The Art Institute of Salt Lake City: Home Heirlooms

Terri Ryan, Interior Design Instructor at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City and professional Interior Designer gives helpful hints on making your home even more special.

1. Proudly Display Grandma’s Photo

Bring pieces into your design from your mother, grandmother, even great grandmothers and fathers who have a special place in your history – photographs, linens, dishes, quilts, recipes, books. All these items when placed in a room will not only add character, but will also provide a visual that will prompt discussion about the individuals with your guests and own children.

2. Start a Home Evolution

Homes designs should evolve into meaningful space. It’s ok to bring pieces into your home’s design that are older or don’t necessarily match with your current fixtures. Not everything has to match. When you bring pieces into the home that have meaning, like a quilt draped over a couch or a rocking chair that belonged to your great aunt, you will find they begin to complement your existing pieces like you didn’t think possible at first. Heritage pieces can work with newer and will make way for stories.

3. Discover Your Design Roots

Try adding some multicultural design in your home by bringing in pieces from your family’s historical country of origin. If your ancestors came from Italy, bring some Italian pieces or influence into a room. You’ll be surprised how you will start to gravitate toward those things because they are a part of your history. You will in turn pay tribute to those generations before you and provide teaching opportunities for your children to learn more about their heritage.

4. “It’s Not About Bob”

Don’t be afraid to try something different. Each home is unique to the family living there and dynamics of the design will vary from family to family. Find what design suits your family and don’t be afraid to do it. Pieces that have meaning to you may not have the same effect on your guests, but they don’t live in your home – you do. Help them to appreciate your heritage pieces by sharing stories about the items and family members you inherited them from.

5. Edit Your Space

Don’t be afraid to remove things that don’t serve a function or have a deeper meaning in a room. Remove that barker lounger to make way for a rocking chair. You will remember your loved ones as you walk into spaces with pieces of their memory in them.

About The Art Institute of Salt Lake City

The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, located in Draper, Utah, is part of the nationally recognized network of Art Institutes with 40 locations across North America providing an important source of design, media arts, culinary arts, fashion and fine arts professionals to the marketplace. The Art Institute of Salt Lake City expects to make an important contribution to the economic growth and social well-being of the area that it serves, providing higher education opportunities that prepare skilled graduates to successfully enter into the creative arts professions they choose. The Art Institute of Salt Lake City is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT) as a branch of The Art Institute of Las Vegas. For more information on classes at the Art Institute of Salt Lake City, call (800) 978-0096 or visit the school’s Web site at

About Terrie Ryan

Terrie has been a professional interior designer for 30 years. In addition to being an instructor in New York and now at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, she is a professional interior designer and Feng Shui practitioner with her own company, Synergy Art and Design. She has a degree from University of North Carolina in interior design and a master’s degree in interior design with emphasis on sacred space. For professional interior design consultation, call her at (801) 293-8821.

Classes begin August 21! For more information go to

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