Architect Hugh Randolph says his mom taught him to be curious and to have empathy, which has helped him look at things from the point of view of his clients — an "invaluable skill," he says, for any architect or designer. Randolph grew up in a house that had a revolving collection of literature, history and art books and plenty of access to art supplies; this makes sense, as his mom is a skilled visual artist. Design tip from Mom: Creating a lively, lived-in household is more important than achieving a show-house look. Encourage all members of the family to read and play by filling the home with books of all types, art materials and plenty of conversation areas. Display artwork in both expected, high-traffic areas and unexpected places like bathrooms and walk-in closets; you never know when an impressionable young mind will be impacted by what they see.