Since is my birthday week -I thought maybe fun to tell you a couple of rando things about me. (could be “fun” or could make you immediately cancel the internet, block me and send an anonymous email to the local authorities- you decide)

We talked about styling the other day in Small Business Think Big ( the super fantabulous FB group for interior designers and decorators–sorry- just design folks– for those who happen to find this while skulking the internet) and how some hate to do it. This is not about that. Just wanted to make sure caught your attention here.

Alice would refuse to go down my rabbit holes without hazard pay.

I live on the beach in a fairly small home by many standards. I don’t have a lot of storage and am known wide and far to go down rabbit holes when am searching for something that is not easily found- you know the kind of hole even Alice would avoid as usually involves cleaning up a sock drawer- reorganizing the teeniest tiniest laundry room you ‘ere did see and then exclaiming about 5pm or so on a Sunday – to Earl– who does not give two shits about my drama because he is a cat amongst cats- holy shit Earl– I have three articles to write- liz is coming back at ….”I will be in the office by noon tomorrow” ( quoting her—- and if you knew Liz at all this would strike fear into the heart of the most diabolical of all serial killers) – a design deck to review and contemplate thoughtfully, BOB meeting on Wednesday to finish up, of course again- Liz IS coming back tomorrow ( And there are those amongst us who misread the calendar and thought Monday was Wednesday – has anyone met Liz??) and oh yes a bunch of people/friends/ strangers that have been coerced and/or paid- coming to my home Saturday for a soirée put on by my daughter who am convinced is moonlighting as an event planner. ( feel free to bother her incessantly about “2023 and thee”- the party-I mean networking/learning/talking/discussing/ designer event on the beach here in Pcola)

You people think I am joking.

Wow that was a mouthful even for me – but now you all get a taste of that rabbit hole when I can’t find things.

This is Earl. His disdain for my terror of not having begun one thing on my “have to get done before Monday list” He is getting dry food tomorrow.

So—-definitively not styling in the way most designers like to imagine it- but rather some sort of livorating thing—- a bit of life, a smidge of decorating and a whole lot of letting your possessions be liberated from the drawers and closets and decidedly uncool plastic containers.

And for those with small houses.

With no storage.

These “special circumstances” apply too.

  • I cannot dispose of a book or give it away except to loan it out and even then is with a cherylized dewey decimal system, and collect more weekly. Lots of books means they cannot possibly be “just” on the shelves.
  • I purchased a 48 drawer, 9ft tall, 8 ft long pine apothecary contraption in 2002 for the shop and thought was a stupendous idea to bring it to above mentioned small home when we moved shops. To gain understanding of this piece- after Hurricane Ivan – it could not be taken out and ivan saw fit to leave it too- so the floor guys, sheet rockers and painters had to move this two piece ( top and bottom) around the living room as they installed new floors, new sheetrock and painted.
  • A onesy of vintage glass is special to me. Because I am thissssssss close to finding a mate- or only one auction lot away from making a set- but like to use every piece while waiting for THE MIRACLE to happen.
  • And enjoy seeing certain things in my own home- because they make me smile- or laugh- or remember.

All that to say- sometimes the extraordinary ordinary can be a thing.

Perhaps not for the cover of Elle Decor or even Junking Today — but the roundabout point am trying to make is consider your client’s ( or your own) oddities when livorating and see if you can take a serendipitous piece or two —and an eyebrow raising eccentric compulsion – um- collection- and do something joyful with it.

We all know many clients who exist in the disturbingly tedious land of catalog decorating. You do not need to punch that train ticket to boretown.

Explanations forthwith of the extraordinary ordinary spirit

  • The blackberry is there to remind me I have been wrong once.
  • Bandaids and thermometer- because I don’t know what plastic thing I last moved them too.
  • Batteries for same reason.
  • Pencils because- who does not stress about their being a sudden shortage of #2’s these days amiright??
  • Vintage glassware because these may be the only things one day we have to recall a time when shit was made in the US of A- and of course because IAMTHISCLOSETOMAKINGASET.
  • Post it notes because – you know- post it notes are lifechanging- don’t argue on this one.
  • And– paper clips because any self respecting bathroom designer knows this is the way to fix the chain in the toilet when it breaks and if you have not had this happen yet – I can’t deal with you and your youth and you may need to remove yourself from the group- not even counting the 12,786 other things one can do with a paperclip IF YOU CAN FIND ONE.

Now you know.

And, these open spaces you see in my photos are odd little bins under the shelving and above the drawers and there is nothing good about them from a styling stand point so when in Rome, hide it in plain sight. But not your wallet as those will be pick pocketed. Or maybe they have cleaned that up by now. Don’t turn me into the Rome tourism council please.

I feel better coming clean as the pretense of being normal has been dangerously close to being blown as more and more get to know me.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate treasures or nonsensical whatnots into your work. Dare to say, “why yes of course we can incorporate treasures if they give you joy and perhaps a bit of the extraordinary ordinary too”

And books are the TOP STYLING item in any universe that is fair and just.

You can never have too many books.

Oddities could even be quite a conversation warm up when people are coerced to come to your party to round out the guest list of your 3 friends and 2 family members attending. You can bask in your sophistication knowing you are well versed on the merits of paper clips and post it notes.

So important one has them has hiding in plain sight– rightthereinthelivingroom.

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