Hello, my name is Kay Newsom and I am The Design Diva.
Yes, yes, I know, but before you start making noises about “who do I think I am” promise me you will read the post immediately after this one entitled, “What is a Diva?” Then, come back and have some fun with me as we poke a few holes in the occasionally ‘hoity toity’ world of designers and decorators.
For decades decorators have been portrayed as bored housewives, feisty socialites, or overbearing fashionistas schooled in the ancient art of mincing words and ideas to confuse their clients. Some may say ”good taste is subjective” but having attended and graduated from an interior design program, I beg to differ. Contrary to what many people believe, interior design is not some mysterious activity based on secret doctrines known only to a talented few. Although it is very complimentary to hear someone describe a transformed space as magical, it is not magic but the designer’s skill, imagination and expertise which transform ideas into cohesive design.
In June 2007’s House and Garden, Mayer Rus, editor-in-chief of Interior Design, wrote a funny ruse about his one experience as an interior decorator. It will give you a tiny glimpse into the world of interior design. An excerpt of this article follows.
A year ago, I took on my first and only ‘client’, a dear friend who was moving back into her apartment after a three-year architectural renovation. She needed furniture, lighting, carpets, the whole bit, and as I am something of a maven in this area (to borrow a phrase from Barbara Kruger, ‘I shop therefore I am’), I thought the assignment would be a breeze. I neglected to take into account the fact that shopping and decorating are not the same thing, and that when it comes to performing either service for a third part – even a third party that one adores – there’s nothing easy or breezy about it.
First, it matters not a whit how many thousands of dollars one spends on furniture and fabrics… There’s still a very good chance the products will arrive damaged, incomplete, or in some bizarre color that has nothing to do with the original specifications. Second, the client will hold the decorator (even an unpaid decorator) responsible for any and all deficiencies on the part of suppliers and contractors.
I won’t even get into the myriad technical issues that I was completely ill-equipped to handle. It turns out – surprise – that a proper education in design and a few solid years of experience are vital. All of which means that the fine people who keep us in chintz and chaises deserve some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
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With warm regards!