Using Things You Cherish, Every Day…Including Sterling Silver

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(ABOVE) In this 1951, two-bedroom cottage, the owner liberally uses and displays her well-loved, monogrammed sterling silver.


I will never forget the first gift my husband ever gave me.  It was 30 years ago, and we’d been dating for less than two months.  He’d spent the Christmas holidays with his family up north, and when he returned to Florida he presented me with the most lovely Christmas present.  It was two crystal Lalique candy dishes.  I loved them so much, I promptly wrapped them back up in their tissue and boxes and put them away for “safe keeping”.  I had a cat, I reasoned, and these were too precious to risk being broken by her.

I discovered the dishes years later, after a move, and finally made the decision to take them out of their tissue paper and boxes and put them on display in my (locked) dining room breakfront.  (Now I had two parakeets, two cats, and a rambunctious dog.)  At least it was a start.

My predilection for caution over pleasure is one of the many reasons I love the home of Robyn Pfister Griffin.  Unlike me, she does not worry if something she loves might dent, scratch, tarnish or break if she actually uses it–or displays it in a high-traffic area.  I featured her 1951, two-bedroom cottage in September (see it here).

In today’s post, I show you the delightful ways she incorporates her monogrammed sterling silver into every room of her home–even the kitchen and bathrooms.  She pays no mind to an object’s original intended purpose.  Each item is used the way she likes–and the result is so pretty.

I asked if she has trouble with the silver tarnishing, and she said she doesn’t; that she simply wipes each piece periodically and puts it back out again.  (Why didn’t I ask what she wipes them with?)

I love looking at her collection again, because it inspires me to want to use my own cherished things more often…eventually. ~Janis Lyn Johnson


(BELOW) Robyn displays her monogrammed silver trophies all over the house–some won by her during her equestrian days.  Here, one is perched on a cabinet in her dining room. (All photographs are screen shots from a lifestyle video I produced in 2000.  I wish I could show the video here, but the format isn’t compatible with YouTube.)

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(ABOVE) In the dining room, sterling silver trophies and vases are displayed both empty and with plants and flowers.  (BElOW) In the living room, some of her sterling silver picture frames.

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(ABOVE)  In Robyn’s kitchen, antique crystal and sterling silver jars, originally made for tobacco, now hold candy and coffee.

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(ABOVE) A 100-year-old sterling silver basket is perfect for African violets.  (ABOVE AND BELOW) The sterling silver base to a long-ago broken whiskey flask keeps the stopper for the kitchen sink.

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(ABOVE AND BELOW) In the master bathroom (with original 1951 cabinet and sink), makeup brushes nestle in sterling silver trophies, while small canisters and bowls corral lipsticks and lip liners.

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(ABOVE) I view an antique crystal and sterling silver jar in the master bedroom.  (BELOW) Robyn Pfister Griffin and I, in 2000–and her gorgeous sterling silver tea and coffee set.

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