How not to decorate

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London - A friend with awe-inspiring style just had her stunning, interesting home rejected by an interiors magazine for not being “sophisticated enough”.

Am I the only one to feel intimidated rather than inspired by publications I once loved? Time for some alternative reading…


Molly Erdman created Elaine and Gary, “a well-heeled couple living among abundantly pillowed chairs, giant abacuses and decorative fruit” after seeing an interiors brochure featuring a plate of figs under a table. “Who lives like this?” she thought. Now her Catalog Living blog (, poking fun at excessive styling, has spawned a book (Catalog Living At Its Most Absurd).


F**k Your Noguchi Table is a witty Tumblr blog where glossy interiors photography gets sharp captions. Each one begins: “f**k your…” (insert, for example, “terrarium”, “vignette of tiny vintage glass bottles”, above, or “fireplace full of logs”).

If you can’t laugh at your own “deconstructed frame cluster”, best avoid.


Dropping the smirk, Christiane Lemieux’s beautiful book Undecorate features 20 homes that reject “stuffy, professionally designed decor”.


Out earlier this year, The Perfectly Imperfect Home is by Deborah Needleman, founding editor of the sadly defunct Domino, an American magazine with style but not pretension.

Excellently, it has a section called “a bit of ugly” and this for an opening quote: “Any house or room remembered with pleasure has the look of being loved by those who live in it.” Hear, hear.


And if you, like me, rather like many of the homes on (a tough-love blog by an American estate agent) then – hurrah, you’re cured!

* Find Kate’s blog on affordable interiors at – The Independent on Sunday

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