Ideas For Memorializing Loved Ones In And Around Your Home

The concept of home means different things to different people. Many homeowners consider it to be a sanctuary for refuge and security — a place to retreat during difficult times in order to heal and gather strength. For homeowners grieving the loss of a loved one, they may find comfort and healing by displaying commemorative items of family and friends that have had an everlasting impact on their lives.

Would you like to pay homage to someone special, who helped shape the person you are today? Below are some ideas on celebrating the loved ones that are now gone but never forgotten.

Start with Personal Recollections

When commemorating someone, your personal recollections of him/her are key. What memories, experiences or characteristics about that person instantly come to mind … and bring a smile to your face? Use those comical encounters and vibrant memories to elevate a simple home decoration to something more complex, meaningful and wonderful.

Say It With Pictures

Displaying photos is a time-honored tradition for venerating a loved one. Snapshots of a warm smile or familiar eyes can quickly open a floodgate of special memories. Framed images on a mantel, bedside table or living room wall are all wonderful tributes. If counter display space is limited, try transferring a portrait onto canvas, which can turn the simplest shots into a museum-ready piece of art. You can create a photo canvas yourself, using HGTV’s do-it-yourself (DIY) guide, or you can upload images and order canvas finishes through most online photo services.

Speak Volumes

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a grouping of family photos can become a library of cherished history. If you’ve inherited a trove of vintage family photos or have sentimental pictorial gems sitting in dusty albums, consider using them to create unique visual celebrations of cherished loved ones. BuzzFeed has some great DIY tips for displaying a collage of photos, such as hanging Polaroids from a tree branch, making memento flower vases using PVC pipes and photographs, or slipping old photos into decorative jars “ship-in-a-bottle” style. Better Homes & Gardens also has ideas for transforming everyday items into wonderful photo showcases, like turning old books and clocks into picture frames, mounting old photos onto decorative plates and silver serving trays, and using an old window frame to display multiple images.

Celebrate Landmarks

If traditional portraits aren’t your thing, consider framing a photograph or drawing of a landmark that was special to your loved one. You can get creative with a snapshot of a city population sign, a rendering of the church where a wedding occurred, a snap of an old family home or a shot of the street sign where your loved one once lived. Do you share a collegiate alma mater or a devotion to the same sports team? If so, search online for framed campus photographs or sports paraphernalia that would add a perfect, commemorative touch to your home.

Plant Roots

Another meaningful way to memorialize someone is to plant some new roots in your home’s garden. A tree or flowering bush is a perfect metaphor for the renewal and beauty that life can bring. If you happen to know a tree or plant that was a favorite, then pick a spot in your yard and dig in. If you have access to actual clippings from their garden, all the better! A beautiful magnolia tree, a vibrant rose bush, a fragrant gardenia plant, or a sweet forget-me-not flower patch can serve as vivid, living memorials for a special person, as well as a reminder to you of the loveliness that life can still bring.

Showcase Hobbies

Hobbies play a large part in our lives, as how we spend our free time helps define who we are. Displaying reminders of someone’s passions and hobbies can be a touching way to commemorate them. Do you have your great aunt’s quilt folded away in a closet? A pair of knitted baby booties that your grandma made for you to wear on your way home from the hospital? Or your dad’s secret bean soup recipe? Incorporate your loved ones’ favorite pastimes into the fabrics of your home by hanging quilts, displaying original woodcraft pieces, encasing cherished books, framing beautiful needlepoint, etc. If you have a collection of family recipes that you’ve used to spice up your kitchen, check out Martha Stewart Living for some creative ways to make and share a beloved family cookbook.

Give Collectables A Second Life

Showcasing someone else’s collectables can give a second life to a piece of family history, while also serving as a reminder of those who cherished it before you. Some popular ways that homeowners honor their past by bringing it into their present include displaying antique dishes in a hutch, adorning a dining room table with vintage linens or framing a completed coin collection. When displaying some more unique inherited collectables, like an expansive album collection, tiny figurines, an array of teacups or a collection of first-edition novels, open shelving and blank walls can become your best friend. With thoughtful precision, you can quickly create a wall gallery or shelf display of meaningful treasures.

Remember A Pet

The loss of a pet can be as devastating as the loss of a human loved one, so we think it’s just as important to find ways to memorialize your four-legged friend. Celebrate your pet by hanging a portrait near his/her favorite spot in the house. Also, if your beloved critter liked sitting on the couch, consider including a custom pillow or blanket in remembrance. However you decide to mark your pet’s passing, having special reflections within your home will help you honor the memory of that irreplaceable furry member of your family.

Recovering from the loss of a loved one is a deeply personal journey. We hope your healing can be made better by adding some sentimental tributes into your home.


From the PrimeLending blog by Mandy Jordan