When my husband and I started combining our furniture, there was one piece he was not too smitten with: the upright piano that belonged to my grandparents, which looked right at home in their 1950s living room. It's a beautiful piece, but it demands a lot of space and makes its own design statement. We've since figured out how to make it work.
Pieces like our piano may have been passed down through generations, making them beautiful and, well, very green. They're often heirlooms that carry with them a sense of family history. The only problem? It can sometimes be difficult to work pieces from our past into our current (maybe even modern) decorating decisions.
The best way to make them work in any setting, we've found, is to keep it simple. If you have a piece, large or small, that doesn't quite look at home in your abode, try paring it down. For large pieces, make sure they aren't competing with another large eye-catcher in the room. For smaller pieces, try bringing in one or two items with a similar color or shape to help create a cohesive (but uncluttered) look.
You might have run into this issue before, too—so let us know how you make heirlooms work in your own home.