On British TV the other night, I watched a show about ‘interior design crimes’. It scanned all kinds of things found in the average home, including sofa throws and collections on display. I would like to respond as follows:
(1) I live here – it’s more important to please myself than to please others. A non-offensive look is presumably completely neutral, with little to look at apart from large pictures of nothing and six books.
(2) When I lay out a collection of anything, it’s not so much ‘deliberate design’ as ‘being able to enjoy my collection’.
(3) Sofa throws protect sofas from cats. Have the House-Proud never seen the dark, hairy, grimy mark that can be left by a sleeping cat, or the mud and leaves tracked in from outside? If it’s a cold night and you can’t afford to put the heating on, a nice light fleecy throw (well, a clean one!) is quite snug.
(4) Bare bathroom floors can be dangerous when they get wet. I damaged my foot four months ago when I slipped on the wet lino in the hall. It cost me two months of dog-walking money and still hurts. Four Months Ago. Foot. Still. Hurts. (Edit Dec 2007: 21 months ago… not a lot of change).
(5) When you live in a shoebox, overhead storage space is a boon – even if you have to stand on your bed to reach some of the cabinets. Put blankets or thick sweaters in there – big bulky soft things which are needed only in the winter and which won’t crack your head open if they fall out – not that they’re likely to.
(6) The real problem with novelty CD racks and towers is that the CDs are always falling out. I wouldn’t waste time complaining about them… one day they’ll all be gone, and not because they appeared on any ‘design crimes’ list.
Some of us are just trying to live from day to day. It’s frightening how the modern designer would like to turn an ordinary home into an empty shell. I wonder what sort of effect that would have on charity shops, car boot sales and eBay – and indeed, many retailers? ‘Junk’ and bric-a-brac keep the wheels turning.
I wonder what we would talk about if we didn’t have our collections and shared interests? We would buy white paint every six months and order tasteful magnolia settees of wipe-clean leather (ones you can’t sleep on). I’m not out to criticize anyone else’s taste; that’s not my style. The minimalist look is airy and beautiful… but I love my cats, books, bears and snoozing on my big cuddly sofa. That’s MY style.