the time my daughter spent serving the people in Argentina. One shelf has things from France. When I was in junior high I took French for two years and dreamed of touring Paris. This shelf keeps the dream alive.
I added in photographs and paintings and even old silver trays. The silver trays reflect light back into the room and are a great place to add more personal photos and postcards held on with pretty magnets (the next thing for me to do).
I thought about adding small lamps, but since my boys and their friends spend a lot time in this room, I knew it wasn't practical. That's why there's no pillows on the love seat. The pillows just got their way and ended up on the floor. Instead of letting it make me crazy, I just removed the pillows.
Decorating should include your family's lifestyle. It should be comfortable, inviting, inspiring, stir positive emotions, and create wonderful memories. That's my goal when I decorate. I think I achieved it in this room.