Lists: pimp my house edition

March 28, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Posted in wine | 1 Comment

I have a recent obsession with interior design. By obsession I mean virtual obsession — I’m not actually redecorating my apartment. But I fall asleep at night imagining perfectly decorated rooms, and I have even started making lists (I love lists, remember?) of what I want for each room in this apartment, in the Milton condo (should I ever end up living there), and in some future home.


I’m not really all that artsy, either applied or academic (I am the one person who somehow graduated from college without taking Art History 101). But when I was younger, I used to keep spiral notebooks full of floor plans that I’d drawn for my dream homes. I couldn’t wait for the Sunday Times Magazine simply because of the ad section with the floor plans of Fifth Avenue penthouses. And I do sort of believe in feng shui (I’m know there’s a book about it shoved amidst all my dozens and dozens of yoga books that currently live in an old box in the closet). I appreciate the serenity and loveliness of a well-decorated home — it is applied, functional art.


I want a Sheila. Sheila is my mother’s friend and decorator, and over the past 20 years (yes, it’s true, Mom!) her name has become part of casual household conversation, as in, “Oh, Sheila dropped this off,” or “I’m having lunch with Sheila,” or “Sheila thinks this shade of bone is not peachy enough.” We love Sheila because she encouraged the evolution of my mom’s style from a rust-colored velour sectional (bought in 1980, the year Erin was born, and despite its dated color, is the most comfortable couch ever and was only removed from daily use two years ago, and is still in storage — I don’t think anyone can bear to actually get rid of it. If I could have it in my house right now, I WOULD. In addition, I recently saw a post extolling the non-cream-colored couch and specifically featuring orange couches…) to what I’d call nouveau chintz:  chintz everywhere and anywhere. I loved it! I still love it. In Mom’s latest home, the style has morphed a bit more: jute rugs instead of floral needlepoint carpets, lovely bone walls instead of bright yellow, a cream-and-white bathroom instead of green and floral, and a dining room of salmon walls (and my favorite thing in the whole house: matching bird-toile curtains) instead of wide yellow-striped wallpaper. I do think my mom has wonderful taste, no matter which house (and there have been many) and which decade, and I’ve learned a lot from her (and Sheila!).


My personal, and I must say acute, interest in interior design, however, has emerged in the past few months.  Nesting instinct?  More likely, I think, a settling in:  our home is an amalgamation of whatever Tim and I each owned before we moved in together.  The only thing we have bought as a couple is the crib — perhaps I just want our home to reflect more than simply who we each were before. (When he reads this he’s going to point out all of his stuff that I “made him” lose when we moved in together.  Still.


Anyway, up until now, my decorating inspiration was to find a few matching fabrics for throw pillows which picked up the colors in the Pottery Barn rug.  Thanks to the rather incestuous world of decor blogs, however, I am enlightened:  Kelly Wearstler wallpaper (see the third image — thanks to Absolutely Beautiful Things), foo dogs, Lucite, Jonathan Adler, Madeline Weinrib rugs, mirrors, Saarinen tulip tables and the more accessible knock-offs from IkeaKartell ghost chairs.  Symmetry.  EtsyAsian Chippendale chairs (see the first two images — thanks again to Absolutely Beautiful Things).  Zebra print.  Most of the design blogs reference the same magazines features and items and reflect what I’ve learned is a “Hollywood Regency” approach to interior decor.  Where is my mother’s chintz (as tasteful as it is)?  The antiques that are the (gorgeous) focal point of the decor of so many of my friends? (Are they just too WASPY — the antiques, not the friends. OK, the friends too…)  Is shabby chic out?  Where are the blogs devoted to Provencal-country?


Regardless.  I am obsessed with these dozen or so blogs that do take up the bulk of my RSS feed.  And with Domino magazine.  Forget the chinz.  And the toile.  I want lacquered furniture, antique wallpaper, and a ghost chair at my parsons desk.  I want subway tiles and a banquet in my kitchen.  I want a sunburst mirror, drum shades, and those lamps with stacked, clear, bulbous glass bases.  I want a tufted headboard and a tufted zebra-print ottoman.  I want to be friends with all these women in the blogosphere, who meet up in places like West Texas to go thrifting together and then repaint and reupholster cane furniture, stencil retro prints to sell on Etsy, and interview each other for their blogs. I am not mocking; truly, I am envious. And once again I must ask: can people really make a living doing this?


Behold!  Another list.  My daily design blogs:


Absolutely Beautiful Things

Apartment Therapy (cannot be put on an RSS feed because they post about 100 times a day.  Fortunately, they have just decided to include a Boston correspondent.  Yay!)



Desire to Inspire

Elements of Style

Girl Meets Glamour

Oh Happy Day


Style & Grace

Style Court

1 Comment »

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  1. I’ve got terrible news for you… I think Mom finally got rid of that couch. I know, it’s heartbreaking.

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