My Dad’s Advice

I think fathers got short shrift on the home front.  Most people associate home with their mothers (probably because mothers tend to do the housework and be around the house more).  You can definitely learn just as much from your father as your mother about homemaking and houses.

Father and daughter playing together

So I asked some of the interiors professionals I know what wisdom they remember their fathers imparting on homes.

Paula Gowar credits her father (who owned a construction company) with her love of interiors and subsequent career choice.

“I loved the buildings my father worked on.  We lived in a house that was only half finished, for which I drew up the plans when I was twelve.  I saw how that slowly came together and I was hooked.”

Caroline Groom, from Wright & Groom, also had a father who was involved in various ways with the property business such as the Kings Cross Regeneration Project.  He encouraged her to be hard-nosed about a home and view it as an investment as well as a place to live.  Caroline loved her first home in London which had a fabulous view of Tower Bridge.  She was really upset when another building went up in front of hers and blocked her view. So, what did her dad say to her moaning?

“You can’t buy a view!”

Caroline readily admits she is a lover of aesthetics but those sanguine words from her father have stayed with her.

Wonder where Abigail Ahern got  her tenacity and fascination with paint jobs?  Yes, it was thanks to her dad.

 “I learnt from my father that patience is a virtue (can hear him saying it now) especially when it comes to colour! I grew up in a very colourful home shots of reds, greens and teals on the walls and although I’ve gone done a slightly different route he taught me that colour always keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you’ve nailed it you stand back and bam its not so great. Rather than giving up and throwing in the towel try again because the second attempt usually throws the first attempt right out of the park.”


Georgina Cave, of Cave Interiors,  got some sage advice on creating the perfect home from her father.

“My Father taught me that a home is only as lovely as the people who reside in it.

I couldn’t agree more with Georgina’s father.  A happy home has a vibe that neither money nor decor can replicate.

Toddler walks on Dad's feet

Dads can be relied on for practical advice, wisdom and inspiration.  The father of Lucy Berridge, stylist and author,  was himself a famous creative designing award-winning jewellry.  She credits his flair and eclectic mix in encouraging her creativity and inspiring her to think outside the box.

“Make your own rules about what goes with what.”

Clearly, Lucy was taught confidence in her own talent from her father which has enabled her to express her creativity through numerous outlets.  She’s been a dancer, a stylist/art director, author and art gallery owner.

blackwhite wash

Although I’m not an interiors professional, I’ll contribute my father’s sage home-buying advice.  He always said you should buy a house in the best neighbourhood you could afford.  Growing up, we had the smallest house on the block but in a prime location.  I’ve taken that advice to heart for my own property purchases as well.  Of course, my dad’s advice has generally meant that we bought the neighbourhood wreck and spent the next year fixing it up.

So lots of philosophical and practical advice from these dads which have served their daughters well.  What’s the takeaway point on this  post?  Be careful what you advise your kids — they actually may be listening!!

Father and daughter

For all you fathers out there, I hope you get treated extra special on Sunday.

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