Next Sunday is Mother’s Day – the perfect time to give a heartfelt thank you to the most important women in your life. In my case, it’s my mom. She’s the kindest, most caring and stylish woman I know! If not for her nurturing ways and continued support I wouldn’t be working in design and living my dream.
Here are a few of the many things I’ve learnt from my mom that influence my design principles to this day:
How to Transform a Regular House into a Home
Growing up my dad was in the Air Force so we moved every three years. No matter where we lived both my parents, and especially my mom, made it a priority to instantly transform each house into our home.
I’d help unpack, set things up and tag along whenever we purchased something new, but no matter where we lived across Canada our family, our experiences and each individual person was reflected in the design.
If it weren’t for moving as often as we did, helping my mom decorate our house and my many new bedrooms, I may not have discovered my passion. Ensuring each client is reflected in their design is a principle I pride myself on today in every project I do.
The Importance of Embracing Colour
After years of living in other people’s homes my parents eventually decided to build – another process I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a house they still live in today but it’s evolved a lot over the past 18 years. For the first 10 it was virtually colourless. As a devout lover of beige and white, my mom stuck to this classic palette religiously.
The house was beautiful in that every detail had been considered, but it never felt finished. Eventually, after a little coaxing from me, we re-painted and the house was transformed. The trim and crown moulding popped, the fabrics we used as inspiration pulled each space together and there was a warmth and ambience that was lacking before. From that moment on I swore I’d always embrace colour and it’s become a differentiating element of my “signature style”.
Classic Never Goes Out of Style
Everything about my parents home is classic leaning on French Country. Although it isn’t a style I use often in the city, I can’t help but appreciate its comfort and enduring appeal. My mom’s style is the epitome of classic elegance and it’s an influence that inspires me to incorporate classic elements in all of my projects. Whether choosing a fabric, a finish, a colour scheme, an antique or modern piece of furniture with classic lines, you can’t go wrong with good taste and style. I guarantee it will serve you and future homeowners extremely well when it comes time for resale.
Function and Comfort before Style
If there’s one way to describe my family home it’s inviting. It’s also beautiful, but not in an overdone or unlivable way. Balancing form with function is another lesson I learned from both my parents, my dad being a former Engineer and my mom who’s got a great eye. They taught me “you get what you pay for” when it comes to quality and comfort. As a result I’m always urging clients to invest in functional pieces with classic lines that can work in multiple homes. You’ll never regret purchasing a good quality piece that stands the test of time.
Fresh Flowers Complete Every Décor
My mom loves gardening. She knows the name of every species of flower and somehow, through osmosis, I know most of them as well. To this day when I go home there’s always a bouquet in our kitchen or living room. Nine out of ten times it consists of all white flowers. They’re classy, elegant and timeless – just like my mom! As I’ve mentioned before, plants and flowers add life to our décor so I make a habit of incorporating both when styling my clients homes.
Help Others and You Can’t Go Wrong
My mom is the kindest, most caring and selfless person you’ll meet so it’s no surprise she’s dedicated her life to helping others as a nurse. My dad’s a doctor and has done the same. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my parents it’s the importance of helping others no matter what you do. In my case it’s ensuring people feel comfortable and proud of their homes. It’s important they help us feel our best and reflect the person we are or aspire to be.
In addition to all the wonderful lessons above my mom continues to be my sounding board whenever I’m uncertain about anything in life or design. If not for her patience and advice I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, both personally and professionally.
Next Sunday be sure to take some time and thank your mom for all the ways she’s inspired and helped you over the years.