The Tao of Decorating

This January has been a time of creativity and renewal here in the Rama household. After the holidays, I was seized with a deep and immediate desire to re-arrange furniture.

First I organized some bookshelves into a rainbow:

Then I pushed various items of furniture back and forth, back and forth across the family room and re-arranged objets d’art until I was blue in the face.

The family room overhaul necessitated an emergency trip to TJ Maxx for some accent pieces, plus a new KitchenAid ice cream scooper, a bar of oatmeal soap and a special microfiber towel that is supposed to dry your hair in five minutes flat.

It’s not something I’m proud of, but I have a weak spot for fake plants. I feel strongly that fake greenery lends a certain je ne sais quoi to a room’s atmosphere and never dies, but it’s been a sore spot in our marriage from day one. Over the past eleven years, I’ve managed to sneak a fake boxwood garland, several clumps of fake ivy, some fake poinsettias, hyacinths, dogwood, and one fake ficus into the house. But while at TJ Maxx the other day, I limited myself to only one fake item: a plastic yellow pear.

The P-Dawg has thus far tolerated the faux plants because they are so tasteful and unobtrusive, but I wondered if he would draw the line at fruit? I worried, too, for myself. One day it’s a plastic pear on the bookshelf, the next it’s a cornucopia straw hat with the price tag still dangling from the brim.

“Is that a plastic pear up there?” the P-Dawg asked me as we settled in to watch TV the other night.

“Do you like it?” I asked him. “I needed something yellow to offset the new lamp and the blue bird figurines.”

“What lamp?” the P-Dawg asked with a glance around the room. “What blue accent figurines?”

Easy to miss

I didn’t let it offend me because I know that a good interior designer often makes nearly imperceptible changes which nevertheless enhance the entire feel of a space.

“Do you notice that the entire feel of this space is different?” I asked my husband.

“That pear is really yellow,” he said.

Later the P-Dawg decided to do some re-decorating of his own. He went ahead and got a bunch of his Japanese prints professionally framed and hung them up all willy-nilly around the house.

We don’t have a good marital track record when it comes to picture hanging, the P-Dawg and I. In fact, I’d say it ranks right up there with “having a baby” on the list of Top Ten Marital Stressors (see also, loading dishwasher, finding a parking space, rinsing out the bathroom sink).

I was standing on a credenza in the office, nudging one of my knickknacks over by a half a millimeter when he came in to inform me that he’d hung up some prints. He asked that instead of taking them down immediately, I should have an open mind.

“Just let them hang there for a couple of days before you make any decisions,” my husband suggested. Then he left the house.

This one is in our formal living room, right above the photos of the kids. I’m still warming up to it, but it sure beats the plastic pear from TJ Maxx.

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4 thoughts on “The Tao of Decorating

  1. Becca

    Hahaha, AWESOME. Love it!

    And those birds are darling. One day, if we ever don’t have small children living in our home, I would like to re-enter the world of knick knacks. Currently our house is decorated with rogue socks and empty sippy cups.

  2. Painted Maypole

    i think the print is scared of your children.

    my husband wants to hang all pictures above HIS eye level. He is 6’5″. I try to hang all pictures when he is not around. ;)

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