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WTF Were They Thinking?

I know I’ve been super serious lately about trying to assemble a laundry space that doesn’t require a Prozac upon entry, so I’ve decided to lighten it up with some WTF rooms. I obviously love color, texture, art and slightly obscure objects (as evident by my use of 100% of the junk left behind by the sellers). But sometimes, quite honestly, people lose their damn minds and seem to forget that after they decorate with impractical baubles and plastic furniture they also have to live there.

I’m just going to jump right in with a big “Are you kidding me?” The color and layout are’t the issue, but what’s going on with the teetering twig table? I could be wrong, it could be totally stable and only look like a rickety pile of kindling… but who wants something that even LOOKS this questionable in their house? I wouldn’t want to walk past this situation, much less set anything on it (except an open flame).

If you want a statement table, you’re much better off playing with color over structure. A table has a flat top and 3+ legs to plant it firmly on the ground. Most tables have this in common because those are the bare necessities for an item to be considered a table. A cart (to the right) is a viable variation on the standard table, if painting it bright, robins egg blue isn’t enough for you. There’s SO much contrast going on, but it works on the most basic level and that’s one step up from the brush pile above.

“Excuse me, waiter, there is a roll of rusted wire in my soup.” I’m all about the nature meets industry contrast, but that’s seriously a gnarled mass of wire hanging from the ceiling. Is there a light in there? I have no idea. Is it just for aesthetics? I sure hope not because it’s not doing its job. I’m not a total hater because I feel like I get what they were going for, but I am not one to sacrifice function for, well, anything. A light fixture made of deer antlers would have gone very nicely here. (I hope you know that last part was a joke.)

You want random wire pieces suspended from the ceiling? Perhaps going the more structured route is best. As you can see, the two circular shapes (right) don’t seem quite as jarring as the rats nest of metal over the table (upper left, remember?) A great contributor to the setup is the open space that surrounds the circles. There’s no busy rug or patterns that also compete for attention. It follows the same vibe with industry meets nature, but it’s simplified and doesn’t leave you with the question “Should I get a Tetanus shot?”

I kind of don’t even know what to say about this situation to the left. Yeah, I get it, you like primary colors and NASCAR, but there doesn’t need to be a head on collision juxtaposition of this magnitude in your house. Believe it or not, this person did do a couple (not many) things right here. The furniture (“interesting” as it may be) is right in line with the scale of this room. It’s a little room and the furniture is small, but it doesn’t look very comfortable and I couldn’t spend more than 11.3 minutes in this room before I’d need to stretch my legs. On that same note, because the room is so small, placing mirrors on one wall is an amazing way to open up space for the area to appear larger. However, I would not have placed “Halloween” and “Bumblebee” themed mirrors in this small of space (or any space). Not only are they on the hideous side, they are WAY TOO LOUD for the area. The checkered flag table and mustard yellow carpet…? Let’s just say I hope they have really great personalities.

You want volume and primary colors? The situation to the right is a great example of how loud can be calmed. Yes, there is a huge red wall. Yes, there is a cheetah print chair. Yes, there is a black and white striped area rug and a painting of John Wayne (?) above the TV. But somehow, it’s a place I could relax for an extended period of time. The key to this is that the 4 items that I listed are really the loudest pieces of this room. The coffee table is virtually colorless, the TV stand is a plain, toffee, mid-century modern element and the small dining table near the wall doesn’t compete because it is so bland. You can be loud, ridiculous and a little esoteric (John Wayne, really?) but you don’t have to lose your mind in the process.

Just remember, you have to live here after you decorate here.


About Kristen Van Loon

My name is Kristen Van Loon and this is the chronicle of my search for *Oomf!* Not only have I deemed myself qualified to revamp, repair, refurnish and refine my house, but I also jump into any DIY project that my friends, co-workers, family and practical strangers stumble upon. I would love to tell you that this is my full-time job and my complete life mission, but I make my bread and butter elsewhere and raise a daughter (Olivia). I have some experience but no time, no formal training and no money. My only saving grace is that I love figuring things out, I’m great at improvising and I’m always inspired. For the record, some things that I do (play with electricity, for one) may seem risky, and some of them are. I will always tell you what I’ve done, but I won’t ever suggest things for you that aren’t safe. Even though I push the envelope, I am only marginally incompetent. If sources (father, my brain, Google) tell me not to do something then I usually won’t. But if I do try and it blows up in my face (figuratively or literally) you will hear all about it, and you hopefully won’t attempt it. At the end of the day, I hope to inspire you. Space-Lift isn’t just a blog, it’s a verb. It’s an action that brightens your surroundings by assaulting everything that needs improvement. Nothing is off limits, and all possibilities will be considered.

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