Hand Me Down — Susan Brinson of House of Brinson


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If you aren’t already a fan of the blog House of Brinson, then I suggest you start checking it out. We’ve been slightly obsessed with following Susan and William Brinson on their Instagram account as they share the renovation process of their house (those windows are giving us some serious design envy)! We were lucky enough to catch up with Susan Brinson recently to chat with her about a special item that was passed down to her. Check out the interview to see where it is in her home now!

Hi Susan! Can you tell us about the item?
It’s a hutch from my Grandma Orvis’ maternal side of the family. Her father was from Germany and mother from Norway. This has been in my family for four generations.

Who gave you this item and why?
My Aunt Connie sent me one of those moving PODS from Wisconsin, and the hutch was included. My Grandma passed away many years ago, and my Grandpa died more recently (92 years old everyone, he lived long!). My Aunt had to sell the house and rather than throw everything out, she packed up the POD and sent it cross country to me in New York. It had a settee, this hutch, a rocking chair, and many other family treasures. My Grandma was a list maker and collector. She always bought things in pairs. After going through all her papers and seeing how she really did buy everything in pairs, it kind of gave me this interesting look into her as a person. Although she’s gone, I feel like I got to know her all over again. I’m excited to know the hutch stayed with the women in the family.

Photo: Houseofbrinson.com

Photo: Houseofbrinson.com

How old were you when you received this item? Do you remember how you felt about getting this item then?
I was 37 years old. I was sad this item wasn’t where I remembered it being as a child. You know, I would go in other peoples homes and love looking at their stuff. Especially my Grandma’s sister, Great Aunt Ruth. She collected bells, and had thousands of them. I loved visiting her because it was like a bell museum. When I received the hutch one of my child hood drawings was in the drawer, like it was yesterday. Knowing the hutch was going to be in my house meant realizing those childhood places don’t exist any more. The hutch will have to make its new home here, for the next 100 years.


Where is this item now? Do you use it, or is it on display?
It lives in the second floor hall way. I plan on showcasing collections in the hallways and having many different case goods. This came to me in perfect time to take the spot next to the third floor stair case. We see it everyday, and I love displaying my objects in it. For now I put my collection of dogs (boxers and pit bulls) and my tea cup collection. My Grandma Dewe got me started on the tea cups. I love the ones with three feet.

Do you plan to pass this item to someone else?
I do. It should stay in the family. I always believe objects like this should go to someone who will love and use them. Sometimes we have things because we feel guilty and put them in our basement. I like to use what I have and hope the next owner will do so as well.

Thanks Susan!


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