I can eye things with the best of them, but now and again I just want to know the rule, or what the rule was before designers decided you could break all the rules. That’s not always the most helpful, and I can say from experience it can end in a hot mess. No one said that it was ill advised to break multiple rules in the same room at the same time. That should be a rule, and that’s where a little structure should be introduced. It can increase your confidence as you prepare to make a decision or advice someone else.
Domino Magazine – The Guide to Living with Style was my bible. I waited with bated breath each month for its arrival. I loved it so much I delayed the gratification of pouring over its pages until I had several hours of unassigned time. I adored the small apartments they profiled, and their commitment to telling you where you could buy every last item – or a close approximation of the same – in each and every photograph. It was genius. Until it wasn’t any longer. I blame trenches and the Big Short, it couldn’t survive the crash, no advertising dollars, and it folded in 2009, but not before they published a book…Domino: The Book of Decorating. A room-by-room guide to creating a home that makes you happy. Who doesn’t want a happy home? (rumor has it book No. 2 is coming out this year or next!) It made the pain of loss a little easier to take. That and the fact I hauled around the magazines from house to house for years, finally ripping out hundreds of pages, reverently placing the remains in the trash. There are some things you shouldn’t ever have to move on from….Pre-crash Domino Mag is one of them. I commend my sound, and extremely emotional decision making, in this case, as I return to those pages like a photograph of a cherished friend, and am reminded of all that is good in the world. Domino, Domino, Domino, what a beautiful word.
Ok, let’s get serious, because the book seriously has good advise. They not only know what a puddle is, but they know how much puddling is too much when it comes to curtains. If your carpet is an island they know just where the shoreline should be, how many people of all shapes and sizes you can squeeze around a 48″ round, and how far that coffee table should be from the sofa. It’s like getting the cliff notes and acing the test. It’s that last bit of advice for which I was on the hunt. My dear friend Melissa just bought a lovely home with her husband and cuter than can be bebe – Henry. A little girlie is on the way in just a few weeks so we need to move fast furnishing this place. Melissa has many talents and apparently balancing beverages on the back of the sofa is one of them. Please friends, don’t try this at home. We need a coffee table and side tables – stat. Domino notes that a standard coffee table is 17″ – 19″ tall, is placed roughly 18″ from the sofa, and is half to 2/3 its size. This is good information to have. As I mentioned, hard and fast rules are a thing of the past. You could place two small side tables side by side to serve as a coffee table. You could make use of a large upholstered ottoman with a single hard tray as an alternative table. Let your imagination go wild, but remember we all crave order. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best solution. I hope these guidelines help make your home a happy place.