Friday, 24 November 2017

Decor Crimes Again



Giant sculptures of human body parts in public places.
Dangling replica antique light bulbs.
Garish carpets in public spaces.
“Restoring” Victorian ghost signs.
Frosted glass partitions.
Restored floorboards that are too orange and shiny.
Wood-panelled interiors in a modern office block.
Sticking recycled planks to the walls.
A large black-and-white photograph of pebbles.
Buildings in the shape of a giant human head.
Sentimental garden sculptures, “sculpture park” sculpture, memorial sculpture...
Driftwood sculpture.
Chainsaw sculpture.

Everything too new, apart from one ye olde artefact in the wrong place (the potato weighing scales in the living room).

Knocking through and extending until there are meaningless bits of wall sticking into spaces (holding the roof up). The same dull fitted carpet “flows” through the entire ground floor. Adding a “glass box” extension to a standard semi. Removing all downstairs dividing walls and building a huge glass-roofed extension into the garden. Stripping all character from the interior of a period house because you really want to live in an airport lounge. And you need all that space to... do what exactly?

In a Victorian house
A fireplace with a copper hood.
Stripped wood throughout. (The Victorians would have painted it dark brown, or later in the century, cream.)
Exposed brick in your living room. (The Victorians would have had a fit. It's hardly "rustic", either.)
A stable door – to your bedroom.

Decadence
The “abandoned houses of the Hebrides” aesthetic.
The "servants’ quarters of derelict Irish country house” look.
Fake shuttered concrete internal cladding.

The bamboo table in the hall upstairs was only a small side shoot of the original bamboo forest that sprouted in the basement. Everything down here was of mottled, banana‐coloured bamboo. There was a bamboo wardrobe… washstand…easy chair. And there was a bamboo‐and‐shell overmantel. (London Belongs to Me, Norman Collins)

From Elle Decoration
Don’t be afraid of colour “Some of my favourite rooms have been oxblood or grass green since before I was born.”
“Trends are not your friend. Decorating should be personal.” (I think they mean “Replace those 80s curtains.”)
Hang your art at eye level, where we can see it.
Avoid tiny “floating” rugs. (Also, have some rugs, like the Victorians and Georgians who installed those lovely floors you’ve just restored.)
Avoid open shelves in the kitchen – do you want everyone to see your naff mugs? Actually, why not throw them out?
Avoid stainless steel. “Don’t build a diner in your kitchen.”
Declutter, but keep out a few personal items. Avoid the hotel suite look.
Avoid matching everything, and furnishing a room from a single source.
Curtains should reach the floor.
An upmarket room needs classy light-switches. And how about brass finger-plates for the doors?

From The TimesCarpet in bathrooms.
Armchairs ditto.
TV in every room.
Roman blind in kitchen.
Throws.
Pedestal mats in the loo.
Cat litter in kitchen (and cat food).
Utensil rack above hob.
Bidets.
Victorian pulley clothes drier (maiden).
Aga in the city "They’re used mainly for heating country houses.”

The entrance hall, which was big enough to contain a large fireplace, had probably been designed to be used as a breakfast-room. The first thing seen on coming in was... a wood carving of a helmeted guardsman with a shield and spear standing on a pediment carved with animal heads. (The Great Indoors by Ben Highmore on a Jacobethan castle – from the 30s.)
More here, and links to the rest.

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