Changes and a Psuedo, Politician-like Apology

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.
The orange dining room.
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?


Visual Vamp said...

Man up.
No apologies necessary.
xo xo
PS Can hardly wait to see the switch!!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I so look forward to seeing all the changes. It is funny how life around us changes and we don't realize our homes don't reflect those changes anymore. Good for you for mixing things up and moving things around.

As for the bad design. I think most people in blogland really appreciate a tactful suggestion to making their spaces look better. In this day and age budget is always the issue. I think there are very few out there that don't have to try to improve their homes with little or no money, so all of their efforts are good. Making a simple suggestion sometimes helps them really achieve what they are trying to do.

Look forward to your new rooms. Hugs, Marty

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

I can so relate to both aspects of your post. I'm in the throws of making changes in my home as well, also without much money (I'm grateful that paint is cheap!). As a desiger struggling in this economy, my taste far exceeds my pocketbook, but luckily, I'm pretty good at making a silk purse out of a sow's ear! I would also love to see a little more honesty in blog comments. Instead of commenting on something that doesn't work, I just keep my mouth shut....not great for the dialogue! Thoughtful post!

anita @ a dreamer's den said...

thanks for the post.
it's amazing that we are doing the same. exact. thing.
yesterday we moved the dining room to the space where it should be -- we had previously used it for a random sitting area and place for the piano. The piano has been gone for about 2 weeks, and we decided to make my husband an "office" where the dining room furniture used to be. Now I have rearrange all the art work/stuff on the walls so it makes sense. That's much more difficult for me than furniture placement.
I can't wait to see your redo. I love your chandelier!!

i'm too chicken shit to post pictures of my own house.

Marlo said...

I love your dining room the way it is now and almost don't want you to change it, however, I am very interested to see the switch. Please include design explanations such as balance & scale; these are things that aren't talked about a lot. Do you use the golden ratio to ensure the proportion is correct?

Regarding your last few questions...that's a tough one. Perhaps we can send a private email to the blogger. I don't like reading blogs with negative comments even if they are constructive - but that's just me. I read a post once that was very good but generated a lot of negative comments, and some were extremely cruel, and I didn't like that at all. Every time I visit the blog I'm a little hesitant even though I love the blogger.