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RE: To paint or not to paint this beamed ceiling? (Follow-Up #50)

posted by: palimpsest on 10.10.2013 at 03:17 pm in Home Decorating & Design Forum

If I had a negative emotional response about something that was "essential" to the house, some key feature that would be difficult to change without significant expense, or if it was something that really couldn't be changed successfully, I would probably not buy the house, in all honesty.

I would not reject a house out of hand for having bad wallpaper or paint colors I didn't like, or even granite countertops I didn't like. But, if I didn't like the wood beamed ceilings in a house, I would probably pass on the house. Or there would have to be something so particularly perfect about it in some other way , that I could live with them (probably as is or with minor changes) .. But I don't know that there is such a shortage of houses that I would be forced into buying something I really didn't want.

A modernist house is usually particularly "pushy" about what it is, and I think that is one of the reasons a lot of people don't like them. Most people are pretty vocal about hating them. (And don't seem to think this is at all insulting to the people that own them.) They are inflexible. They don't adapt as well to change as a non-commital generic-transitional kind of house. Those are actually pretty easy to remodel and redecorate and to change.

No amount of crown moulding or chair rail or windows with muntins would turn the house in question into anything traditional-looking and believe me, people try to do this often. And that's where the euphemistic "do what you love" often comes into play. Because it often means "disregard the hand you were dealt". Most of "do what you love" is an outgrowth of not liking the house they are giving advice about.

I know we are not talking about crown moulding and chair rail specifically here, but we are still talking about changing a Major element here in a way that will be pretty much irreversible here and Much harder to undo than restoring them would be from this starting point. It's a significant dilution of what the essence of this house is. It may absolutely be necessary. But it should be given more than a cursory "go ahead, it's yours".

My delivery is pretty abrupt and to the point, but the people who get on my case about how insulting I am kind of miss the whole aspect that I don't really give advice based upon what I like or don't like as much as I give advice based upon what the existing conditions are telling me what is probably the best thing to do. I guide people through a series of choices I would never pick for myself all the time. That's really irrelevant. What is relevant is what there is already there to work with.

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clipped on: 10.10.2013 at 09:02 pm    last updated on: 10.10.2013 at 09:02 pm

RE: How to decorate in a *timeless* style (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: magnaverde on 04.28.2009 at 02:47 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Beware of anything marketed as "Timeless"

Here's the thing: the very concept of timelessness is every bit as subject to the whims of fashion-and marketing--as your average teenaged girl's closet. Today, we bestow the word 'timeless' on 1910-era kitchens with white brick-laid subway tiles, oak caabinets & floors & bronze-&-opal glass lights, but that's notr rally correct, because in the 193Os, a room like that, far from being thought timeless, would have been considered a dated horror and the owners of such a hellhole would have lost no time replacing the dingy oak cabinets with enameled steel cabinets with linoleum tops, tearing out the wall's boring tiles & painting the replastered walls Jadeite green, covering the oak floor with jazzy patterned linoleum and trading the old light fixtures with the latest exposed-fluorescent tubes. Timeless is relative, see.

Today, a lot of people would consider that that 'updated' kitchen's new decor--minus the fluorescent fixtures anyway--as charming in itself . Even timeless. But by the 7Os, the same 3Os kitchen would have seem hopelessly dated, so they'd no doubt have improved the room by scrapping the out-of-style metal cabinets & replacing them with timeless beauty of recessed-panel wooden cabinets in a classic honey-color maple, and instead of out-of-date Venetian bilnds at the windows, they'd hang traditional tieback curtains of calico patchwork. Such a classic look. A traditional, timeless American look, sort of like Little House on the Priarie. Until, that is, all those busy patterns & dark woods started looking r-e-a-l-l-y gloomy. I mean, really, who wants to live is an unheated cabin with no lights?

So an up-to date owner would probably want to upgrade the joint and replace all that dated 7Os decor with something more classic. More timeless, you know? Darks woods were, of course, out of the questiom, and white seemed so boring & stark & cold--like those metal kitchens in the 193Os--but everyone likes a soft, timeless shade of, say, almond, right? Not too dark, not too light, just simple, classic & timeless. yeah, well good luck on that.

Anyway, if any of the trendy stuff that's being marketed as "timeless" at the moment were really all that timeless, they wouldn't need to market it at all, because people would have always loved it and would already be buying it. In fact, they would have never stopped buying it. But that's seldom the case with whatever style or color or motif the magazines & the shows & the advertisers are hyping as timeless at the moment. In the 5Os, French provincial was timeless. In the 8Os, country decor was timeless. This year, it's Belgian decor.

And yet, if the calm, neutral tones & strength of character & honesty of Belgian decor were really timeless, shouldn't we have been wanting it--and buying its component pieces--all along, instead of ignoring it till half an hour ago? How can a style it be timeless if most people never even heard of it till day-before yesterday?

And, conversely, if the warm woods & rich, autumnal colors of "Tuscan" decor is really as timelessly beautiful as advertisers told us it was ten years ago, how is it that a lot of them have already stopped selling the stuff? A thing of beauty is supposed to be a joy forever, isn't it? No, it really isn't. In fact, most of the time, it's only a thing of beauty as long as marketers tell us it is, after which it quickly becomes tacky & dated, and if we're not careful, we'll soon find ourselves living in the decor equivalent of Cinderella's coach after it turned back into a pumpkin. Yuck. Who wants that? In a few years, the only place you'll be able to find wine posters or plastic-grape-bedangled rusty iron scrollwork doodads (or the plastic or version thereof) is at yardsales. By then, even T.J. Maxx will have dropped the stuff. I remember when the rough finishes & subtle pastels of "Southwest" decor--the dream catchers made in Indonesia, the alleged Navajo rugs made in who-knows-where, the big rustic pots & baskets--were marketed as classic examples of Timeless American Style. When's the last time you saw a howling coyote wooden candlestick? Where's the timelessness?

No, there's only one way to get a decor that doesn't start ticking away toward the end of its shelf life the moment you get it home: don't watch TV decorating shows, don't buy glossy decorating magazines, don't ever look at those mail-order catalogs and never, ever, buy anything new. Of course, that's easier said than done, and if we all did it, it would, as Patricia43 suggests above, send our consumer economy into even more of a tailspsin than we're already in. But that's a different problem.

At any rate, how would I suggest that people create a "timeless" decor? By doing excatly what I've always done: buying whatever I want and not worrying in the least whether or not anybody else likes the way it looks. That, of course, implies not asking people--even knowledgable people on public message boards--how they think something looks. But it will pretty much guarantee that your house won't end up looking just like your neighbor's house. Put it this way: I bet that Axel Vervoordt----the newest poster boy for the "timeless look" du jour--ever asked anybody else for their opinion of his work.

Regards,

Magnaverde.

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clipped on: 12.07.2009 at 09:35 pm    last updated on: 12.07.2009 at 09:35 pm

Easy Photo Posting Instructions

posted by: solstice98 on 05.21.2006 at 09:25 am in Florida Gardening Forum

I know we've posted these instructions before but I've seen the question come up a couple times recently so thought it was time to do it again. There are several ways to get your pictures into your messages, but I think this is the easiest for beginners and with Photobuckets newer services, it offers great stuff for pros too. When my printer was down recently I ordered some prints through them and received my pictures in 2 days. Really nice quality too.
(No, this is NOT an ad for Photobucket. I don't work for them, own stock or have any interest in the company. I use Webshots, too.)
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INSTRUCTIONS:

The photo posting is much easier than you think, once you've done it. Tony_K taught me a couple years ago and I've tried to pass on the information to others.

Here's the basics:

I think it's easier to do all this if you have two browser windows open - one on photobucket and one on gardenweb.

Go to photobucket(dot)com and open an account. It's free, takes only a minute, and is no harder than signing on to GardenWeb. There are other photo posting services but I think this one is the easiest to use.

Once you have the account you'll see how easy it is to upload your photos to photobucket. You can set up sub-albums with one click of the mouse, so you can sort your photos into different subject (more on that below).

When they are there, you'll see three little 'addresses' under each picture. Highlight the middle one - the TAG line - and 'copy' it. (You can copy it by right clicking on your mouse and selecting 'copy', or by clicking on EDIT at the very top of your computer screen.)

Once it's copied, go to the GardenWeb message you are composing and paste the TAG line directly into the text of your message. Don't put it at the URL line under the text box. At this point you will only see text, but once you choose to view your message you'll see the photo. If it comes out too big, then go back to photobucket and choose the EDIT button over that photo. You'll have the option there to reduce the photo by 75, 50, or 25 percent. 75% makes it a good size for these messages, but 50% works too. Try both on different photos and see what you like.

Technically I think you can post as many photos as you want in each message but remember that not everyone has a high speed line and try to keep it to 5 or less. More than that makes it pretty slow to load for some.

Here's the sub-album tip about photobucket or any other service you use: set up sub-albums for different subjects so you don't end up with 200 photos in one album. For example, I have Garden 2005, Garden 2006, House Shots, Yard Sale (where I post photos for things I am selling through the newspaper or eBay), All the Muffins (pet pictures), etc. Besides making it hard to find something if you have it all in one album, if you ever decide to move photos later, any link you've posted on the web will be lost.

If you still have problems, send me an email with your email or phone number and I'll talk you through it. I think photos make every post more fun and I encourage everyone to do it. The digital camera I use is a 10 year old 2.1 Nikon, so you don't need a fancy or expensive camera to share images of your garden. We all want to see!

A special thanks, once again, to Tony_K for helping me get my first picture posted a few years ago!

Hope this helps,
Kate

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clipped on: 12.23.2006 at 09:44 am    last updated on: 12.23.2006 at 09:44 am