Monday, February 8, 2016

Rustic Tray Styling & Remembering Grandpa

Last week, I shared a little behind the scenes of how I hide our winter gear in a home with no coat closet or usable mudroom. One important piece to that, is the storage ottoman we keep in the living room. Today, I am showing how I have styled it on top, this winter, with a new rustic serving tray.
My mom gave me this wooden tray, with a blue plaid/flannel insert, for Christmas last year. After I opened it she said it was to remember Grandpa by. My heart ached for a moment, and I had to fight back the tears.

If you came by for my fall home tour last October, you might have noticed I had my grandpa's flannel shirt hanging in the entry way. Since he died less an a year ago, I am trying to keep his memory alive all throughout our home.

Now, every time I look at this tray, I immediately think of him.
This coming March it will be one year since I watched him pass away and leave this world. Such a surreal time. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. I know as we approach the one year anniversary, I will probably have a flood of emotions bringing me right back to that day, which was one of the most heartbreaking I can remember in my 34 years. Keeping his memory alive through mementos is one of the ways that I have tried to heal.

The reason this particular shirt is so special, is because he was wearing it the day my grandmother died. My sister snapped this photo and sent it to me. I was sick with the flu and couldn't go be with him to give him a hug, so it was the only thing I had to hold on to that day. After he passed away two months later, my mother and I were looking over things in my grandparents' bedroom, when we found the shirt.
When it's too painful to have this shirt out, I keep it hung in my closet and sometimes go in just to touch it or linger in the scent to bring him back to me...if only for a moment.
So that is why this simple act of receiving a serving tray for Christmas was so meaningful. It really does stir up emotions and memories of this amazing man.

The color and style is perfect for decorating this winter. It adds warmth and texture to the room...and now also nostalgia. I styled it simply with some rustic, bohemian pieces to coordinate with the style of the living room, including a small cactus, lidded basket, deer antler and a candle. It can easily be changed out as my mood does (or as my children see fit! True story: I found a green haired troll inside that little basket the other day).
Later, I asked my mom where she found the tray and couldn't believe it when she said the Dollar General! And it was only around 5 or 6 dollars. Sometimes it really is the simple things in life that can be the most special. 

I am glad for all of the wonderful years worth of memories that I had with both of my grandparents and I am even more relieved to know that neither of them knows pain any longer and that they can be together again.  Their legacy will always be alive and I hope to honor their memory every day I am given.

Source List:
This list contains affiliate links and some products previously received through brand partnerships. I may receive a small commission for sales made through the affiliate links but have not been compensated in any way for this post.

Rustic Flannel Tray - Dollar General (couldn't locate something similar online)
Wall Color - Glidden "Antique White"
Saddler Leather Sofa - Raymour & Flanigan
Driftwood Bamboo Shades by Home Decorator's Collection - Home Depot
White Faux Sheepskin- Ikea on Amazon
Apache Saddle Blanket - Amazon
Marrakesh Shag Rug - Rugs USA
Tufted Ottoman - HomeGoods (almost identical to this one from Wayfair)

Everything else was likely purchased at thrift stores, antique shops, on Craigslist or are one of a kind finds.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Till next time...
~Alice W.

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