Learn The Lingo!
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.
Excerpt from: Nestbuilding - A Guide To Finding Your Inner Interior Designer by Kate Bridger, Redfern House Publishing, 2011