Memories influence our sense of style

We all have a sense of style. Some of us are more in touch with it than others but that sense of what we like and dislike resides in every one of us.

Have you ever stopped and identified why you have stronger feelings towards certain styles or colours? I believe we learn certain ways of doing things even while we are very young which stay with us throughout our adult life, this can also apply to design choices.

Colour and scent can evict strong emotions and before we are even aware memories are rushing through our minds causing us to react. Reflect on the home where you grew up; the space your mother decorated with love impacts your current taste more than you may realize. We carry opinions and preferences with us throughout our lives; many of them are given to us by our early upbringing. When we are designing our current home, we subconsciously choose items which remind us of our past. There is a certain type of ceramic bowls which look like bunches of grapes which always catch my attention even though they don’t work in my home. My mom had collections of Royal Dalton china which had this look, gorgeous greens and purple hues which I associate with good memories and great food.

Did your mom have a penchant for certain colours? Does the scent of chocolate chip cookies take you home again? For me it’s the smell of a chocolate cake in the oven, I go right back to childhood and it’s a warm joyful place.

I believe we need to incorporate some of these colours or patterns into our home as they will take us to a comfortable space in our hearts and minds and provide sanctuary in a hectic world. While the picture of Blue Boy does not fit into my design scheme, a book with that era of art on my coffee table invites me to browse once in awhile and I am again transported to our beautiful living room in my childhood home. Believe me it is economical therapy some days!

Décor is not always about what is current and fashionable; it is sometimes about what is familiar and dear to our hearts. That teacup from your grandma that you cannot dream of throwing away or the crocheted doilies that you have tucked away in the corner of a cabinet (I’m speaking from experience now!) plait the tapestry of our décor even if we do not display them in our homes. They are a part of our heritage and ultimately part of our everyday lives, even when they linger in the background.

Design makes our interior lives more beautiful and stylish, traditions and memories are the peaceful warmth we experience when we see a colour or pattern that returns us to childhood. We may not always appreciate our mothers design savvy but it may be a greater part of us than we realize when we scrutinize our own sense of style. Enjoy the items which bring you joy, it can have a strong tie to our heritage and upbringing.

Kim Lewis is am interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Feel free to contact her at 403-343-7711 ext. 227, email her at or join her facebook group called ‘Ask a Designer’.