Celebrate Mom, Celebrate Life:
Jamie of So Much Better with Age
With her love for French and vintage décor and a natural inclination toward DIY projects, crafts, baking and organization, Jamie aims to infuse the old with the new at a budget that won’t break the bank. Because she is a wife and mother, her design projects are always unique but organized, gorgeous yet budget-friendly. She loves sharing her vision and hopes to inspire and help others with their own DIY design projects. Her experiences being raised in a quaint small town taught her to appreciate the romantic and exotic appeal of French and vintage décor and design.
Jamie set up So Much Better With Age as an avenue where like-minded individuals can exchange ideas and where designers and moms like herself can help each other out with home design and DIY projects. Jamie also knows her way around flea markets and antique shops, and is always on the lookout for her next great find. She is very passionate at what she does and takes pride in being a ‘doer.’ If she wants something done, she figures out a way to do it and just goes for it.
Jamie believes that life is all about change and applies this belief to her home. Seeing a room suddenly rearranged the next day—with furniture moved or the walls repainted—is nothing new to her husband and kids. An evolving home is the perfect complement to our ever evolving lives, Jamie says. To her and to her family, their home will always be a work in progress.
BH: What is your favorite part about being a mother? What is the most rewarding and most challenging aspect of it?
Jamie: My most favorite and rewarding part of being a mother is just the little things. The smiles and hugs my kids give me. The way my 5-year-old son kisses a boo-boo better on my 2-year-old daughter’s knee. Sometimes you think that whatever you say to your kids doesn’t sink in and then one day you see them mimicking you (in a good way!) and it just melts your heart.
I find the most challenging part to be juggling time. Time goes so quickly when you have kids and finding the time for everything else is a constant juggling act.
BH: How has motherhood changed your style and design aesthetics?
Jamie: I think my style and design aesthetics have only gotten better since having kids. I was worried that I would lose my design style after children but actually it’s just improved. I think part of the reason is that moms are home A LOT. I remember nursing my babies at 3AM and looking at the walls thinking, ‘Why did I put those pictures like that?’ 3AM gives you a whole new perspective on your house! Because moms are in their houses more, it demands more attention and for the home to be more livable, kid-friendly, and have style all at the same time.
BH: Where do you typically get your inspiration for home decorating?
Jamie: Mostly blogs. I found the blogging world in 2009 when I was pregnant with my first son. I was desperate for a design source that was just like my style but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I also didn’t know what to call it so it was hard to search for. I started Googling random things and these amazing blogs would pop up. Now there’s Pinterest to find these gorgeous blogs. I also LOVE magazines. I can’t seem to pass a newsstand without buying one.
BH: How has your mother inspired your decorating style? Would you mind sharing some decorating advice she’s given you with us?
Jamie: I don’t really have a relationship with my mother, which is really sad. But she has influenced me in many ways. She used to bake every week, fresh bread, cookies, and bars. She kept her house immaculate. She was also a seamstress, made little girl dresses, barrettes and headbands. So keeping a house neat and tidy and always baking is something I love to do but I used to hate sewing. I was always so annoyed by it. She always said she found sewing relaxing and I never got it. I’ve been sewing these last couple of years and have sewn all the curtains in my house, napkins, and slipcovers. She never sewed home décor items but she has definitely influenced me in this regard. I find that just keeping things neat and clean really makes for a beautiful design aesthetic as well, even if you can’t afford much. If it’s really clean, your place will look amazing.
BH: What advice has your mother given you that you would also like to give to your children?
Jamie: My parents were very much DIY people. You never thought about who to call to do the job; you just did it yourself. I love that as I’m the very same way. My husband and his family are very much the opposite so I’m very excited to instill the DIY spirit into my children.
BH: Is there an activity you do now that still reminds you of something you did with your mother as a child?
Jamie: Baking. I was helping my mother bake at a very young age and first learned to cook scrambled eggs at five years old. Cracking the eggs was my favorite part.
BH: Do you have any springtime traditions you would like to pass on to your children and grandchildren?
Jamie: I love having an Easter dinner and a Mother’s Day brunch with my children. We play outside in the park after or go for a walk. I think just being together is so important for family to stay close.
BH: How do you and your family prepare your home for spring? Is there a specific piece of decor you put out that signifies spring has arrived?
Jamie: Well, first there’s a big spring purge. I’d say cleaning but mostly it’s purging, getting rid of stuff to sell or donate that we no longer use, clothes we no longer wear. Then after that’s done I usually remove the thick heavy blankets on the couches and add some of my real birds’ nests to my bookshelves. It lightens up the rooms – which I love. I also like decluttering. It just feels more bright and airy, just like spring.
BH: What are some of your tips on repurposing holiday decorations for use in spring?
Jamie: I’m all about repurposing anything. I’ve made items for my kids’ birthday parties, like a ruffled tablecloth or scrap fabric banner, that I plan to use over and over again not just for birthday parties. I use many different items for Christmas decorating, not just your typical red and green. I like to use galvanized buckets, for example and I also use those for summertime parties to hold ice and drinks. There are so many décor items that you can use for different times of the year, not just at one certain time. Also, it seems like a waste when you buy something for just one month or season. Why not use a beautiful green wreath for spring time decorating?! I think it’s a fabulous idea.
BH: Do you have any tips on getting the children involved in home decorating?
Jamie: Mostly I love decorating by myself and never make my children partake in it. But as soon as they see me doing something around the house, they always want to help. First they want to know why I’m doing it and then they just want to help out. It’s a great way to explain why you are doing something (even if it’s just ‘because I like it’) and to get them involved. Even if something seems weird to someone else, I think it teaches children to do what they want and not care too much about what other people think and it also helps them learn to trust their instincts.
BH: What’s your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day celebration?
Jamie: I just go with the flow leading up to Mother’s Day. I don’t want to rush or be stressed. Most times I’m the one planning where we’re going for brunch! I don’t want to make a big deal about what we’re doing or where we’re going. I just want to spend the time with my children and my husband. Fill up on delicious food and tea, go play in the park afterwards and hopefully have some time by myself in the afternoon.
BH: What do you think is the perfect gift a mother could receive from her children?
Jamie: Well, the best gift is just spending the day together. Homemade gifts from the kids are also high on my list (and maybe some of my favorite chocolates). That’s the perfect Mother’s Day to me!by