Lessons From My Childhood

You are not born with good taste – you acquire it. I had the great good fortune to have a mother who was positively dedicated to good taste in interior design , and the ability to acquire it.

I recently was back in touch with a childhood friend who went to visit our website. Her comments ? “There is nothing here that didn’t have its genesis in your childhood home. The only thing missing is something that might have been derived from the speaker in the living room. “

The more I thought about it, the more I knew the total debt owed to my mother. She taught me what the focal point of a room is, how many drawers are in a semanier and what the leading edge of a drapery is – all before age 5. She snuck me into the design center and had me practice selecting the most beautiful fabrics. My mother taught me that an environment can change your mood, your outlook and ultimately your future.

Frequently I am amazed at how history repeats itself. Many years ago I created a very elegant guest bedroom for a showcase. The upholstered canopy that topped the 4 corners of draperies had to be built in-situ. I recalled the tales of the cornice boards for my mother’s living room and bedroom draperies being so long that they had to be moved into the house before the windows were installed or there would be no way to bring them in. History repeating itself.

I recall painting all of the walls in a showcase in the absolute darkest color imaginable – some might think of it as black. My mother had painted the principal hallway in her home absolute jet-black and it was marvelous. History repeating itself.

I have often been asked if I had any negative feelings about my early training. The answer is a resounding no. I was taught a skill that has served me well for many years – and I hope in the process has served my clients equally well.

-MICHAEL M. MERRILL ASID, NKBA, CID

7 Replies to “Lessons From My Childhood”

  1. Wonderful reflections Michael. As I told you, I can remember every detail of that gorgeous house on Fisher Road because it was so beautiful and timeless. It makes me happy thinking about it!

  2. I totally agree Michael and how lucky we were to have our eye’s trained at such an early age. Not everyone can teach and we need to be so grateful that our mothers shared their knowledge with us. That is a double gift.

  3. You were so fortunate to have known her far longer than I but there is no doubt, she made an enormous mark on our lives!! I love you mommy & you also, my brother!

    Love always,

    You rock!
    XXXOOO

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