I should be better, but I’m worse…*

*Lyrics from The Bird and the Bee’s song You’re A Cad from their album Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future. This came up on my genius mix as I was in a frenzy cleaning, organizing and rearranging the whole house. 

Who would have ever thunk (that’s right, thunk) that I’d be talking about styling something? Say whaa? I know, I’ve been so focused on the grand schemes of things – the construction, the ergonomics and flow of spaces, general colors and moods – but never have I spent the time to actually tweak tchotchkes into a pleasing arrangement. I guess I have done some “decorating” in the past, and by that I mean displaying holiday ornaments, hanging pictures and plugging in lights… you know, the stuff beyond the furniture arrangements and structural placement of walls, plumbing, electrical, etc. Until now, I’ve barely given it a second thought, except to fully appreciate others’ skill and talents in making stuff seem like something else.

Let me backtrack a moment… a few days ago I saw a listing for some mid-century bedroom dressers on craigslist. I emailed about them and waited somewhat impatiently for a reply. From the tiny pictures the dressers seemed like they were in good condition, and were worth the hour and change-long journey to inspect them up close and personal. I knew from the photos that there was one in particular that I was really interested in, but wasn’t sure that the seller would break up the set (for some reason lots of people don’t like to do that). Well, when I saw it (the one I liked) I knew I wanted it. I also knew I didn’t want the other one (there was nothing wrong with it, just couldn’t find a practical place for it). Lucky, lucky, lucky for me the seller agreed to break up the set. Huzzah!

Enter the styling portion of the program. I knew that the dresser could double as a dining room sideboard, or a sofa table (in the future), or could work as an actual dresser, though the drawers are a little on the shallow side. So I earmarked it for the dining room and got to work clearing all the construction supplies that had found a temporary home there (after the grueling month-plus-long renovation of the condo), as well as all the other crap that had accumulated and was just collecting dust. Once I got the dresser into place, with the room emptied of all of its former junk, it felt, well, naked. I knew I had to try my hand at styling once and for all.

Lucky (again) for me I do read several (dozens) blogs and had recently come across this post and this post that directly talked about styling and photographing interiors. I’ve looked at hundreds of photos on Pinterest (as well as other blogs, magazines, and online magazines), and have registered somewhere in my mind what I found pleasing about interiors that were styled. There needs to be something tall, something low, something with color, something with shine… there needs to be something personal as well, or it won’t sing. Can’t just be a bunch of stuff, it has to have spirit, soul and personality. But I’m no expert – I’m just beginning to get a handle on it.

Without further adieu, my new sideboard and styling attempt. What am I doing right? What’s not working? What can I swap out and what can I make better? I’d love some feedback, interwebs. Some pictures – enjoy! xoxo