Thursday, February 17, 2011


I have a passion for decorating!  When other little girls were always playing dolls, I was rearranging furniture and accessories in my parents house.  Back in the 1960's when I wasn't even aware of certain "styles" I would take my bedroom from traditional to more modern to even country.  At the age of about ten, I found an old quilt my mother had in a closet that had beautiful colors and fabrics in it, tossed it on the outside of the bed instead of under the bedspread and accessorized my room with baskets and some of my mom's antiques.  Saying all this,  I do not profess to be an expert.  I did study Interior Design at LA Tech University but have never been a member of a professional design organization.  I do it because it is a passion, and I think that every home should be a haven.  Having said all of this and knowing that I have never been asked to write a book or magazine article on decorating, it is on my bucket list so here it goes.  I would entitle my article, "The Top Five Decorating Styles To Avoid."  Decorating style #1---Dr. Seuss!  Yes, I said that.  It is hard to imagine having to tell someone that this look is not attractive for the real life home but there are those {few though they may be} that go for the look!  Now I am not talking about a brightly colored child's room in simple shapes and happy colors.  I am talking about the whole frickin house looking like it came out of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." Some woman built a house exactly like the "Simpson's."  She even had things professionally painted because she couldn't find {there is a reason for this dearie!} neon looking appliances in every different color!  Decorating style to be avoided #2--Cracker Barrell on steroids!  If you like cows, you don't have to have 150 of them in the bathroom!  A yardstick stuck into a padded heart with the words "Grandma's paddle" written on it might be good for a laugh but take it out of the closet to get your laugh.  Don't hang it over the center of the couch and accentuate it by hanging family pictures all around.  Style to avoid #3---1930's depression era!  I'm not talking about antiques here.  But there needs to be a guideline on old furniture.  Antiques can either be expensive with lots of history or a piece that has been in the family for years and is just lovely, sentimental, and old.  But it is a beautiful piece of furniture, made well and lovingly, and with a patina of age. Side note here.  I don't own any really expensive antiques--although I did once inquire about a desk that I thought was lovely at an antique store.  I was told the price was $10,000.00.  After I recovered from my faint and knocking my head on the corner of a $12,000.00 table, I asked the lady which former president had used this particular desk!  I wouldn't pay $10,000.00 for a desk if God himself had used it to map out the parting of the Red Sea! Old furniture is well-- old furniture.  My definition for old furniture would be a piece of cheaply made furniture that wasn't even pretty when it was made years ago and  that has somehow lasted until the present.  That being said there may be a piece that fits that description that has a very special memory associated with it.  Then I would say keep it, love it, and cherish it. You just don't want your whole house like this! One of my favorite pieces in my house is a gorgeous secretary of the most beautiful warm wood, with inlaid burl patterns and an intricate wood design on the doors with the glass.  It is even signed on the back with an italian name in carpenters pencil.  My price--$80.00 at a yard sale that I found while driving through a neighborhood!  Man those breaks on my van are good!  Decorating style #4-- I call caveman modern.  To me it looks like an empty house that the people haven't moved into yet.  Although I suspect that some of the "lofts" in NYC that cater to this look have another reason for no furniture.  It's much cooler to say that you prefer a minimalist look that to say, "We paid out the wazoo so much for this penthouse apartment that we cannot afford furniture until 2026."  Cavemen didn't have a lot of furniture {oh great, now I'm an authority on cavemen!} because so much hadn't been invented.  With the wonderful plush sofas that we have today, why would you want a single lucite bench in a room to sit on?  Doesn't make sense to me!  And my final decorating style that I don't recommend is what I call HOARDER CHIC.  There is an entire series on television devoted to these people so the style must be more common that we think. Some advice sweetie! If you blew your nose on a tissue at your senior prom in 1948--this little item doesn't need to be bronzed!  Your child's first poopie diaper may be a miracle to you but not worthy of a shadow box on the wall.  Macaroni and cheese on a plate in your sink from 62 days ago that is now growing fungi is of no use to you unless you are a bacteriologist! Cat feces is well CAT FECES and should be thrown away!  By the way of a side note---I didn't know how to spell feces so I googled it.  Guess what came up.  {Identify Animal Feces {picture}-Kitchen Table Form-Garden Web.}  Some day if I am deposited alone on another planet with only a lucite bench, a laptop computer and the internet, I might actually be bored enough to check that site out!  Happy decorating and may your home always be your haven! 

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