Interior Decoration

Here is something I have noticed: the interior decoration of homes we visit—friends, and family—are vastly superior to our home. In several of the homes we visit, the living rooms and kitchens and dens could model for magazines. To apply the term “interior decoration” to our home would be an example of using an alternative fact.

A favorite recent distraction of mine is reading through issues of Down East magazine, to which I have a subscription. I love Maine, and the magazine allows me to have a little bit of Maine each month. The photos of wonderful, and many of the photos show stylish homes with interior design that seems, for lack of a better term, “grown up.”

While the homes we visit might not reach the levels that appear in Down East magazine, they are certainly grown-up compared to our home. Until recently, we didn’t even own a formal dining room table. We acquired one just in time for Thanksgiving. It is a large table that easily seats six, and takes up much of our small dining room. It looked great in the furniture store, and somewhat out-of-place in our house.

Perhaps one problem is that there is no uniform design philosophy for our decorating. Maybe our friends and family simply have a vision of what they want their home to look like, and have the good sense (and money) to execute that vision. If there is any vision in our interior design, it can be best described as “clutter.” It can be even better described as “chaos.”

We have pictures on the walls. We have a relatively new sofa in the living room. We did remodel our kitchen a few years ago. But despite all of that, our home still does not have that same mature, grown-up look as that of friends, family, and even neighbor’s homes we’ve visited.

I cannot account for this. Often, after visiting a friend’s house, and taking the careful design—each item looking as thought it belonged exactly where it was—I wonder if I missed some class along the way that everyone else has taken. Was Interior Decorating 101 a requirement in high school, and I somehow missed it and fell under the radar?

The more likely answer is that I just have no knack for it. After all, I wear jeans, tennis shoes, and t-shirts to work (in the winter, I’ll wear long-sleeve shirts) and think nothing of it. Style is not my forte.

I don’t know if the design styles we see in friends and family’s homes have names—classical, New England, California casual—but if I had to apply a name to the “style” of our interior decoration, such that it is, I’d call it the LEGO style. One can find LEGOs in every room of the house, including the bathrooms. It is the unifying design theme that keeps our home from the brink of dullness.

Though I’ve never asked anyone, I do sometimes wonder if visitors to our home look around at our interior decoration and say to themselves, “Wow! How is it that everyone’s house besides my own is so well decorated? I mean, look at this place!” They are transfixed by my bookshelves, or the antique typewriter in the corner.

Then they sit on the relatively new couch, shriek, and jump up, looking back at the couch to see what bit them.

It was LEGO. Of course it was.

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