The True Value of Heirlooms

Since I was asked to be a part of the 2013 True Value DIY Blog Squad, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting three different True Value stores.  In every single one, my experience has been the same.  When I walk through the doors and begin browsing the aisles, a friendly face comes over to greet me and say hello, then asks if there is anything they can help me find.  Every store is independently owned, so they carry different items, yet every single one oozes with home town pride and friendliness that is a rare treasure to find in a retail outlet these days. 

True Value Marietta, GA-5

I often listen to the Martha Stewart XM radio show where people call in asking for advice, and Martha’s advice is always to find a local hardware store—NOT a big box store—but a small town hardware store with experienced people working inside who are willing to give accurate and helpful advice on what tools are right for which job.  Every True Value location I’ve visited is the epitome of this description, and the knowledge they provide to their communities is invaluable.

True Value Marietta, GA-4

One of my favorite True Value stores so far is the Cobb Hardware True Value store in Marietta, Georgia.  This store has been serving the people of Cobb County since 1932.  It stands in a red brick storefront along a quiet street, overlooking a hillside of military grave markers inside the Marietta National Cemetery.  The cemetery’s history is intriguing by itself, as the original markers date back to the Civil War when Sherman marched on Atlanta.

True Value Marietta, GA

Inside the store, I discovered treasures like these gorgeous potbellied wood stoves that looked straight out of a Little House on the Prairie schoolhouse.

True Value Marietta, GA-6

And bins where nails and screws of all shapes and sizes could be purchased by the pound.

True Value Marietta, GA-2-3

I was excited to find galvanized steel buckets in a variety of sizes, perfect for future projects.  As I went to check out, the store owner joked that it would be smarter for me to get a new roof on my house than to keep buying buckets to catch the drips.  I laughed and explained what I was planning to do with them.  When I asked if I could take their picture to put on a website for True Value Blog Squad they enthusiastically agreed.  I am so honored to be working with a company that understands the meaning of keeping small town America alive.  As a product of small town America myself, it makes me especially proud to be a part of True Value’s DIY Squad.

True Value Marietta, GA-3

I love heading to my local hardware store to find the supplies necessary to repair the furniture or heirloom pieces that I already own rather than buying something new.  And if I discover that my piece cannot be repaired, I would much rather buy a piece of architectural salvage or a junk store items that brings its own piece of history to my home.

After watching this video about restoring family heirlooms I was inspired to restore a family heirloom of my own. Over the years I’ve inherited several pieces of furniture from my grandparents on both sides of my family.  My dining room chairs are from my grandmother’s house in Kentucky, along with this giant dollhouse that I was given right after she passed away in 1993.  Dollhouse restoration collage

As a child I was completely enthralled by this dollhouse, spending hours playing with the tiny furniture and dolls.  When I inherited it at age 15, though, playing with dolls was the last thing on my mind.  So for the last 20 years, this dollhouse has been sitting in my basement, collecting dust.  Since 1993 I’ve been planning a full restoration, and this weekend I finally made it a priority thanks to that inspiring video!  I enlisted Garrett to help me give it a thorough cleaning, a front porch demolition and a new coat of paint. 

Dollhouse restoration-7

He is also helping me sort through all the furniture that has been packed up for twenty years.

Dollhouse restoration

When we removed the front porch I discovered that my Grandma had even put her last name (and my maiden name) right under the mailbox on the front porch.  I had never even noticed those four little letters on the dollhouse before, but I’m going to great lengths to preserve the name on the dollhouse as I preserve it so it will be there for the next generation.

Dollhouse restoration-9

I’m looking forward to sharing this family heirloom with Garrett, and hopefully one day grandchildren of my own who come to visit will spend hours playing with the tiny furniture and dolls.  The thought of restoring this dollhouse to one day be passed down to my grandchildren brings tears to my eyes.  So thank you, True Value, for inspiring me to start this project!  Let the renovations begin!

Dollhouse restoration-10

I urge you to watch this heirloom restoration video and try to make it through it without a lump in your throat, then tell me about your favorite family heirloom in the comment section below.

What are your favorite family treasures in need of restoration?


I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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Comments

  1. That video is amazing! What an awesome message! Love this.

  2. Yes, definitely got teary eyed watching that video! I would have loved a gorgeous dollhouse like that growing up, hopefully you’ll have some granddaughters one day who will treasure it too!

  3. Brenda LW says:

    What a beautiful video!
    Back in 1976, my dad made me a hope chest. He spent hours measuring and looking at pictures of others to get it just right.
    For 37 years, that chest served as a place to store items for my marriage and children, and blankets to keep us warm on cold nights, and it also served as a coffee table for awhile.
    That hope chest has gone through many moves, and it has dents and dings from kids and dogs and the trim that dad put on it is forever falling off, and the handles are outdated but I love that chest and so does my daughter who will be getting it soon.
    That hope chest has a new job for now. In a few short months we will be welcoming our first grandbaby and my hope chest now stores items for our next generation.

  4. What an awesome dollhouse and great keepsake! I wouldn’t say that I necessarily have anything that is in immediate need of restoration, but I have an awesome old chair from my grandparents’ farm, a sewing table that my grandpa made from scratch for my grandma (we used it as a nightstand until recently; now my Cricut lives on in). My most treasured heirloom is a little tin ration container from WWII. My grandpa etched it with a rusty nail while he was in a prisoner of war camp, and it is now in my possession. It is absolutely beautiful with floral/leaf motifs, his initials, and the name and date of the camp. No one else in our family knew it existed except for me. When he passed away and I was asked if there was anything special to me that I wanted, I told them exactly what it was and where it was and everyone was surprised at what it was.

  5. I’m totally a sap but that video really hit home and brought tears to my eyes!

  6. Lovely. Love the video. Love that dollhouse. And I especially love the CAIN. <3

  7. Excellent post! There is something to be said about going to a small-town hardware store vs. big box stores. Totally different experience and I always find some hidden treasures along the way.

    Your dollhouse is adorable and so special. How cool to get to share it with your son.

    And the video….well, the video put my pregnancy hormones on overload. I couldn’t make it through without a tear. Makes me think of the commercial where she gets the refrigerator with the big red bow on it (name that movie!).

    Thanks for sharing, Beth!

  8. Beth, I love your story about the dollhouse and what a family treasure! Our local hardware store burned to the ground about a year ago and now I have to drive about 15 miles to get to an awesome True Value hardware store. Love to wander around in there! My most treasured heirloom is my grandmother’s pie safe and you’ve inspired me to do a post about it.

  9. what a great project and love the video!

  10. Your dollhouse is gorgeous! What a beautiful heirloom Beth! The video brought tears to my eyes. I treasure an old clock that my Dad gave to me before he passed away 20 years ago, even though it doesn’t keep time very well and we always have to wind it up every other day it’s still a beautiful heirloom to me. Enjoy treasuring your dollhouse and it’s memories!

  11. I have a beautiful wooden trunk that needs to have the nasty wall paper in side removed and the stink aired out so that it can be used for storage

  12. Beth! Is it any wonder people like us love dollhouses? Special little spaces to redecorate. Just watched the video, and getting a little verklempt. 😉 Heirlooms are so much more than just ‘things’. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Love the video – and to think, I didn’t understand the importance of heirlooms until more recently!
    Kelly

  14. My grandmother passed away when I was 9, and I was given her dollhouse (similar to this one you have been given) and I will be 26 this year.

    My boyfriends son (8 year old) thinks that the house is so cool! It is still in great shape, but at my mothers house. I have been trying so hard not to make any changes to the dollhouse, because every little bit reminds me of her.

    I love seeing yours, and cant wait to see a “finished product”

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  1. […] It totally scratched my itch for anything fairy related after watching the movie Epic, plus that whole miniature dollhouse obsession that I have.  My mom and Garrett and I had a blast shopping for all of this stuff and putting it […]

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