It’s hard to remember

After spending the past several years immersed in the world of interior design via the internet… its hard to remember that there are terrible vomitous and completely gross options for furniture in the world still. Some actually want to sign up for a 0% APR on a home full of furniture that looks like this.

Is it our job as interior decor enthusiasts to educate the world? We all write and talk here online like we are in the same club. But my question is this…..

How do you (especially those of you that do this for a living) educate your people to refine their tastes?

Since I’m just a hobbyist, I’m probably going to give up on the boys house. I was hoping that since they are dudes they’d be all ears, excited about ideas of vintage schoolhouse, mad professor’s oddities, and industrial chic – which to them was just going to come across as “How RAD would it be to have a cowhide for a rug, or hey check out this crazy old beat up whiskey stained farm table, or YES – a chalkboard is an EXCELLENT idea.”

Let’s talk about it. I’m seriously at a loss. How is it that people think the above is “nice”???Thanks for playing,


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  • people are lazy. I know of several people, guys more so that gals, that will go to the showroom of above type furniture and say “I’ll take that room”. They either don’t know options exist or they don’t want to take the time to seek out unique pieces or even stuff that would be nicer (in more than just an aesthetic way) and better fit their lifestyle. They want instant gratification I guess, rather than taking the time to put a space together. same reason they are opting for the 0% finance offer… they can’t wait to save up the cash. why wait to have a stylish, tasteful room when you can have a not so tasteful one now!!!! ;)

  • I honestly think that alot of people just don’t think they care. Having said that, I don’t think they take into account the intangible yummy, settled feeling they get when they are in a well put together space with meaningful objects. They don’t make the connection between the aesthetic and the feeling that a space gives them.

  • I don’t think its so much that they think its nice, they just don’t know what they like or have the sense that their house could reflect their own style (perhaps because they don’t really have a style). You’d have to kill me before I bought a full on, matchy matchy living room set, but I can see the appeal. Its easy.

  • I keep thinking that maybe I’m taking it for granted that I see beautifully put together rooms all of the time though – but that maybe the world is under MASS Brainwash that the above rooms are what’s In Style as options.. (and okay, maybe in my brash wondering, I slanted the style towards the cheap 0% down crowd, but this same poor big box approach to design applies to those with money too.) I grew up in Hickory, NC – which before CHINA was one of the most productive furniture manufacturing locations in the world. They still produce a ton of furniture – more so now than ever they are custom and pricey pieces – and many still carry a certain aesthetic that you would NEVER find in our little blogosphere……

    TV Sitcoms, Commercials, the large PRESENCE of stores that carry furniture like this – they may all be helping to dumb down the aesthetic expectations of people???

    Am I just on some weird rant? haha.

  • I think it’s that while design is (our) thing – and our eyeballs are fine-tuned / tastes are honed – it’s NOT a lot of peoples’. I imagine it’s the equivalent of (me) and science, or trying to comprehend hieroglyphics. I have worked with so many people who ooh and ahh over rooms, but they get overwhelmed trying to figure out how to achieve something similar in their own homes… so they give up & go to generic, big box world, where they can pick something bland someone put in a grouping together, click and have everything delivered and be done with it. And they’re so USED to seeing and using only stuff from big boxed world that they’re afraid to get outside the box and do something that doesn’t look (normal – snore). I dragged my best friend – a brilliant lawyer – around to yard sales one day and would point to something (heinous) and then explain to her how we were going to fix it up to be stellar, and she acted like her head was going to explode. A lot of people (like her) just kind of have an aversion to antiques/secondhand things, which is where so many of the goodies lie. I’ve also noticed that a lot of people have “Rooms to Go” syndrome, and can’t fathom how they could possibly mix traditional & modern, etc. That’s my take, anyway.

  • What about people that simply have bad taste in decor…? and REALLY strong opinions that they WANT something that you believe to be in poor taste? Do you concede, or attempt to educate?

    I’m just asking cause I don’t want anyone to have to live among wax coated cherry fiber board backed entertainment centers and contemporary patterned rugs if there is a formulaic way to introduce another option.

    Also, What about the person that believes themselves to have an aversion to vintage, but meanwhile doesn’t have the budget to afford a real quality piece of modern furniture. Doomed?

  • My husband’s Aunt is a licensed interior designer, and her WHOLE house is FULL OF different ANIMAL prints ( I mean EVERY ROOM, even the 3 bath rooms.) Her living room has a couch with Zerba print,and she has BIG statues of jungle animals, and her house is FULL of STUFF in EVERY nock and cranny!!! So I WONDER WHO likes that look? I know me personally I HATE the ” I just walked into Ashley’s and said I’ll take that LOOK” That’s why its taken me 2 years, and I STILL HAVE NOT picked a new couch. =) I HATE the everything matches look, but find it HARD to pick different pieces,and have them not look like everything is hand me downs. I think a GOOD blog, would be a “HOW TO” on how to design a room, to be different, and LOOK like it goes together.

  • I also wanted to say I HATE when people take 1 ‘theme’ and go OVER BOARD with it ( like the Italian themed kitchens.) I mean when the PICTURES, floor mats, hand towels, potholder, table cloth, place mats, etc. etc. ALL have the SAME DARN them to them. It DRIVES ME NUTS. =)

  • I think I agree with Stephanie here. It does take education to be good at art, whatever that art may be. I know my taste is pretty atrocious, but do think (Betsy, feel free to correct me) that as I have learned more, my default has become slightly less horrid. I think it’s lack of education.
    Also, the success return versus the effort to walk into a display room is pretty good. Its pretty hard to successfully put together bits and pieces, secondhand and searched for, into a cohesive “look”. Its a bit scary if I do say so myself!

  • ugh. there should be an ugly furniture tumblr. why do manufacturers even make this stuff? it’s ruining living rooms across america!!

  • I do think it is a round robin situation. The ugly skus become best sellers for the manufacturers thus, they make more similar styles, then more and more is shown on the floor in retail showrooms eating up retailable square footage thus more is sold becoming best sellers because that is all the end user is seeing, starting the cycle all over again.

    Retailers do not like to gamble on furnishings not labled as best sellers or have a similar style of a best seller. It is all about $ per sq ft in retail.

    This seems to be the trend at the Big Box retailers that dominate the advertising such as R2G, Ashley, and like stores at the same price point.

    When you step up a price point or two you notice totally diff styles and trends on the showroom floors.

    What I wish for is a manufacturer to really knock off those more stylish home furnishings and sell them at the big box price.

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