The Accessories of Motherhood, Part 1

In honor of Mother’s Day, I pay tribute to my mother, my grandmother and the decorating style that I’ve come to appreciate.


My grandmother, Vivian Victoria Irwin Byers, was born in 1900 in North Carolina.  I didn’t have the opportunity to know her well because she died when I was very young.  However, I’ve always been intrigued by her.  She was a dedicated wife and mother of six children {including my mother}.  She was a dignified woman who played the piano and taught music lessons.  In 1946, my grandparents moved into the Washington, DC row house that would remain in our family for over six decades.  My grandmother decorated her home with an eye for detail and playful accessories.


Amazingly, her collection of kitchen plates and whatnots has remained largely untouched nearly 40 years after she died.  My grandmother purchased these ceramic objects from flea markets and thrift stores. She carefully arranged these items to create a display that reflected her love of all things from the farm.




Now, after 63 years, the row house will soon be put up for sale.  I’ll miss visiting the place that has been a hub for so many family dinners and get-togethers.  But I’m grateful that this home has given me great memories and a strong connection to my family’s history.  I’ve also been fortunate to have received lessons on the art of placement from my grandmother.


{A medallion hangs over the archway leading to the kitchen’s eating area.  This is where my grandmother’s collection of farm trinkets has been for many years.}

grandmothers porch_kporter

{This original vintage outdoor chair has been a staple on the front porch for many years.  There is also a matching bench.}


{This portrait of my grandparents hangs in the dining room.  It was painted by my artist uncle.  My grandfather lived to be 103 years old.}

Coming Soon: Part 2,  My mother’s house

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