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What My Mom Taught Me About Design

mothers day

Happy Mother’s Day, moms!  Hope you have an amazing day – you deserve it!

Mom’s teach us so much. About life, about love, about everything. So for this mom’s day – here are 7 things my mom taught me about design.

1. Be bold.

My mother is not afraid of color. She is not afraid of pattern. She is not afraid of a risky decision. For real. There was absolutely no way she was going to put a brown sofa in her living room – way too boring. She HAD to have a patterned carpet somewhere – because, let’s be honest, it’s so much more interesting! Mom’s staple decorating color: orange!  She probably doesn’t even know that, but it’s so true. Orange = vibrant & uplifting!

2. Surround yourself with what you love.

From fruit paintings, to special quotes, to ceramic birds, to pictures of us (her kiddos). My mom surrounds herself with what she loves. It makes her happy, and her space is happy because of it.  Can a space be happy? Uh… yeah!

3. It’s his home too.

Dad doesn’t express his opinions about decor too often – so when he does, it counts. When he said that he preferred we try something new for artwork in the living room – we majorly cut down on the fruit paintings.  When the only thing he really wanted in the living room was a recliner, you better believe we went straight to Deets Homestore and picked one out.

4. Style isn’t about money.

Looking fabulous doesn’t mean expensive. We’re not too proud to shop the clearance aisles & put secondhand furniture in our homes.  No – we love saving money, and come on – secondhand furniture has way more character, anyway! — 8 pairs of cheap shoes is way more fun than 1 pair of expensive ones!  Having a new, cheap accent chair every 2 years is way more fun than having the same expensive one for 20.  See what I did there?

5. It’s all about the auctions.

My mom would never say, “it’s all about the auctions”, but she is an auctioneer.  So, now I’m saying, “It’s all about the auctions.”  I love going to auctions, and purchasing unique things for pennies!  Not that long ago, Phil and I had his family over for supper and we were asked where we got some of our furniture pieces. This was followed by, “We got that on an auction.” “That’s from an auction.” “Rachel got that from her grandfather after he bought it on an auction.” Oh my.

6. Buy what you love… (you’ll find a place for it).

Was that set of dishes only $5? Yes. Do you absolutely love it? Yes. Do you know where you’re going to put it? No. Ah heck – who cares?!  It’s $5, and you love it! And inevitably – we always find a spot for it. [are you seeing a trend of great design on a budget?  seriously – speaks to my soul]

7. The best thing you can use your home for: family.

The real beauty of a home is how it serves your family. How it becomes a vessel of beautiful memories. I remember when mom and dad gave me permission to redecorate my room – and I got to sponge paint for the first time. I remember crying to my mom on our front porch swing when my high school boyfriend broke up with me. I remember the mountain of gifts next to the tree in the corner at Christmas time, with family gathered all around. I remember the baby grand piano that I had always dreamed of having taking up half of our living room. I remember the trail of candy that lead me up the stairs at Easter time. I remember stacking a mound of pillows and bean bags against the couch for the best spot on family movie night. I remember using encyclopedias, clothes pins, and laundry baskets to make the best fort on this side of the Mississippi.

…Still today I see my mom using her home to invite the family over for meals. She makes design decisions based on how her family will use the space – hoping to make them more comfortable.  That’s what really makes a home beautiful.

Thanks mom for all you have taught me.  Love you!

My mom being my biggest support, my greatest fan, and my partner in crime at the Women's Expo 2014.

What about you?  What has your mom taught you about design? Or just life in general?  Please share below.




I'm Rachel.

I am a small town girl passionate about creativity, color, and most of all: helping people bring their homes to life in ways they never thought possible. On the Rardon Design blog, I enjoy sharing thoughts, inspirations, and our projects. Thanks for reading.

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