Last week in their e-mail update, Houzz featured a kitchen with some interesting elements, so I clicked on to read the story. Maybe I never read far enough or maybe I was oblivious, but I saw the comment section for the first time. I was horrified at some of the things I read. Just because you CAN comment doesn't mean you SHOULD!
Interior design-done well-should be very personal. It should suit the taste and functional desires of the client only. The designer is an interpreter and facilitator. Sometimes the client goal is to make an impression on the outside world, so that must be part of the equation, but as I designer, I understand, I don't live there and certainly the viewers of Houzz don't live there. But the level of comments was outragous. "Ugly", "stupid", "impractical"-- everyone seemed to be an expert on what was right for this family-that they didn't even know! When did people decide that A) anyone else cares about your personal opinion? I doubt the home owners rushed to rip out the 2nd island because cheergirl12 thought the flow was too tight. And when did people decide that B) sharing their every thought was a good idea? It's ok to think something might not be for you, but you don't actually have to post it for the world to see.
I am always surprised when I am at someone's house and they feel the need to apologize for how it's decorated since I am a designer. I go visit people because I love their company. It's rare that my taste is just like someone else's. If I only decorated to please myself-the world would be a boring place. You should never have to apologize for your home-(unless it's dirty-then clean up!) Your personality should shine through. So remember, when you attack another's design choices-you are attacking them.
The picture above is of Meryl Streep's kitchen in "It's Complicated". Didn't you just love that movie and that house? The director was Nancy Myers who has a wonderful sense of how to communicate "character" through set design. She also did "Something's Got To Give". I absolutely love this kitchen. I want to be there roasting that chicken-and Alec Baldwin can come too! But it could never be my kitchen. Too much stuff, too many surfaces to get olive-oily. So I can appreciate it while knowing it's not what I would do for myself. I would never think to write Ms. Myers and ask her how on earth would a real cook clean those lamp shades. And I would never critique someone's house in person-unless the purpose of my visit was to help with design. And then there are certainly nice ways of offering suggestions.
The vitriol I see in comments has me shaking my head. And why get bristly with other commenters over a wallpaper selection? It becomes a little on-line battle, a bit like high school. Has HGTV made everyone think they are experts? Has Twitter, Facebook, and every site's comment section made us believe that others really care what we think? The 1796 postings to David Brooks NYT column doesn't have him changing his views, so Houzz commenters, get over yourself. It's just wallpaper!
If you comment here, I will read it or delete it, but please don't copy it to cheergirl12!