Friday, July 31, 2009

It's a couch, isn't it?

I don't know if everyone gets as confused about terminology as I can get, but it came to my attention in a conversation with one of my girls the other day that there are a lot of terms for the word couch. Or is it sofa? Or is it davenport?

I first remember the term Davenport (a brand name turned generic, like jello) when I was a small child, and since my parents used the term couch, I didn't know what our friend was talking about. I finally figured it out, but couldn't understand why they just didn't call it a couch. Then I found out later that a davenport is also a term for a type of desk! And then again, there's the shortened version, divan,which as it turns out is slang. Go figure.

When I first started in my first job in the decorating field, the company I worked for insisted that this type of furniture was called a sofa, and it was d'classier to use any other term. Oh, brother!

Now, of course, there's loveseat, settee(not to be confused with settle), canape, Chesterfield (Canadian for Davenport), fainting couch and and chaise to throw into the mix. Are you totally confused yet?

Well ,believe it or not there are some minor difference in most of these, but it primarily has to do with how many people can sit on it. For some of us it might be easier to just point and say that thing over there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh the memories.......

A lovely summer evening. Temperature about 75 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky. Top down on the convertible. Buddy Holly in the background singing on the juke box. Bright neon arches on the entry to the building. A carhop takes the order and soon a delicious root beer float appears.

Nostalgic yet?

You have just returned to an earlier time, when fun was a short drive to the drive in restaurant.

However, that was us Friday evening.

Yes, we have one of those places still around. Edward's Drive-In has been in Indy since the 50's and is being run by the 3rd generation of Edwards. Known for their own root beer and tenderloins as large as a plate. There was a time we feared it's loss. But after a devastating fire, the current Edwards knew they had to rebuild for their loyal customers.

The new building, decorated in 50's style, with it's chrome tables and chairs, Formica tops with the "boomerang" pattern, retro colors, is as fun as ever to visit. The atmosphere is great and you can pick your favorite oldies to listen to for free!

There really is a time machine and we can all use it. It's our memories and imaginations plus a few choice spots that someone has taken the time to preserve.

Forget your troubles and see you at the drive-in!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Macho Men and Decorating?

Why is it that men think they are decorators the minute they get engaged or married? Does a marriage license also mean they have a license to be a decorator?

My mother firmly believed that this is what men truly believe, and I suppose, if you look at most couples, their first homes do reflect this. Did you ever notice what people buy for furniture when they are first together ends up delegated to family rooms or basements later on? If you think about it, girls are really raised to coordinate and put things together, from dressing dolls and doll houses, picking out clothes, and in general experience the "finer" side of life. Boys are running outside playing ball, cops and robbers and generally learning how to be more macho. Now I know today's young parents are trying to change that trend, but most guys over 30 fit the afore mentioned bill.

I have seen many situations in my experience where what the wife want and what the husband wants are completely at opposite poles. Women want pretty things. Art that expresses, flowers, pillows. vases, candles, etc. Men want to show off their stuff. Models, military and sports memorabilia, collections of baseball cards, pictures of motorcycles, etc. Most women do not want to look at that stuff.

Well there is a way for both of you to have what you want. The living room can be her room and the family room his. If you don't have a family room, often a spare bedroom is great for his "den". Men love having "his own room", and men usually like more casual rooms, so this makes a great solution. My family room is decorated around my husband's likes and is nothing like me. The living room is more me, and the dining room was a complete combined effort.

When I decorate common areas, that is, areas used by both the husband and wife, the choices are things she likes,(although on a few occaisons he was actually better at this than her, so he does the choosing) with keeping his preferences in mind. Then all of her choices, usually 2 or 3, are presented to him and the one he prefers is the way we go. Most women know what he won't like and those are eliminated immediately. Everyone is happy.

My husband's tastes have refined over the 38 years we've been together and some lucky women have men that have an inherent good taste. And even luckier is the woman that has a guy that has bad taste and knows it, consequently leaving those decisions to her. Any way you look at, his tastes can't be all bad. He chose you, didn't he?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Decorating for the pet

Isn't it amazing that you can always tell when someone has a pet? Especially if the pet happens to be a dog or cat. I know people can tell I have one, every time I step out my door. The barking is a dead give away, but if I'm not at home the signs are visible. Dog hair. I wear a lot of black and boy does blond dog hair show up on my slacks! I keep a lint roller at work,so that I can look more professional, although I should probably keep it in my car, . Animal hair is not professional. Imagine that!

I used to have a black poodle, which was great, since her hairs didn't show on the black slacks as badly. Now, there are those of you out there that believe poodles don't shed, but to tell the truth, they all do. It may not be as evident with some animals as others, but they do. I could tell the poodle did by looking at the side of the chair she always leaned against. It was covered with those little hairs and it was the only place I ever saw them. Of coarse, we don't think people shed either, but we all know better. Just clean a bathroom floor.

It's not that I don't clean the house, but the dog is faster at shedding than my vacuum is at picking it up, and she would eat my arm if I tried to vacuum her.

I guess the point of my message is this, maybe we should consider decorating in colors that are complimentary to our pets. For instance, my dog sheds a lot if she's getting closer to needing a shave. I have decorated my Living room area in beige's and soft golds with accents of blue grays and her hairs just blend into the funrnishings. Not as noticeable as it would be if the furniture was red, green , blue, etc. I didn't plan this advantage. I just wanted the the soft colors, but it sure came out to my benefit. So, just something new to think about when deciding on a new color scheme.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Face lift for the neighborhood.

Isn't it amazing what a new street can do for a neighborhood? Living in the city, you often find yourself driving down a street and it is in really bad shape. It makes the whole neighborhood look shabby. Broken sidewalks, pot holes and cracks. I think it affects the way people think about where they live. Maybe deep down they think keeping their place up won't make much difference, because from the sidewalk on, it looks so bad anyway.

Then something amazing happens. The crews come in, remove the broken sidewalks, repave the street and voila, the whole neighborhood has a face lift! People start to take pride in their homes again and a transformation takes place in a very short time.

I must say, I live in an area where the streets don't get all that bad and most everyone keeps up their property, but this week moved in the BIG TRUCKS! Everyday you patiently (or not so patiently, depending on your personality) wait for one or two pieces of the heavy equipment to move out of your way as you leave for work, or are coming home. Then you navigate very carefully the side of the road that you can drive on, dodging occasional rubble and unintentional holes where something broke up before intended.

There's also the wake up call, and you better heed it or you will be stuck for awhile. Jack hammers at 6 AM. What a lovely sound to get up to. Like Beethoven. Even though they told you the evening before that they were going to dig out in front of your drive at 6 AM, for some reason or other an ambitious worker (I know, you don't believe there is an ambitious road worker. I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes) decides to go to work early and starts digging out in front of the drive at 5:30 AM.

Now, I didn't run out and start ranting and raving about how they told me 6AM and it's not even close to that and how did they expect me to drive my little sports car over a 3 foot deep ditch. I don't have one of those super trucks in the shows at the dome. Someone did it for me. So they refilled the ditch with lots of gravel, making a bridge just wide enough to maneuver. And they were really nice about it! One of the workers always sees that the way is clear for me when I come and go and with a smile on his face. I feel special! And even better, the port-a-pot is in someone elses front yard!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Myface or Spacebook?

Getting a handle on all the things that you can do on a computer isn't as easy for some of us "older" people as it is for those of us that are younger. Especially, if you have never been electronically or mechanically inclined. I still don't know how to set my old VCR to record a show at a set time if I'm not there to do it. We all know that VCRs are now pretty much obsolete, so guess how far behind I am. I can hook one up, or a DVD player, but now there's something new on the market and T-bow? DVR? I don't even have cable!

So, I was talking to my girls the other day, and they think I should really get into this computer networking stuff. I should really check into some of those interactive with your friends sites. I haven't a clue as to how or even if I want to go on Myface or Spacebook. Something about that just doesn't seem right. If you want to talk to somebody, call them up. Or go see them. Talk to my face and I'll make space in my book!

Do kids want their moms to be their friends? I doubt it, but they may not want to tell you that. Hurt feelings. boo hoo. There are some things you just don't want your mom to know or hear you say. Maybe not your grown kids either. Even at my age, some things would not be discussed with my mother, but then I probably wouldn't put that on the internet anyway. It's best not to put anything on the internet that you wouldn't feel comfortable saying in church. Why embarrass yourself?

So, for now I am just thinking about it, and if I decide to give it a try, I guess I'll figure it out. After all, I'm just starting to get the hang of blogging!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I've got the blues

Today I installed a beautiful window treatment in a room that just exudes peace and tranquility. The spacific use for the room is to drink coffee and read the morning paper. The soft blue grays, as well as the rich woods, give the room an elegant, yet casual feel. You just want to put your feet up, and curl into the furniture and read a good book. I would love to do that, however, the room doesn't belong to me and I don't think the owners would want me there all the time, using their space.

For those of you out there wanting such a peaceful area in your room, it's not so hard to achieve. Soft peaceful, calming colors: blues, blue grays, and soft greens give that feeling. Just makes you want to relax just thinking about them. Excuse me (deep breath and sigh)while I go take a relaxing nap.........

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Is beige boring?

I am choosing a lack of color for a house going on the market soon. It seems that it is the consensus that lack of color sells a house. Most people, apparently, cannot imagine a room being workable if it has color on the walls. Yet almost everyone I know loves color on the walls.

The house I lived in, and sold, a couple of years ago had lots of color, and the buyer didn't want to change any of it. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Yet, I must choose lack of color for this house.

Actually, I am choosing a color wantabe. Beige. Not just any beige, but one of 450 shades of beige in the universe. There's probably an infinite number, but thankfully, not in my paint deck.

The wood work will be white. Of course, my paint deck has 140 shades of white. Nevertheless, it'll make a nice contrast and give the room the warm, clean elegance that a monochromatic color scheme gives. But I can't help myself! There will be a punch of color in the house. The Dining Room will be RED! Most people don't have alot of upholstery in a dining room that will put up a fight. Red walls are great in a dining room. Food looks good on red and it stimulates conversation. And if the buyer doesn't like red, well, paint is the least expensive decorating tool we have!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Little bitty cherries

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I went out to pick the last of this years cherry crop, before the greedy little birds finished them off. Not to mention the squirrel I saw running upside down, frantically rustling down a branch, sucking up all the cherries like a Kirby vacuum. I bet he had a tummy ache!
We both looked like we'd been in a battle. Red was oozing from our hands and down our arms. OK, some of the cherries were REALLY ripe. I must say that cherries are a beautiful fruit, which is what has led me to my current insanity.
It isn't enough that I love real cherries. I love them enough to want them in my garden. That is, my miniature garden. Unfortunately, miniature gardens, such as the one I'm making have to be fabricated. No Miniature bonsai cherry trees exist to my knowledge, and if they did, I'm sure the cherries would be too big and I'd not know how to care for it, and it would die, and then I would die (so the legend says) and , well, wouldn't that be disappointing for me.
I digress. I am known for my maniacal desire to notice and capture details. So, when I started this little garden scene it had to have a tree and one screaming with color! Red Cherries! Red Cherries! Red Cherries!
I had to give in, and why didn't someone stop me? I couldn't just glue cherries to the branches, which I am sure most peoples wouldn't have noticed. No, mine had to have stems! Anyone out there know how many cherries it takes to fill a tree? Me neither, but it's lots! If the bonsai doesn't get me it may be old age from making cherries.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kids Rooms

She is just turning into a teenager and what do you do? Let her have her own way and pick out what she wants, or decorate her room the way you would like to see it done?
That can be dangerous either way. She'll probaly not really like what you, the parents, choose. Young people have taste so different from us older people. They don't mind the stuff we are sick of, because they didn't grow up with it. Lemon, lime, tangerine. A virtual fruit salad of colors.
She might be going through a not so good phase and want everything black. Cheerfully depressing to match her hormonal moods. I wanted to run away from home when my daughter reached puberty. Then again, your child may have really good taste.
I find that for the most part, kids know what they like and can easily sit in on the process. Just like every other area in their lives, a little guidance goes a long way. Sometimes the combining of the minds brings surprisingly beautiful results. And yes you can combine, stripes, checks, and prints. The example shown has 6 different fabrics in the same color scheme.
Have fun and let loose!
Oh, to be young again!