Spring cleaning is a time to restore and rejuvenate the home and peel back the layers of dirt and clutter…
For many, Mother’s Day is a time of reflection, a day to think about the relationship that we have with our mom. As I look around my home preparing for this piece, I see my mom’s influence everywhere. I see a red teapot on my stove that she gifted to me to match the red theme in my home. I see plants she potted with love, and fresh soil. My mother has a fabulous green thumb. I see dishes and cookware she brought into my home, from a dinnerware set of our beloved hometown Bennington Pottery, to a wonderful vintage Dansk Dutch oven that I never would have been wise enough to acquire on my own.
I see my art box, a decorative container with a latch that mom saw in a store, thought was cheerful, and passed along. I see a yellow cat pitcher, gifted by mom simply because, we love cats. And I see books, from knitting design, to pottery technique, to my favorites, jazz and big band music. My mom has always taken an interest in my creative skills, most of which she shares, so when she sees books out in the world that support these interests, she’ll pass them along.
The influences go on and on, but it’s more than just the items mom gifts. Mom has taught me over the years how to make even one piece special in a home, and how there’s always room for something new, even if it’s small, to brighten up a room. How it’s ok to layer, or put unusual things next to each other. And she has taught me fun tricks, like how to mix fake plants in with real ones, especially in areas of the home where natural light doesn’t easily reach (there’s a fake plant in the photos, can you tell?). Or how to rub wood oil from time to time into furniture, using a clean, soft cloth, to keep it both shiny and clean.
I love my home, and today it strongly reflects me, and how I like to live. But in the early days, when I was a young adult first living on my own, my instincts on how to craft a home were rough. I was afraid to paint the walls, had no idea what type of furniture to bring into my home, and despite growing up in the country, had no idea how to pot a plant. I was good at cozy, but small scale only, so my mom helped me along through both gift and through example. To this day when we chat by phone we still check in on the status of my plants. I am very proud to report they are all doing well.
My favorite thing about my mom, Sheila, is that she has one of the keenest eyes I’ve ever known for how to craft a home. It’s a gift of intuition, and also of the heart, as she enjoys passing treasures on to others as well. Over the years people have loved having a visit with Sheila at home, where they’d sit down to a delightfully laid out table, or leave with some small treasure that she’d excitedly passed along. When I began to entertain in my own home, I reflected upon on my mom’s natural gift, and mirrored her example, always making certain to host a thoughtful table, and to make things comfortable for guests.
Most of all, mom taught me how to be creatively playful with space, unafraid to try something new or unexpected, like putting flowers in a mason jar, or a wicker basket under a coffee table for a kitty to take a nap. Or better yet, leaving a bag on the floor for the day, so that perhaps said kitty can have an unexpected napping treat!
So thank you mom, for your creative influence in my heart, home, and in my life, and happy Mother’s Day. I love you!
Has your mom influenced how you live in your home? Share with us below!
Photo Credits: Maeve Richmond, Henry Richmond