Friday, August 22, 2014

Your Family Museum in the Living Room or Family Room

As you walk around your house looking for a place for your Family Museum, sometimes it is hard to visual where it should go and how it should look. Today, there are a variety of ways; bookcases, wall systems, etc., and furnishings you can incorporate into the room you choose, to showcase and protect your family collections. Here are a few suggestions.    
  The Living Room Coffee Table
What an ingenious way to make the humdrum coffee table become the most interesting piece of furniture in your home. Most coffee tables are large and though they perform a functional use and place to put inanimate objects upon, the coffee table can be so much more. It can
become Your Family Museum 

Coffee tables come in a variety of sizes and styles, as seen here by some photos culled from Google images. They are easy to find, but if you have particular requirements for the objects you want to display, it can be custom-made to your specifications. When
designing this type of display unit, consider incorporating a
sliding tray, allowing you to slip it out with ease when placing or changing your family heirlooms or collections. This ability will also let you keep the decor you put on the table to stay put. Lighting and ventilation are important elements to also factor into the design. This type of Family Museum also allows you to change, add to, or remove objects from the display. But you must keep in mind the size and height of the artifacts. The mini-museum can display many objects. You may want to concentrate on heirlooms from one family member or a combination of several pieces of memorabilia that make up an interesting story about the owner(s) of the artifacts.

Now when guests and family members take their seat on the sofa, they can peer down into the coffee table and gaze upon a thoughtfully assembled display of family artifacts. When they want to look closer at an item, you can simply pull open the drawer and slide out the shelf. There are many coffee table designs available online and several companies can create custom-made tables for your needs. What an imaginative way to adapt a means to and end and to engage the humble coffee table for a new use and purpose - Your Family Museum. 

The Family Room Media Centers

In many houses today, there are spaces devoted to entertainment called Media Rooms. When I was a kid, (Baby Boomer), there were no "Family Rooms." 
Rooms like these were down in the finished basement. Also called Rumpus (noisy disturbance) Rooms, where the kids played games, watched TV shows and listen to music. Most commonly, the television (separate from the stero/hi-fi player) was in the living room. The family pretty much watched the same TV shows because there were only three to five major broadcasting stations: ABC, NBC, and CBS. Sometimes bigger cities had their own stations. Where I grew up, we had WGN.

Today, big screen TVs dominate the center of the room, some situated in large cabinets with shelves, fixed to a wall or freestanding. Some screens are set over fireplaces, framed by bookshelves. These shelves hold not only books; they are filled with bric-a-brac (small ornamental objects of interest or sentimental value). Now here is a great place to devote to Your Family Museum. First, take off all the things that are irrelevant. Distribute unrelated items elsewhere in your home. 
Envision what you want to show case, which will depend on the size and amount of shelf space there is. One way to display many items is by creating mini-museums incorporated in shadow boxes (more on this later). By putting together photograph and keepsakes, you create a story about a relative, special event, precious artifacts, etc. The shadow boxes also keep things dust-free and safe. This method will also allow you to move the display easily.

Be it that these areas in the home are called media centers, family rooms, or great rooms, however, by merely changing a bookcase into a family museum with heirlooms, now there is so much more to look at and appreciate. Now when you watch TV and become bored with the show, you can turn the TV off and let your eyes wonder and focus on the family collections and maybe drift off into an imaginable different place and time. What fun! 
Next Post: A Family Museum
in a Guest Bedroom & Home Office


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