Monday, May 7, 2012

Dear Daughters: The Keys to Real World Design

blue and white bedroom

There really is no formulaic design mystery here.

I promise.

In fact your eye for design is far beyond mine was at your age(s).

Let’s pretend you asked my opinion anyway…

Here are a few key points to real world design.

Key Point #1:  

In the world of daily real world design (where we live), I have 
realized that a key distinction (in addition to talent and 
training) that separates confident, successful
and even professional  designers from you and me


They are simply confident in the doing of it all.

My recommendation when you are standing in the middle of your living room feeling doubts?

Think ‘this is not world peace.’

Key Point#2:    My confidence is not really confidence.

It is rather
the mother of invention,
the shoestring budget,
the sciatic nerve pain from moving furniture for a million years with my hips because I just HAD to try it right then,
the shouting, when in a bind on a step stool with small sharp nails in my mouth, to anyone who will listen,
the avoidance of furniture stores,
and the pleasure I find in seeing what you do.
blue and white bedroom 3

Key Point #3:  You do not have to know what you like.

Like it all.

You know how we gravitate to the diverse anyway?

Your home is your love of diversity with a roof.

It is what we do-

as in invite everyone.

blue and white bedroom 2

Be very, very glad that I realized early on that nothing good happens in a world of cookie cutter harvest gold and avocado green.

I so cookie cutter tried.

Trends will continue.
We are currently living in a land of farmhouse living.

It is lovely. 
However, I will never forget what Papa said when I encouraged him to read The Grapes of Wrath.

He said, "I don't have to. I lived it."

Let's just say South Texas farm houses of the 50's and 60's don't look like farm houses of today.

And finally one last family memory.

In 1958, when Nonnie painted her kitchen at the ranch
bright white, with white cabinets, used black wrought iron pulls,and installed red formica countertops,
she wasn’t looking for like minded people.

How can you dance in the kitchen to Ray Charles
if it looks like everyone else’s?

Love, Mom


Pura Vida said...

What an absolutely wonderful post. Your style is incredible and I love the photos. You are a smart cookie! I enjoyed!

Patty Marker said...

How I tried, too. What wonderful advice dear Laura. Be true to yourself and don't be afraid when you change your mind to just go with ain't rocket science and if it doesn't work out you can always reach for a can of white spray paint! Have a wonderful week, Patty

This comment has been removed by the author.

What a really lovely post, especially at Mother's Day. I enjoyed reading your point of view and would like to share on fb. BTW: You did a great job giving balance & symmetry to your vignettes. LOVE the blue & white.

Have a wonderful week.
xo Lynda

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh dear friend, what a valuable post! Your letters to your daughters are always outstanding! Love your decor, you are a truly a sensational decorator!


Sonny G said...

oh my, what wise words.

I painted my kitchen walls blue in '79 and used red white and blue checked fabric.
you could say I was : GOING ROGUE before GOING ROGUE was Cool. rofl

My Little Home and Garden said...

I'm so glad I popped by and read this. I loved every word of your advice.

Olive said...

Like it all. I love Laura as sometimes I do in fact like so many styles and objects all at once. Wonderful, wonderful post.

CHERI said...

What wonderful advice. I'm definitely no decorator and know nothing about the hows & whys...I just do what I like. When we remodeled our kitchen, everyone was using granite countertops (which are wonderful). However, I chose to use plain old butcher block for several reasons, including price! And I've been very happy with my choice. I don't know anyone else whose kitchen looks like mine and that's OK. You seem to have a good eye though from the looks of these pictures:)

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Great advice for even us ole grandma's. I will have to send this my daughter.
Just came by to say hello and to see how you are.

Lisa said...

Great post, Laura and sound advice. Sometimes a limited budget makes for the most charming decor.
PS I bet those red countertops were fab!

Theresa said...

Great tips to live by! Isn't it true that what we like can be different from what everyone else likes... and it is still OK? I always enjoy reading your Dear Daughter posts:) They are lucky to have you! Have a blessed evening dear Laura, HUGS!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

OMG, I am in love with that bedding!!! Would you share where you found the blue and white???? Great advice, and perfect timing. I really agree that our homes should be an expression of OURSELVES!!!!!!!!! Right now we are in the process of getting our home "staged" to sell and it is making me crazy. It doesn't look like my house anymore, but I guess that is the point. XO, Pinky

Robin said...

Great post and even better advice. I like being on a budget in my decorating and tablescaping. Anyone can go to a store and just buy a bunch of stuff. Doing it on the cheap and making it unique is what make a house a home!

Robin Flies South

White Lace and Promises said...

A year ago I redesigned my kitchen and living room and now I want to change some things-add some color. My daughter said to me this weekend, "Mom, you make me nervous!" HA! Love it!

trash talk said...

Where were you back in '73 when I could have used these words of wisdom. Oh heck...who am I kidding? I can still use 'em!'re good!

Unknown said...

Beautiful words of wisdom- love it! So glad to have found your blog!

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I am liking your Mom! She was my kinda gal. When everyone had COPPERTONE (remember that) and BURNT ORANGE...I was putting up black and white wallpaper. lol Great post! xo Diana

Haus and Home said...

Lovely words! Love your blue and white images! So pretty! Thanks for following my blog!

Kim said...

Wisdom definitely comes with age, that's for sure. I'm so much wiser now than when I first became a wife with a new home to decorate. I've learned to love and enjoy other people's taste, without feeling like I'm doing something wrong. My taste has evolved just like my home. It's ever changing, and I love it that way.
Great post.

Bliss said...

Wise lady. I took it to heart and I'm not even your daughter.


My Interior Life said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks for stopping by my blog so I could find yours. Of course, I LOVE all your blue & white, and your advice to your daughters is priceless. They are lucky to have a mama like you!


Pondside said...

My parents were kitchen dancers too, in a kitchen with a huge folk art tulip painted on the wall. I didn't know another family in 1960 that had a kitchen like ours.

Rebecca Nelson said...

I just LOVE the way you write. Love your your, love you!


Mary @ Sea Quilts said...

You had me at blue and white ... but I absolutely loved the commentary!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh I so love this post, and what fabulous advice to give to a daughter. I love your style, so glad it isn't cookie cutter. Thanks for joining TTT Hugs, Marty

Debbie said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post and great advice. I am living testament to the fact that if you only do what others are doing or what is in vogue at the time, you will live to regret it. At 50, I'm finally learning to just do what I want.

And your stuff is just so pinnable!


design + development by kelly christine studio