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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

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