Friday, February 19, 2010

By Design

You know how there are people called "brain surgeons" because they went to medical school and are therefore supposedly qualified to stick sharp objects into your open skull? And people called "mechanics" that rebuild your jacked up transmission? Well, there is a reason people are called "interior designers". While most lay people do not fancy themselves brain surgeons or mechanics, it seems that everybody and their damn grandma think that they are interior designers. This is almost as dangerous as practicing medicine without a license. I'm not kidding. I have seen some very, very bad things done to spaces at the hands of people who honestly believe they have a "flair". Oh, they've got a "flair" alright. A flair for shitty taste. And a penchant for the use of geese wearing bonnets as decor. News flash: GEESE DO NOT WEAR BONNETS. They just don't. And they don't carry baskets. THEY DON'T HAVE THUMBS!!!!! But I digress. First of all, there is a difference between an "interior decorator" and an "interior designer". An interior decorator may in fact be a very talented person who has honed his or her craft through experience. Not all decorators should be painted with the broad brush of crap. There are some very good ones. There are also some very, VERY bad ones. An "interior designer" by definition, is someone who had gone to an accredited school or university and has passed a series of tests. Having the appellation "ASID" after your name means you have met the standards of the American Society of Interior Designers and have passed the rather rigorous NCIDQ exam. They really don't teach you taste in design school. In my case, I have a bachelor's degree in interior design from Michigan State University, where I learned all aspects of interior architecture, which is what interior design really is. It's very little about fabrics and colors and a LOT about electrical systems and moving walls and lighting and hvac systems, etc., etc. The fact that I have pretty decent taste (independent sources confirm this) helps out too. I like design and I really, genuinely, from the bottom of my stony little heart know what I'm doing. For this reason, I get really frustrated when people try to second guess me. It may seem rather insane at the time but it almost always turns out looking pretty sweet. I'm working on a project right now that shall remain nameless for obvious reasons but which is aggravating the living shit out of me. It's a commercial space. It has been a rudderless ship to this point in time. A slew of people thinking they are gifted in the arena of interior design have added their two cents in piecemeal fashion for several years. Somebody described it as a "patchwork quilt" which is apt. It also appears to be a dumping ground for unwanted furniture as there is a couch in the space the likes of which I haven't seen since being groped in somebody's basement in 1984. It makes me itchy just looking at it. Not that's there anything wrong with a good old fashioned groping, mind you. I'm all for it. Just not on that nasty ass, blue velour couch. As a matter of fact, I think the groper in question may have been wearing a velour v-neck pullover. Underneath a Members Only jacket. Velour was not a good thing in the 80's and it's not a good thing now. Even in high end "track suits". Nobody's ass looks good in velour. Gross. Oops.....tangent alert. Sorry. Misty water colored memories. Anyway, this little design project is like a "two steps forward, one step back" kinda thing. I keep moving offending objects and they keep reappearing. There are a couple of vases filled with silk flowers that I swear to God must be zombies because they keep coming back from the dead. It's also entirely possible that someone is fucking with me because I have been informed that I'm "fun to tease". Hmmph. We'll see how fun it is when I'm hurling raggedy ass shit into a nearby pond like a crazy person. Hilarious. One way or the other, this place is going to start looking like it should.  If it kills me. And it might. 

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