What It's Like Having a Mom Who's an Interior Decorator

What It's Like Having a Mom Who's an Interior Decorator

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Adrienne Breaux
Jan 12, 2017
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Colie and her husband immensely enjoy their 781 square foot Minneapolis apartment, thanks in no small part to the well-designed, cohesive and comfortable space Colie has crafted. The decorating skill just might be genetic because Colie's mother, Nancy Sieve, is an interior decorator. After we published the tour, I asked Colie a few questions about what it was like growing up with a mom with a knack for design. Read on for the interview (and, yes, of course, I asked if she was allowed to design her own bedroom growing up) ...

How would you describe your mom's design style?

Her style is a mix of coastal, English country, vintage and more recently, mid-century. It's always evolving. She takes her clients' styles and interests and kind of runs them through her filter.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

How involved were you when you were a kid? Did she take you on shopping trips? What do you remember about her design business?

I've always had a creative itch so I loved going to job sites and clients' homes to see what she was up to. She's also a faux finish painter and I remember her painting/creating crazy things like elephant hide (11 layers of paint!) on a wall. She'd let me cut in when painting rooms sometimes so I felt like I helped create the end product.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

What was your childhood home's style like?

We moved around quite a bit growing up, but my mom's favorite home (mine as well) was a Victorian home built in 1900. As an adult I appreciate it even more with the built-in hutches, swinging doors, quirky features and the quality build of an older home (aka solid wood, not compressed).


"She has helped me out in apartments since and it's nice to have another eye when creating a space."


(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Were you allowed to design your own childhood bedroom?

She definitely let me design my own room when I was a kid. I wanted to paint each wall a different, bright color/pattern and she let me. I'm sure it drove her crazy since it was definitely not her style but it was my first project that was 100% me (and looking back at pictures…awful). She has helped me out in apartments since and it's nice to have another eye when creating a space.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

What's been the best thing about having an interior decorator mom?

As a child it was always having a house that felt like home. My favorite was Christmastime when she'd get out all the totes, light the fireplace, turn on some Christmas music and decorate the entire house.

As an adult it's sharing the love of interior design. We'll flip through magazines (Domino is our favorite) or Pinterest together and send pictures of updates to our places back and forth, recent purchases we're excited about, etc. It's having a friend with a common interest and an appreciation for something.


"Among many design lessons she taught me, one thing I remember most for some reason is that you can have too much of a good thing."


(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

What's the biggest design lesson you've learned from your mom?

Among many design lessons she taught me, one thing I remember most for some reason is that you can have too much of a good thing. I would go through phases like loving leopard, but I would see something — anything — leopard and want to buy it for my room. I'm talking not just a throw pillow, but also the duvet, sheets, rug, chair, frame, etc. haha She once said, "if you overdo a theme in a room, it becomes more of a theme park" or something like that. Buy one leopard pillow, not all of the leopard things.


Thanks to both Colie and Nancy!

See all of Colie's beautiful home in her house tour → An Elegant & Eclectic Minneapolis Apartment


*This interview has been edited.

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