For many of us, our moms are literally our first homes. From pregnancy through childhood to even adulthood, these amazing women nurture and create a space for you to grow up and develop your own independent style of living. That's definitely true for us Lonny editors. We often chat about how we learned so much from our mothers. From curating our spaces to how we go about daily tasks, our moms have really left their mark on how we interact with our homes as adults.
One thing we all appreciate our mothers passing down? Their well-honed hacks to make a home fresh, stylish, and filled with memories. From DIYs to decor tips to setting the right ambiance, some of the simple ways our moms were able to transform a space really stuck with us.
While we are moving into new apartments, homes, and raising families of our own, we are starting to develop our own tricks to make our spaces feel unique. It's part of our job after all! But we can always look back on what our moms taught us as a guide for getting our homes in shape.
Since these hacks are too good to keep to ourselves, we asked our moms if it would be cool to share their secrets. Read ahead to see the design tips (and throwback photos) from our mothers that we'll always treasure.
Angela Tafoya, Editorial Director
“We moved quite a bit growing up and it was always a lot to handle at first. Acclimating to a new place, new school, all of it. While I don’t know that my mom had a literal hack per se, she always went above and beyond to make sure our rooms and our new homes feel like an extension of us — no matter foreign or new they felt. Little things, like making sure our posters from old places were there first thing or making sure our toys all had a dedicated spot. It’s those little details that make a new home feel comforting.”
Briana Gagnier, Senior Designer
“In my family, we always thought of my mom as a low-key interior designer who just didn’t get paid for her work. She always took to rearranging and redecorating our home growing up and continues to use her savvy design skills in her newly established career as a real estate agent.
She is the queen of making an old piece of furniture or a room feel like new. Her biggest trick — repainting! My mom has refreshed tables with hand-painted murals, she once transformed my entire childhood bedroom to look like a garden with a white picket fence, and she’s the master of spray-painting rusty outdoor furniture.
Another one of her hacks involves using slipcovers over chairs to modernize them. My parents inherited this green leather chair from a family member and it didn’t really go with my mom’s aesthetic. So she threw a white slipcover on it and the chair looked brand new!”
Shelby Wax, Senior Associate Editor
“One thing I’ve always loved about my mom is she never failed to pull together an incredible party. Whether she was throwing Big Little Lies-quality themed benefits for my school or just hosting a couple for cocktails before an event, she could always make a space look fun, elegant, and inviting. Her number one trick? Dimming the lights. Even if we were going to a restaurant for dinner, if the lights were at full blast, I knew she was going to say something about it or even have us find a reservation elsewhere. So when hosting friends in the evening, I always make sure to turn off at least one light source and dim things down so everyone has a lovely glow. Bonus points for natural candlelight.
Another trick is to always plate a dish. Even if you just microwaved an appetizer from Trader Joe’s, take some scissors to your garden (or from the neighborhood) to get a fresh garnish to spruce up your spread on a pretty platter or wood block. The extra touch makes it look like you put in way more effort than you really did.”
Megan O’Sullivan, Associate Editor
"Growing up, I noticed how much time and thought my mom put into curating our home. We lived in the same house in Dallas for most of my childhood, and it really changed over the years thanks to her vision.
The main project though, was the living room shelves. She organized them so carefully with books (only ones she actually read) and pieces of Mexican folk art. She also filled them with photographs and small objects — each shelf was truly a story in itself. Everything had a sentiment behind it, and I think the book shelf is actually a great metaphor for a thoughtful approach to curating an entire home!”