Wednesday, September 15, 2010


If I could revise my genetic makeup in any way, I wish I had been born with at least one iota of home decorating DNA.

Just one polynucleotide. It could even be a really little one. One microscropic nucleotide of style and taste in just one measly polymer in the double helix of life.

I would like to be able to walk into a furniture store or look at paint swatches or carpet samples and know instinctively that this looks good and that looks ridiculous. I watch shows on HGTV, the home and garden channel, where designers snatch bits and pieces from sale shelves and bargain bins, put it all together, wave a magic wand over it, and voila! A house is beautifully transformed.

I watch it, but I just don’t get it. How do they do that?

In a brave attempt to update our house, I recently decided to replace the chandelier in our dining room. Easy, right? Easy for you maybe, with your overabundant decorating polynucleotides . . . your spilling-over-the-top tasteful DNA . . . your inborn, natural ability to know what’s beautiful and what isn’t . . .

I replaced this (before):

With this (after):

Does it look all right? I need some validation here. I need some reassurance. (But please, no comments on the 1970s furniture or the fake flower arrangement. Those have sentimental value and are non-negotiable.)

I want you to know that I consulted at length with a short, dumpy lady wearing a blue vest in the lighting department of Menard’s before I went out on a limb and bought this light fixture. Ethel (as her name tag declared) is now officially my personal interior designer, although she sold me the wrong light bulbs. (They weren’t the dim-able kind.)

In my own defense, I’m really good at vacuuming. I dust regularly. I keep a neat and tidy kitchen. It’s just interior decorating that confuses me. I think it was because I first started keeping house in the 1970s when people thought that orange shag carpet, avocado-green kitchen appliances, and harvest gold flocked wallpaper were cool. It completely warped my natural sense of taste and style, and I’ve been befuddled ever since.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It looks great!! And I say thumbs down to interior decorating-it is not about what other people like, it is about what you like. (unless you're selling your house and have to appeal to the general masses) Clean and neat goes a long way in my book. Grandma Nettie