Our homes are representatives of our design aesthetic, but also may incorporate a nostalgic element from our personal histories. Instead of tossing out childhood toys, I admire a designer's ability to incorporate keepsakes and memorabilia within a sophisticated style. Such objects add a touch of whimsy and quirkiness to even the most elegant or mature space.
Examples shown above, left to right:
1. This silk-screened print, entitled "The Fall" (Nov 2009) by Dan McCarthy is coupled with a dinosaur toy that was a memento from a childhood trip to the La Brea Tar Pits. Pairing the print with the plastic figurine draws attention to the very subtle depiction of dinosaurs running in the woods on the print.
2. I have always been a collector of porcelain deer and horse figurines and was delighted to find that my obsession is shared with Shauna & Stephen of Something's Hiding in Here. I paired the little animals with modern Polaroid artwork to create a woodland corner in the kitchen.
3. This robin's egg blue sewing machine was my first foray into fiber arts as a preteen. My current business is centered around Do-It-Yourself crafts as modern art, and I proudly display my first piece of crafting equipment in my living room, as a homage to my chosen profession, and the journey I took to get there. The blue pops within the white background, and creates a magnificent conversation piece.
4. Like most interior designers, I would avoid displaying a stuffed animal in an adult's room, but this cluster of bedroom art pieces includes a framed photograph of my childhood best friend, Snoopy the little beige dog. The contrast between a brocade black and white frame, combined with a grouping of other eclectic art pieces brings a childhood nostalgia into every day life, without having to drag out boxes of toys or displaying the actual item.
5. Although I did not photograph this room, it illustrates perfectly the elegant design of a childhood favorite. By placing children's book illustrations in streamlined frames, graphically framed, a kid's story becomes an example of modern, expressionist art.
Images: 1, 2, 3,4 - Andie Wurster, 5 - Kate Wangsgard