A hand-crocheted doily from great-grandma. Your first grader's watercolor masterpiece. A collection of sea shells from your island getaway. The ticket stubs from that fabulous Broadway show. Souvenirs of your trip to Africa and a small engraving you picked up at the Art Fair.

These are the objects that mean something to you; they're part of the story of your life. Everyone can relate to these precious items, and everyone has similar items. The question is, what do you do with them? Right now they're probably in a shoebox under the bed or in a file box in the closet. Is that really the best place for them? And if not, what are you going to do with your irreplaceable items?

Objects that have meaning and value of any kind-especially sentimental-deserve to be framed and displayed properly. And the appropriate place to display personal collectibles is in your personal space-your home. Meaningful belongings are what make a house a home. They say, "This is my space, and I'm surrounding myself with the things I love and that are meaningful to me."

Family rooms, dens, bedrooms, studies, game rooms, hallways-these are all ideal spaces to showcase the items near and dear to your heart. A collection of handmade doilies is a wonderful addition to a dining room. They have an elegant feeling that works perfectly in this type of space.

Children's art can go anywhere. Many a famous artist has been inspired by the art of a child, so display yours with pride in a prominent place. A collection of antique hair combs is perfect for the powder room. A display box of grandpa's WWII medals, together with a photo of him in uniform, is an heirloom piece and would work wonderfully in a study.

Do you have a lot of disparate items? Why not group them together anyway? One of the most memorable walls I've ever designed incorporated photos, display boxes of jewelry, antique hankies, war medals, certificates, and sketches all on one wall. It was stunning and continues to be a constant gathering spot and inspiration for guests who love a glimpse into the family's history.

Needless to say, if you care about your personal keepsakes, preserving them means framing them. Some objects, like newspaper articles, will literally self-destruct if not properly preserved. Other items often get damaged, sometimes beyond repair. Nothing is sadder than having someone bring in an heirloom piece that's been irreparably damaged by someone storing it in a cardboard box.

Proper preservation framing of keepsakes like these isn't expensive-it's priceless. Equally important is the continuing enjoyment you'll get each time you view them. Keep your shoes in the shoebox; keep your memories on the wall. AA!