Finding the Present of your Past: Styling your home with Sentimental Decor


Every home tells a story about who you are and what brings you comfort, and the design choices you make in your own space are how that story is told. Family Day is a time of celebrating your loved ones and the history you have together, making it the perfect opportunity to look to your most meaningful pieces, from antique heirlooms to nostalgic decorations, for inspiration when telling the story of you.


“Steve and I started Polanco over twenty years ago out of a passion to bring more comfort into people’s lives, and watching our family’s business grow to have so much history and significance to us has really given us a sense of comfort in itself,” said Mandy Renfrew, co-founder of Polanco Home Decor. “Just being in the store, it feels so good to be surrounded by such meaningful memories, and the family of staff and clients that have made us who we are today.”



Comfort can mean many things to different people, and the joy that comes from our fondest memories or the ones we love doesn’t belong to any one sense of style. Adding sentimental touches to your space with antiques or heirlooms is a sure way to bring those sources of joy and comfort into your home, no matter your tastes or design preferences.


“One thing that so many of us share is the warmth that we can feel from our fondest memories or those closest to us,” said Mandy. “That warmth is such an important part of feeling at home, so it’s always great to surround your space with reminders and representations of the people or experiences which spark that feeling for you.”



Sentimental value means more than just history and meaning: from vintage family photographs to handcrafted wooden shelves, antique pieces all share a certain irreplaceability, whether in the story they tell or their charming imperfections. This means that the style they add to your space is truly one-of-a-kind, bringing your home together in a versatile way that’s uniquely you.


Smaller pieces can be displayed on tables and shelves, accenting other, more modern decor, while also acting as a reminder of the memories and history associated with them. Making use of more practical pieces, from elegant china to passed-down silver tea sets, lets you enjoy the character of them firsthand, and share or add to their history alongside guests and family.



There’s also design magic to be found in larger, more attention-grabbing pieces, such as grand antique mirrors or classic wooden dining sets and cabinets. Letting these items be the focus of the room, while also updating them with more contemporary design touches like sleek candles or fresh lighting, strikes a dynamic balance that’s part modern, part classic, and all original.



The unique style that a blend of newer, sharper designs and meaningful older pieces can bring to your home becomes even more exciting when the option to repaint or reupholster these items is considered. This allows you to control, down to the detail, just how the history of an antique or heirloom can fit into your current sense of comfort.



Repainting and reupholstering creates an endless array of options when it comes breathing new life into older pieces, while also being kind to both the environment and your wallet. All it takes is the fabrics or colours that fit your tastes to freshen up furniture that may have seen better days or to add a modern twist to a cherished favourite, all while still preserving its sentimental value.


“One heirloom we have in our house is a walnut dresser that used to belong to Steve’s grandmother,” said Mandy. “Updating its look for the rest of our home was as simple as adding a fresh finish of white paint, which we made sure to distress slightly so that we could still allow for some of its authenticity and charm to shine through.”



Whether left untouched or repurposed for the style of your space, the memories and stories that family heirlooms and meaningful antiques bring into your home make them so much more than just a decoration or piece of furniture. Incorporating them into your space is an opportunity to showcase and find comfort in the unique memories that shape who you are.


“Even the most stylish home shouldn’t look like a page taken out of a magazine – you can have the freshest trends in your space, but at the end of the day, it’s those personal touches, the things we love and mean something to us, that make us feel at home,” said Mandy. “One of my favourite parts of design is helping people add the personal flair and unique touches that bring comfort to them into their homes.”