Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring for a Decorator

Hunker down.  It's going to be a fun and long week of hanging out with yours truly.  Cheryl, Heather, and Katie are getting time off for good behavior.

Richard and I spent Saturday night at our friend's apartment.  His building is the the oldest apartment building in Dallas and is chock full of quaint nooks and crannies.  My favorite was the 16" book ledge that trimmed the entire dining room.  Steve had the shelf filled with interesting books about art, antique decanters, eclectic book ends, and all sorts of other notable curiosities.

In short... Steve was born with the decorating gene.

I was not.

I aspire to live in a cozy home that is well appointed.  I dream of nicely displayed art on my walls, well placed furniture, window treatments more imaginative than vertical blinds, and just-right accessories (but not too many.  I don't like clutter).  They say Libras appreciate aesthetically pleasing things and of me it is true.  My problem is my skill set doesn't match my aspirations and rather than do something about it I am paralyzed by my own sense of perfectionism. 

Then I met Andrea.

Andrea is an unpretentious, no-nonsense interior decorator who tells it like it is.  She spoke at a mom's luncheon I attended about a year ago.  The topic had something to do with organizational tips and with every minute she spoke I liked her more.  The icing on the cake was at the very end, when in 90 seconds she demystified every life-ling, grandiose belief I had about interior designers.

Frankly, I thought interior designers were only for rich people and we're not rich.  I imagined that by calling an interior designer I was entering a covenant from which I could never escape.  I thought by letting an interior designer in my house all sorts of expensive products would be thrust upon me and thousands of dollars later I'd be searching for new and creative ways to dodge her phone calls until finally she'd get the hint and cut me loose.

Knowledge is power.  Here's what I know now.  Andrea charges $85.00 per consultation.  She's been to my house twice since last year.  Both times I met her at the door with a legal pad full of specific questions and three hours later pictures are hung, furniture is rearranged, wall colors have been selected and suggestions (not high pressure edicts) have been made about future improvements.

Andrea is my friend and maybe by the end of this week she will be yours too.  This week - the first full week of April - I thought we would delve into some home improvements.  Andrea has supplied me with a short list of decorating tips which I intend to pass along to you this week.  Each day we'll tackle a suggestion and see what we have by Friday.

Are you ready for some spring cleaning and home improvements?  Have you already started or do you consider guilt-free clutter the silver lining to winter months?  Tell us!

Fun announcement:  Spring cleaning doesn't, by the way, have to be reserved exclusively for our homes.  Sometimes the most rewarding spring cleaning we can do is on our own person.  Check out some spring cleaning Katie did this past weekend!  Newcomers will be interested in knowing Katie (co-author and loyal reader) has the greatest, curliest, thickest hair.  Now it's just 9 inches shorter!!!!!!!  It looks great, Katie!

Check back for the next five days when, in a clean sweep, I will present an decorating idea a day!

Signing off until tomorrow...  


Katie K said...

I am really looking forward to this week because the school year is coming to an end which means I'm packing things up with thoughts of next year in mind. Next year I will be living in a much smaller apartment, but with just as much "stuff". I'm looking forward to some decorating tips that I can hopefully tuck away until next August when I move into my new apartment.

Thanks for saying the hair looks great! It feels good to be starting fresh and my head feels so much lighter with all of that hair gone! As for my curly hair, it will be straight as a pin for a while as with hair this short, I'll be straightening it every day! It's nice to have a change.

Have a good day, HLA!

Chaotic said...

Spring Cleaning... ah, yes... the time when I throw out the accumulated trash, donate a lot of items I collected bc "they migh be useful later!" and then put stuff back into some semblence of order... yes, I remember that ... I also do the same sort of thing @ the Winter Solstice in my art/meditation areas to clear space for introspection during the Deep Time. Good idea... I'll be listening!

cassie p said...

Katie, your hair is super cute!!! :-D

Peggy said...

A house ago, I had someone similar to Claudia's Interior Decorator come in, it was great, paint color ideas and re-arranging the furniture I had to actually fit the room... it was great! Loved how it turned out.

Now I 'sort of' have a friend who likes staging rooms, but it's been a while since she's been able to give me any 'free time'. I was bartering some greeting cards with her.

Katie, did you give your locks for love?

Cheryl said...

I have a whole house that needs a decorators touch. I think I could do it if money was no object but money is so I just enjoy my structure as it is. :)

Here's my list:
Window treatments for all rooms.
Layout and furniture for my living room.
Backsplash tile in my kitchen.
Fireplace mantel.
My Craft/Guest room designed and furnished.
Boys rooms... hmm... they don't care about it.
Wall decoration in the dining room.

Would I love for it to be a showroom, all cozy and ecclectic? I would. A little a time is what I tell myself.

I can't wait for all the tips. :)

lindsaymarie said...

Katie, you look great!
This week is PERFECT timing! I spent the weekend apartment-hunting in Brooklyn! I'll be moving in with two friends this August for grad school. My friends will be moving in May, though, so it's time to pick a place. We found an AWESOME 3 bedroom duplex with roof access AND a balcony. We're in love with it! So instead of reorganizing or cutting back on stuff... I need tips on getting stuff. Student-budget-friendly stuff.

lindsaymarie said...

Oh, and just to share, this is my favorite interior design inspiration website, it's a blog of pictures of creative people in their homes. Some are too cluttered for my tastes, but some are amazing and they're definitely all creative -

Quynh said...

I am excited for the tips this week. We've been working on some projects around the house in the last few weeks.

Katie K said...

Peggy, I was not able to give it to locks of love...they actually need 10 inches of hair. I was trying to make it to the 10 inches, but I really needed to do some personal spring cleaning this weekend so the hair went away, too. However, with as fast as my hair grows, I know I'll make it back to that length in no time! I plan to grow it back out and try to donate it. I did it a few years ago, but just couldn't quite make it this time.

Kat said...

This is perfect! My Goal Fishing goal is to be more organized and one aspect of that is making my newly organized areas look nice. I have been working on doing these things for as little money as possible and using what I already have. I am so excited to see what ideas are in store for this week!

Katie- Your hair is cute, and so perfect for Spring!

b.k.root said...

Hi all... Just returned from a weekend with some high school students. Spent the weekend at an event called Key Leader.. a high school leadership retreat weekend for high school students.

Anyhow, in regards to today's topic... I have a tough time doing much with my apartment. But looking forward to the tips this week.

Cristine said...

I saw a picture of you from this weekend. What a good looking group. Are Steve's walls two colors or was that a restaurant?
I've moved up in the world - I have a painted bathroom. Yes, a grown up house for me. No more gates, locks, etc.
Maybe I'll even get good looking storage for all the boys toys.
Ahhh what a dream
Have a great day!