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The significance of sentimentality




Sentimental furniture holds deep connections to memories and loved ones. These pieces may not always be on trend, and their owners may not like their style but, as we see in the stories below, their sentimental value outweighs their aesthetic challenges. 


Please note, I've used aliases to protect my clients' privacy. 

 

Story 1

Eloise has a small antique writing bureau. She asked me to fix one of the hinges so the top could be functional again.  She shares, "I used to play a card game called malice and spite with my grandmother on it when I was really very young (and I remember cheating). It’s not that I don’t like it, more that if it didn’t have the sentimentality, I wouldn’t keep it as it doesn’t really work with the style I am trying to use, as I refurbish my house. But I don’t think I could ever really get rid of it." 

 

Story 2

Chris has a swan-shaped toy which he and his brother would sit in when they were both very young. He recalled that it had been made by one of the workers on their dad's farm, who did some creative woodwork. The toy is kept in Chris’ brother's garage - Chris says, "it's not that finely designed, but we haven't the heart to get rid of it."


Chris, aged approx 18 months old, and his swan toy. Circa 1959. 

Story 3

Sara owns a dark wood hall table. She mentions that the table really isn't her style, but her father had it next to his armchair to hold his cup of tea (hence the rings, she says), in every house he lived in. "It’s how I picture him when I remember him."  

 

The table is on my project waiting list – Sara wants to keep the table, but the water rings can go! 

 

Story 4

Josie owns a dark oak dresser which belonged to her grandparents. "It's not particularly well made and it's definitely not fashionable. But I can't part with it..." 


She recalls one of her earliest memories - her grandfather sitting at the dresser, hand-colouring black and white photos he'd taken (Josie notes, at this point, it was a thing people did until colour film came in). "I was chatting away to him, must have been about 3 years old, and I remember him getting a bit frustrated that I was distracting him! But it's a nice memory even so." 

 

Story 5

Apparently, the love of furniture can run in families. My aunt has a small Victorian nursing chair, which she thinks belonged to her great grandmother. She tells me, "it doesn’t really fit anywhere but I keep it because grandma [my aunt's mother] always had it!" 

 

These stories beautifully illustrate how sentimental furniture pieces hold significance, keep memories, and continue legacies. Thank you to everyone who shared their personal stories - it was an absolute pleasure to read them, and to learn more about the significance that sentimentality plays in our lives. 

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