Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Style. Where can I get some?


It's an accepted fact in the real estate world that most people who tour model homes are just "lookie-loos" who come mostly to see the decorating. . . to get ideas on how to arrange and fix up their own homes and comment on the taste-- or lack thereof-- of the decorators who slave to make the model look tasteful, effortlessly elegant, and liveable at the same time. Most of those people (me included) never even consider hiring those same decorators to come and do something with their own homes. Because that would cost money. And while our homes may be the biggest expense and the biggest influence on our happiness and our growth as human beings-- most of us are too cheap to invest in something like "advice." (Unless it's going to keep us out of jail.)

My one brush with an interior decorator/designer was some years ago. She was an employee of a huge and respected furnishings store (okay, it was Daytons) and she had blue-white hair and wore scarves that made me drool. She really believed we needed flowers and chintz in our lives, but we decided we were more the leather and stripes kind of people. (Don't ask.) We parted ways after purchasing one rug-- that I still use to this day.

I bring all of this up because somebody asked what my "style" was the other day. I said without thinking "traditional." Which sounds stuffy and. . . well. . . traditional. But it's my conviction that a majority of people consider their tastes to be "traditional"-- whatever that is. The room above is what I call traditional. It's what I aspire to, on most days. But hey, I can think outside the box. I have my natural, recyclable, modern, and avante garde moments. So when I went onto the net to look for ideas, recently, I came up with some eye-popping alternatives to staid old "traditional." For your viewing pleasure, I present my out-of-box furnishings ideas. . .

First up is the "natural" look, which has great appeal for me. It's like living in the great outdoors, only a little more civilized. And check out the boulders!!



Wouldn't these be great in a kids' playroom? Or just in the family room?


Then, there are the more modern pieces and motifs. . .

and. . .


The recycled or recyclable stuff. . .





Then there are the truly unusual. . . stuff that would make your guests go "Huh?" or "Ouch" or "Cool." See if you can figure out what these are. . .











Okay, when I reached the COW sofa, I realized I'd strayed too far from the path. But it was fun being out there in the stratosphere for a while, and it made me realize that I'm pretty hidebound in my environment. I could open up a bit. . . maybe with color first. Some paint on the walls. . . a few zingy throw pillows. . . start small. . . a boulder or two in the corner. . .

So what are you? Traditional? Contemporary? Cottage cute? Shabby chic? Clean and contemporary? Avante Guarde? Goth and Proud? Single and Swingin'? Modern or Post-modern? Eclectic? Grandma's Attic?

For the record, the wavy bookshelves are from a Dr. Seuss collection and the metallic monster coffee table is from the "Aliens" collection. The rest of the pieces are genuine, real furniture. Scary, huh? What would you think if you visited somewhere and they asked you to have a seat on their cactus sofa?

8 comments:

Michele Hauf said...

I love that circle book shelf! So cool. And of course the elaborate walls in the pic with the funny silver ball in the foreground.

I think my style is 'Michele' because I don't really have much of a style. And really, I'd love to go 'spare' and just take out everything and get down to basics like a couch, a chair, a table, and some books. I'm so sick of stuff. :-)

Thanks for the fun pics, Betina!

Keri Ford said...

Love the bookshelf too. I can only imagine what my husband would think about it if I brought it home.

I'm very cottage/country. living room is simple tans/navy. kitchen is Apples!

Helen Brenna said...

Very fun pics, Betina. the first thought that popped into my mind when I saw those wavy bookshelves was Dr Seuss! And I love the boulders. Cactus sofa - ouch!

*If* I have a style, it's eclectic because I'm cheap. I started working with a designer once when we first bought our house. She made some comment about needing to educate me and that was that.

These days I tend to be with Michele. Would love to get rid of stuff.

LSUReader said...

My toddler-aged grandson loves the cow couch. He mooed when he saw it! (I guess that's not the reaction the designer was hoping for.)

Kathleen Eagle said...

I want the cactus sofa and the iron lamp! Kitchy! (How do you spell kitch?)

I have no taste. My style is Eclectic and Sentimental. I hired a Dayton's decorator after we remodeled our family room. That was back when I thought I could afford such things. It worked out well--still love the room--but I dug in my heels on things like $300 sofa pillows and insisted on including a couple of old slag glass lamps that didn't fit her scheme but that mean something to me. I hired a painter, too, which was such a luxury. I had to tie Clyde down, but it was a major job with ceiling and beams and all that, and if we'd done it ourselves it would have taken months.

I think I'll take the cow sofa, too. The kids would love it.

Terry Odell said...

Don't do this to me! We're moving. We've brought virtually NOTHING with us. We will be starting from scratch. I mean down to dishes, flatware, coffee makers. Let's not talk about furniture. Plus this house will be much smaller than our old one, so there will be total rethinking of what we need.

Would LOVE a decorator. I used the Decorating Den franchise in Orlando and had a great consultant.

Spamword: clumpel. Is that my decorating style?

KylieBrant said...

Love the topic, Betina! Not sure what my style is. Antique, probably since we live in a century old Queen Anne with lots of antique furniture.

But I dream of hiring a decorator, as I am terrible picking out things that go together....

Betina Krahn said...

YOu know, I bet every person here could be a kick-butt decorator given a generous budget. The problem comes when you startpinching the pennies and convincing yourself you have to "keep" stuff you no long like/love because it's useful. That's how things become placeholders in our lives.

Thanks, Michele and Keri-- I loved the spiral bookshelf, too. And then I realized it was made of CARDBOARD! Can you believe that? I'd love to have one just like it made of wood.

Helen, when I saw the Seuss bookcases, I knew it had to be Dr. Seuss. And if I had more money than I have now, I swear I would decorate one room of my house in Seuss furniture-- just for the grands when they visit! I wonder what a "Seuss bed" looks like. . . hmmmm.

LSU Reader, I laughed out loud myself at the cow sofa. The things people choose to put in their houses!

Kathy-- painters are really worth it, in my opinion. Yes, I've painted many a room in my day, but to have somebody come in and paint and clean up. . . that's luxury to me. It's about time for me to paint some of my rooms again and I'm dreading it. Also, I have to compromise on the color with the Pool Boy-- whose notions of color are a lot more adventuresome than mine.

Terry, a whole new house-- from the spoons and forks out? Whew that's a job! But what an opportunity to stretch your decorating wings and sort of re-invent yourself (your idea of yourself, anyway) in the process!

Kylie-- antiques-- I LOVE them. I've had several pieces that are so unique and so old. I adore them. But I've gotten rid of a few pieces lately-- too much stuff. And like Helen and others, I'm trying hard to declutter and simplify. Interestingly, I'm much more interested in contemporary furnishings that I used to be. Wonder what that's about.