A Mother’s Influence | Mother’s Day Tribute from Designer Susan Wilson

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Earlier this week, we introduced a new Mother’s Day series, featuring some of our favorite designers sharing insight on how their mothers have inspired them and their love of interior design.

Today’s blog post reveals where our own inspiration for the series came from, as we share a special Mother’s Day tribute from valued partner Susan Wilson of Susan Wilson Interiors! Read on for insight from Susan on how her mother set the foundation for her passion, and how she continues to cheer her on today. Happy Mother’s Day from Progress Lighting!
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My mom grew up on a farm and lived a very simple country life as a child. She learned very early to appreciate and care for things in and around her home. They didn’t have much, but they had all they needed.

As I look back, it was a privilege to be a part of this simple lifestyle as a child. I remember how beautiful that simple white farmhouse and its barns looked coming up the road. I looked forward to every visit and shed a tear every time I would leave.

On the farm, we would rise early to work in the fields. After lunch, we would have our free time to read, sew or play outside. No TV, no distractions. Everything we did, we did together as a family. There was harmony and peace on the farm.

When I was inside, I would stare at the 11’ beadboarded ceilings and tall endless windows. I would allow myself to take in every little detail. After all, there were porch columns, noting every turn and detail. Also noting these barns, each one was different in size, shape and purpose. When I was in the garden, I would search every vine or stalk for the ripest and best vegetable. With no distractions, I was allowed to see and appreciate the fine details.

I remember my mom always sewing or making something pretty, a talent she learned from her mother – everything from purses to slipcovers. Seasoned from life on the farm, she always appreciated what she had. She would repurpose and remake things to refresh them. She would buy new sheets and sew a new pair of window treatments. She would accept antiques and other hand-me-downs from family and make them “fit” in. Her accessories were kept simple – she had a few things, but not too many. Her “style” evolved from her childhood memories, her love of family, and displaying her own creations.

My mom is my most loyal assistant on “big” projects. She quietly and diligently follows the creative path that I am seeking for that project. There is a subliminal connection where I don’t say much, but that she just knows what to do.
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[/su_column] [su_column size=”1/2″]When I told her that I was staging a show house for Christmas, she was eager to help. I told her that I could not find things locally to complete the project. She immediately offered to assist in sewing to help me reach my design goal. We set to work, and as I would create the pattern, she would sew. She made Santa hats, Santa hat slipcovers, and tree skirts, plus endless bows for the exterior.[/su_column] [/su_row] [su_row] [su_column size=”1/1″] When it came time to do my most recent show house for Stephen Alexander Homes, she was there, faithfully wrapping books, folding and tying towels, doing whatever was needed. She did not leave my side the last night of decorating, and we stayed until 2 a.m., faithfully and diligently working towards a common goal. Just like in my childhood memories, picking butter beans and digging potatoes in an endless garden. After all, we had always worked until the task and all the details were completed.

My love of family and sentimental touches are at the foundation of my interior styling. It is my desire that someone would feel the same peace and belonging in their home that I felt so many years ago going to the farm. When I design a show house, people get to see glimpses of heart – not just pretty things. Just know that everything is placed intentionally and with meaning, just like my mom used to do and still does.

I would like to thank my mom…

For giving me wonderful memories that drive my creativity

For showing me the importance of making a home unique with special, personal touches

For faithfully standing beside me and working alongside me on this design journey

Mom, I know that I could not do what I do without God’s grace and your love.

-Susan Wilson

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Check out Susan’s recent project Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House!

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