Strong arm Project Management for DADD

palimpsestJuly 17, 2012

Designers often get criticized for presenting the client with only one or two options for a piece of furniture or project. There is often a good reason for this.

I am doing a project for someone who has Decorating Attention Deficit Disorder. It's my sister. In 30 years of buying furniture, she has almost nothing to show for it. In the last 4 years she has moved four times, and that has made it worse. For some reason, decent pieces of furniture disappear, and she drags around some broken up antiques, that aren't particularly useful.

My parents had stopped staying with her because they were tired of either No window covering, or one that fell down on your head if you moved it--and falling out of a chair because the leg is broken is not good for you at 80. She still has a rocker that has the runner Under the legs but not attached.

She also wanted to change an entire room (that was about 75% complete) based on a fabric memo sample that I sent her to make a pillow out of for another room. I had gotten the big samples because they were discontinued.

These aren't criticisms, but this is just the way that she is, she lacks focus to complete this type of thing.

Anyway, my father now stays with her regularly, and the plan is to get him a good room with window treatments that work how they are supposed to, drawers that open and close, lamps that can take higher than a 40 w bulb and have shades that don't fall off or aren't dented or torn, and a decent chair.

Most people are shocked at the cost of window treatments, and that is a particular weakness. So, we are starting there. A roller black-out shade with a chain mechanism that actually fits the window properly will probably be the most expensive individual item in the room except the mattress.

So rather than starting with the inspirational purchase like the rug or something that will set the scheme, sometimes it is best to start with (1) your Weak Point (the area you tend to neglect) or (2) the expensive thing you are most likely going to want to cheap out on and shouldn't.

My father is 88 so we don't have another thirty years to get his room together. I am pushing for a couple months. I will keep you informed.

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Oh, honey, do I ever sympathize!
It takes colossal patience to help intractable, indecisive relatives, and I will send good strengthening vibes through the ether.

And those are very good bits of advice, particularly about starting with the thing or things you should never scrimp on.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:24AM
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I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job. Make sure you run things by him so he feels like he's in on it. I've found wonderful designer drapes on Craigslist, keep that in mind. Can't wait to see what you cook up. Check to see what his favorite colors are but you probably know that lol.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Here, as you've seen before, is my parents' bedroom, as done in 1975, updated in the latter part of the eighties with new drapes and bedspread. Oddly enough the 1975 version would be more "current" to our eyes. I wouldn't recreate this, but maybe I can channel the feeling somehow.

The 1975 version would probably still be there, too, but the bedspread was upholstery fabric and was so heavy that it took two people to carry it. If you didn't fold it all the way off the bed, your feet felt like they were encased in concrete.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:46PM
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The mirror looks like something from Carver's Guild, and the chandelier like Visual Comfort--very current both.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:51PM
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I just adore the grasscloth on the walls of your parent's bedroom!!

I really do hope that you take photos and post updates! :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have a large window in my bedroom and got a roller black out chain driven shade from IKEA for a really good price.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:14PM
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natebear zone 10B

The decor may be from the 80s, but it was done with taste! I'm having trouble finding a dusty wicker wall hanging anywhere in the room. ;)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 7:08PM
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We already did the shades from The Shade Store 73-5/8" and 73 3/8" wide inset mount at $360 a pop in two rooms. Not cheap but I have had good luck with these on various projects.

We did save some money by moving a venetian blind the previous owners left behind to another 73" and some odd window. This was supposedly a custom blind but it is 72". I don't know if they measured wrong or just ordered a standard size. The tight fit is not needed in that window and we can camouflage the gap with curtain panels. It will also not be lowered up and down, which is difficult. It will stay down and only the louvers will be adjusted.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:10PM
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DADD - lol! Can I use that?

You're probably doing your sister a favor with the strong arming. Too many choices can drive some people over the edge...The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less is a 2004 book by American psychologist Barry Schwartz. In the book, Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers

Your parents room is beautiful. If that's a jewelry chest on the dresser, I would love to peek inside!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Does the room at your sister's have wall-to-wall carpeting?

Yes, it's considered the d-word now but it was very common in those decades. That room you posted has a comforting sense of enclosure, with the carpeting, grass cloth and drapery. I miss rooms like that. Everything now has to be so "clean," which means full of toys, clutter and excuses.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:50PM
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Yes, the upstairs has wall-to-wall. This is the standard in the area where she lives, and that will stay.

I agree that many modern bedrooms seem to have lost their cocoon-like quality. There is a "hush" when you walk in this room. It is not only visibly quiet, it is physically quiet. I remember a friend's parents' room, also done in the seventies that used only one fabric in the entire room, on everything, including lightly upholstered walls. It was pretty amazing.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:22AM
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