Heirloom Cookbooks as a Centerpiece for Coffee-Table Decorating

We all value family, from time spent together to the precious objects that have been passed down from generation to generation. We often become aware of the importance of our family ties only during the holiday season, when we’re able to gather together. Those tradition-rich get-togethers offer a flood of warm memories from throughout our lives.

Nowhere are these memories more closely tied than to our kitchens and the food we produce within them. Does your family have a family cookbook? Ours is nearly three-inches thick, complete with recipes for the holidays and beyond. These heirloom recipes cover everything from appetizers to entrees, salads to desserts. Having them well-organized into chapters makes this more than just a nostalgic reference, however. It makes it exceptionally practical.

The value of the recipes would make this a worthy heirloom to display. But its added value comes from the notes included as part of the family recipe book. These notes reference the origin of the recipes, when known, as well as which were personal favorites of extended members of the family. Each recipe becomes, in a sense, a window into a different era and offers a better understanding of our relatives from generation to generation.

Even for those outside of my family, the book is a fantastic conversation piece. Recipes come alive because of the love and history attached to each. Whether it’s a recipe for quiche or bread pudding, it matters little. The critical element is that I know these recipes came from my family and cooking them continues that tradition, allowing me to serve as another link in the chain and ensure the recipes make their way to the next generation.

So how does such an item fit into your design? This rich resource is the perfect complement for your coffee or end table. There is so much more value in presenting this to anyone who visits your house, rather than the traditional coffee-table fare, which, while often visually stunning, has little connection to our lives. It’s a perfect conversation starter and a way to offer guests a window into your family history. And, as we all know, few windows are as enticing as those presented through home cooking.

A cookbook isn’t the only solution. If you have children, printing and framing some of their childhood poems is a great way to add a sense of warmth to your home. Choosing seasonal ones gives you the chance to change them from time to time and reconnect with a specific moment in your child’s life. How you decorate them is up to you, and the frame provides a chance to blend a personal element (the poem) with your preferred design.

We all love to connect with our past. These ideas are great ways to make your design more personal, while still maintaining the flexibility to meet any specific aesthetic goals.