Monday, August 31, 2015

SUNDAY MUSINGS: Modern Granny Doesn't Look Like Wolf-Granny

I'm typically all spiritual and such on Sunday.  But today, Granny-Wolf reared her ugly head and got me worked up.  You know what I am talking about -the Whooping Cough commercial?  Other than hating the concept of Granny's head exchange with the Big Bad Wolf, I have another bone to pick.

Why do ad agencies continue to project the frumpy-granny stereotype?  I'm a grandmother, many of my friends are grandmothers, many of their friends are grandmothers.  In 2015, Grannies don't look like the commercial Granny.

We don't have faded hair, pulled back in a dowdy bun.
We don't wear windshield readers.
We don't wear a two-toned grey cardigan sweater twin set.
We don't wear long dismal grey straight skirts.
We don't wear ugly, grey loafers.
We don't sit in our woefully sad, dark, monochromatic house, on ugly furniture with heavy drapes with drawn sheers
We don't have a knitting basket on the floor and needles in our hands.
 Listen up ad people!  Your ad is just wrong.  Wrong-y Dong-y Wrong...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Budget Wedding that was Rich on Love

Jennie and Ben
Karen's son, Ben, recently married.  Karen is my oldest and dearest friend.  I was at Ben's birth and he has called me, "Aunt Linda", for 29 years.  Jennie is a sweetheart and definitely gets a thumbs up.
The Wedding Party
In this era of wedding extravaganzas, there was no showboating at this wedding. Ben and Jennie created a unique and personal wedding. Jennie's young cousins had their own ideas of how they would participate. They were superheros in capes and fairies with tiaras. For a beach wedding, Ben and Jennie figured khaki shorts and blue golf shirts were perfect for the Groomsmen. The Bridesmaids wore coordinating long blue gowns. There was no wedding planner, no rehearsal, no rehearsal dinner, no photographer, no wedding cake.  There was a minister, a gorgeous day, and 130 people that loved them.

Budget? It was shoestring at best. These two resourceful kids relied on the help of friends and family to pull it off. Jennie got a floor sample gown on sale for $200 courtesy of  Karen. Karen also supplied the veil. It was a family heirloom worn by 6 past brides. Jennie's favorite movie is Safe Haven. She wanted to get married at the same romantic waterfront in the movie. Uncle Rob, retired Town Manager, provided the venue in Southport, NC. Friend Joe, brought a pig cooker and smoked pork butts for the reception. Ditto Uncle Neil with chicken.  Karen, her sisters and the brides' aunts, etc. made all the other fixins: mac & cheese, slaw, green & baked beans, etc.etc. There was a bounty of delicious food. Jennie and Karen made over 200 cupcakes. Uncle Bill installed a full sound system and provided all the music.
Karen and Ben's Mother/Son Dance
Cowboy and I helped too. We picked up and hauled soft drinks, wine and beer from a distant store freezer, up 3 flights of stairs. to the reception hall. Check out their ingenious idea for icing the drinks.
"Pick Up" a drink

I ironed the grooms' wedding outfits: long sleeve shirt and slacks for the ceremony, golf shirt and shorts for the reception.  I also cleaned a bunch of old pictures and mementos for a Memorial Table.  I'd never seen a Memorial Table at a wedding.  Jennie's mother died of cancer several years ago. The table was a lovely tribute to her mother and other relatives that had passed. 
Cowboy, Groomsman Mike and Me Installing Runner
The biggest challenge happened at 3:10PM.  The attendant for the venue mentioned to Jennie that Yes! she could have a runner.  Huh?  "The other lady said runners weren't allowed."  Dial 911 Runner. Cowboy and I jump in the car to get the runner. Success!  We then NasCar-ed to the hardware store for a hammer and tacks. Return, unroll, install. The wedding is scheduled to start at 4:30PM.  There is no time to tarry.

We finish the runner at 4:10PM.  We run to our nearby B&B.  Somehow, we tag team quick showers, towel off, and dress. I attempt to apply makeup. It refuses adhere to my still-red-and-moist-from-the-heat face.  My hair is sopping from perspiration but there was no time for blow drying.  I throw on my dress, grab my pocketbook and say, "does this look OK?" Cowboy laughs, "I think the zipper goes in the back."  Crap. Backwards. Turn dress. Go.

We hustled back to the venue. Whew! The wedding had not started yet.  I scamper to the restroom hoping to apply some waterproof mascara. (Waterworks at weddings, you know.)  In runs Jennie with a bridesmaid holding up her dress. Like any bride, her nerves caught up with her.  From the stall, she pleads, "Please, talk to me, Linda!"  I managed to talk the bride off a the ledge.  What a precious memory!  She's cool.  I'm mascaraed.  Let's get this party started.
That is me jumping up to give applause. 

This wedding is very, very special.  It is truly their wedding.  There is no pretentiousness-just happiness. There was so much love that it was palatable.  It took a village, but they pulled it off. How refreshing to witness and be part of something so wonderfully organic.  --Namaste.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jeff Lewis Says It Best

"There are people with really, really horrible taste.  My job is to save them from themselves."
Jeff Lewis
"Flipping Out"/Jeff Lewis Design

One of the benefits of being a Stager is that I don't have to please anyone.  My staging is based on the ideal approach for presenting a house to sell.  I am grateful that I have never heard, "We don't like it." (Of course, they only have to live with my staging the limited time their house is on the market.)

Sometimes, staging clients hire me to decorate. "I love your style!"  I think, they think, that they love my style.  With staging, I can be bold. (Peacock feathers, anyone?)  It so perplexing that  when I use the same approach for decorating they seem to choke. Huh? But, I thought you, 'loved my style'?

And ya know, since it is their home, they want to help.  Oh my goodness the bargains they find for me to incorporate in their decor!
It is difficult to be diplomatic when something sooo not-kinda-wonderful flies out of that shopping bag.  Press mute NOW.  But, my mind is screaming, "IT IS SO WRONG!"  Like Wrongy-Dongy wrong.

Then comes their scrunch-face plea, "Well, it kinda goes." 

There's no "kinda" with style!

While Jeff Lewis has a plethora of personality dysfunctions, I admire his design aesthetic and vision.  How wonderful it would be for a client to give me carte blanche on a decorating project.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Give A Warm Welcome for the Return of Wallpaper!

Robert Redding's Hampton Court
I've been working with a staging client that asked me to help her with paint colors for her new house.

Jennifer loves color! Her previous house had neutral wall colors (of course, a plus for selling).  She intends to be in the new house for a very long time and wants it to reflect her style.

I suggested 3 different shades of blue/grey for the common areas (BM's Night Mist, Grey Wisp, and Imperial Grey). Her office is a bright blue (BM's Tranquil Blue), the Master Bedroom, Guest Room and her Spiritual Study are a serene blue--BM's Wythe Blue. Her kitchen is kicking it with a bold coral/red/orange color: Valspar's Samari Fusion.

We had difficulty finding 'the' color to use in the dining room.  I asked Jennifer if she had ever considered wallpaper.  She was in!  We made a decision for the Dining Room to make a statement.

Look at the GORGEOUS wallpaper that we selected for the Dining Room!  The beautiful peacocks will be installed above the chair rail. I'm sure it is not every one's cup of tea but we were both wild for it.