The Best Decorating Tip I Ever Learned From My Interior Designer Mom

Soft bedroom with pink ceiling and accents.

Rikki Snyder

Growing up with a mom who’s an interior designer meant my room had to be just so. My bed was always made first thing in the morning, posters were only allowed to be hung in the closet where no one could see them, and walls were not allowed to be an eccentric color. As much as I wanted a poster of tween Cole Sprouse above my bed, I respected her wishes. But, those were really the only cons. 

Having a design expert in the family meant there was always someone to call when I was fretting over lamps at HomeGoods or in a crisis of deciding how to arrange my bookshelf. Plus, over the years, I’ve watched my mom decorate and redecorate the rooms of our house. Every time I go home, something is different, and it’s helped shape my own style.

Colorful living space will teal couch.

Dazey Den

Although her décor style errs on the classic side and I tend to have more of a boho vibe, she’s always had fun spicing up a room with various prints and adding a pop of color to every space she touches—which is something we both love.

From cobalt blue appliances in my parents’ otherwise white kitchen to painting a cabinet in the bathroom a funky coral shade, these color choices don’t disrupt the space, but rather tie it together. It’s become my favorite design tip of hers and I’ve incorporated it into my current space. Thanks, Mom!

While my mom and I might not agree on everything, we can agree that a little color in a room never hurts anybody.

She explained to me that when decorating, she always starts with neutrals as a base and will later add in some color with pillows and rugs or even repainting a piece she always owns. Patterns and textures warm up a space, so she likes to add a little variety to every room.

As I got more into sprucing up my space in quarantine—staring at the same walls day after day will do that to you—I really amped up the pops of color in my apartment. It started with painting a white mirror the bright coral shade my mom had and spiraled into finding the perfect teal velvet chair after scouring Facebook Marketplace, both of which I used to make my boring white desk a more fun work from home setup.

Then, I started examining my apartment to see where else I could add color without overwhelming the space, from replacing my simple nightstand lamp with a light pink one to spending the day painting a wooden cabinet that doubled as my TV stand a blueish-grey color. It immediately made my living room less harsh. It took a few months, but I finally love the apartment I live in because of these simple changes.

Plus, color doesn’t have to be limited to accessories or furniture pieces. My mom loves buying a variety of houseplants with mix-matched planters to add texture and greenery to the space. As a budding plant mom, it’s definitely something I can get behind.

Console with houseplants.

Lucy Gleeson

It took a few months, but I finally love the apartment I live in because of these simple changes.

However, just because she likes something doesn’t mean I have to follow her. My mom has always been a big advocate for decorating for me—though she will still put in her two cents if she thinks something is completely heinous—and making sure every piece is meaningful and perfect for the space. That means not buying just to buy. She’s the kind of person who will go to HomeGoods twice a week and not get anything, just to see if any new inventory sparks her joy. 

While my mom and I might not agree on everything, we can agree that a little color in a room never hurts anybody.

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