Undecorate your home, party up your life

Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio, whom I met the other night at the Rue Party, is not only a super talented designer of textiles and furniture, she’s also one of those people you want to hang out with and have over for dinner, like all the time. Now, she’s added author to her list of accomplishments. Her book, Undecorate: The No Rules Approach To Interior Design, is one I’m jonesing to own, not just flip through.

More than just a compedium of pretty pictures, it’s a resource for how to get the look. (What’s really cool about Christiane is that she shares her knowledge of how this look evolved — from Martha Stewart’s DIYs to cable shows and HGTV to the rise of the internet, blogging, websites and the democratization of design — which, as you may gather if you know me, is totally the kind of thing this semiotics major geeks out over. I’m so all about the intersection of politics/news/art/movies/music/fashion/design/food and how they all smash together. Once you get how they are all interwoven, trends do not look as random or as frivolous as they seem. In fact, they’re a natural, creative response to our environment and to what’s going on around us.)

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Like Commune, this look, which is really less about a look than about ease, is all about really living in your space. Having a place to put down a coffee cup. Curling up on the couch to watch tv. That cool postcard your cousin sent you from France. A rug you found on Craigs List and drove an hour to get. A lamp you picked up from the flea market. Having friends over for dinner and sprawling on the floor with everyone drinking wine from a mix of gramma’s glasses and 99c store finds. Sewing a scarf into a pillow. An afghan your friend made. These rooms are supposed to look lived in, used, worn: hand-me-downs jumbled with Ikea, wood chairs and metal tables and plastic stools, expensive artwork next to a good print or a poster from an exhibit you went to, juxtaposing old with new, vintage with modern, handmade with machine made. And, if it’s a little roughoused, so much the better. As Emily Henderson pointed out, on the “Mad Men Bohemian” episode of Secrets of a Stylist, “this rug is really great because it hides stains”. Because as a friend once said to me, “it ain’t a party until someone spills something”. After all, the purpose of your home is to live in it — to have a good time in it — without worrying about it.

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