Interior Decorating

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me recently why I don’t blog about politics, given that I have strong opinions on the subject. (Like there’s anything I don’t have strong opinions on. Why is no one wondering why I don’t blog about interior decorating? For the record: wall-to-wall carpet is an abomination.)

There are lots of reasons I don’t rant politics here, but the main one is I hate flamewars. Don’t get me wrong I quite enjoy following them on other people’s blogs. But I have no interest in having them here. The minute you start talking about current politics, people will come and people will yell. And then I’ll have to waste my time deleting everyone. That’s right the blog overlord will censor discourse on this blog.

I really enjoy the comments here. I’ve been blogging for more than a year and the vast majority of the conversations have been civil and fun. I want things to stay that way. Thus I won’t be blogging about party political stuff.

But feel free to share all your interior decorating hates. Is there anything worse than carpet on the walls? Actually, I think I just hate carpet . . .


  1. Sherwood Smith on #

    Interior decorating hates? Carpet in bathrooms. Euw. Euw. The only reason we got this splendid place is because the lady who lived before us had done every single room in pink, including the bathrooms–the entire house had Pepto Bismol pink carpet, including the bathrooms.

  2. Josh on #

    Wait..carpet on the walls? Does that actually happen? Who does that?

    Justine, I’ve only been reading your blog for a few weeks, but I enjoy the lack of politics here. It’s sort of like a refuge from the rest of the blogosphere, a place where you can go and read about writing and all sorts of other interesting things without the constant intrusion of politics.

  3. veejane on #

    There used to be (may still be) a room in the Boston Children’s Museum with all the walls done in green Lego pieces, the wide flat kind that stand in for grass. I think the ceiling too, but when I was 8, I couldn’t reach that high.

    My interior decorating hate is reserved for “textured” walls — anything where you painted the pattern on, or the wallpaper is not flat, needs to be burned toot sweet. I do not want to lean against a wall and get weird pattern-y imprints on my shoulder, thanks.

  4. Josh on #

    Veejane, I must confess I did that to my home office. I used a paint on the walls that’s supposed to dry looking like natural stone. In practice it was like rolling wet mud onto the walls. The end result looks great, but the texture can never be undone. It would take either an insane amount of sanding or just ripping out and replacing the drywall. Never again.

  5. Alexandra on #

    Agree with you on the politics thing, a big no-no. As for pet hates? Linoleum, scary stuff…and yeah, wall-to-wall carpets, so unhealthy!

  6. Gwenda on #

    Yep. I feel exactly the same.

    Instead, I’m writing a really ranty political book.

  7. marrije on #

    josh, i’ve seen interiors in belgium where they put carpet on the ceilings. amazing.

    the absolutely most awful thing that you get rather a lot of here in seventies-redone houses is spachtelputz: thick swirls of plaster on the walls that all sorts of dust & dirt & spiderwebs accumulate on. particularly lovely textures & colours in the houses of heavy smokers. and you will cut your hands/head/other skin on it when you accidentally, um, fall against it, because it’s hard as nails, too.

    and can i ask what it is with the american people and really large la-z-boy style chairs? those are hideous!

  8. Josh on #

    Wow, and I thought France was strange. 🙂 The stuff I put on my walls is pretty sharp, too. I actively avoid touching the walls in there now.

    And you just hit on something that annoys me to no end – any item that’s been in the home of a heavy smoker. I work in the computer industry and there’s nothing worse than getting a system from a customer who smokes heavily. You can smell it before you even open the shipping box. Gross.

    Hmm…how do I explain La-Z-Boys without sounding like a complete snob? I’m not sure I can. Okay, the things are comfy, I’ll give them that. But I’m with you on their decorative value. I wouldn’t have one if it was given to me. It’s not impossible to find extremely comfortable chairs that are less tacky, but they’re not cheap either. And I suppose that’s the reason they’re so popular…especially in trailer parks. 🙂

  9. Robin L on #

    I take great exception to your comments on wall to wall carpeting. Furthermore, I think there should be legislation passed insistingthat every house have at least one room fully carpeted. Anything else is simply un-American. (And don’t give me that old Aussie excuse. That won’t get you off the hook!)

  10. veejane on #

    marrije, the spackle-yuck stuff you are talking about occurs often on ceilings in US rental aparments. (My current domicile? Glitter mixed into the spackley ceiling!! I mean, at least it’s… distinctive?) I don’t know if it has a specific name in the US.

    Americans like La-z-boy chairs because they are butt ugly and comfortable. Every household I know that has one hides it in a back room, under several throw-rugs, and uses it for the idle watching of television.

    John, I feel your pain. The not-undoable-ness of it is the real trouble. (Even ugly wallpaper comes off with some good ammonia and elbow grease!)

  11. onyx on #

    Rooms painted the same color completely; as in the walls AND the ceiling. It’s like being inside a box at a luny-bin.

  12. shelly rae on #

    Cheap plastic or metal blinds. We hates them we do. These blinds are fine for the office decor but at home? bleh! Plus they capture and retain dust better than most any substance known to man, they are nearly impossible to clean and eventually several of those long pieces will bend and never go back to their original position giving the room the air of a sleazy detective’s office. And cheap blinds in bright colors? argh!

  13. Sherwood Smith on #

    Shag carpet on walls and ceiling was a decorating touch from the seventies. It was usually nuclear-squashed-pea green, or else stomach-acid-burnt-orange, what-were-you-Drinking-pee-yellow, or, um, sludge brown.

  14. Robin L on #

    Wow, I’d forgotten all about shag carpet.

    And lets not forget flocked wall paper and those gold-veined mirrors.

  15. Megan on #

    Ugh, I remember seeing some episodes of “Trading Spaces” where I just shook my head at the interior designing! All white or black rooms, feathers on the wall (how do you get that down?), along with other things on walls that are seemingly permament because of massive amounts of staples! At least I know how NOT to design my house one day…

  16. SH on #

    carpet harbours fleas and dander and dust mites. i am allergic to all three. carpet is evil.

  17. Justine on #

    Tee hee, I knew I was not alone in my carpet hatred! Carpet haters of the world unite.

    Be careful, Robin L, one more outburst like that and it’s strikeout time. The blog overlord has spoken.

  18. Diana on #

    I hate carpet. But not as much as I loathe wallpaper. However, that’s why I got my apartment largely–not only had the previous owners put down aqua wall-to-wall in one room, but they’d also put a fake brick fireplace and fake brick wallpaper in the living room. Next to oak paneling. And pre-war parquet floors. Among other dubious decorating choices.

    It was exactly as hideous as you can imagine.

    Needless to say, I spent the first weekend scraping wallpaper and pulling up carpet… There’s still some in the bedroom as well, alas.

  19. Josh on #

    Diana, how do people get away with doing things like that in an apartment? None of the apartments in which I’ve lived have allowed renters to do anything more than hang pictures on the wall. One would allow you to paint but only if you painted the walls white again before you moved out. I can’t imagine getting away with wallpaper and a fake brick fireplace. Or wanting one…

    Before I was born my parents decorated my bedroom with wallpaper covered in small flowers, not knowing whether I would be a boy or a girl. Unfortunately that wallpaper stayed on my walls until I changed bedrooms at 17. Wallpaper. Is. Evil. So are parents too lazy to remove it.

  20. AndrewN on #

    Carpet on the ceiling — shag carpet. Last time we were looking to buy a house we ran across one with a basement bar area, the ceiling covered in shag carpet; filthy, dirty, smoke reaking burnt orange shag.

    We ended up with a popcorn textured ceiling instead, almost as bad for cleaning, plus it contains asbestos. The 70’s were an interior decorating nightmare. What were they thinking?

  21. AndrewN on #

    PS. What happened to all the capital letters?

  22. Michelle on #

    Wow….you’re the author of Magic or Madness. I’ve never quite known any author that blog and lets all readers comment. If only J.K Rowling would do that, but….lol. Just fantasys.

    I hate the 70’s, and carpet. I don’t know why so many people put carpets in! Also, ugly pictures. That seem stupid but i know loads of people who put in pic that you literally barf whenever you see it.

    I’m a first-timer at this blog so…anyway, I saw the rules and it said you can’t bad mouth bring it on!…what is that? Is it a book? I’ve read a book with the same title. A manga, actually, no-refrase that, manhwa. i don’t like people who don’t know the difference between the two and use them incorrectly. Anyway, is it that book? because then, I love it! lol

  23. Diana on #

    check it out — another diana!

    Bring it on is a movie starring kirsten dunst and eliza dushku and gabrielle union and jesse bradford. it’s about cheerleading. it’s amazing.

    my rental apartment has testured ceilings, wall to wall carpeting, metal blinds and lineoleum. it also has gold-flecked cabinetry. it’s ridiculous.

    I love carpets, though. we can’t all have hardwood floors.

  24. jackie m. on #

    My dog loves wall-to-wall carpet; he actually gets traction. He scratches hardwood, slides wildly on tile, and is deadly terrified of linoleum.

    Which is all lovely fun for the rest of us, let me tell you.

  25. Justine on #

    Michelle: Yes, I am, indeed the author of Magic or Madness! I’m glad you liked it. Thanks to Diana for explaining the glories of Bring it on. You should totally watch it Michelle.

    Andrewn: You need to check out the blog rules.

    Jackie M: So let me get this straight. You’re decorating your home to suit your dog?

  26. Harriet Jordan on #

    Speaking as one who spends as much time sitting on the floor as on the furniture, polished floorboards look lovely, but carpet is a lot more comfortable. And yes, I know you can put rugs on the polished floorboards, but they may not be exactly where you want to sit. Especially in winter, when I want to be as close to the heater as is physically possible. (For non-Sydneysiders: central heating is something that doesn’t really happen here. And even if it did, I’d probably still want a bar heater or something to sit next to.)

  27. Diana G. on #

    The first Diana, here, now as Diana G.

    Josh, it wasn’t a rental, but a coop, or they wouldn’t have been able to. (or to do the dodgy plumbing, heating, and electrical things they did either, alas).

    Flowers, huh? That was nice of your parents…

    Ooh–Bring It On! Such a great movie. I need to rent it again.

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