A certain style

Before the internet, I was a big reader of books. But today, I am going to write off an entire subject class of books.

“Don’t!” cry the bibliophiles. “All books are a store of knowledge, the accumulated experience of the human race! What are you, a barbarian?”

Yes, as you may have guessed already, I am a barbarian. But hey, I’m not suggesting you burn these books. These books aren’t bad in and of themselves, let me hasten to say. That’s why there’s been a big group of them on my Amazon wish list for years now. On hard consideration, though, I conclude it’s time to delete them from my wish list and forget about them.

The Finest Rooms in AmericaThese books are about interior design, interior decorating, whatever you call it. Some are books about wondrous rooms decorated by the likes of Thomas Jefferson. Some are books about bedrooms, because the principal thing I do in my SRO is to sleep. I rather admire French Provincial style.

I wished for these books because I imagined they would inspire me; they would educate my eye, and unless you are already an interior decorator, I am sure they would educate yours, too. And when, inspired by the visions of orderly beauty, I finally got my room cleaned up, I would be able to decorate it.

At Home with CountryBut I don’t need these books. I realized it only lately, when contemplating an incident.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was engaged to be married. In the runup to the wedding, my fiance’s aunt startled me. “What color are you going to decorate your bedroom in?” she asked.

I had never thought about such a thing. I stammered, “I don’t really know,” then later howled with laughter at the question with my fiance. And ironically, the aunt gave us a bedspread in a color I had never imagined a bedroom would be styled in — peach — and I was revolted by its misty swirls of pale orange flowers and its slick, synthetic surface.

Creating Your Dream BedroomIt turns out, as I came to understand just recently, I do have opinions about the way I would like my room to be decorated. Very strong opinions.

I want white and brown and blocks of strong colors, the textures of cotton and wool, the patterns of jacquard and end-on-end printing.

And I should not be intimidated into style that is not my own, whether the most delicate French Provincial or the grossest mass-marketed frippery. I should not feel anxiety that my place may be not stylish enough, not feminine enough – only whether it is clean enough and whether it comforts me.

If you are interested in learning more about interior design, don’t hold back, get inspired by books about it.

But if you want to see what I like, and if you want to see if you like it as well, then go to the store websites of Hilton, Hyatt, and Sheraton. There are enough people who share this sensibility, and I am one of them, that the chains have set up sites to sell the same goods they use in their rooms.

So barbarian though I may be, now I know that I know what I want. I am certain now. Book closed.


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