The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

Women of Style: Lisa Caldwell Flake And Mary Ruth Caldwell

By Amy Bailey — March 23, 2015

This design duo’s superpowers include hard work, faith, and an eye for style. Creating beautiful living spaces is their job and their passion. The spaces they bring to life are gorgeous, imaginative, and awe-inspiring. But what may inspire you even more about mother-daughter design team Lisa Caldwell Flake and Mary Ruth Caldwell is their work ethic, their faith, and their wisdom. Visit Caldwell Flake Interiors.

Interview with Lisa Caldwell Flake:

What inspires you each day?
My clients. I have the luxury of working for fabulous people many of whom are now great friends and best friends who are also clients. I want each and everyone of them to love their home and although I am the designer I want them to always feel like it’s their home and they are such an important part of the process.

How does your home and family inspire you?
I was raised by a working Mom and Dad and so was my husband so we both have a very strong work ethic. I love how proud it makes my husband that I have a successful career. He supports me 110 percent and helps out anytime I need him. That kind of support is my inspiration! Plus I love that my kids see me work hard but also see me balance a family with work. I learned from the best – my mom! And I hope my daughters are learning from me.

What is your favorite thing about calling the South ‘home’?
So many reasons I love the South – the people, the manners, the food, the morals, and we have great style.

What are some tips you would give women to stay inspired through life’s trials and tribulations?
My faith is what gets me through.
I love Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
I am a firm believer in going to the Lord for anything big or small. The days I give to Him run a lot smoother! But when I take charge…well, let’s just say not so smooth. But I also know no matter what we will all have trials and tribulations and through these we will only grow closer to Him.

How do we begin to create a better life?
By living for our Lord and setting good examples for our children to learn from. Their generation is watching us so closely and we need to embrace this and help mold them. They have so much going against them and we need to provide safety for them while also teaching them a great work ethic.

How would you describe your personal style?
I love to push the boundaries some, so maybe a little edgy, bohemian sometimes. Let’s just say I have loved fringe for so many years! I have a white fringe purse I bought at Kitson in LA over 10 years ago that I bring out every year! I love to dress up but I am also very comfortable in my baseball cap with my fringe Koolaburra boots.

What was your favorite thing to wear as a child?
I was a tom boy but also loved fashion but back in the 80’s and 90’s it was easy because Patagonia shorts were considered fashionable! As a young child I seemed to always want to borrow this gold metallic jacket of my mothers…so I guess I have been pushing boundaries for awhile!

What is your favorite thing to wear now?
My favorite go-to outfit is Frame blue jeans, cool-fun shirt (Mara Hoffman is my obsession), tall boots or heels, and statement necklace and or cuff.

What is your favorite quote?
“When God shuts a door He opens a window.”
I remember my parents telling me this when I was in 6th and 7th grade and we were trying to adopt. After several failed attempts and coming home from vacations to receive a new baby, but then something happening and us not getting a baby.. This became our family motto. And sure enough God opened another a window and we were able to adopt my precious little sister, Hoodie.

Who have played mentor roles in your life?
My mother is my number one mentor because not only has she taught me everything I know as far as interior design she has also been such a wonderful role model. I still want to be just like her! And my grandmother, Mary Ruth Sevier was another amazing mentor. She has been in heaven for 8 years and not a day goes by when I don’t think of her and her impact on my life. She was an optimist like you have never met with such great style.. Always wearing this amazing turquoise cross and a smile.

What advice would you give to women in their 20s?
Start a career that you love.. Stick with it.. Don’t just think ” I will get married and not have to work”.. You can do both and do both well! Push yourselves but also have fun.. I am really good at having fun.

Interview with Mary Ruth Caldwell:

What inspires you each day?
When I get up in the morning I want to accomplish something. I like to hit the ground running and not stop until I feel like I have at least given it my all, even if it’s not enough. That’s on a work day. Now, on vacation, that’s a different story. I’m inspired to do nothing except have fun.

How does your home and family inspire you?
I can’t say that my home “inspires” me. It just represents security and comfort. My family definitely inspires me. An endearing legacy is the best thing you can leave your family and what mother (grandmother) doesn’t want that?!?!

What is your favorite thing about calling the South ‘home’?
People who really care about others and show it. ( And Alabama football!)

What are some tips you would give women to stay inspired through life’s trials and tribulations?
I’m competitive so I tend to look as trials as challenges that I can overcome and get through. It becomes almost like a game, though unpleasant at times. No matter how big or small the trial, I believe in the power of prayer!

How do we begin to create a better life?
Sounds trite, but one encounter at a time, with kindness.

How would you describe your personal style?
Not fru-fru, but colorful

What was your favorite thing to wear as a child?
My Davy Crockett coonskin cap although on some occasions I was embarrassed to wear it so I brought it along in a paper bag. ( A shrink could have a field day with that.)

What is your favorite thing to wear now?
Something out of Lisa’s closet!

What is your favorite quote?
Joyce Meyer, “ You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”

Who have played mentor roles in your life?
My mamma, a true Southern lady and my daddy, a fun, funny man. My husband, who is always there to say those five precious words, “I’ll take care of it.”

What advice would you give to women in their 20s?
Stay away from those who thrive on drama. They will suck the life out of you!