Saturday, June 20, 2015

An Homage to Mom

Today would have been Mom's 85th birthday. We lost her on 9 September 2014. About the time she decided to no longer fight her illness, I started thinking about how to decorate one of our guest rooms. I found myself drawn to a style and colors that were so not me. Why?

Mom had an innate sense of style and, though was never formally trained, was one of the best people I'd ever met when making a house into a beautiful home. Mom's style was more formal and more French than my own and she would, on occasion, sacrifice comfort for pretty, which I try very hard not to do. But I definitely got the gene she had to want to create beautiful spaces. I still know she was better at it than me.

Mom loved blues and lavenders. I love green. She loved traditional furniture styles. I'm a transitional, eclectic kind of person. So when I finished putting my inspiration board together for the guest room, I could only shake my head. What was I doing? Channeling Mom?

My inspiration board, something I do for every decorating project. It's
not a literal plan for the room but more about the mood I want to create.

The foyer, living room and dining room in Mom and Dad's first home was lilac. I remember because I sat on the paint can in my best Sunday dress (with Mom's hand stitched smocking on the bodice) just after Dad put the lid back on the can. Mom was NOT happy. Is that the memory from where the wall color came?

The wall color is Benjamin Moore Affinity Inspired, not exactly lilac but
the millwork isn't quite Mom either

But she did love millwork. She and Dad installed it in their home in Vienna, Virginia, and in North Carolina. She even papered the dining room panels in the Vienna home with green moire silk. I'd like to think mine wasn't so French. Recently, though Pete and I had dinner in a swanky French restaurant, and the walls in our dining enclave looked like our guest room. So who knows.

My family before a wedding in a Mom-designed living room in Vienna,
Virginia, in 1974

Mom would have enjoyed selecting all the fabrics for our middle bedroom. But I had to do it alone because Mom died before the room was finished.

Fabric for Roman shades, drapes, duvet cover, pillow shams, and chair pad

I walk past the almost finished room -- the shades need to go back and be reworked and the chair pad is remains on order -- and I am still confused why it turned out to be a room that is so not me. So formal and no green. My only answer it was an unconscious homage to my mother. It is the favorite room in my home.

Almost completed guest room

So if you are ever an overnight guest in our home, ask for Mom's room, I'll know what you mean.

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