Because Memories Are Meant to be Shared

January 20, 2021 by University District

Meaningful Decor Reflects Your Own Unique Life Story!


With a new calendar year comes a chance for us all to reflect on the past. Letting our minds cast back to good times can fill our hearts and minds with a warmth and joy that only we can each personally know.


That being said, special times, people and pleasures can be shared in and around your home to create a domestic space that is unlike any other, all year long!


Why not share your memories in creative ways that introduce visitors to who you are and can even serve to remind yourself of who and what matters most in life, every day?


Personalizing your home may be the top design and decor trend of 2021! But how can you decorate with memories and not fall into a trap where your home looks dated — or worse –cluttered and overwhelming?!


Memories Matter


Homes by Avi Manager of Show Home Selections and Presentation Julie Punter weighs in on the topic with some super suggestions for how to decorate your place with memories in style.


“Creating a space for memories in your home matters now more than ever,” she says. “People are realizing and coming to appreciate — crystal clear — what is most important in life. That includes what they want to surround themselves with at home.” She agrees that starting the new year by honouring what makes us unique and showing it off in our homes is an excellent next step —  after reassessing, decluttering, and reflecting on what is important.


“Memories can be more than just a box of things you want to keep in a closet or attic. There are lots of ways to display them in style.” So let’s kick off 2021 with some fun decor touches that bring your memories to life and make your space stand out like no other can. After all, University District is a unique Calgary community that fosters a sense of home, pride and personal style. Try a few of these tricks and projects!  When the time is right you can invite people to enjoy your home and celebrate positive memories with you, to generate happy vibes in creative ways.





Your Lair. Your Flair!


Home decorating expert and 19-year Avi design professional, Julie advocates for bringing photos to life in innovative ways. Here are her top five photo display tips for 2021:


1. A Gallery Wall That Has it All!


Display your photos? Absolutely. Rather than surfaces cluttered with faded pictures in umpteen styles of dust-gathering frames which can just be “too much,” pick the special ones and have them re-printed in black and white or sepia tones and arrange them on a feature wall like a gallery would. They won’t get tired this way!


2. Minimalism and Memory Books.


Book displays are always on trend for bringing personality and warmth, depth and character to your decor. Julie suggests taking this one step further by crafting photo books of your memories bound in the same color for a monochrome style statement. We promise you that these books won’t stay on the shelf for long — they are a wonderful way to remember and share your stories in style.


3. Shelf Life!


Finding a frame you love, an image that means a lot to you and displaying it on a shelf, is one step to bringing character and personality to your place. But Julie suggests taking this one step further by complementing the picture with other items — that relate or not — to offset the picture and layer on the charm.  Think about a starfish you picked up in Florida, a special polished river rock from Banff, or a hand-me-down Medalta vase from Grandma with a sprig of lilac or bunch of pussywillows.


TIP: “Granny-chic is a thing for 2021 and hopefully beyond!” says Julie. “Inherited treasures are to be coveted and displayed this year, not tucked away! Quilts to dishes, keys to antique curios, display what means something to you in a montage.”


Have you seen August at University District? Its 107 units pay homage to Calgary’s urban landscape with sophisticated architectural design and an expansive list amenities. One- and two-bed condos offer den options, private underground parking and stylish design. Plus, quick possession is possible! Check it out here!


All the Senses… Including a Sense of Style!


We have covered photos — and a sense of sight — but there is more. Let’s uncover ways to treat and enlighten all the other senses in and around home in ways inspired by memories of your travels, family milestones, pets or personal successes.



How about capturing and playing a collection of meaningful audio clips — baby’s first words, the soundtrack from your childhood musical theatre debut and favorite songs that spark happy memories — from your phone, cast onto a mobile speaker using Bluetooth. This innovative use of digital technology that can easily integrate into your home.



Food-related memories are the best! How about displaying favorite recipes written in calligraphy and framed or having a customized tray or dishware made that features a stand-by recipe so you can remember it everyday? Julie adds, “ I have seen recipes transferred onto wall canvases and mounted in kitchens for great nostalgic-but-modern effect.”



Tactile memories are no less impactful! We love the idea of raiding the closet of a special man in your life to repurpose cotton shirts into a bed or lap quilt. This homey touch may not shout “look at my memory” but it can evoke feelings from past hugs or special dates when they wore this or that. Another notion is to have a fun image of someone who you love to snuggle with printed on a blanket and pull it out when you miss them most or accent your patio chair with a throw that serves a double purpose — to keep you cozy and spark memories.



Maybe it’s a nostalgic brand — like funky-1970s LemonUp shampoo for the shower — or an old-school fragrant flower like freesia in a vintage vase or Hawaiian-honeymoon inspired coconut room spray that evokes familiar, fond memories. Whatever sparks your notions of the past, don’t neglect scent as a way of enjoying those moments by bringing them to life once again at home.




We have oodles of ideas for staying organized and sorting through your things to find the true treasures. Let’s get busy!


Repurpose with Purpose!


One of our favourite ways to hold on to items in the “maybe” pile when decluttering your home is to find creative ways to salvage memories and flex your artistic side at the same time. Here are three fun eco-happy ideas for decorating with memories in mind!


1. Fits Your Home to a Tee!
Have a favorite few from your old t-shirt collection? How about crafting a colourful braided rug? Check this out! 


2. Mug Shot!
Too torn to donate that odd mug you loved from your first corporate job or from mom’s old china pile? Turn it into a candle! All you need is some liquid wax, a wick and scented oil (if you’d like a scented candle). 


3. Fancy a Good Read?
Grandma’s passed-down brooch need not hide in a box. Add a splash of panache to your bookshelf displays by simply securing them to a piece of ribbon that matches your decor palette. Be reminded of those days grandma dressed up with pride, every time you reach for a read!


4. Container Yourself!
Julie from Avi loves the idea of bringing collections out of the closet and into special containers — like beautiful bowls filled with items that harken memories — and displaying them. Or storing keepsakes in stylish boxes that stay accessible rather than in a locker or under the bed. If memorable things are contained, they are handy and can look great as a part of your decor.


5. Put it in Print!
Create a teatowel to display that features a copy of a handwritten favorite recipe — gingerbread, cocktails, you, name it. Companies like https://www.spoonflower.com/ make it easy to upload your designs and print them onto fabrics and more. What better accessory for your kitchen?


Tip: Keeping your keepsakes safe — when not on display — is important. We don’t want to look back and regret not taking care of or losing personal items. Consider archival sleeves for photos, keeping moisture levels even in storage containers and backing up photos into the cloud.


Looking Ahead!


What times we have lived through this past year! We hope everyone in our community has found solace in warm memories, takes some time to ponder and present them at home in style and looks ahead to all of the new memories yet to be made.

Do you have a memory you have on display at home you would like to share? We love your stories and pictures. Let’s share and celebrate good times, treasures and our U/D spaces! Follow and share at University District on Facebook, @udistrictyyc_ on Instagram and Twitter, too!

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