Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet Us

We are Colleen & Brianna; a mother/daughter duo who love DIY, decor and all things lovely. We love a good thrift store find, re-purposing old belongings into new treasures, a fabulously modern remodel, and everything in between! Stay with us and look around while we show you that good design doesn't have to be expensive.

Meet My Mom
To you, she looks something like this.

But to me she looks a little more like this:
Hubba hubba, right?!

Writing a paragraph about my mom that appropriately captured how awesome she is turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Not because I couldn't easily convince you of her greatness, but because it was almost impossible to narrow it down to just one paragraph. Probably because the biggest thing that is wonderful about my mother is the littlest things...All the little efforts she puts into making every day seem not so everyday. From the family cheer we never missed a night of chanting, to the birthday present scavenger hunts, and the meticulously coordinated themed dinners, she left no opportunity to celebrate uncelebrated!  My siblings and I knew no store bought valentines, no Costco sheet cakes. She pours her heart and soul into every detail of every thing she does, and applies that same dedication to her church calling, her magazine-quality home, and now, to this blog. 

If you asked my mother what her greatest accomplishment has been, she would probably say raising her six children, made possible, of course, by another of her greatest accomplishments; landing an incredible man (and a major hunk) like my father. She is a very involved and dedicated parent, a loving wife, an adoring grandmother, and an amazing friend...slash therapist. Though she was California-born, and is Boise Idaho dwellin', she is a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fanatic, who even had a game dedicated to her on her birthday as a child. She spent many years actively involved with Stampin' Up, even being ranked in the top ten demonstrators in the nation! Known far and wide for her utterly perfect handwriting (seriously ask anyone!), my mother is often told it should be made into a computer font. If they ever come out with a font called "Colleen", it is going to be the most downloaded one on the internet. Less well known of her talents is her almost frighteningly dead-on impersonation of the Wicked Witch of the West. Graced with it at only the most rare and humorous of occasions, we are always shocked and amused at just how misplaced it sounds coming from my dear sweet mother. Whether it was silly impressions, family "leaf races" in the Boise river, or dangerously competitive late-night SNORT marathons (a favorite card game in my family), my mother showed us all a childhood full of unconditional love, uncontrollable laughter, and unforgettable memories.

Still in love after all these years (I told you he was handsome!)

My mother has been my main source of aesthetic inspiration my entire life. From raising me in a perfectly put together home, to teaching me how to put on mascara for the first time, she has equipped me with so many tools that I still use today. My mom taught me everything I know about all things lovely-although she clearly hasn't taught me everything SHE knows yet. I am continually baffled by the beautiful things she comes up with, and the beauty she emanates in every aspect of her life. 

This is my beautiful daughter Brianna

But to me, she will always be my little Nani

Typically dressed from head to toe in outfits that were often an assault to the eyes, Brianna found ways to express her creativity at a very young age. Her now perfectly coiffed hair was then often matted, tangled, and speckled with grass, but as it is with most creative geniuses, she didn't care one bit. She was too busy creating masterpieces out of macaroni and glue. She always loved to paint, to draw, and to adorn anything that wasn't moving (and some things that tried), and she was naturally good at all of it.

Brianna first showed sparks of design genius when she adorned her beloved bike with dangling pine-cones, bells, streamers, soda pop cans and Beanie Babies. Beads lined the spokes of her tires so you could hear her coming from a block away. The memory still brings a smile to my face. Brianna has always had a look and style all her own and was never afraid to be herself. This talent is evident in her home where she mixes current trends with eclectic elements, thrift store junk turned to gems and fearlessly creates a space that screams Brianna (the stylish, cool, on-trend Brianna of now, thankfully....though there may still be a pine-cone or two). We believe your home should be a reflection of you; pine-cones and all!

By day Brianna is a talented beautician with mad nail art skills (think hand-drawn zebra print nails that look manufactured they’re so perfect), but by night, she can typically be found sprucing up her 70 year old fixer-upper rental and snuggling with the love of her life, my grand-dog Macy (yes, grand-dog is a word, cuz I made it one). While Brianna is obviously physically beautiful, I’m here to tell you that her beauty runs much deeper. She is kind, compassionate, loves to give thoughtful gifts to others, and has a soft spot for elderly people (she spends 2 work days a week doing hair in a nursing home and loves her blue haired buddies). Aside from all that sappy stuff, she has a wicked sense of humor, is a pun war aficionado, and a true Harry Potter nerd. 

Baby's third Christmas
From her impeccable style of dress, to her innate ability to spot a thrift store treasure, she puts style in all she does. Brianna brings a younger, edgier vibe to our blog and her unique perspective on how to decorate and fix up a rental without investing much money will bring a much needed view point to the DIY blogging world. With her on board expect to see an occasional fashion, beauty or hair post pop up now and then just to keep you on your toes and looking fine! Ow! Ow!

Our Perspectives:

I’m Colleen, and I’m the boss Mom of this operation. Being a mom and creating a beautiful home for my family to gather in are two of the most important things in the world to me. Our homes are a reflection of who we are and since I am not perfect, let me assure you, neither is my home. However, a home doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful! In addition, let me assure you that bringing style to your home doesn't have to break the bank! As a stay at home mom with 6 children, expensive design and having nice things was not going to happen on our budget. If I was going to have that beautiful, welcoming home I dreamed of, I was going to have to make it happen on a tight budget. And so I did. I learned to shop my own home (continue reading our blog and we’ll teach you just how to do this), shop garage sales, discover the art of shopping thrift stores (I assure you, there are tricks and we will teach you) or when all else failed, I made it myself (or sweet talked my stud of a husband into doing it for me). It can be done and my home is proof! I’m humbly appreciative every time a new friend or visitor walks into our home and says, “Wow! Your home looks like it could be in a magazine!” I assure you, every single room has been done on the cheap. As in dirt cheap. 

My design aesthetic is a bit different than Bri’s and it’s that contrast between our ages and styles that brings so much to the table here at Like Mother Like Daughter. While there are many basic principles and techniques that I have passed down and many others that we have discovered together, the one thing I hope to have really passed on to Brianna is the courage to be herself and to make her home her very own. She has done just that and boy, is it beautiful! I can’t wait for you to see!

My home is a mix of traditional and modern with a little cottage chic thrown in. I love the contrast of beautiful, sleek elements combined with rustic, natural or weathered pieces. My style is constantly evolving, but always relies on the same basic design elements and frugal habits that I have honed over 25 years. So stick around so we can share what has been passed down.......from Mother, to Daughter and now to you!

You know the expression "use what your momma gave you?" Well, that's how the idea for our blog came to be. I'm Brianna, the "daughter" half of Like Mother Like Daughter, and while what my mother gave me, I might not be able to "shake" (trust me, you wouldn't want me to try), she gave me something much more valuable; a keen eye for style, a love for creating a beautiful home, and the knowledge and tools necessary to do so on a budget. I grew up in a home where every room had its own distinctive and cohesive decor. So as I started growing up and preparing to leave the nest, it seemed out of the question that my home be any other way. In preparation, I began drooling with my mother over her home decor magazines, taking interior design courses through high school, and mentally planning down to the smallest detail my own future  home. This is where my mother's thrifty tips have saved me over the years on my own.  Being a self-employed twenty four (and a half!) year old renter, I have to find a way to have my "Pottery Barn" home on a lives-in-a-barn budget.

When you rent a home, compromise is the name of the game. You have to work within the boundaries of the lease, meaning you can't always make the changes you would make if the space were your own, which unfortunately sometimes means embracing that outdated wall paper, or the bright pink ceiling (seriously...who paints a kitchen ceiling pink? It was pepto abysmal!). You have to share your space with roommates, which can also mean incorporating that horrible plaid couch that never did quite find its way out to the curb. Being on my third rental, I have pretty much mastered compromise. In my upcoming posts, I will be teaching you tricks I've picked up along the way to making these little compromises work for you, and how to work with the space you have (or in my case, don't have!). I will also be teaching you ways to make improvements to your home that aren't permanent, and can easily be moved or put back to normal when it comes time to move out.

I have always thought of my home as a kind of optimistic self portrait; each room its own reflection of me, scattered with clues to figuring out just who I am as a person (leaving out most of the bad stuff, of course). My home is very personal to me, afterall, it is where I go to just be myself. It is where I relax, where my friends gather, and where my sweet, four legged best friend waits all day for me to get home to smother me in affection. There is so much love that abides here, so many positive memories that have been made within these walls. It only makes sense to put that same love back into my wonderful home. With each project I complete it feels so much more "invested in," and becomes a bigger part of me as I put more of myself into it.  Never having a surplus of money at any given time, I have learned to pick things up here and there. Therefore, my home is an ever-evolving project, changing with each little purchase I make, each project I complete, and growing with me as a person. Since I have learned to score most of my finds at thrift stores, craigslist, and on clearance racks, having a home that feels like home seems much more manageable one throw pillow or re-purposed treasure at a time. Being the thrift store addict that I am, I have learned to look at things as what they could be, as opposed to what they are, and will be sharing with you tips on how to do the same.

So stick around so we can pass along our passion for a beautiful home; from mother, to daughter, to you.

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