decorating mementos

By Marilen Faustino-Montenegro of

Decorating your space with sweet reminders of happy moments, traditions passed on, and memories made is what differentiates a house from a home.  Every family has got a story to tell, events celebrated, and accomplishments realized.  A great way to make sure these memories are never forgotten would be to create reminders of them.

We are bound to have these keepsakes at home, kept in the attic or forgotten under a pile of junk.  These can be turned into significant yet beautiful home decor.  So how do you select which ones are worthy enough to be displayed?  I like to follow a few simple reminders:

1. Discard worn out old pieces that can not be preserved. 

Rusty items, faded paper or moldy stuff can go in the trash bin.  You’ll surely find other things to decorate with.  If you absolutely can’t part with something, consider taking a photograph and reviving it in a different way.

2. Keep only one of each set and not the entire collection.

You don’t have to keep all of the pebbles you found by the lake, pick the prettiest and treasure it.  If you collect stamps, the whole collection does not necessarily have to be displayed.  select a favorite and put it in a collage with other things.  This way you display treasured items tastefully.

Now that you’ve sorted your favorites you can be more creative.  There are several ways to display things around the home.  I get a warm fuzzy feeling every time I see my mom’s sea shells and stone collection.  They remind me of the way we often went to the beach when we were kids.  Wouldn’t it be great if our children had something to remember sweet memories by?  Here are a few of my favorite ways to decorate your home with mementos:

1. Make a wall of various framed mementos.

Print and frame your wedding vows, your baby’s birth announcement, your first grader’s first report card.. the list goes on.  The idea is to use frames in different designs and sizes as long as they compliment each other by color on the wall set up you create.

2. Remember memories through nature.

Collect natural elements like sand, tree twigs or stones from family vacations and put them in decorative jars.  This is a great way of bringing nature into the home and it serves a purpose.  Arrange them on a bookshelf or simply use them as centerpieces on coffee tables.

3. Make a family quilt.

We may think of quilting as an outdated way to preserve memories but there are several options these days.  You can have photos printed on to fabric and sew them together.  You could even make a quilt from your baby’s clothes and soft toys.  Sticking to a certain color approach like pastels or all bold colors rather than mixing everything will make your quilt look more timeless.

4. Keep souvenirs from travel in a series of small decorative boxes and display together.

Airline tickets, boarding passes, polaroid  photos, hotel keys and other small remembrances of a family trip can be kept in small boxes and labelled by destination.  The trick is to use coordinated boxes with uniform labels so that they still look pretty.  Arrange them in a bookshelf together with other home decor for a more professional outcome.

5. Make coasters out of your children’s artwork.

Have your kid’s projects scanned and printed then laminated to make coasters or placemats.  Label them with their age and date so your kids have something to smile about when they’re older.

Marilen Faustino Montenegro is an interior stylist and has completed numerous residential and commercial projects in her 10 years of practice. She is also a model and TV personality, having appeared in Tahanang Pinoy on ABC5 as host, Houselife on QTV11 as Co host, and Extreme Makeover Home Edition Philippines on TV5 as part of the design team. Follow her on Instagram @marilenph | Twitter @marilenmonte | Facebook at | Visit her interior design and lifestyle blog at for inspiration on home and design.

Do you have any decorating questions for Marilen? Leave a question the comments section!

Photo Credit: ooh_food via Compfight cc