My Mother: An Inspiration

My mother is someone very special in my life: a strong and creative woman, a nurturing figure, a source of inspiration and laughter.

My mother and IMy mother and I

These past few months have been difficult for me on a personal level. Raising a son who has special needs can be exhausting, and I can thank my mother for being there for me as my husband and I battle the system to help our son reach his full potential and be happy. Some of you may wonder why I have not blogged as much: I have been focusing on my youngest son and my design business. I put the blog on the backburner…

As long as I can remember, I lived in a creative home. In fact, I learned to sew and draw at a very young age, modeling after my mother’s creative energy. I remember falling asleep to the sound of the sharp blade of a pair of sewing scissors, gliding along confidently on the hardwood floor, as my mom cut large slabs of fabric pinned to patterns to make dresses for us (at midnight!).

Fabric was a soothing and happy word in my household.

As a little girl, I saw my mother become a Montessori student and then a teacher. I would go to her classroom to help on my days off school, and hold the colorful beads, cherishing the colors and shapes. I would position the pink tower blocks carefully one above the other or arrange the little trays with the small pitcher and cup on their shelves.

Our house accumulated oriental rugs my parents shopped for; I remember we could spend a whole weekend driving around the country searching for the perfect antique corner cupboard. My mother would take an antique quilt and repurpose it as a curtain between two rooms, or she would make a patch work art piece for my younger sister’s bedroom, using scraps of fabric.

Color, texture, beauty, in infinite details of objects or in a carefully cared for garden, continue to inspire my mother to this day:

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother’s collection of antique chess pieces. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother’s assortiment of little boxes and “chinoiseiries”. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza Books and picture in my mother’s living room and below, her wingchair- Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza


Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother’s glass menagerie Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaHer silver cups…

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaA fun vignette, I love the stool with the embroidered seat under the English table…Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother has style everywhere, including in her garden! Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaDid I mention she is a painter nowadays? Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAnd to top things off, my mother takes me to strange and totally cool stores when I visit, like this escapade we made to Vermont, just to check out this quirky shop, The Owl’s Nest. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 I’d say my passion for interior design and the creative process was inspired, day in and day out, by my mother.

Interior Design, after all, is about the loving juxtaposition of items, gathered together to create beauty and comfort.


Connecting Design, Art & Inspiration

Ever since I’ve been a child, I have been incredibly moved by what my eyes allow me to see. All that is visible triggers a strong sensory experience in me: the shape of a floating cloud in a darkening sky, the smooth face of a baby against the shine of its eyes, the wondrous delicate insides of flowers. Beauty is everywhere. The down side of being so attuned to what one sees, is that as visual thinkers, we tend to be easily distracted by a shocking image, which can stay imprinted in our minds forever! A childhood traumatic memory, a violent image in the news: these can resonate very strongly with us.

Today’s post is about what associations come to my mind as I see something that captures my eye. Without further ado, I present to you our magical world and its many inspirations…

Fairfield Porter Painting

This dreamy and calm image evokes a sense of play. One is on vacation, at the seaside on a quiet grey day. The dog is at the door, alive and tail wagging. But, what can I create with this image? A soothing color scheme for an interior using pale greens, blues, white and grey. This what I associate this scene with:

A country armoire with glass doors in pale grey via
Cloud Stool via
Mack Lamp via
Pillows by Sarah Foote via
Green Garden Chairs via


Japanese Trees Fabric by Timorous Beasties


Duralee Fabric 42132-665

And…I could not resist a photography of man (or woman’s) best friend

Photo with dog via Pinterest -Source Unknown

And so it goes…I could go on and on!

Another example:

When I pinned this photo via Pinterest, I immediately began thinking it would be a great color inspiration for a room. Here are some thoughts that pop to mind. Bookworm, soft, feminine, restful, nostalgic. And now a few images that may bring us to see this photo translated into a style :

Dresser and Rose via
Sofa via
Jason Home Bench via
Night Sky silk fabric by Barbara Barry for Kravet
Tempo Velvet Pillow via
Crystal Chandelier
Georgia O’Keeffe Painting


Putting a Face on: A Style for this Inspiration via

Hope you enjoyed. This was fun! A bientôt!