Melissa is a military wife and mother to three little boys. She and her husband built their North Carolina home just a few years ago, and her blog The Happier Homemaker features an extensive tour of her lovely home. Her fondness for modern furnishing and neutral colors are evident in the interiors, most especially the kitchen, which she considers her favorite room.
From her mom’s experience of living in a small sailboat, Melissa has learned ‘less is more’ when you’re faced with space constraints. ‘Quality over quantity,’ she tells Balsam Hill in this exclusive interview.
BH: What is your favorite part about being a mother? What is the most rewarding and most challenging aspect of it?
Melissa: My favorite part of being a mother is seeing my children grow into their own unique personalities. I find it rewarding to watch them learn new things and explore new places. The biggest challenge for me is the lack of personal time – I have three children under eight years and they keep me busy!
BH: How has motherhood changed your style and design aesthetics?
Melissa: If I was left to my own devices, I would have a lot of white in my home – from the furniture to the fabrics. With three little boys, that just won’t work though! I try to stay frugal with my décor so that it’s not a catastrophe if things get stained or broken.
BH: How has your mother inspired your decorating style? Would you mind sharing some decorating advice she’s given you with us?
Melissa: My mother lived for many years on a small sailboat and has a philosophy of ‘less is more’ due to the space constraints. She taught me to invest in quality over quantity and keep my décor simple and classic.
BH: What advice has your mother given you that you would also like to give to your children?
Melissa: My mother encouraged me to aim high and follow my dreams. I hope to impart that same attitude to my sons.
BH: Is there an activity you do now that still reminds you of something you did with your mother as a child?
Melissa: I used to love attending farmer’s markets with my mom growing up, and continue to do so as a mother myself with my sons.
BH: Do you have any springtime traditions you would like to pass on to your children and grandchildren?
Melissa: My mother has a fantastic green thumb and, while I don’t have quite the skills she does, I hope that my boys and their families one day will enjoying gardening as much as I do. I count the days in spring until I can pick out new plants!
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?
Melissa: I like to change out my front door wreath, add lots of new potted plants to my porch, and plant a raised garden bed each spring. We also do a deep spring cleaning as well!
BH: What’s your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day celebration?
Melissa: Some quiet time reading and snuggling with my three little men.