Saturday, February 2, 2008

Things That Are Wrong - the mini edition.


As some of you know, I like to run an occasional series called THINGS THAT ARE WRONG, where I somehow mistake my having a blog as justification for making all kinds of obnoxious pronouncements about home decor.

Well, I just arrived in NY for a work trip and it's a little too hectic to give you a full-on new edition of THINGS THAT ARE WRONG, but I am going to take up one particular thing that drive me nuts while seeing it in O at Home magazine on the flight here:

Those little wooden wall-mounted boxes. I don't get it. They look cheap and Ikea-y and promote a kind of emotionless decoration of your space. In the case of our friends at the otherwise-cute CA bungalow, look at that anonymous photography above the sofa. That whole wall looks like a dressing room at Banana Republic. It's like what people do with their homes when they want it to look "done" and politely cool. But it's so wrong. I would rather see a 10-cent collection of paint-by-numbers horse portraits.



Although, I confess, I am just not a fan of this look. I don't like metal feet on sofas. I don't like a home where you can tell more than 3 items were found at Crate and Barrel. The whole look is just so Nouveau-Bachelor... like when single hedge fund managers come into money and ditch the wilting black leather sofa and get all this boxy/metal/ultrasuede crap and hang up a faux-Mapplethorpe photo and call it "style."

Ick.

Decorno says, if you have those wall-mounted thingies in your house, choke down a vodka tonic, pull up your Brave Pants and tear them off the wall. Tomorrow you are going to bravely spackle and touch-up the paint on the wall and then you're going to live with the bare walls for a while. You're going to really ask yourself... what do I want to look at? You're going to look up your local art schools and universities and galleries and you're going to find something more inspired to put up. Or you're going to make sure that your next trip - no matter where it is - involves a flea market and you will look for old maps or photos or ephemera and you will have them framed and you will live with those and love it. Or you will email Decorno with a photo of your now-empty wall, and if you're really stumped, you will let me post said photo on this blog, and the good readers of Decorno will give you all kinds of advice and inspiration.

Together, friends, is a new day. We will say No Thanks to impersonal decor, picked up from the cheapie bins at Ikea and we will say Yes to slowly collecting things we love and adding them to our homes.

Say it with me now: No more disposable decor.

Feels good to finally say it, huh?

31 comments:

Jules said...

My husband and I call that Vern Yipping a wall.

Candles/boxes + grid pattern + large wall x Lip Gloss = Vern Yip.

nunu pepe' said...

I really like term "disposable decor" It's an epidemic in South Africa. It's like people don't get that a home is about a person your personality framed by sentimental or much loved items that reflect you or your family, not about what was on sale at MR.PRICE (our version of IKEA)
well vented!!!

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Decs. This is too easy. Who is gonna stand up in defense of Ikea-ish boxes on the wall?

Give us something complicated and controversial, like turning lamps into samovars.

Decorno said...

I am officially banning table skirt and samovar jokes.

BTW - Joni apparently won some kind of award for our table skirt blow out.... shouldn't the feisty readers of Decorno share the prize???

http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2008/02/blog-awards-and-other-musings.html

I think Joni and I need to host a little dustup every month just to help our blog traffic...


Um, Jules - - "Vern Yipping" as a verb is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. That made my week.

Nunu... I always think of South Africa as sort of glamorous... is there really a store there called Mr. Price? Yikes.

Anonymous said...

oh man, there are soooooo many targets to go after in that whole "French Country" shtick... I feel Dustup #2 comin' on.

Tara said...

Honestly, you crack me up! You're right, they look terrible! Are they worth the molly screws? And I would kind of always being looking at them like, when are you going to fall? Because, really, something like that on the wall defies physics.
Hope you are enjoying NY> We have the Bryant Park tent shows here--there's still room at a couple of shows, email me if you want an email address to reserve, wew ere able to do so yesterday-Tara

Paola said...

I've only recently discovered your blog and I think I'm going to love it.

There is not enough snark in blogs - there's not even enough snark in MY blog, because I always feel the need to be happy and sunny in this happy sunny blogland of ours.

Could you link to the original 'table skirt blow out' please as it sounds great.

PS. There is nothing wrong with IKEA

s. said...

Disposable decor is indeed wrong. Not just as it pertains to wall boxes but as a general rule. While speaking out against bottled water and gas guzzling cars, Al Gore should have targeted sofas that are bought to be dumped in the nearest tip within 5 years.

If one must buy disposable (say, one is an impoverished grad student who cannot afford anything that would suit long-term tastes), then I say hit not only flea markets but also the nearest Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, as well as ebay, Craigslist and freecycle. If one plans to toss decor the moment one can afford better, then at least acquire something that has been pre-loved and take it for one last joy ride.

Anonymous said...

PS: That room looks like a waiting room.

Sarah said...

I love this post! So true. I haven't watched Trading Spaces in years, but I feel like they did that a lot.

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

I AM SO WITH YOU ON THIS. It's what drives me crazy about all those budget decor shows on HGTV; the ones that somehow don't turn out batshit-insane, are so utterly bland and generic that they make me want to scream. Having a small budget doesn't mean you have to buy things that have no personality--buy second-hand! Urgh it's painful.

alis said...

I'm kind of stuck in the middle here, yeah those cheap bin decors suck big time, but whenever I blow big money on something that I think will "last forever", I love it for the first few months and then start getting bored of it, then hate it, and because it cost me so much I feel I'm stuck with it and see it as something that is sucking the joy outta my life! OR, maybe I just keep making the wrong choices. One advice from me that has proven itself right maaanny times: don't invest in a carpet no matter how gorgeous you think it is.

Jean said...

The biggest mistake is mounting a TV screen over a fireplace. A plastic rectangle: black unless it's on; inane most of the time it's on, taking up a prime art (or beautifully empty) spot. And it's too high to watch comfortably anyway.

Decorno said...

Hi Paola,

Here is the link for the table skirt fiasco.
http://decorno.blogspot.com/2007/12/draped-anything-grosses-me-out.html

If you google cote de texas skirted tables decorno" you will find Joni's response.

Lemmingboy said...

Here's the Cliff Notes version:

We won.

Suzy said...

Woo hoo!

Iheartfashion said...

Yes, those little boxes look very "Trading Spaces" circa 2000.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Ok, I have to add to the things that are wrong- those terrible framed sCRAP paint testing sheets that people feel pass for real art. WTF? There is a reason that not everything belongs in a frame --hmm... scratch that maybe i can make some money off putting shite in a frame --anyone know an investor for me?

Turquoise said...

I am laughing so hard right now...your blog rocks.

BTW, got your email.

Music is being sent pronto!
v.

dean said...

agree
agree
agree

Joanna Goddard said...

i LOVE your blog. i'm so glad i found you!

PB said...

"My husband and I call that Vern Yipping a wall." --> Jules, that is HILARIOUS.

I agree, those boxes are atrocious. I am loving your "things that are wrong" series. They're almost as bad as the massive sun-ray mirror every designer seems to love to put in the room. I swear, they're all the same mirror!

Anonymous said...

In defense of disposable:

there's a lot to be said for things that you won't cry over if it gets spoilt. As a person decorating on a budget now, Ikea is my second home.. As a person with a very small space, sometimes boxes are all the storage I can fit in.

I understand the pleasure of the hunt and frequent my Salvation Army. The problem is getting through all the junk. The thing about mass chains is, at least the furniture isn't offensive and everything is scaled to fit. I'm tired of buying junk that I try to make-over but never quite succeed at and takes up space in my very small apartment in the meantime. I'm tired of fighting over 'unique' pieces with my husband and trying to convince him on the viability of Chinese antiques( they're a pain to dust. As a tired professional/housemaid, I can only say,'bring on the bland'and ' we'll be gone in three years and at least the movers won't break anything of value the next time.'

Decorno, I really appreciate your inimitable style. Keep on being controversial.

Sue

An Aesthete's Lament said...

You are the bomb!

Anonymous said...

Hey, there is nothing wrong with the said stores in your post, If someone likes what they see, then they buy it, which means it meant something to them. A house isn't supposed to look like an antiques shop as well as a "spiritless space". It's about what the homeowner likes.

Alkemie said...

You really said it when you called it "Impersonal Decor" as that is truly what it looks like. If a home looks like it comes out of the pages of a Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn catalog, I'm usually turned off by it. Yes it's photo perfect, but I totally agree it lacks any sort of personal stamp on it.

Anonymous said...

I need to know, Decorno. I really need to know.

Plates hung on walls: Wrong, or Not?

I was raised to believe that plates were for eating and only a certain type and class of people hung dinnerware. But, now, at almost 40 years old, I am haunted by the question, Were we Incorrect in this assumption?

Please put me out of my misery.

Anonymous said...

YES!!!

VintageSmith said...

Thank-you for dissing "disposable decor" I hate that crap. Get creative, buy less in order to buy quality and take care of your things.

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