Old trunks and old photos look great in the living room!’ exclaims Melanie of Reasons to Skip the Housework. This is one decorating advice she learned from her own mom. A little family history – trinkets and souvenir from trips – adds character to everyday home decor.
As a stay-at-home mom and part-time Apple trainer, Melanie is dedicated to providing readers her own easy-to-follow tutorials on home and holiday decorating, crafts, recipes, and the latest news and features around the web. She also has a team of contributors that give their own insights on the blog. Together, they help mothers find inspiration for a better home and lifestyle.
Melanie’s exclusive interview with Balsam Hill narrates how her love for photos and picture taking originated from her mom – and how Melanie’s collection of family photos, kid art, and picture frames now jazzes up her space with that ‘family feel!’
BH: What is your favorite part about being a mother? What is the most rewarding and most challenging aspect of it?
Melanie: My favorite part of being a mom is watching the smile on my daughter’s face when she sees me after work or when I pick her up from school. That pure joy that never fades is amazing! The most rewarding part of being a mom is seeing her grow as a person. Seeing her being polite and respectful of all things, and knowing I helped her learn to be a good person – it is an amazing feeling!
The most challenging part is dealing with the fits and standing my ground, in order to teach her to be a good kid! It’s so much easier to just give in and get the fit over with, but in the long run it hurts everyone involved. It’s really challenging and exhausting but pays off in the end!
BH: How has motherhood changed your style and design aesthetics?
Melanie: I certainly can’t have cute things all over the house. Anything that I want to STAY PRETTY has to be hanging up high! I also don’t have vases with flowers on the table anymore. Too many knocked over vases with water everywhere, so I learned that early on! I’ve done a lot more picture frames and kid art to jazz up the place and give it a family feel!
BH: How has your mother inspired your decorating style? Would you mind sharing some decorating advice she’s given you with us?
Melanie: My mom is the cleanest person on Earth, so I always strive to keep up with her neatness! As for decorating, she has always been great at putting up pictures of her trips and memories, and mixing them into her décor. I definitely love pictures and picture taking because of my mom’s love of photos. She also has blended a ton of family history into her décor, and with my husband’s love of antiques, I’ve mixed my family history into our décor as well! Old trunks and old photos look great in the living room!
BH: What advice has your mother given you that you would also like to give to your children?
Melanie: My mom always told me, ‘Wear sunscreen on your face; you’ll be glad you did,’ and I think I probably finally understood her a bit too late in life. That’s something I do EVERY DAY now, and make sure my daughter does too! As for my house, when I tell my mom that I feel like her house is perfect, my mom always says, ‘I felt that same way about MY mom. She vacuumed every single day, and I think about that now, HOW DID SHE DO THAT?’ I feel that way about MY mom NOW! You can’t always compare yourself to your mom. Just do what you can with what’s going on around you in your life now! We are all just trying to survive!
BH: Is there an activity you do now that still reminds you of something you did with your mother as a child?
Melanie: My mom and I always decorated gingerbread houses together every Christmas! It’s a tradition I will absolutely continue with my girl as she grows up! It was a wonderful tradition to do with my mom and it was always so much fun, even into my adult years! Also, whenever I do a puzzle with my girl, it reminds me of doing the same Christmas puzzle each year with my mom and grandma. We would time ourselves and try to beat the previous year’s time! Fun times!
BH: Do you have any springtime traditions you would like to pass on to your children and grandchildren?
Melanie: Other than Easter brunch with a Honey-baked Ham, we really don’t do too many springtime traditions! We are probably so pooped from the Christmas celebrations that we are still catching up!
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?
Melanie: I always do a spring wreath, and my mom was always good about decorating the door for spring. Mom also always has little chicks out and flowers on the table. I definitely don’t decorate for spring as much as I should, but living in Phoenix, we kind of jump right over spring and into summer! I wish I could have live sunflowers out for months at a time! Instead, I usually bring out my favorite quotes and put them up as artwork or in frames! I love quotes!
BH: What’s your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day celebration?
Melanie: The PERFECT Mother’s Day celebration would involve sleeping in until 8AM. Then, breakfast with my family and a visit to the park to feed the ducks! Silly, but so relaxing and fun! Going out to our favorite restaurant for dinner, followed by a family movie, would be the perfect day! Just me and my two favorite people!