Balsam Hill interviews Lauren of The Thinking Closet about how her mother influenced her passion for creativity

Creativity is a big part of Lauren’s life, and it all started when she was but a child. Her parents had always encouraged her and her sister to create. As children, they transformed their backyard into a stage where they would perform musicals and give out creative Christmas cards in the form of photo collages. Lauren’s parents even provided her a special place where she could ‘think with her hands’—the thinking closet, a walk-in wardrobe the perfect size for a little girl.

Today, The Thinking Closet is Lauren’s special online place where she can let her creativity ‘splish, splash, and spill.’ Her interests encompass all things creative, be it crafting, upcycling, sewing, and most recently, blogging.

In this exclusive interview with Balsam Hill, Lauren shares how her creative – and once rebellious – spirit was nurtured by her mother’s own love for DIY artwork. A collection of drawings, paintings, and collages Lauren and her sister created over the years still hangs on her mother’s walls.

BH: How has your mother inspired your decorating style?

Lauren: I grew up in a 100-plus-year-old Victorian house; it had a spiral staircase, sloping wood floors, low door-knobs, tiny rooms, drafty walls – all the charm a 100-plus-year-old Victorian should have. My mom decorated our home with many vintage items and antiques, some that were passed down to us and others picked up at flea markets and garage sales. And it’s funny, I went through a phase in my adolescence when I rebelled against her style. I even pictured myself growing up one day to live in a stark, white, modern condo with wall-to-wall carpeting. But, thankfully, I outgrew that phase, and I’ve come to really love and treasure those decor items that have a history the same way my mom does.

BH: Would you mind sharing some decorating advice she’s given you with us?

Lauren: I think my mom’s advice speaks loudest through her example, and she has always placed a high value on DIY artwork. In fact, she still has drawings and paintings and collages that my sister and I created over the years, hanging up on her walls. And I hope to one day show as much appreciation for my children’s art as she does!

BH: What advice has your mother given you that you would also like to give to your children?

Lauren: The piece of advice that I’ve received from my mother that I’d love to pass on to my future children is one that she would tell me in stressful situations: ‘In the light of eternity, it ain’t that big a deal.’ So true, right? So many of the things we get all worked up about really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Remembering that just puts things in perspective, allows me to heave a sigh of relief, and move on.

BH: Is there an activity you do now that still reminds you of something you did with your mother as a child?

Lauren: Crafting and creating, especially around the holidays, takes me back to many a craft project with my mom. She would host craft parties at our home around Christmastime with another family and we’d make baker’s art Christmas ornaments or decoupaged stamp broaches. She definitely helped nurture my love of all things do-it-yourself!

BH: Do you have any springtime traditions you would like to pass on to your children and grandchildren?

Lauren: When we have kids one day, I’d love to give them clues and send them on a scavenger hunt with Easter baskets the same way my parents did for us. And, of course, matching handmade dresses in the prettiest of pastels and florals for Easter Sunday is a must!

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?

Lauren: Usually, my husband and I welcome the new spring season with vases of fresh flowers or herbs that we grow on our back deck. And this is one of the first years in a long time where I’ve had the time and space in my life to intentionally decorate for spring, which has been a blast. The rich green of our new Balsam Hill boxwood wreath inspired me to incorporate some preserved moss into our decor this year, and I’m just loving how it instantaneously spring-i-fies everything it touches. And, yes, spring-i-fy is a word. (Smile)

BH: What’s your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day celebration?

Lauren: Family around the table, good eats, storytelling, laughter, and expressions of gratitude to our mothers for all of their love, hard work, and sacrifice over the years. Let’s face it: moms rock! They deserve a day in their honor, so let’s live it up!


  1. Thanks, friends at Balsam Hill! It was such a joy to tackle these interview questions and reflect on the ways my mom has impacted my style and values. And I cannot wait to share this with my Mom as another part of her Mother’s Day gift this year. I know she’s going to love it!

    • BalsamHill Reply

      Hi, Lauren! Thank you for the inspiration! Keep sharing your story on The Thinking Closet!

  2. Pingback: Rustic Vintage Spring Mantel & Balsam Hill Giveaway! — the thinking closet

  3. Marmie/Lauren's Mom Reply

    As Lauren’s Mom, I want to say thanks to Balsam Hill for featuring @laurenthethinkingcloset:disqus on your blog and for the lovely boxwood wreath you created to be the centerpiece of her spring display. And a teary-eyed thanks to Lauren for sharing some of the things we did when she was a little girl that have fueled her creativity! I am so honored to read this and know that those intentional moments of creating gifts with others, as well as the spontaneous times of being creative, have continued to inspire Lauren, and hopefully others.

    I am SO honored to read this–even if it is a week or so after Mother’s Day! (As an adjunct professor of nursing at a college and coordinator of the May nurse appreciation events at a hospital, I have been quite busy the past three weeks and so decided to savor catching up on Lauren’s blog and reading this blog post at Balsam Hill as my reward!)

    To any young moms and/or women who enjoy children and are reading this, please remember that do-it-yourself projects, reading together, home-made birthday parties and gifts….all of these make a difference in creating the memories that bond families and friends together for a lifetime!
    Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Crafting to all Mighty-Moms!

    • BalsamHill Reply

      Thank you, Marmie! We are touched by your words. We can truly see where Lauren gets her zest for life and her beautiful spirit!

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