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Mom passes down decorating advice, wisdom

Embrace personal touches in decor, entertaining

The Columbian
Published: May 11, 2024, 5:08am

As we approach Mother’s Day, I’ve been reflecting on the invaluable lessons and insights passed down from generation to generation. So I’m sharing some of the most cherished decorating tips and words of wisdom imparted by our moms. From styling tricks to design principles, these nuggets of advice have shaped our love for all things home decor.

So, grab a cup of tea and join me as we delve into the heartfelt and timeless decorating advice from our beloved moms. Let’s celebrate the legacy of love and creativity they’ve bestowed upon us, one beautifully curated space at a time.

One of my favorite pieces of decorating advice from my own mom was to opt for white kitchen essentials when registering for our wedding back in 2010. This practical suggestion laid the foundation for all of the beautiful things that I’ve collected since. I realize that this bit of advice may not be for everyone, but I loved it for me.

As a practical lady and a teacher always finding creative ways to make use of on-hand items, my mom understood the value of patience and the importance of investing in quality pieces that would withstand the years with grace. Her sage advice continues to inspire my approach to decorating, blending practicality with timeless elegance.

And I couldn’t resist sharing a heartwarming decorating tip from our very own Paula and Kathy, our dynamic sister duo and dedicated bedding managers here at Nell Hill’s. Growing up under the loving guidance of their mom, they fondly share her cherished advice about family heirlooms. Their mom always emphasized the importance of incorporating Grandma Rosie’s crystal bowl into their holiday gatherings. Whether it was filled with cranberry sauce for Christmas or brimming with strawberry salad for Easter or Mother’s Day, Grandma Rosie’s treasured bowl took center stage on the dining table.

“We didn’t dare bring those items without grandma’s dish! It was beautiful!” Kathy laughed as she recalled the story.

But she knew that it wasn’t just a dish—it was a symbol of tradition, love and connection to their family’s past. With every holiday meal, they honored Grandma Rosie’s memory and legacy, creating cherished memories that continue to warm their hearts to this day.

Aubrey, one of our team members in the office, fondly recalls her mother’s decorating advice that has become a cherished tradition in her own home: “My mom would always pull all her accessories around the house a few times a year, place them in the center of the living room, and then rearrange them throughout her spaces. It’s almost like shopping from your house! It’s a great way to infuse new life into a previously uninspired space.”

This delightful practice not only breathes fresh energy into the home but also allows for a creative exploration of existing decor pieces, highlighting their beauty in different contexts.

As a third-generation member of the Nell Hill’s family, Zoe’s decorating advice stems from a lifetime of wisdom passed down from her mom, grandma and aunt. Their mantra to only decorate with items you truly love has guided Zoe in curating her own spaces that are not only beautiful but deeply personal.

“Going antiquing with them are some of my favorite memories and I love the special things we find to add to our collections. Mixing our antique finds along with the new things helps keep the room fresh but also timeless at the same time!” Zoe shared.

All of my family matriarchs have instilled in me a wealth of wisdom when it comes to entertaining and decorating. My grandmother on my mom’s side, known for warm yet efficient family meals, taught me the importance of preparation and ease when throwing gatherings. Grandma C. had five kids and hosted a cooking club for the kids in the neighborhood. The gatherings were rambunctious, but always well-organized. From her, I learned the art of prepping ahead and serving dishes that could be effortlessly enjoyed by guests— and allow you to enjoy them too instead of stepping away to the kitchen. I know it’s not a groundbreaking notion, but it sticks with me.

My other grandmother, Grandma O., is the source of inspiration for my passion for tabletop decor. With her collection of pretty dishes and classic floral china, Grandma O emphasized the significance of setting tables in advance. Recalling her advice, this approach made my early days hosting much more manageable. I’ll always remember her for her beautiful tabletops, and instilling in me the importance of adding handmade details for a personal touch.

I am blessed that my mother-in-law further fueled my love for crafting and sewing, encouraging me to infuse our spaces with meaningful, handmade elements. These invaluable lessons from the matriarchs in my life continue to shape my approach to entertaining and decorating, honoring tradition while embracing personal touches.