Inspired by Elaine Griffin

By Kate Riley October 19, 2010

My friends, I’m inspired this week.  Inspired to make changes, inspired to inject color, inspired to make my home serve our needs better.  Why?  Why the lovely Elaine Griffin, that’s why!  You may recall I reviewed her book last year, and was delighted to find so much practical advice from one of the Top 100 Designers named by House Beautiful.

I had the opportunity to talk to Elaine last week, and it was like we were long time BFFs.  She has the most valuable advice to give, and quite frankly, one of the kindest voices in the biz.  It goes without saying I am a fan forever.  In anticipation of the big Mom Cave Link Party coming up next week (ladies, mark your calendars!), here’s a few Q & A’s exchanged between the incredible Ms. Elaine and little ol’ me.

Q: How did the idea of the ‘Mom Cave’ originate?

HomeGoods conducted a national poll of 1000 people and it revealed that 56% of moms don’t have a space to call their own!   Of those moms, 7 out of 10 said they would "love a space all for me"!  They asked me (Elaine) to come in and help visualize what a Mom Cave would look like so that any woman (moms or not) could have one, no matter what size space they had or budget.  So I designed three spaces as examples to kick off this new concept and inspire ladies to create a space that belonged just to them.

CG Note:  Having a hard time focusing when gazing on these incredible saturated teal paneled blue walls with white, green, and gold accessories.  Swoon.


Q:  Where did you find all of the gorgeous furniture and accessories for these Mom Caves you designed? 

All of it came from HomeGoods!  What’s so fun about shopping at HomeGoods is the element of undiscovered treasures AND the incredible array of styles — there’s something for every room in every house in every style!  To die for! It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing head-to-toe Chanel with a driver waiting out front, HomeGoods offers any shopper the thrill of the hunt AND designer goods at 60% off what you’d pay in the fancy stores.

Q:  What are your strategies to creating the ideal ‘Mom Cave’?

Whether you’re or mom or not, it’s important to exhale for a moment and to take "me" time.  The first thing to do is give yourself permission to have space of your own.

Moms are so busy nurturing, we really need to find a place to stake out for just us whether it’s three feet or three hundred square feet.  It can be a space at the top of landing, one half of your dining room, a long expanse of empty wall, or even a closet — somewhere where you can declare, "This is my six feet!"

And a Mom Cave should have color!  Pick ones that delight you and speak to you, even the outrageous ones, like our Ralph Lauren ‘Racer Pink’ on your painted walls.  You don’t need your husband’s approval for anything that goes in your Mom Cave, so ENJOY what pleases just you!!!

CG Note: Love love loving the intense RL Racer Pink in this room.  To me, it’s like the perfect shade of lipstick.   

Q:  What’s your favorite aspect of shopping HomeGoods furniture and accessories?  

HomeGoods has unique finds from all over the world, the type of things that add those important finishing touches in a room, beyond your personal objects.  The best way to shop HomeGoods is look closely to see what you can find. There’s a ton of designer loot and some stunning brand names, too.  Check the price label first, and then look closely at the back of a piece to see what sort of other labels you can find . . . like big-ticket name brands that unaffordable elsewhere.  They’re all over the store.

homegoods mom cave 2

Always look deep into shelves — there’re great things in the back, like trays, for example.  Really take your time going through everything (ladies, this is not a moment to RUSH!!), because you don’t always see the best finds on the first look!

Q:  Remind us what the ‘Mom Cave’ is all about.

A ‘Mom Cave’ is where the woman who nurtures everyone goes to nurture herself.  (Which is why I always say, "Make your ‘Mom Cave’ pretty and keep it neat!!!") It’s also an ideal space to visit with girlfriends, so allow pull-up seating for that, too.  Make it super-personalized and surround yourself with beautiful things to look at while you recharge with a cup of tea.  A ‘Mom Cave’ is a very relaxing "ultimate fantasy" space, but it’s also a functional space too, where you can work and produce.  Most of all, a ‘Mom Cave’ is the space that nurtures your spirit.   

Yes, yes, thank you Elaine!  Don’t forget the Mom Cave Contest is next Monday, and there’s a lot of cash goodies up for grabs, with $250 as the top prize, and four $50 dollar runner up prizes.  And guess who will also be my Guest Judges for the ‘Mom Cave’ contest?

The extremely talented Layla from The Lettered Cottage.

layla lettered cottage

And the delightful and talented Rhoda from Southern Hospitality.

rhoda southern hospitality

Two superstar bloggers and designers I am proud to call my friends.

Mark your calendars for next Monday October 25th!

You can enter in one of two ways:

Write up a post* in one of the two categories below in 100 words or less with images of your space and then link up to the party on October 25th.

A) Describe your ‘Mom Cave’ and get creative!  It can be your home office, your craft corner or closet, your reading nook, your vanity, or your favorite getaway spot.  Wherever it is that YOU take time to recharge, create, get organized, or just relax.  Why is it special to you?   How does your existing ‘Mom Cave’ help you stay organized, unwind, or simply be a better Mom?

B) OR, answer this question in your post:  How would a $250 gift card help you create your own ‘Mom Cave’?  Don’t forget a picture!

*If you do not have a blog, please submit your written entry (with at least 1 picture) to [email protected] on or before October 25th by 8 p.m PST.

swirl snip

Elaine Griffin has inspired me so much that there are some changes going on around these parts too!  I happen to be a habitual mover of furniture, so the sofa that was in my home office was moved into the living room over the weekend.  I like it here!  It makes for a pleasant seating area for the holiday party, but not sure it will stay here forever.  The grand piano was moved to the other side of the room, but I’m planning to move it back next year.

cream sofa in living room

This room is screaming for an area rug, but I’m still waiting on this lattice rug in ivory on backorder until next month.  I’m on the hunt for a better coffee table too.

I am in need of a better filing and storage solution in my office, so I found this credenza at a thrift store for the new blank wall in the office.  Perfect! home office plans copy

This two tone credenza is scuffed up, so I’m thinking I’ll paint this time.  How about a chic glossy medium tone gray with sleek nickel pulls?  Above, a huge inspiration board, and perhaps some art.  Add a few accessories in an intense raspberry color and some metallics too ~ it will be both pretty and practical!

Be sure to participate in the ‘Mom Cave’ Link Party on Monday October 25th!



  1. YAY!
    I’m so excited to be involved in this awesome contest!
    I can’t wait to see all the entries.
    Thank you for including me!


    PS- LOVED the photos in this post, and the fabulous interview too!

  2. Love the answer to, “What is the mom cave all about? ‘Mom Cave’ is where the woman who nurtures everyone goes to nurture herself. LOVE IT!
    Great interview, amazing photos!

    I just wrote a post about some wall decor ideas for the Mom Cave, love this idea!!

  3. I’ve had my own “mom cave” for a while now, and I thought I was happy with it until I saw these pictures! Now I think it’s time for a make-over! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. So exciting Kate wow!! I have to start putting my thoughts together on this for Mom Cave!!
    Elaine’s ideas are great!!

    Art by Karena

  5. I’ve been thinking of this concept of the Woman of the House not having a space all their own. Men often do, children often do and women rarely do, why? Is it because the entire house is considered the woman’s domain and so why would she need yet another space all her own? I need one myself…have a few plans! Janell

  6. Gorgeous images! I’m so inspired! I have a small corner in our guest room but it’s in serious need to a makeover. The whole room could use a little Home Goods love. Headed to the guest room now to start scheming. :-)

  7. Are there any more pictures of the pink Mom Cave? I LOVE it, but can’t get a sense of how the room is laid out, what else is in there, etc. Thank you!!

  8. Fabulous contest & your own home is so lovely. The credenza is going to look terrific in a gray. Elaine’s mom cave’s were so fun and infused with such fabulous color.

    I understand the concept for a mom or a man cave but just seems like another way we think it’s all about ‘me’. Do I have a home office, you bet I do. But it’s not a cave!

    That’s me though..!!

    ( : Deb

  9. I love your plans for adding the raspberry color infusion to your mom cave!! Maybe you should go for it, and add some decorative painting ON the credenza in the raspberry as well. >:} Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  10. Great interview with Elaine, and I love the concept of a Mom Cave :-) Well, I’m not a mom, but I’d love to have my own spot in our home that’s girly and pretty and NEAT!!

    Love the colours in the Racer Pink room and those fab cushions.

    Have fun refinishing the credenza — it’s going to look great!


  11. Elaine had some really good tips! I feel sort of up in the air right now b/c I’m not sure what to do…we just moved our girls into the same room, which gives me a *free* room again. I need to put my white wrought iron day bed in there for guests, but I am torn as to whether or not I should make that my mom cave, or put the girls’ toys in there. :s

    I am for sure participating next week, and really excited about it!

  12. Oh man, I would love a Mom cave. Is it weird I’d pick my kitchen? It’s my third true love, the first two being my husband and my daughter, and it needs so much so badly. New colors, new appliances, decor of any kind would be nice. I love to spend time cooking and baking, and it’s where I can really relax, even if I’m scrubbing out a stubborn stain on the stove! I’d love to buy something just for me in there. A cute piece of art, or an awesome light. Anything that could be just mine!

  13. YES, raspberry pops would be perfect in your office! Can’t wait to see how you pull it all together. I don’t have a single spot that is ‘mom’s’….so not sure how to participate in the party!!?? I have materials stashed all over the house and I just round up what I need and spread out on the floor or kitchen counter when creating things.

  14. I adore the idea of a mom (woman) cave! Who doesn’t need/deserve a private retreat within the comforts of their own home? Can’t wait to see the unveiling!

  15. Hi Cassie! I think anything related to how you find time or space to recharge will work just fine. Is it a special place you enjoy your coffee or tea? Let us know!

  16. These rooms are to die for! I have to check out Elaine’s book ASAP, because her images evoke the colorful feeling I’d like a bit more of in my home.

    RE: the mom caves – what a great idea. I think that everyone should have a special place to escape to, even if just a corner of a room!

    And this is kinda ironic – I’m in the midst of decorating my office and am doing pale silver metallic walls with raspberry and gray geometric curtains, and other raspberry accents. Great minds must think alike! :)

  17. I’m looking forward to this party! I found some very cool blogging friends through your ‘Where I Blog Party’. And the changes you plan on implementing in your office are going to be great. The raspberry will be gorgeous!

  18. I just had to laugh when I saw the “blue” and “pink” rooms. One of my instructors in college was always on my case that I needed to get over my need for symmetry that I changed my major! Yet, there is a lot of symmetry going on in these rooms…I love them and would like to send them to Dr. Trout! :)

  19. What a great idea for a contest! My home office is my “mom cave”…and it is still a work in progress…I think I’ll definitely be linking up for a chance to win that giftcard!

  20. My husband has his space. I need mine! What great inspirational photos. I’m loving those Racer Pink walls. I need to start thinking how and where to create mine now. I’m been wanting an area of my own for awhile. No time like the present! The glossy gray sounds lovely for your credenza. Can’t wait to see it finished.

  21. Kate, so excited to be a part of this too! Thanks so much for asking. Those inspiration pics are just swoon-worthy for sure. Looking forward to seeing all the entries. What fun! HOmegoods is such a fave shopping spot for me too.

  22. What a fun contest and I just love Elaine. I posted an interview with her last Tuesday discussing her own work. Come by and take a peek…

  23. oh and I can’t wait to see what you do with that credenza…moving sofa to living room, eh? any ole excuse to buy another piece of furniture *smile*

  24. I’m trying to carve out a space in my home now! I had my closet space, but I had to move it. Now I have nothing! Hmmm….Maybe I can come up with something;-)

  25. Me too! I know exactly what you mean. I envy your skill. I don’t have that artistic “artsy-fartsy” talent. How I wish I can be you even for one day. I’ll use that day to recreate my whole room into a great one ’til I can make a New York apartment rental! Short term as it may seem, that 24 hours being you will not put into waste.
    Yes, rooms induce feelings and emotions. If ever there will be a chance to convert my NYC short-term apartment, I will definitely choose your design. Coziness, it’s what I want.
    Waiting for more post!
    – Ian Thompson, fan

  26. I love the first room sample. I cant believe the furniture were purchased at HomeGoods – Where did you buy the gorgeous robin egg blue paint and what is it called?

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