Never be afraid to mix things up!
Almost a year ago I spent a wonderful week with a dear, dear friend in the Ozarks—our first Thelma and Louise–style adventure! But no, not even a thought of a drive off the cliff for us! For that matter, not even a cross word between us the entire week! Two people could not be more different: I can be a ding-a-ling-decorator and my buddy is extremely calm and logical. Very yin and yang, but together we are a force to reckon with.
While my buddy was enjoying the view from the screened-in porch of our charming cabin in the Ozarks, guess what I was doing? Yes, I was rearranging the furniture in the family room. Yes indeed, you read that correctly. I was shuffling furniture. As a designer, I have compulsions and this is one of them. I can quickly assess a room and see how much better the room could look with just a few changes—and then I believe it is my God-given duty to take matters into my own hands!
I’ve been tweaking furniture in hotel rooms for years and only once was I told no! When I tried to enlist the help of my beautiful 6'4" son in switching the loveseats in our two hotel rooms—which seemed very easy to me—he refused! I am still shocked he would not help me with this simple request, but sadly he laughed and walked away. I believe I heard him mumble, “You are crazy Jan”!
Rearrange to Relax
Well, that memory did not quash my impulses in the cabin in the Ozarks. Oh no, I just went on about my business of tweaking. I could not relax with the room looking the way it did. I quickly scurried through the cabin in search of better decorative pillows and a throw, which I moved from my bedroom to the sofa in the family room.
After rearranging the family room, I started in on the dining room. The floral arrangement on the table was just screaming to me for help. So, you guessed it, I quickly snatched the flowers from the vase. I bent and chopped to my heart’s delight, all while my buddy enjoyed the views from the screened-in porch! After styling a new arrangement in the wooden vase, I thought, “Some wonderful branches of fall leaves have to be a part of this.”
Out the door I went, armed with a pair of scissors to locate the final touch for the floral: a bit of nature. About the time I was putting the finishing touches on the floral, my buddy came in, and yes, she did think I was crazy!
That is when I put her to work. She’s taller than me and could reach the items on top of the kitchen cabinets, which just had to be used elsewhere. (One day we will have a discussion about the tops of kitchen cabinets. I have opinions on this. Oh, I have lots of opinions!) The ceramic rooster went to live on the fireplace mantel with a collection of silver bowls and books. The basket of silk plants found a new spot on the kitchen counter. A wonderful painted red box seemed happy as a clam on a small console table with a lamp.
The entire process took about an hour, but it made my week considerably more enjoyable! I always wonder if the cleaning staff ever notice all my changes. I guess I’ll never know!
Try It Yourself
So what’s my point in telling you this story? Never be afraid to mix things up! Change things around in your own home once in a while. Experiment and have some fun! Fall is the perfect time of year to do just that.
Spend some time going through drawers and cabinets for throws, decorative pillows and whatever else you find to refresh your rooms. Maybe rearrange some furniture in your family room or even the dining room. One suggestion in regards to furniture rearranging: Please, please, please don’t put furniture on the diagonal unless there is something on that angle you are complementing. There is an HGTV show, which shall remain nameless, that always puts the sofa or something on an angle. I am not sure where this silly inclination started, but believe me it is a trend. Be true to the geometry of a room—it just feels better to the human body.
I like to end with something sort of silly, so here are some words from Leslie Mann. (No, I didn’t have a clue who she was either, but apparently she is an actress!)
"http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lesliemann475172.html"When I was 9, my parents let me take a cab to the mall all by myself. I had hardly any money to spend, but I did have a very specific list of things I wanted to do: buy cookies and sit on the furniture at Sears.”
Oh that was so me at 13 loved furniture, as well as a good cookie! I will be here next week to visit. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!
Jan Colvin has been a professional interior designer for over 25 years (Allied ASID). he has taught interior design at the college level and operated her private design business since 2001. She welcomes questions, which will be answered in her columns. Send your questions to: email@example.com