8 Interior Design Lessons We Learned from Our Mothers

Interior Design Lessons from our Mothers | Homemakers Blog

Mother knows best! Or at least we think so. There’s no doubt that moms can have a significant impact on how we develop our own styles. This Mother’s Day, the Homemakers team is celebrating by reliving some of the smartest, most memorable or just plain funniest stories and advice about interior design and home décor we’ve gotten from our mothers.

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Lesson #1: Don’t be afraid to create your own style

“My mother’s advice was to create my own style! She said I didn’t need to follow what everyone else was doing. This was a great piece of advice as it carried over into other things in life. It was certainly applicable to far more than design application!”

– Suzy E.

Lesson #2: Know when to splurge and when to save

“If there’s one thing my mom taught me, it was when to splurge versus when to save. My mom grew up as a farmer’s daughter and lived a frugal lifestyle, but she knew when to drop some money on investment pieces. When buying for college, she helped me search Craigslist for a $25 desk but I also invested in a $200 futon that I still use for guests in my “grown-up” apartment today. When I buy furniture now, I save up for pieces that I use on the daily like a mattress or sofa. I spend more frugally on décor like accent pillows or wall art that goes in and out of style.”

– Brianna G.

Lesson #3: Add greenery (even if it’s fake)

“When I was growing up, my mom always had lots of real plants as a part of our home. Since I’m better at offing plants than keeping them alive, I bring a little greenery into my home by buying fake plants.

Fun fact – if you break a plant completely off while playing football in the house and then try to cover it up by just reburying it, the plant dies and your mom who is normally really good at keeping plants alive is left wondering what went wrong!”

– Janet C.

Lesson #4: Classic style will always endure (and everyone loves candy)

“My mom’s design style is pretty traditional but without being too heavy. She likes to shop for furniture in antique shops so we have always had antiques and older pieces in the house. My sister and I both prefer older, classic pieces because she always says it will never go out of style. It was also cool to have furniture that had a history. She would offset these timeless pieces with colorful table runners or flowers.

She also always has candy in bowls all over the house. Not old, hard candy that tastes weird. I mean seasonally colorful M&Ms and Hershey’s Kisses. Probably the best decorating accessory ever.”

– Abbie D.

Lesson #5: Change can be difficult but is sometimes necessary

“I grew up in a small town and my mom did not waste money on “unnecessary” decorations. Every room was very simply decorated with one centralized piece of art, a coordinating shelf underneath and matching votives on each end. Everything was very traditional. Throughout my entire childhood we had the same furniture set. We didn’t change things out while it was still good because it was important to be money-conscious. We used the same decorations every holiday and the candles bought were never burned, they were purely decorative.”

“Stylistically, I went the opposite way of what I grew up with. I grew tired of the same traditions. Today I love to switch things up with new pillows, art and accessories. I am always looking around and if I find a piece that speaks to me, it could very easily spark an entire room redesign. It’s so easy to find new and inexpensive accessories so it is easy to continue to grow and change with your home!”

– Dustin R.

Lesson #6: Sometimes it’s best to leave decorating to others

“Unfortunately, my mom has absolutely no style and it’s not a family secret.  Everything would be purple or sun flower yellow if it were up to her.”

– Eric R.

Lesson #7: Stay true to yourself

“My grandma passed this advice on to my mom who passed it on my sister and me: We should always stay true to who we are, what we believe and how we feel, while keeping an open mind to the world around us. I definitely think that plays a lot into one’s sense of style.”

“When it comes to furnishings and accessories, I’m more concerned with buying things I really like versus buying things I think are correct style-wise or how other people will view my home. For as long as I can remember, my mom and grandma have always done that. They buy what they like and what makes them enjoy their home. I hope to pass on this kind of sentiment to my kid!”

– Allison B.

Lesson #8: Style should be fun

“My mother would often buy items that were all meant to be together in a grouping like matching candles, fake greenery and accessories. I secretly called her Miss Match. She would often have a small shelf with knickknacks under a picture. Then on each side of the portrait she would have candle holders with matching candles.”

“My style of decorating is more eclectic; I love to mix and match items.   My mother has always been very supportive of my decorating style and has often gotten me small items to add to my loft. She knows how much I love candles so every year I get candles for my Christmas present. The best advice my mom has given me is to make sure to use a level and buy the items you like and most of all…. have fun!”

– Brandon R.


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