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You bought your new home! Congratulations!  Few things in life can be more satisfying than finally, after all that hard work and careful consideration, finally moving into the house you’ve always dreamed of.

Now that you and your family are moving in, some ideas begin to develop in your head  regarding decor and really putting the ole’ personal touch on this dream home, and why not?  You likely already have a long list of ideas and detailed mental pictures of exactly how you’re going to make this new home your personal palace.  However, before you start shelling out your kids college tuition for that hyper unique blend of fantasy and breakfast nook synergy you should remember that too much, too soon and too wrong can Shazam your dream home into a palace of nightmarish bad choices with like, relative ease.

Keep the following in mind when home decorating….we beg you.

Your Home is NOT a Theme Park

No really, we get it- you like Pirates of the Caribbean but for the love of all that’s sane and reasonable, if anyone over the age of 8 inhabits a room decorated, built in the guise of pirate ship, the impending unraveling of the universe as we know it is their fault.

“Anyone over the age of 8 and we all die.”

Although some amount of “theme” might be acceptable in a kid’s room, your dinner guests might feel uncomfortable dining in your decorator’s original reconstruction of Frankenstein’s dining room.  Contrary to what some progressives have put forward decorating your entire living room like a Vietcong prison camp will not facilitate a healthy family atmosphere and the only time a sitting room should have little model ships all over with a giant gold plated ship’s wheel mounted on the wall is if you can actually look out the window and see your boat waiting for you in the water.

The Bottom line:

A few matching Disney posters in your daughters room aside, over done themes are a big no-no and scientists in Uganda have found strong correlations between this and erectile dysfunction in men later in life; except for when the other dude is wearing a Mickey Mouse mask.  Then a dog wouldn’t even chew on it.

Better than Viagra.
Better than Viagra.

Your Toilet is, also, not a Theme Park

The toilet.  A central and necessary cornerstone to any home worth purchasing.  We all spend time in the bathroom and we all commit a certain amount of time to sitting on the can.  For some (D-A-D-S) the toilet is a sanctuary within their castle and the only place where they can get ten minutes of peace.  That doesn’t mean however, that your homes toilet needs to look like R2D2’s soul mate or a cast member from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat.

“Pick One: He’s never coming to your house again or, she knows she’ll never make it out alive.”

The Bottom line:

A toilet, and the bathroom it is housed in, should serve a simple purpose and be composed of four simple yet critical components.

  1. A functional, flushing toilet.
  2. A collection of clean surfaces.
  3. A door that locks.
  4. Some place to clean off your hands.
That’s it.  If you want ambiance, a simple rug, not a toilet rug, placed in front of the toilet and perhaps a tasteful candle on a shelf or window ledge should be sufficient.  In the toilet use the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep it Simple, Seriously.  Nobody wants to deal with Hello Kitty while they are barfing up last nights tequila bender.

 Clutter and Knickknacks are the Enemy

We don’t even know what the word “Knickknacks” means or if it’s really a word, but we know that having a bunch of junk lying around makes your room/garage/home look like a yard sale gone horribly wrong.

You might have the worlds most impressive collection of first edition kid’s meal toys, but that doesn’t mean you need to display them all, all the time. To you it might be great fun, but to the uninitiated house guest it’s a terrifying glimpse into your warped and sinister mind which they will henceforth summarize to friends and acquaintances as: Completely Fucked.

Toy_Collection.sized

Storing your collections away and then occasionally putting particular pieces out is tasteful and interesting. It will livin’ up your room and start conversations when you have company, before the raping really gets going, but these displays shouldn’t dominate the space too much.

Just like “knickknacks” (whatever that means), general clutter and junk should not be left out. Put your hockey gear in the closet, those work files in the file cabinet and your clothes either into the dresser or the washing machine.

The bottom line:

Clutter taking up space is a good way to make your home feel small and cramped and it contributes to stress. Use tasteful storage concepts to keep things simple and stream lined. A clean home is a relaxing home.

Exposed wires look horrible

Where as a collection of vintage Pepsi cans, although insanely tacky, might be mistaken for a classy decor maneuver, computer cords and stereo wires all over the place have no facade to hide behind.  They look horrible.

Thanks, Technology.

“Technology, a spiteful little minx.”

These days cords are absolutely bloody everywhere. With the wave of “wireless” devices becoming more affordable and dependable we finally have some options, but who hasn’t walked into a friend’s room and literally grimaced when faced with the rat’s nest of cords, wires and antenna creeping behind their PC?
Take our word for it on this one if you’ve developed some sort of paranormal immunity to cord infestation; It’s not attractive and can conjure up all kinds of unpleasant images.

"Unpleasant"
“Unpleasant” wink-wink.

 

The bottom line:

Get rid of the damn cords. You can tape them together, you can used zip cords, you can hide them behind furniture or put them in a decent looking basket or box. It’s called a disguise. Whatever you do, don’t leave them out to ensnare guests or molest your sensibilities. Wires and cords running all over quickly turn your home into another victim of the evil professor technology and his cronies.

Too much furniture

We all like nice furniture.  This sofa here is highly conducive to the writing of this article and that table there is doing a fabulous job of being a table.  Furniture is a good idea and if you’ve ever spent time with out it you might cherish it even more.  Sleeping on a cold floor is only fun for as long as your stuck in that third world prison.  Furniture.

The problem though is that sometimes we have this impulse to pack more furniture into a room than that room is actually capable of comfortably accommodating.  This is bad.  When you have to become a contortionist just to get across your living room, that is too much furniture and it really makes your house angry.  Nobody likes being bloated.

“Mommy! The house is hissing at me again!”

The bottom line:

Only purchase and place as much furniture as your home/room can comfortably accommodate.   There is nothing wrong with some open space.

Once again, Japan takes things too far.
Once again, Japan takes things too far.

Lights!

Lighting and the proper employment of it is one of if not THE single most critical component within a room.  An open room with only one chair and a simple coffee table can look like designer fare with the correct lighting.  That same chair and table can also be made to resemble accommodations within a prison cell under ugly fluorescent lights.

Case in point.
Case in point.

It is important to identify the function of a room before making decisions regarding lighting.  Is this a relax space or an office?  The area you work in should be well-lit and conducive to concentration.  That black light was  the shit in tenth grade but it might not suit your office now.

Skype Meeting? Can we just, uh, conference call?
Skype Meeting? Can we just, uh, conference call?

The bottom line:

In a living room or den however, softer lighting with an emphasis on making things cozy and comfortable should be developed.  Particular lamps or fixtures in different parts of the room can direct attention where you want it to go and relatively simple hardware, such as a dimmer switch, can allow you a versatile means of changing the atmosphere in a room in seconds.  Dimmers are also great if you find yourself working, eating, sleeping and entertaining all in the same room.  Or if you agoraphobic.

People not Devices

One thing I learned from my mother: Never design a living room around the TV.

Or the center of a crack house.
Or a crack den. Did not learn this one from Mom.

This goes for more than your boob-tube.  Any kind of electronic device be it your computer, your smart phone, your tablet, you smart watch or your smart glasses, see here’s the thing, nothing and I mean nothing beats human connections. And that’s the point of a living room: face time with an actual organically breeding meat sack i.e. another person.

The bottom line:

A living room should be set up so people can interact with each other.  This is why people have an office, to do office shit in.  The living room is not an office so avoid allowing it to be dominated by an array or bright screens vampire sucking your life away.  The worst offender is still the television set however.  If you heed nothing else do so with this warning:  do NOT allow your living room to be set up to perfectly accommodate TV viewing. This is a cardinal sin.

Sometimes a TV dominated room opens hell's gates for all kinds of decor insanity including #8 on this list "Anything remotely like conventional Japanese living."
Sometimes a TV dominated room opens hell’s gates for all kinds of decor insanity including #8 on this list “Anything remotely like conventional Japanese living.”

 

 

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