4 Interior Design Tips You'll Love From Mister Rogers

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In my day-to-day life I find interior design tips in completely unexpected places. Watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was one of these surprising discoveries.

As an early childhood educator I knew the genius of Fred Rogers but honestly I hadn't watched the show since I was little. When the kiddos and I rediscovered his episodes I was completely captivated and in awe with the power of his message.

The episode we watched first started as usual with the greeting song and clothes changing. And then Mister Rogers said he was going to a restaurant to get some lunch. Would we like to come? Well, of course, we would!

I'll sum up the visit with a few key points.

  • Mr. Rogers introduced us - the audience - to table manners, place settings, finding the bathroom, and generally lovely public behavior.

  • He knew the owner of the restaurant personally and they greeted each other as friends.

  • We were invited to meet and watch the chef at work where he made Mr. Rogers a cheese sandwich.

  • At the end of the visit with the chef, Mr. Rogers turned to him, thanked him, and said, "It must feel good to make so many people happy."

I was captivated by the visit and wanted to explore why I was so moved. Here's what I came up with and how the topics went way beyond a restaurant.

Interior Design Tips: Don't be intimidated

Mister Rogers addressed us with the idea that of course we were welcomed at the restaurant. He encouraged us to learn a few things in preparation and then bring them with us.

It can be a little daunting to take on "interior design" projects. But it's nowhere near as snooty and elite as it may at first seem.

  • Do your homework ("Oh, hey Pinterest! And hi, catalogs in the mail!")

  • Narrow down to what you like

  • Head out to stores confident you'll find what you need!

If you need help along the way, there are people to help you. No. Sweat.

Interior Design Tips: Simple is often best

The sandwich that the chef made for Mister Rogers was literally bread, cheese, and maybe a little mayo. And it was delicious.

  • You don't need all the bells and whistles

  • Buy products that are quality, simple, and long-lasting

  • Enjoy your finished project with confidence in your selections

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Interior Design Tips: Take the time to get to know employees at your favorite stores

Mister Rogers and the owner of the restaurant greeted each other sincerely and with warmth. Here's why that matters.

  • Everyone likes to be treated as an individual and with genuine care

  • Happy staff often go the extra mile for special customers

    • For Mister Rogers it was a personalized tour of the kitchen

    • For you it might be a head's up on a coming sale

  • When Mister Rogers talked to the chef about how happy his work made people it must have made him feel amazing.

    • Let your new friends know how much you appreciate their help.

Interior Design Tips: Community is key

Buying products for your interior design projects locally makes an impact way beyond a simple financial interaction.

  • Obviously, your purchase supports the owner of the store and the employees who work there (often the same people!). Wouldn't you rather support someone you know?

  • When you shop local you model for your children how to participate in their community.

    • Take a moment to discuss with them why you bought from the store that you did

    • Hopefully they can continue the customer/small business relationship when they're able to make shopping decisions

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I know these interior design tips won't show up in your "Top 5" lists or glossy magazines. But they're important and they'll make a huge difference in your interior design project.

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