Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ugly is as Ugly does…

I Thought it would be fun to do a post on interior design pet peeves….

One of the things that can send my mind into brain freeze are poorly and inappropriately done window treatments…  at first it is like fingernails on a chalk board… and then the brain starts to shut down to protect it from the visual pain…
One of my particular pet peeves is the inappropriate use of over the top swags in modest sized homes, particularly ranch style homes!  Swags, jabots and festoons are gorgeous in the right space… perhaps like the Biltmore or Hearst Castles …  while using the finest of fabrics and made by the best drapery workrooms to the trade… but not in a modest home with seven foot ceilings… !!!!
Amazingly, some of the worst examples and offenders on the internet are drapery workshops touting their “custom” work samples in photos that one could only hope are the before photos… but no!  And to make things worse… people actually buy them and hang them in their homes!   Have they no sense?  Have they no shame?


Please………please, please, please… 

Don’t try this at home!…………. k e e p   i t    s i m p l e  and win more friends  !  !  !

While looking for examples to post of “what not to do”… I came across a blog that has to have the worst looking houses in the blogosphere… and the funny thing is… we have all seen them at one time or another… (every family has at least one!)
Depending on whether you are in the need of a good laugh or a good cry… take a look at: 


And you haven’t seen anything until you have seen the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, Ca…  OH MY GOD!  Tell me it isn’t so… 

madonnainnmadonnasuite  The Madonna Suite.  
madonnainnyahoo  The Yahoo Room. madonnainnanniversaryroom  The Anniversary Room.
madonnainnoldmill  The Old Mill Room.

believe it or not… there is more here….

What are some of your interior design pet peeves?


  1. Hilarious...and you are so right I have seen such spaces where the owner takes such pride in their swags and bows....To each their own as long as they find beauty in their home....As for me , i think that i would actually go a little insane if you left me in any of these house. Not to be a snob, but I would rather live in a hut under a coconut tree with sand as my natural (green0 flooring

  2. C;
    This was a fun post, wow I may have to book the MI,the next time I am in Cali. OMG~!
    I do also dislike everything like it was bought off the showroom floor. I love the mix and match of styles, periods and colors.
    Have a good weekend,

  3. Francine... I can see you from my coconut tree over!

  4. L.M.,

    I love mixing as well... but I always go for "simpler is better"... usually period window treatments in small scale homes end up looking "cute"... and I abhor cute...unless it is in a baby's nursery...

  5. Oh dear!! I agree, really dated color and window treatment, Dark cabinets, a home with no original art!!!

    Art by Karena

  6. Karena, yes!

    How can one not live with and enjoy original art when it is so easily accessible? When I am working on a project, I prefer the client be involved in the art selections, if they don't already have a collection, so that it is not just an extension of the accessories. Art choices should reflect a personal connection... regardless of the rest of the interiors.

  7. If I walked in that hotel I would start laughing. Better yet I'd think it was a whore house. Pepto Bismol Pink?? LOL
    I am rolling on the floor laughing.
    That's sad.


  8. I think one of my pet peeves is thinking we all have to like the same things. I agree with you about your examples, but I wonder if you put these owners on a "happy meter" would they not be over the moon about their environments? I say if a jabot in a low-ceiling room makes your heart go all a flutter go be happy, who am I to sit in judgement?

  9. Yvonne, now that you mention it... it does resemble what one would imagine a whore house would look like! Too funny...

  10. You are so funny today. Dreadful is the name of all this. Most of all I hate low ceilings for myself. And, I'm with Yvonne, I would simply refuse to stay there, not even if it were free.
    There's a blog party in Houston tomorrow...come see me for all the details, sweetie. xx's

  11. home before dark...

    I don't believe that I personally know anyone that thinks we should all "like the same things". I know I don't... that is why it is imperative for my clients' tastes and styles to be the guide when designing for them. But taste levels are also determined by knowledge and it is an important function of an interior designer to educate clients and the public in general in matters of interior design.

    Design is made up of principles, which serve as guidelines so that a person can differentiate between good design and poor design. IT IS THE DESIGNER'S JOB TO "SIT IN JUDGEMENT". You can't separate the act of judging from the practice of design. As to who you are to sit in judgement?... well, I don't know what your expertise is...

    But to insinuate that you don't make judgements all the time is absurd... whether it is in regards to food at a restaurant, the clothes you buy (or don't by), movies you watch, politics... etc.

    I would also hope, because you have broadened your knowledge, that the judgement that you use today is not the same judgement that you used 20+ years ago. Otherwise it would indicate that you have not continued to learn... which would be such a waste...

  12. Blog Party? ... I'm on my way over to check it out!

  13. I was just winding down from a hectic day and then I saw this......EEEEEWWWWW!!!!Amazingly enough that's what you see on most ads for homes for sale and it just makes those places so less inviting to many......Can't wait to see the NEXT Design "Faux Pas" you go after! I may have some ideas!!!!Maryanne xo

  14. EEEEEWWWWWW!!!!! is right! We could have some fun with the faux pas's... but we would probably P--- off a lot of people in the process... I'm game!

  15. Swag is a four letter word.... Oh how this made me laugh. The diplomacy involved in difficult clients and respecting... while guiding... Sometimes we just need to laugh about it. Thanks for that. And thanks for your kind words about ma petite cuisine.

  16. Susan... yes, diplomacy and laughter... a good combination!

  17. OMG! My neural pathways have been obliterated by looking at those pics. Perhaps some Claudio Silvestrin therapy will repair them.

  18. Annie, I wouldn't be surprised if the guests to that hotel have to sign a release form so that they can't sue for mental damages...

  19. Oh my gosh - I cannot speak. I am related to some of the people who live in those houses. Not really, but they could be the homes of some of my .........well, I had better not say. Sometimes I look around their houses and feel almost sick - how is that for judgment? Yes, I am guilty.

  20. Oh my the Madonna Inn is

    I have to say the first thing notice in a room & a pet peeve is bad window coverings too. I've worn tired of the tab curtain that's limp and sad hanging from a too narrow rod just right above the window frame. That & heavy, dark drapes that suck the light out of a room. Ok if it's a home theater. Great post, got me thinking this a.m., not easy to do today!!

    ( : deb

  21. Hi Hill Country House Girl... I take it these don't inspire you for your next design project... I'm sure we all must have a few relatives that would love the look however...

  22. Hi Deb... I feel kind of bad to have started your day with this... kind of like a jolt of bad java...


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