Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Decorating And Marriage...

I have been doing a lot of thinking this past week. Packing your life into 50 tea chests tends to make a person a little contemplative.

And what I've realised, in between the boxes, the bubble wrap and the puppies stealing my masking tape, is that it's not enough just to decorate a house. It's not enough just to paint walls in the latest palettes, hang prints like a Parisian gallerist, screw in whole lotta fancy New York hardware, toss some expensive cushions on a Danish sofa, and artfully arrange a pile of books on a low buttoned ottoman. (The latter skill still evades me: My coffee-table stack looks like the Returns Shute of the South Yarra Library. And I don't think I've managed any of the rest, either)

It's not even enough to slap on a marble splashback, hang some vintage lights from a flea market in the south of France, up-end a LV trunk for a bar, and throw together a salad with home-grown radicchio that looks like a dish Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall whipped up. (Heart chair image via Canadian House & Home)


You also need to add some love.

{Image source of heart rug unknown.}

This has been my decorating epiphany this week.

{Image above of Daylesford Organics' kitchen garden. Image below of Prieure d'Orsan. Both by me.}

RR and I don't spend a lot of time lazing around the house together. In fact, when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg married his girlfriend, one of her conditions was that "they have at least 100 minutes of alone time together every week". When RR and I heard this on the TV in our hotel room in Boston, we looked at each other in alarm and said, "That's a lot of minutes!"

I always thought our separate studies (into which we retreat each night) had been the reason we'd stayed together for so long. But obviously we're doing things all wrong. Obviously we're not following The 100-Minute Rule.

So tonight I told him that our next house is going to be different. We're going to have Romance. Couple Time. Shared Moments in Front of Grand Designs. (He looked rather scared at this but courageously nodded.) Our home is going to be a portrait of passion. The floor plan's going to be so filled with joy, Kevin McCloud himself is going to ring and ask what's in our girders?

{Image of cushion in Umbrella Print fabric via Anna Spiro}

And then I wondered how I would achieve all this?

Decorating Epiphany #2 came when I tried to stop our Cavalier Spaniel Cooper from humping our Jack Russell Coco over the bubble wrap. ("Very disturbing," as my niece Shae would say.)

I realised that if our new home (which we move into on Monday) was going to be a picture of marital contentment, we were going to have to get the decor right. So that means far less black and white. (Too cold.) Far less bold stripes. (Too much like an Alabama correctional facility.) And no more vintage prints of guns and shooting parties. (Even if they are from the lovely Knightsbridge Map & Antique Prints Store.)

I just need to work out what to put in their place?

(More in next post...)


  1. Janelle, you're such an expert stylist you'll think of wonderful things. Would never dare to suggest anything, except that you consider including some things you both love and that have real meaning for you as a couple, in the rooms you share. Of course, you could always have a Paris room, a New York room etc, one for each of your books! - Only a fraction serious about this! Mostly this is a joke, but you could imagine it. Good luck with your move and decorating. Have seen from the net something of the turmoil that must be going on in the Australian media. Your brother must be very stressed by it all. Hope it works our for the best for him.
    We are still using your Paris book. Yesterday had tea at the Paris Mosque Tea Salon and then walked through the mosque itself and the beautiful paradise garden in the large courtyard. So lovely! Then to the Jardin des Plantes where there was one of the Play Me pianos which have been distributed around Paris since the Fete de la Musique. A young guy was playing Chopin with romance and passion. He was very very good - and what a setting! So thank you again for all your wonderful suggestions, these are things we wouldn't have thought of doing without your book.

    Best wishes, Pamela

  2. You have such a fabulous way of combing wry humour with witty observations of life - I'm curious to see how the new place will turn out then, filled with such passion and heart-felt desires!

  3. Great to see you. I note you credit Canadian House and Home. It seems to be the mag du jour. Oh decorating, I think the season may influence your choice. I see you as a clear colour person, though. Talking of unclear colours I have also alwasy fancied an ashes of roses shade for a bathroom,soft soothing and pink!! ish.Have you moved on from the dark blue? Living in the house and decorating at the same time, no doubt inspiration will come when you are surrounded by unpacked boxes and other stuff. Sorry not much help am I? Doesn't Pamela's Paris sound wonderful ?

  4. What a great read, I can't wait to see what you do, my decor is boring me rigid at the moment but yet it's years away from needing redone.

    1. Packing! The horrors! It certainly focuses the mind.
      I can't wait to see what you do, but maybe not so many hearts? Although, I do love that rug and seriously contemplated buying the heart patterned cushions from Black and Spiro. Never fear did get some other cushions from Black and Spiro (because as FF points out never knowingly undercushion).
      Wishing you all the very best with the move.

    2. Claire, your heart comment made me laugh. RR is so anti-romance that I think even ONE heart would make him run a mile down the road, with an Edvard Munch-style expression stretched across his face. No. There shall be no hearts in our house. (Unless I sneak one into the garden, like Sunday Reide did for Sidney Nolan!)
      Thanks for your kind wishes.

  5. This post is fabulous. Loved your last home and can't wait to see this next one. I hate my decor but I can't be bothered changing it because I am so busy with the lawyering the mothering the rushing and the insomnia (mine- the baby leaps 21 hours straight). Mr FF and I have different taste. Merging decor is tricky isn't it?

  6. Another ripper, Janelle. I can't wait to see what you come up with. J x


Thank you for stopping by. It's always lovely hearing from The Library's readers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...