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|Do's and Don'ts
things I see, or readerís see, which we think are really great, or really awful.
(kind of like Glamour magazines fashion doís and doníts.) I welcome you
submissions, and will mention your name along with your entries. (Please send your
comments by e-mail to mail@CatherineMcGivern.com.)
Remember, these are strictly opinions. They are not meant to offend anyone, or dictate
right from wrong. They can humorous, or serious. I will list entries from newest to
|From Debbie S.
DO: I am a painter and decorator in England
with two young children. My daughter who is now 7, has a lilac
with silver moons and stars around the top of the walls and round plugs
etc and two large notice boards for her posters. She loves it. My son has
a light blue room as his is the small room with silver stars and
spaceships at the top of the walls painted onto a srip around the top of
the wall of dark blue. I Have also painted the doors. My daughter has a
rainbow and my son a space man scene. All the kids friends are impressed
and I thought it might be helpful for other people as these kinds of
themes are ageless.
DON'T: I feel all alone in this since
every time I bring it up, no one concurs but how about people who spend 2,
3 ,4 hundred thousand or more on designing and building their new home and
half of the front of it (or more sometimes) is a huge garage door. Baffles
me... also, all the money being spent on the home they will have some
little dinky front door that has no significance. I don't get that !!!
This is the first thing that hits everyone who visits !!!
Another pet peeve I have is toilet paper !! Let's
figure out why we spend time and money to make a beautiful
then right in the middle of it all put a roll of toilet paper
?????????????????????? In many homes you have to repaper the whole room
because to take off the holders ruins the wallpaper ... worth the effort
to me to repaper and put that ugly white roll of hygiene product in a
basket somewhere or a pretty porcelain container with a top ! Is anyone
out there with me?
DON'T: My husband and I wanted to re-do the
. We found what we thought was
a really neat paint...not at all what we got. It was suppose to have almost
a ruff finish because it had sand in it. Once applied some area's were dark
and other areas were extremely light. It looked like we missed some area's
but we used two coats on brand new white walls. Don't ever buy this! P.S. We wallpapered the next day!
Decorate your home in the style you like.
Copy anything you like, you can
always alter it differently if you want to be different. Where do you
think fashion designers get their idea's from? The 60's,70's,40's etc.
Think minimalist to start with, you
can always get more as you go along, i.e. stamping a border. First paint
in the background color, then fill in the corners first. In the middle
of each wall put in another stamp. If you want more keep on doing this, just
remember to do exactly the same to each wall. Stop when you have the
effect you like. NB. Also keep in mind if your stamp is running in the
same direction or not. If it's not always put in 2,always back to back
or face to face.
someone if they tell you can't do something. Test it out first or if it
is to do with structural work get more than one opinion from professionals
was told by a professional I must lay skirting on a new floor. When I
asked what purpose it was for he told me it was for decorative purposes, it's
not like the house will fall apart without it!
|DO: Display a container of
decorative hand soaps in your
for guests to use.
DONíT: Collect soap samples from hotels and use them for this purpose.
DONíT: Design a kitchen with a suspended shelf over an island that is so low it
obstructs vision from one side to the other. Secondly, if the shelf has no lip, to prevent
items from sliding off and falling, donít place water glasses on it. (Believe it or
not, I saw a photo of a kitchen, like this, in a design publication. Needless to say, this
was not a safe installation.)
DO: Raise items, above a kitchen island, to a level at which they will not interfere with
vision, yet are still accessible, i.e.: a pot rack. Do securely fastened hanging items, so
that they will not fall and hurt someone.
DONíT use suspended, horizontal glass surfaces, unless you have a full time
cleaning person. (Speaking from personal experience, i.e.: a glass top dining table, and a
pendant fixture.) In my opinion, this application of glass is impossible to keep clean and
attractive. (Our dining room table is always covered with a tablecloth.)
DO use a thin sheet of glass to protect a quality surface, such as the top of an antique,
wooden, credenza or console table. This is especially applicable if you have children.
(Again, speaking from experience.)
Here are comments from Fru Teston, one of my loyal readers. Fru is someone I think
has a great sense of humor and style. She writes, "The things I dislike are mostly in
the category of bad taste (that is, different from mine), rather than bad
- Immaculately ironed, cross-stitched, lace-trimmed, hankies. These are intimidating and
I'd rather dry my hands on my skirt rather than destroy their perfection.
- Calendars hanging on a finishing nail. (Thumbtack is OK. Just kidding.)
- Plastic plants - Painted wooden plaques, hanging way up high on the wall, so you have to
strain to read them.
- Elaborate lacy dolls whose skirts hide rolls of toilet paper.
- Cans of room deodorant prominently displayed in bathrooms.
- Anything remotely suggestive or vulgar, i.e.: ashtrays in the form of toilets,
anything-denigrating women or reflecting racial stereotypes.- Firearms that are not
- Ketchup, mustard, etc., bottles on the table, at a formal dinner! Pepper grinders only,
please, and place salt in a little dish with a spoon. Or a salt grinder if you can find
- Hospital green walls in a home. They make people look sick, or gray.
- When you are a guest in someone's home, and you are given a
without a bedside
light. Never mind a missing table; one can always use the floor. But no light? I've been
driven to trying to see the pages while holding the book against a light in a ceiling
fixture. This is guaranteed to make you hate your host.
- Pottery heads, with green stuff growing out of the scalp.
Decorating I like:
- A landlady, in California, an artist, had a beautiful room...all golden ochre, with
brilliant turquoise glassware on shelves against glass brick walls.
- My best friend's living room, her oil paintings were everywhere, with worn sofas, a pile
of firewood by the hearth, old used Oriental rugs, big sculpture around in cornersÖ
- A friend's living room with about fifty African violets ranged along the windowsill of
the huge window.
- My own condo in Texas, all white/cream/tan/rose/pearl gray, no new furniture, some
wicker, white tile floor, white/beige sponge painted walls, lots of mirrors, huge; big
wall hangings (my own, bits of mirror and glass, lace, buttons, satin, etc.), big carved
Mexican bedstead, white; Flokati rugs by the bed (Flotaki?). Mexican pottery, two huge
sofas, one faded Oriental print, one cotton brocade and so on.
- The reception rooms of a monastery. The walls were linen fold carved, the furniture all
overstuffed, faded, chintz; the floors were polished, the rugs were the real thing, the
views from the mullioned windows were spectacular, all emerald green and the brilliant
colors that English flowers so often seem to have. Curtains of heavy brocade, rather worn,
hanging from big wood rings.
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