I’m not an interior designer and I don’t play one on TV either. But I do have eyes and a memory, and I look at a lot of rooms styled by professionals. While nearly all the rooms register GORGEOUS in my brain, a great many aren’t any more livable than all those runway fashions an everyday, Real Woman wouldn’t be seen in at the gym.
I get it that both the extreme in decor and fashion fuels inspiration for everybody. But there are a few decor items and stying ideas I’ve reached the legal limit on. So here’s my list of five decor cliches I find so cloying that they need to die before I cross over to the dark side and take them down myself. The list is in no particular order.
1. Standing-room-only coffee tables
|Rebecca Robinson/One Kings Lane|
I love the look, I admit. It’s interesting, energized, balanced, beautiful. It’s like a puzzle, and I love puzzles. But it’s also grossly impractical. Coffee tables are for corraling the remote and parking, um, coffee. On a coaster, of course.
But with so many neat books on a coffee table and so little visible table surface I’d be afraid of my books becoming coasters and going through the rest of their days with drink rings on the dustjackets.
I do have books on my coffee table. Two, with a few tchotchkes on top to discourage cups and glasses, as well as ample open table space and coasters to accommodate same. Visitors seem to get it. The window salesman–or whoever–has room to spread out his samples. My husband has room to put up his feet while we watch TV. Even the cat is happy.
2. This Moroccan area rug
This bugger is EVERYWHERE. I am soooooooo tired of seeing it. And white? Really? I always thought the rage for white wall-to-wall carpeting smacked of lunacy, but this could be even dumber. Do white carpet owners buy white area rugs to cover the stains on their stupid white carpet?
3. White sofas
I agree they’re elegant and a great backdrop for artwork and colorful pillows–two of my weaknesses. But after the sofa is used once (as in sat on for more than five minutes), it’s dingy, whether the sitter is a child, a pet or a responsbile adult.
That’s the nature of white. It doesn’t matter if it’s a slipcover, standard upholstery, leather or vinyl. When it isn’t looking dingy, it’s yellowing from sunlight or multiple washings. Same goes for white quilts, coverlets, bedspreads, duvets, window sheers and towels–no separate entries needed.
4. African Juju hats
Juju refers to a West African religion. There is “good juju” and “bad juju.” Reportedly, the hats are ceremonial among Cameroonian tribesman and signify prosperity. I honestly like the look of them and the texture they add to a room, but…
I hesitate to include ceremonial religious objects in my home merely for decor reasons. That seems disrespectful somehow. And I wonder if it turns the good juju bad? Anyway, I’m not taking chances. I think it’s fine for West African people and anyone else with a genuine tie to the culture, but the rest of us should pass.
BTW, isn’t there a strong chance a lot of these are mass-produced, robbing them of any meaning?
I feel the same way about Native American relics that are repurposed and/or copied by non-natives. Besides, doesn’t anyone remember how the ladies’ hat industry decimated bird populations in the late Victorian period for a stupid fashion craze? Google it.
Speaking of decimation…
5. Lambskins draped over everything
Really? On every chair and bench? It gives new meaning to the word overkill, which it is, figuratively AND literally. That’s real lamby-SKIN gripping those fibers. Haven’t you heard the UGG story? Ugh is right.
These skins are literally that–not the same as the shorn wool fibers your grandma uses to knit your mufflers. The sheep who donated those lived to grow a coat another season. Sheep need haircuts, but they don’t need to die so you can pet your chairs. Get a cat.
I realize sheep are raised for food as well as wool, and that makes some skins a by-product. I’m not a vegetarian, and I admit to enjoying a lampchop or gyro now and again. But at the rate we’re seeing these skins for sale everywhere, a lot of animals are losing their lives for silliness.
Besides, these skins are mostly white, and you know how I feel about white.