By Lesli DeVito

Published on May 6, 2015

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Photography by LESLI DEVITO

You would have loved my Mom.

She was a kick. Funny, quirky, always in motion. Most of my childhood memories are of her teaching me how to do things and of her flying by carrying a basket of laundry. When I was a little girl who dreamed of being a ballerina I just assumed all Moms made their own clothes, painted and refinished furniture, grew roses and orchids and had an aviary full or colorful birds! The only thing she did not do well was cook, a trait I sadly inherited from her.

We moved a lot when I was growing up. And while I was rarely fond of being the "new kid"…As a helpful distraction, my Mom would spend hours with me planning my new bedrooms. My Mom, the original DIY decorator, intuitively knew the importance of making a HOUSE and HOME…especially for all of us to feel grounded in our new unfamiliar surroundings. Quite often, most of the house would be unfinished but my three brothers and I had colorful happy new bedrooms awaiting us on moving day! I grew up loving to decorate and still never get tired of pouring over wallpaper books and choosing paint color samples. At this point, I think it is hard-wired into my DNA.

Here are my moms unwritten decorating rules for making a house into a home.

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Photography by LESLI DEVITO

1

When in doubt – paint it – change can be good!

Cabinet interior painted benjamin moore paradise pink. This makeover took 10 minutes and transformed our living room in positive ways!

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Photography by LESLI DEVITO

2

There are no mistakes, just happy accidents

This door was installed backwards and it turned out we like it better that way.

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Photography by LESLI DEVITO

3

Baskets boxes and bins and hooks!

We have baskets in every room and of all sizes and for everything – shoes, pet toys, books, magazines and blankets…

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4

It does not need to be perfect.

Says it all! Our puppy reminded us of this rule.

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5

One color or "anchor" can pull it all together

our bedroom was feeling a bit too quiet and subdued and so i brought in an "anchor" the colorful comforter …then, the blue lamp…which pulled colors from the comforter and soon we had "goodbye subdued!"

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Photography by LESLI DEVITO

6

Mix it up – colors , textures, pattern

Don't be afraid to put coordinating patterns and colors together. Our living room painted pale pink hosts a happy mixture of patterns and colors.

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7

Keep blankets and throws handy for people and pets

Our pets are family members and live all over the house. A few years ago i made a " sofa saver" by taking coordinating fabric and sewing large throws. We keep the "sofa savers" draped over the furniture for the pets and muddy cleats!

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8

Do it yourself and remember to always – always read the instructions!

I taught myself how to install tile simply by reading a book and watching a video! My mom loved instruction manuals and would sit and read them for fun!

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Photography by LESLI DEVITO

9

Life (and decorating) is a work in progress.

My mom believed strongly that our homes evolve with us and was always making changes here and there to accommodate our growth – this was the most important life and decorating lesson i learned from my mom. Life is a work in progress.