A Merry Makeover For Mom

What have you done lately for your mom? Have you called her? Have had lunch with her? Have you just listened to her? I listened to mine and heard the sound of JOY in her voice when we planned to decorate for Christmas this year....


Last year, for her gift, she asked me for the gift of time... She said she was FINALLY ready to have me come fix her place. And boy.... did it need fixing!! (she knew it) I brought over catalogs, magazines, and books so we could together narrow down her style. Within her, there are the characteristics unspoken, that I've just observed of her over the years: the importance of her FRIENDS and the memories of our FAMILY.


My moms place was STUCK in time (and not necessarily the best one). She was stuck at the year my father passed away, I left the nest, and her cat passed soon after. This may sound harsh, but since her place was so VOID of warmth, I said she was living in a house of death. Now trust me, I've BEEN trying to get her to change her place around. She wasn't ready and I wasn't as clear on the importance of why.


We (finally) decided on a color for the walls. This was a HUGE commitment for her because all she's ever known was her blah beige or picky peach. I insisted on a shade of green: Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware. Reluctantly, she went with it and couldn't be happier. (It's a funny thing: having a mom learn to trust her daughter... but I think this year she has developed that.)


She gave me a budget, gave me her 'wish-list', and a hunting & gathering I went. I shopped around at discount stores (Ross, Marshalls, BigLots) and big box stores (JCPenney, Home Depot, Lowes, Pier 1), as well as at Goodwill, Salvation Army, and online (Walmart, Overstock, Pottery Barn, West Elm). I filled our garage with treasures and projects for her. We even spent a few Sundays together having lunch, discussing her expectations, and me loading up her mini SUV to start transferring the inventory down south.


In May, even my husband got dragged into engagement of this monumental MOM task by loading up his truck, and acting as the electrician for the day. My mom went to work and left the keys under her doormat, but we didn't need because the painter was still there finishing up the trim. I spent time before on photos we gathered one afternoon. I tinted and cropped them: sepia for the living room and b&w for the wall unit. My dad's camera was a HUGE part of our life. It to got a special place on a wall.


Jeff installed three light fixtures, two floating shelves, and one rattan roman shade. I dug into repositioning existing furniture & accessories, unloading the truck & car, and unpacking & cleaning all her new goodies. The best part was actually loading up the front yard with all the 'donations' that would be difficult to do if mom were there.


She's had some time to 'live' in her new space (and I DO mean LIVE). She's enJOYed many mornings with the paper, afternoons reading her books, and evening with her visiting friends. After over ten years of no tree or Christmas decor, the space brought back her desire to WANT to sit and look at the tree... as we traditionally did for so many years.


Again she gave me a budget ($200) and I listened to wishes: a tree, decorations, and some chocolate accessories to change space from bright Spring to cozy Winter. I tried to fulfill them all as well as give her more than she expected. I also reused some decor items of my own not in use this year (mirrors, ornaments, bowls). One of which were a pair of grapevine wreaths. I had actually used these for Halloween (in black), then sprayed them white for last years decor.


Since her friends are what matter most to her, I found some inspirational quotes online, printed, pre-cut into rectangles and hole punched for wreaths for the interior of her front and back door.


Since I wasn't able to use ALL the photos we had selected at the beginning of the year, I printed a grouping of them to personalize her tree with. I had her help by hole-punching all the photos for hooks. I also brought some wintery scene Christmas cards for her to change out some picture frames into.


So in a day, her place was once transformed into a space she can call home. A place I know she misses dearly since we moved to Florida back in '78.


The best gift you could give for Christmas, or any other special time of the year is the gift of yourself and your time. What's on your lists this year? What gifts are you giving? Are you rushing and running to the nearest mall? Why not share a little bit of yourself and give time to your mom...

Thanks for stopping by


  1. You are a fabulous daughter to listen and then use your vast talents to make her space so beautiful!! Loving the pics!!

  2. ThX for the support JILL!!!! and thx for leaving a comment!! Have you signed the Guest Book below???

    I don't think I saw you there... GO! :D

  3. This is a great post!
    And I love everything you did with your mom's space!
    You are hugely talented!
    xo xo
    PS Could you show BIG pictures please - love the larger new font....

  4. you sound like the most wonderful daughter. i do feel like "our time" is all they ever really truly want... and i love my mother so much..i love spending all the time i can with her and my father... have a wonderful holiday... x pam

  5. ThanX Val!!! :D Sorry about pic size today. I was playing with picnik app to create collages... I agree & they'll be bigger for future posts!!

  6. Thank You so much Pam. For this coming years gift, she wants to fix up the patio, so you're right: all they (our parents) want IS our time... Wonderful Holiday to Wishes to You and your family as well.... :-)

    (BTW: Beautiful Blog!!)

  7. oh my gosh looks so goooood. loved this post!You inspire me!!!

    I’m new here to your blog and wanted to “pop” in to say hi! : )
    If you would like come check out my blog and enter my current giveaway at littlemissheirlooms.blogspot.com
    I hope you decided to follow me because I try to bring my readers a new and AMAZING giveaway every Monday!

  8. ThX Priscila!! for the compliment and the invite. I'll be sure to chk you out... the giveaways sound great!

    :D Lynda



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