Change: is it always for the better?
Have you ever been at the point when you've realized that your decor has not kept pace with a life change? When you realized that you're part of a couple still living in a bachelor's pad, or an empty-nester still maintaining a family-style home? That's the reality I faced this week. My major design decisions, especially my furniture plan, was developed three years ago when my life was very different. We were a couple living together with two cats. I worked primarily for myself as a free-lance decorator and decorative painter, with clients occasionally stopping by to drop off and pick up samples. Therefore, I felt I needed a proper office in the public area of the house, even more than a large dining area, so I set up an office/library in the space traditionally used as a dining room in these old New Orleans shotgun style houses, and created a breakfast nook in the stairwell/hall connecting the kitchen, stairs, and public rooms. The dining area was fine for two, and larger dinners were served buffet style. It worked fine for us as a couple.
|The original office.|
Now, things have changed. We've added a large dog, Thomas's brother, his two cats, his often-visiting girlfriend, and frequently visting friends to the house--without me realizing, it's changed from a couple house to a family home. At the same time, my private work has dwindled (and I never really used the large office as much as I thought), and a larger dining room and smaller, more private office seem like a better idea, so I've spent the last week switching them. Hopefully, I'll have enough things in place to do a Metamorphisis Monday update.
|The dining room as it looked last week, before the switch.|
Which leads to my half-assed apology for my last post. Apology is not quite the right word. It's just that I do get a little testy (and I ackowledge a little jealous) when I see what is not-great design work praised. And when I talk about not-great design, I'm not talking so much about things not to my personal taste; I can appreciate looks that I couldn't personally live with. What I'm talking about are errors in scale, shoddy craftsmanship, and recreations of catalog rooms. However, after spending a couple of days trying to move my own crap around in a tiny space without the financial resources to buy the correct pieces, I realized that part of my vitriol is because I've forgotten what I know about these pretty rooms in blogs and magazines. They are idealized images. I've gotten so used to seing perfection in so many pictures, I forget that most of these rooms don't really look like that-- at least all of the time. And the ones that look really good, are really expensive. And that we should cheer on anybody willing to struggle to improve their spaces, especially with limited means. With that said, is there a place in blog land for real dialogue about design? If nobody suggests that your photos are too small for the space over your sofa, will you ever learn about scale? Or is it better to be happy with what you like, even if it isn't "good" design?