Home Is A State of Being, Not A State of Having ...
Learn The Lingo!
July 6, 2016
I recently received an e-mail from a customer who had just purchased a copy of my book Nestbuilding - A Guide To Finding Your Inner Interior Designer. She said she had a good laugh reading the glossary in the back, so I thought I'd share it with you ... after all, if you must work with a designer, you should probably understand the hidden meaning behind some of the more popular designer babble (and if you have a few to add to this lexicon, please drop me a line!):
Antique – anything made before you were born.
Accents – designer-approved knick-knacks.
Accessorize – a 21st century verb to describe the process of adding acceptable clutter to a room.
Ambient lighting – low wattage.
Anchor – something large and heavy installed to make sure the room doesn’t up and leave.
Classic – old but worth keeping ... like LPs and grandparents.
Clean lines – empty and devoid of anything noteworthy.
Country kitchen – roosters and gingham wallpaper everywhere.
Courageous colour choice – gaudy.
Custom designed – pretty much the same as everyone else’s but for much more money.
Dated – a negative term referring to a style or element that is probably more than six years old. (As opposed to 'retro', a positive term referring to a style or element that is probably more than six years old).
Designer accessories – very costly vases and pillows.
Different – a popular adjective used to describe something hideous without offending its owner ... keep this one in mind, it could save your life!
Distressed– made to look worn out and shabby and you pay a premium for all it's suffered.
Eat-in kitchen – a conveniently short distance between food preparation and food consumption.
Eclectic – design by accumulation.
Environmentally friendly materials – should rot eventually.
Family room – a space you’re allowed to use.
Faux finishing – the use of old rags to slap paint on your walls if you don’t have a brush handy.
Flows well – a layout that makes it easy to find the doors.
Focal point – something positioned in a room to distract you from everything else, especially the hole in the ceiling.
Galley kitchen – a narrow hallway lined with appliances.
Green houses – no, they are not green, nor can you grow tomatoes in them.
Home makeover – the process of taking the house you live in and allowing a complete stranger to turn it into someone else’s before you move back in.
Knick-knacks – collectibles that no one else appreciates.
Looks sooooo authentic – means it most definitely isn’t!
Loveseat – truncated sofa.
Low maintenance materials – synthetic and quite likely to melt.
Microfibre – recycled pop bottles made into upholstery and other soft stuff.
Modular (as in, 'some assembly required') – you can expect to swear a lot while assembling it with the teeny-weeny Allen key provided.
Natural cleaning products - a very costly way to buy vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.
Natural light - large windows.
Neutralize - the term use when removing all character and personality from a room.
New age - an expression used to describe something we're not sure if we're supposed to like yet.
Occasional chair - and just what the heck is it doing on those 'occasions' when it's not a chair?
Older appliances - replacement parts no longer available.
Open plan - lacking walls.
Organic bedding - edible in a pinch!
Personal items - family photos.
Quaint - painfully small or primitive.
Soft furnishings - anything that you can't stub your toe on.
Spa-like - some opulent and impractical room that doesn't fit in with the rest of your home.
Triptych - an extra wide painting cut into 3 pieces (for ease of transport?) only to be hung side by side in their original formation.
Understated - boring.
Up market - you probably can't afford it.
Walk-in shower - as opposed to what ... a drive-through?
Window schedule - who knew they had somewhere else to be!
Window treatments - plain old curtains and blinds, not a new form of holistic therapy or computer trouble-shooting software.