My grandmother and my mother were always big influences in my life when it came to style and design. It might also be unusual that my mother was influenced greatly by her mother-in-law, my grandmother who has always had great style, grace, and manners. She was the toughest woman I’ve ever met and I think back of her with the biggest admiration. She grew up and lived in a completely different situation than me and my mother. Having to get her two boys through War World II on the run is something I can’t even get my head around. Her family lost most of their wealth they had in Berlin, but they got away with their lives and some surprising pieces of collections and furniture that my family and I still cherish.
You might think I’m ancient now knowing that my grandmother raised my father and brother during World War II. While I’m not in my twenties anymore, both my mother and grandmother taught me to live my life first and have fun before having kids, which resulted in both my mother and grandmother being on the older side when giving birth. I do love that about them.
My grandmother instilled a love in us for expensive oriental rugs, bar carts, leather furniture, library walls, stone fireplaces, modern and antique art and unique pieces of antique furniture that gets passed down from generation to generation. I learned from both my mother and grandmother that you can achieve a timeless interior by having an eclectic mix of furniture and pieces that you love. I remember fondly how my grandmother had a reading area daybed with a gorgeous oriental rug as a wall hanging surrounding the daybed flanked by a midcentury modern dresser and a bar cart. But that room also included a dresser that was several hundred years old and a gallery wall with a mix of different art.
There are so many decor choices my grandmother made that also passed on to her daughter-in-law, my mother and I now see myself doing the same thing.
My parents also have this eclectic mix that I adore. This is one of their first apartments and I feel like it’s right on trend again, my great-grandmother’s palm tree and brass planter, bar cart, blue velvet furniture, white laquered midcentury modern bookshelf, marble top coffee table and the red, black and blue oriental rug. And yes, that’s a midcentury modern pendant over the coffee table.
And their current home, which is the home I grew up in has many things I love.
I don’t love every choice they have made but that is ok because I know my mother doesn’t love every choice I make and have made. And only she can make snide remarks when it comes to something she doesn’t like in my home, which I do at their house as well. And it’s refreshing sometimes to hear the brutal honesty of someone you love so much. I know she doesn’t say it to hurt me but to challenge me and to give me her honest opinion. Does it annoy me? It sure does– but it also makes me chuckle.
When I visit Germany every summer we often go through the house and play musical furniture and decor.
Do you know what she said about my cross hallway and closet? She wanted to know if I was inspired by a soldiers’ graveyard. While I love my hallway completely, I do see her point and it made me laugh. Hey we are a different generation after all, right?