≡ Menu

The Terror That Lies Ahead or Why Decorative Pillows Give Me the Sweats

There are a lot of things that I’m not afraid of.

Spiders.  Heights.  Eating bologna off the floor.  But recently, I discovered something that I am afraid of, turns out.  Terrified of, in fact.

I am scared shitless of interior decorating.

Laugh if you like, but it’s true.  To me, interior decorating is one of those magical skills–like underwater welding or speaking Mandarin–that I know is possible and some people can but I have no illusions of ever possessing.  It’s like there’s a special gene that fabulous people possess that allows them to know exactly which couch goes with exactly what color walls that I just don’t have.

Which has always been okay.  Being young and broke, it’s been totally acceptable for us to decorate in what could be called “Shabby Chic,” otherwise known as “Cheap and Free.”  The only furniture in our apartment that was bought new is our bed (that Kyle bought with his ex,) an end table (bought from Ikea in college,) and my dresser (bought new in 1988.)  For fuck’s sake, until recently our entertainment center was comprised of two speakers with a couple 2×4’s lying across them.  But it’s been okay, because we live in a crappy apartment with white walls and nappy brown carpet.  Besides, by having cheap and crappy furniture we could save our limited funds for more important needs.  (Like beer.)

But we’re getting older now.  After a couple years of constant moving and always looking forward to the next gig and the next city, we’ve found a city that we love and jobs that we love, and the desire to push forward has waned a bit.  We’re starting to settle down, as weird as it feels to say.  And we’re starting to think about considering maybe one day in the future starting to look for a house.  Like a for real house.  One with paintable walls and replaceable carpets.  And maybe, just maybe, some grown up furniture to go with it.

Which brings us back to interior decorating.  The thought of that blank canvas of a house, the endless possibilities of style and taste and color and texture stretching before me, scares the crap about me.  I can look at an item, say, a decorative pillow or a colorful lamp, and say either, “Yes, that’s lovely, I like that,” or, “No, that looks like someone vomited Skittles on a turd, I hate that.”  But figuring out how to put all those pieces together into one stylish, functional, and comfortable room?  I would rather try to brush my cats’ teeth than try to put all that together.   I don’t have a vision, I don’t anything I’m “going for,” and I ain’t “feeling” shit.  The canvas is just too blank, the possibilities too endless.  It makes me panicky just thinking about it.

But we’re taking baby steps.  Very teeny, tiny, wobbly baby steps.  We’re starting with our lamp.

Yes, that a Van Gogh reproduction on our wall. My brother gave it to me for Christmas and I like it, and besides, the guy at the framing store already laughed at me so shut it.

We like it and we feel it is fairly representative of our style: sleek, simple and modern.  And we know that the first piece of grown up furniture we’re going to get is a new couch.  So we figure maybe we try to make sure that our new couch “goes” with our lamp?  And maybe there will be an end table after that?  And piece by piece, we’ll put our house together, and as long as the last thing we bought “goes” with the one before it…it’ll be designy, right?


(Please hold me.)

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Jenbug September 7, 2011, 11:08 am

    Quit rocking yourself and get out of that corner! You’re going to be just fine. Take a deep breath and say, “My design goal is whatever I want in my house.” The only things y’all should have in your house are things that you want and are comfortable to you.

    Go for the $300 couch from Big Lots! It’s comfy – I swear! I got one so my dogs could do doggy things on it and I don’t regret it a bit. I even laid down on it this weekend and it was comfortable. But after 15 minutes, I remembered that my big dog drooled all over the place where my hair was and I had to get up. Ew.

    Go for the $15 thrift store end table! It’ll match your Van Gogh print.

    Just go for what you want and as long as you’re happy with it, to hell with everyone else and their “snooty” ideas about decorating. They will probably secretly wish they had your balls. And if they don’t, and still judge you, they’re probably pretentious pricks and they can suck your big toe. Or they’re your mom. In which case, just smile sheepishly, nod, and apologize for your horrible taste in (insert random furniture here).

  • Karen September 7, 2011, 7:40 pm

    As mother-in-law, I would like to make known that Stephanie (& Kyle) have great decorating style….. when they were sharing with me their color scheme for the wedding (burnt orange, cranberry, & lime) I was thinking OMG what are they thinking??!!! BUT I have to say it came together exceptionally and was a beautiful display of color!!! so I am very confident that Steph will be able to decorate and create a gorgeous & innovative decor for their home!!! Both are very talented, think outside (ok, waaaay outside) the box, and everything they do in their job (lighting, design, sets, sound) is all so creative that I am in awe!!! (getting throw pillows & couches will be a piece of cake!!!)

  • Kate (and Ben) September 8, 2011, 9:29 am

    The idea of throw pillows has always scared me. Not in a decorating sense, but just that they are so damn girly!! Someone will always be appalled at your style of decorating. The Rock Star HATES my love of anything sleek, clean, low, AKA modern; My mother does a good job hiding her disgust at my Batman-themed bathroom (don’t judge me); My mother-in-law is appalled at our idea to paint the kitchen a dark purple; and absolutely everyone is confused by my hatred of any kind of curtain.
    Basically, yes, do whatever the fuck you want, pick out/buy pieces that both of you love and you will end up with the perfectly decorated space.

  • Kate (and Ben) September 8, 2011, 9:30 am

    PS–that lamp is gorgeous!

    Aw, thanks! Target, if you can believe it.

  • Charm City Kim September 8, 2011, 10:09 am

    I think your attitude towards interior decorating changes when you become a homeowner. I was the queen of cheap Ikea furniture when i was just renting but that completely changed when I bought a house. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still totally cheap but now I think about things that will work long-term. You have more creative control since it is YOUR house.

    You should look into Pinterest. You can build inspiration boards or whatever… (I have no idea, I just joined and I still don’t quite “get it”).

  • doahleigh September 9, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I used to have that lamp! At some point I gave it to my sister though. Cute!

  • Peg September 10, 2011, 7:11 am

    You don’t have to worry about Stephanie’s Mom judging her. At this point in time, due to a long story I won’t go into, Steph and Kyle have more furniture than we do. Plus, we have the same exact lamp. P.S. I would have no problem with a Batman bathroom. However, if you decorated it in “Hello, Kitty”, then we might have to talk.

Leave a Comment