Interior Design: Fantasy vs. Reality, (My Own) Home Edition

I consider myself pretty lucky, job-wise. I am a self-employed interior designer with a design practice that is about five and a half years old. I have a great business partner, a fellow designer whose strengths complement my weaknesses and vice versa. He likes case goods; I love fabrics. He is a killer kitchen and bath designer – I am great at space planning and color. He “keeps it clean and simple” and I can “goop it up, LOL!” Anyway, I love my job and all the beautiful, amazing things that I am exposed to every day. But that is the problem…

It’s easy making decisions for client projects but – when it comes to our home, the one my Sweetie and I share? – well, it’s a lot like that story about the cobbler with no shoes. Plus, every day I see new things, so every day I think/know I want something new.  And finally, as a professional interior designer, I suffer from what I call “The Burden.”  

I get the impression that we (interior designers) are supposed to live in really amazing, fabulous spaces like this:


And believe me, LOTS of interior designers do (live in uber-chic homes like this) but, the reality of it all is, more of us live in comfortable, casual spaces that look more like this:

casual living room

OK, maybe they look a little less like a hotel room than that pic, but you get the idea. Plus – at least for me – every time I have decided I “know” what direction I wanna’ go in for our home (and have my Angel on board as well), sure enough, two days later, I change my mind. As a result, nothing ever changes. Until today…

Today my beloved Martin and I said a long overdue goodbye to our soiled, faded denim sleeper sofa after (honestly?) probably more than a decade. That sofa – the sofa bought on impulse off the floor at a retail store, the sofa that actually had to be partially disassembled to go through the doorway into our TV room (listen, even the BEST interior designers “oops” every now and then), the sofa that was so well-worn that the arms on each end “slanted in” towards each other probably 2″ or more – that sofa FINALLY went away today.

Now, as most people know, I get attached to things and have a hard time saying goodbye (I mean, I cried when they drove my 1982 Saturn away when I bought a brand new car) but for this sofa? No tears were shed. After an hour or more of “deconstruction” with the invaluable assistance of my patient and doting Sweetie, both arms had been torn off, the collapsible innerspring mattress assembly had been gutted and all the pieces parts were in our dumpster. I paused for a moment but never looked back…

In its place, we now have a sleek contemporary sofa, a kick-ass shag rug and we even treated ourselves to a new table lamp. OK, OK, here’s a pic:

TV Room

If I am being honest, that throw will never actually look like that on a day-to-day basis; in fact, it has already been folded and placed over the arm of the sofa. And we have an ottoman, soon to be exchanged for a real, big boy cocktail table but its a start. This change makes me happy for quite a few reasons, not the least of which being it is the first room – after almost five years together – that my Sweetie and I have “done” together. I’m sure it will get a few more “tweaks” in the coming weeks but today, when my sweet guy and I sat down on the sofa together for the first time, ran our bare feet across that rug (it feels SO nice) and  I saw him just smiling from ear to ear well, today? This room is the best room I have ever designed…

Stay tuned for more updates. As I said, I see a new cocktail table in our future and some new W-A-L-L-P-A-P-E-R. Yes, wallpaper. Bold, graphic ridiculously-scaled wallpaper. As they say, “Prepare to be amazed…”

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