How not to decorate

Wow guys amazing responses thank you. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to choose it’s an impossible task. The competition ends at 12 so at noon I will sit down in the garden with a coffee and try and figure out a winner. Wish I could let everyone win its a tough one.

So lets talk interiors, I believe every room needs a dash of glam, a dollop of boho a mish mash of styles if you will, whether your decorating a palazzo or an apartment the same principles apply. That is of course to make your space feel well travelled, eclectic, tantalising and memorable. I have no time for the perfect home, that kind of unattainable look where every room has been decorated just so, with nothing out of place. Style to me should be easy going and carefree, a little messed up.  I want my clients, friends and family to feel that the moment they walk thru the door they are immediately at ease, uplifted and excited. Otherwise what the hell is the point?

Two images below illustrate how not to design. All the money in the world doesn’t get you a cool interior!

The individual pieces are beautiful, the paint colour is beautiful and yet this living space feels  static and  uptight. You don’t feel at ease the minute you walk through the door. It needs stuff, stuff like books, candles, flowers, stuff,  something to knock it off kilter its way to tasteful

Again uptight. The best interiors to me are those imbued with the sensibility and personality of their owners, this looks like a designer has come in followed the usual blueprint, produced a very tasteful space but it lacks spirit. So there you go, you can have all the money in the world, only trouble is style has got nothing to do with it.

 

 

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17 thoughts on “How not to decorate

  1. So, true !
    This kind of decor is beautiful (apart the sofas for this particular image) but it suites a hotel and not a home.

    And as you say, it looks like a designer has set it up but the owner hasn’t appropriate his/her own home. In a word, completely impersonal.

    That’s why I’m always sceptic when somebody enacts rules of good tastes. Even rules that break conventional rules can turn conventional rules themselves. I prefer advices that someone can use or not. In my opinion, the most important thing is to be able to adapt “techniques” to one’s own taste.

    During this week-end, I’ve been looking at several home decoration/designer web sites looking for ideas for my bedroom. I found your blog which I rated 5 star in my bookmarks. I really like your style and loved the way you decorated your living room (seen on theselby.com). My idea was to paint my bedroom in blue and have blue curtains. And I was wandering if I should paint my walls dark blue and having light blue curtains or the other way round, light blue on the walls and dark blue for the curtains. I first decided to follow your style/rule and paint the walls dark. But I hesitated because the light in Paris apartment is very different with london atmosphere. I went back to french decorating magazines. In these magazines, the style I prefer are the homes painted in whites (creamy white) with colorful pieces.

    And here I am 🙂 Will I try to adopt londonian style or stay with my usual style in my parisian home ?

    PS : please forgive my bad English. I’m a french speaker.

  2. I get your point and I agree with you. Maybe those living rooms were not supposed to make you feel at ease the minute you walk through the door? After all a lot of people need (or they think they need, at least) spaces they can use to “represent” something. Besides I know people who are wery at ease just when someone else feels uncomfortable or uneasy. Joking apart, I believe that those two rooms can be perfect under a lot of points of view, but they have nothing to do with relaxation or joy.

  3. Just read April Interiors, Abigail, and there’s an article on the last page which is right up your street, entitled “So Long as it’s White”.
    Contrary to the title, the writer Timothy Brittain-Catlin, who is an architecture teacher at Kent University, complains about how many white walls his students come up with in their designs. He writes “White walls for interiors haven’t in fact been ‘modern’ or even fashionable since …Le Corbusier.”
    I thought you would like his parting statement as it could have been written by you – “A lively coat of paint reminds me every time of what is sometimes said when people remember their first real kiss:
    that their whole world, which up to then had been monochrome, suddenly bursts into Technicolour.”

  4. Bricks and motor may form a strong foundation, but it’s the interior that sings to the soul.

    Open the door and it should lead you into a rabbit hole of personal intrigue and delight. It comforts with whispers of memories past whilst shouting loud & equally proud of our friday nights out. It’s effortless in its flow. Punctuated with humorous anecdotes of adventures past and hopes that are pinned on the wall, all testament to our individuality, Foibles and all.

    But all too often there is a room down a darkened passage that lies neglected. Out of sight & hidden away like a dirty secret – a room that needs your help.

    Please help with the social integration of an interior- by calling this hotline 07890 450 707 today.

  5. Hi Abigail, I know there is only mins to go…. I live in Jersey would love to come and visit you, I work in a beautiful Lifestyle shop in Jersey, and would appreicate any hints and tips you can give me for that for that and more importantly for my home… which I love and want to improve, I ready your blog at work everyday without fail, and I am just about to go to the dark side with the home office… just need and bit more encouragment. Love to the children. ! Anthea x

  6. You speak my mind. Wherever I look in this affluent neighborhood, where I happen to live, and many blogs for that matter, there are so many cookie cutter interiors, filled with tasteful neutrals, the latest graphic pattern on floors, walls and cushions. There is hardly anything out of place and it most of the time looks show room perfect! There is the latest of everything. Foo dogs on every mantle? PLease! All the attributes are there, but not really the soul to go with it. When I see books bought for deco purpose only, already deconstructed to look even more fashionable, I turn off completely! Money can’t buy true flair, style and joie de vivre! So boring!
    When I enter a place, I want to feel the personalities behind the facade!

  7. thanks for having the guts to name names; love it when you actually post photos of those perfect yet so dull interiors. There is nothing to draw you in. I sometimes think that when people spend a lot of money, they think it all has to look perfect, but it shows nothing of them-the difference between a house and a home!

  8. Couldn’t agree more. Straight from Snoozeville those homes are. I could never imagine putting my feet up and watching Corrie in either of those rooms!! I’ve been in “beautiful” homes like that before and I feel so on edge and can’t relax. Especially with a glass of wine in my and I feel they tell you nothing about the people that live there. The thing that baffles me most is when you see homes like that featured somewhere and it says “so and so live here with their 3 kids!!!!!”

  9. These rooms are magazine worthy with everything in place but not really how we all live…and definitely missing a splash of hot pink! Any suggestions for a dark gray hued paint for a north facing room? My coveted Downpipe just looks too blue. Thank you for all the inspiration and musings. Your blog is a daily must read for all of us who adore your style.

  10. Reading your comments and looking at these photos makes me think I commit the opposite (but perhaps equally deadly!) sin – I think my home is quite cozy and eclectic, but could use a shot of glamour, of sparkle or shine, something to polish up all the quirk and bohemia.

    Your blog always makes me think! Love that.

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