ugly purple painting

Who’s the Boss?

We need to understand who the boss is in this tenuous partnership that is the decorator and her subject. (In case you are wondering, that’s you and your house. Or room, or whatever.) The boss decides the color scheme, has a whole lot to say about the style of the room and is, I fear, far too often ignored. The boss yells, sometimes very loudly. Almost anyone who doesn’t live with it can usually recognize the boss right away. But you, all close up and personal, think you can just ignore it. And you can, you know that. At your decorating peril.




The great big river rock fireplace in the corner of the family room. (I mean, what were they thinking when they had that thing built?) And the rocks are gray and green, and you HATE green.


off-center window

Or the picture window that is four feet off center on the wall. The outside of the house is balanced, the window in the living room is off because of the stairwell at the end of the house.

orange wood cabinets

Or the orange wood floor. Or, for that matter, the orangy wood kitchen cabinets that himself has said you can paint, ‘Over my dead body.’ A thought.

too-large sofa

Or the gigantic sectional sofa in the family room which is not going anywhere. It had to be dismantled to get the thing in. It’s staying.



red and green quilt 2

Or the quilt on the bed that is too precious to pack away but is in colors you loved ten years ago. And now you covet that off-white room, but there is that quilt. (Or the wood feature wall. It yells almost louder than the quilt.)

ugly purple painting

Or the oversized painting you did when you were in your maudlin purple phase, and which now feels like part of your being; to lose it would be like losing an arm.

You know that I’m a firm believer in decorating to suit you and your family. I urge you to break the rules and to do what you want. But I’ve also said that you should know how to work within the rules are before break them. You should be really clear about how to follow the rule before you break it.

failed cakeIt’s like baking a fancy schmancy cake from a very detailed recipe. You need to make it according to the recipe until you really understand how it works. Then you can start changing it. If you don’t do it this way chances are really good the cake will be a mess.

Decorating is the same way. These are some ramifications of  ignoring the boss.  It’s a war out there.

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