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If These Walls Could Talk

Going, Going, Gone...

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08/01/2009 - January is the month when all of the decorating experts start predicting what will be newly in vogue for the coming year. Six months later and the same experts are sending out their advice on what is soon to be totally passé. Late summer seems to be the season when we're forced to face what is "soooo yesterday". This month, I pass on to you what I've been hearing.

All of the decorating pros agree that artificial plants and flowers are out. Lamar Lisman says "The $19.99 you paid for the tree was not a bargain--- even with the wicker basket included". The Harman Wilde studio designers say that giant eucalyptus wreath "is dusty, dated, and simply wrong". OK. Out with the silk flowers.

It's not just artificial flowers however. Pretension in every area is out. We're warned to use plastic only if it looks like plastic, and wood only if it looks like wood. Faux finishes, fake antiquity, and "aged" or distressed surfaces are now something to banish. One designer writes "If your furnishings appear beaten by a chain or dropped from a truck… they don't belong in your home".

Simplification is the new call. We're urged to rid our homes of clutter. Get rid of all the knick-knacks and countertop space robbers. Fresh-colored, clear-toned paint, subtle patterns, and plain surfaces are in. Along with de-cluttering our furniture tops, we're also urged to de-flounce our draperies and upholstery. Overstuffed furniture with rounded lines and "bun" feet are in disfavor, while straight lines are the vogue.

The overall ideal is the clean-swept seaside cottage, or alternately, the minimalist modern loft. Reading the columns, I picture a certain uncomplicated optimistic austerity. Less is more--- more room for clear thought and growth. As Anne of Green Gables said, "…a place with scope for the imagination".

In the heat of summer, this clean breezy approach to home decorating is quite appealing. However, one of the design houses went too far in my opinion. They suggested that highly patterned granite countertops were too gaudy! There, I draw the line. If nature made it bold and beautiful, it belongs. If anyone reading this feels the need to pull their stone countertops off in order to modernize their décor, please call me. I'll be glad to take the old stuff off your hands and get it out of your way!

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