Five Things my (nearly) Five Year Old Daughter Taught me About Interior Design

Frank Lloyd Wright meets Cesar Pelli

1.  Loosen up. When I was in Fairfield’s Interior Design Program, I discovered that I rendered pretty tightly.  I envied one of my classmates, Maggie, who had this loose relaxed style of watercoloring.  It was beautiful.  DD loves to watercolor and I have joined her.  It is so much fun!  And it has really loosened up my drawing style.  I still prefer my pastels but now they are a whole lot smudgier (is that a word?).  I had to show these wonderful Valentine’s cakes (below) my daughter made because they are so creative, cute and so not perfect.  Like her art, made with love.


2.  A new perspective on my home and my clients’ homes or how to make a home kid friendly without losing the adults.  I live this every day.  What I mean is this: after you install all the safety locks and gates etc… (call me if you don’t know where to get started on this), get some small open bins, stash the toys in them and then put the bins into cabinets at the end of the day.  I know, I know, we can’t fit the dollhouse and the play kitchen in the cabinets (ahhh…for an extra closet), but we can get all those little bits our adorable little people collect off the floor so we don’t step on them.  And no reason, little hands can’t pitch those items right into those bins with a bit of a race incentive against mom or dad.  Voila, space transformed!  I see my rug.   Off to bed, little one, mom and dad are lighting a fire and opening a bottle of red wine.  CSI anyone?

3. Speaking of perspective – See. Really SEE the world. Every. Amazing. Breathtaking. Detail. Each moment in time. What could be better than lying flat on the grass on a warm summer’s day looking up at the clouds and guessing the shapes? Right now anything with warm and sunny in it sounds amazing, but at 20 degrees and (brrr…) white blanketing the ground, I digress… Though I am up for some sledding tomorrow morning before it melts! Which brings me to #4.

Fresh snow...delicious...

4.  Be a kid again. Build Lego towers.  Don’t you just love Legos?  The tower in the first photo is built my daughter.  I know this because I asked my husband and babysitter and they didn’t build it, which pretty much leaves DD and the cat.  And cats don’t have opposable thumbs, soooo…  The sky-high garage tower with the helipad on top has a later Frank Lloyd Wright quality with a twist of Cesar Pelli (architect of 2IFC in Hong Kong).  Don’t you think?  I can’t help it, I’m a designer.  And this is a design blog.

Point is just get out there and go crazy.  Play.  Get creative.  Make snow angels.  Build a snowman.   Eat snow.  If you are in a warm clime (oh, how I envy you), build sandcastles – perhaps skip eating the sand.  But do laugh until your sides hurt.  Breathe in the air deeply.  Dance.  Live.  Dream.

Wonder where she gets her love of shoes? LOL!

5.  Speaking of dreaming, here’s an entrepreneurial lesson.  The other day in the car, I asked DD what she wants to be when she grows up.  I expected to hear Spanish teacher or fire man or Clara (from The Nutcracker) or …  But this is (approximately) what she said.  “Mama, I’m going to be a fashion designer.  I’m going to make skirts and dresses in lots of colors.  I’m going to have a store where all the skirts and dresses are and people can come shop…”  My Grandma went to fashion design school and then worked in a millinery in the 1920s.  Can you imagine how cool the hats were?  So it’s a great dream and may be not such a stretch.  One never knows.

No matter what, don’t dream small, dream BIG.  I mean really big.  Map it out.  Envision each detail.  Write it down.  Cut out pictures of your dream and put them on your vision board.

Dream it.  SEE it.  Build it. Live it.  BE it.

Get it?


3 Responses to “Five Things my (nearly) Five Year Old Daughter Taught me About Interior Design”

  1. Marcy Says:

    Really lovely post Catherine. Simply inspiring for all ages!

  2. Sarah Devaney-O'Neil Says:

    Always love to read your posts Catherine. You stay right on point with what is most important in life!

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