Tuesday, July 10, 2012

{what's old is new again: powell brower home}

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm thrilled to have another lovely guest post this week, from the talented designer and blogger, Nancy Powell of Powell Brower Home. I love how she's given it her own twist, focusing on how her mother has influenced her personal style. And she's got another lovely example of a ceramic figure similar to the dogs I posted about!

Thank you Nancy for inviting me to guest post today! In seeing your post about the ceramic dogs, an idea sparked reminding me of the ceramic zebra I have of my mothers, so todays post is:

How my mother influenced my design career

When I was a young girl I admired that my mother sewed her own clothes. She taught me how to sew and I was fortunate enough to be able to whip up a new outfit in a few hours with a fabric remnant. We perused fabric stores often where she taught me about the 'hand' of fabrics, i.e., the quality and feel, the way they hung, and I admired the tailored patterns she chose. I loved those translucent ochre paper patterns and wanted to wallpaper a wall with them!

When she remarried in her 50's, her new life as a dentist's wife involved entertaining, a lot of social functions and travel. Her sewing elevated to couture patterns and fabrics and I loved to watch her get dressed and accessorize herself! I remember this more than I remember her decorating our home growing up, until I was in college. That's when mom started adding Scandinavian furniture {mid century modern now}, Marimekko fabrics, and "modern" pieces to her traditional collection of family antiques. This is when my eyes opened to design. I studied fine art in college and became an art teacher and furthered my own art career as a serigrapher and painter. In the 80's I became an interior decorator and my love of home design coincided with my art career. Now I'm back into Interior Design after years of working the family display business.

I consider my style "transitional" in my own home decor. I have recently added a family antique or two since my mother passed away several years ago. I love that I have some of her mid century pieces as well, and one unusual piece we call ZEEBEE.

She was ahead of her time with Zeebee. People thought she was nuts buying this ceramic zebra, that I remember cost a fortune back in the 70's {around $200}. I saw it as 'artsy' and loved it. My daughter Bethany solely equates Zeebee with memories of her grandmother, who is a huge influence in her design tastes today. Zeebee plays in many spots around the house:

My mother's heirloom mahogany tilt-top table :

The "box"purse my mother carried off and on for 20 years that she owned in 3 or 4 colors:

Her Scandinavian wall hung teak buffet with her antique Balinese carved window {that we DIY'd}, along with some rosewood chinese water buffalo my father brought home from Korea:

It was my mom who taught me the value of good pieces, both in fashion and in furniture. She reupholstered furniture often and changed with the times. She was a style icon to me, and I see now that my daughter is carrying on the family tradition. I will forever honor my mother as one of the people who influenced me the most in my life today. Among her other attributes that I share were her love for dogs and horses, gardening and entertaining. I have her Haviland china, that reportedly I never really liked until I was older, but now adore:

Just writing this post makes me miss my mother; her wonderful qualities and all that she brought to our family. I hope your mother was a positive influence in your life. I would love to hear what quality you inherited from your mother--please tell me!

- Nancy


Anonymous said...

Your mother cut quite the stylish figure in and out of the home, I am completely taken with that zebra, I love the size of it, and its utter commitment to whimsy!

Amy Walters said...

Ooh...I love that old photograph of Nancy's mother. Stunning!

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

thanks so much, Nancy, for featuring my mom's post :) my grandmother was a huge source of inspiration to both of us.

so nice to be linked up with you!!

pam {simple details} said...

Oh my goodness, this makes me wish I could have met her. Her influence, the touching tribute and Zeebee are all priceless!

charmaine said...

What a great tribute! Thanks for sharing Nancy.

traci zeller designs said...

How fabulous was Nancy's mom?!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Hi, Nancy Marcus -

Thanks for the guest post from my friend ;-) Wherever Nancy Powell goes, I follow!!

I enjoyed reading this, NP. Thanks for sharing your mom with us. You all are definitely an artistic and stylish family.


Julielorusso@gmail.com said...

I tribute my mother with much of the same -- teaching me about quality fabrics, furniture, style. She also is my inspiration to DIY and try new things.

How great is Zeebee?! Love him under the table.

Juli said...

What a WONDERFUL article! Thanks so much for featuring this on your blog. :) Nancy is my neighbor & since meeting her, I've been lucky enough to draw inspiration from her style. She has dramatically "unblocked" what was a severe creative block I had been going through. Now, I can't even keep up with all the juices flowin'!

Jessica {The Aestate} said...

Love this series and that zebra is AMAZING!

The Aestate

Pinecone Camp said...

What a sweet post. So inspiring. I absolutely love the image of Nancy's mom. Adorable.

Diane said...

Like you my mother so influenced my love of interior design and my daughter loved a large ceramic tiger that my mother brought over from England when she left to marry my father over 50 years ago. They are both gone now but that tiger makes all of, especially my daughter who is now a college student, smile and think of Grandmother. Thanks for conjuring up these memories.

{The Design Daredevil} Jessie D. Miller said...

I LOVE the throwback pics of your Mom!

SO INTO ceramic animals as well. I just bought an elephant at a thrift shop for $34....major inspired from the zebra under the table!

Lisa Mende Design said...

I love this post! Nancy is so sweet and her mother must have been amazing. I love Bethany too! great family!

Tracey Ayton Photography said...

Thank you for this lovely post Nancy, I'm almost tearful myself hearing about Nancy and what fabulous things her mom collected, the knowledge and the love that she shows for her. I hear ya on the mom front, while I was reading this, all that went through my head was how lucky I am to have received the things my mom collected and handed down to me that I treasure so close to my heart.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post! So great to hear about your Mother and how she influenced you. Zeebee is gorgeous and such a treasure!



Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy said...

i love this post! my mom painted our house purple and gave us a leopard kitchen. the older i got the cooler i thought it was! check it out: www.thedarkerhorse.blogspot.com

pimpmybricks.wordpress.com said...

Hello Nancy - how nice to bump into you here! I love Zeebee, and I love the painting behind.

What did my mother pass onto me? What she called 'witchery' - the ability to know who was on the phone before picking it up, or other people's thoughts before they were spoken (sometimes). I would have preferred curly hair, the ability to sing, or something a little easier!


barbara@hodge:podge said...

Nancy is such a sweet blogger and talented designer. How nice to find her here! Her mother, and clearly she too, have great taste!

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