Sunday, November 9, 2008

Help from a few friends ...

Because I certainly didn't expect Sal's reaction the design board that I put so much thought and effort into, nor did I ever intend to photograph it - I've asked some of my friends in Hollywood to help me out with this recounting:

Posh Spice/Victoria Beckham

"Oh, um - Artie, this is - um, well - um ... I just, I don't like muted colors. I was thinking more along the lines of that neon aqua color over there!"
Ok - so obviously - he wasn't impressed with the color palate. When I had spoken with him, he showed me a vase in a shade of very pale sage. He specifically said, "I like these colors, these tones." When I picked some of the most delightful dusty blues and greens (some of which matched that vase perfectly) he gives me the face that Victoria so wonderfully recreated (Thanks Vicky!) and points to an awful shade of neon turquoise that he called sky blue. Perhaps in a Willy Wonka dream the sky is neon, but in my world - (not the land of make believe) - it's the beautiful colors which I gave him.

Moving on ...

Britney Spears

"I don't like Burlap, it attracts dog hair - and I don't want to clean!!"

Yes, it's true for all of you who didn't know - loose woven fabrics, especially those with course texture like burlap, are familiar to dog hair and dust. Sheesh, even your everyday cotton variety will catch a hair or four. But, in the world of neon turquoise skies, no one cleans - and textured curtains don't collect dust or dog hair.

(Thanks Brit, great job!)

Celine Dion

"But you said that I could have wallpaper!"

I suggested going to the paint store, since obviously the colors I chose weren't up to par with Sal's sense of what the room was supposed to be. We spent an hour picking the perfect shades of blue and green, when he says to me "I want this - but in a wallpaper! Where's the wallpaper?"
At this point, I'm losing my cool - about to have a melt down, wondering why I just spent an hour talking him out of every neon color which exists only in a fairytale. I gently say, "Sal - your budget doesn't allow for wallpaper hanging. It's expensive, and this isn't an amateur job - you're going to have to hire someone who knows what they're doing."
Of course, after another 20-minutes of discussing costs, we end up at the wallpaper store where, I am shown three metallic wallpapers, all with an over sized damask, in shades of mauve, burgundy and peach. At that point, I said, "Sal - perhaps you should reconsider your decorator. I'm just not ready to finish a room that has that wallpaper. It's not my taste - it's not a lot of people's taste."

Cameron Diaz

"Are you saying I don't have taste!? I have taste! I'm from Miami!"

At that point, I graciously bowed out. In the past, I've worked with people who were completely faithful in my decisions, and in return, completely happy with the end product. They were honest and content, and then let go of the wheel. Not only do I not have the wheel on this project, I'm being dragged alone wondering why I don't just let go.

More to follow in the coming days, but for now - we'll place this on the back burner. No worries though, I've got lots in store for the blog! Til next time ...


  1. Loved the way your Hollywood friends really helped out in the telling of your story. Your client sounds like my client....a big box store that has some very definite ideas about what looks good and expects me to get it to them for almost free. Sometimes I could pull my hair out in frustration :)

  2. Oh the horrors of all horrors, WALLPAPER!?!?!? NOOOOOOO!!!!!! LOL!!! You crack me up Artie!

    Buffie :)

  3. Am I missing something ? Are you saying he did not like the plan?

  4. Sometimes you just need to step away. Knowing when is the key. Good decision.

  5. Knew Sal was to good to be true... and the place was to awesome... he has no taste that's simple... your choices were great... Dam and I thought I was going to get to see more of SAL... BUMMER and for you I am sure... Something better will come along... Have a good one


  6. Wallpaper is not such a HORRible thing! There are so many stylish prints out there today. Sal's home could totally take some somewhere..maybe a powder room, or vestibule..something surprising..

    I would not totally rule it out..

    Step away and breathe Artie! I know you will get through it! :)

  7. Da*n, I was looking forward to this journey of interior design.
    Sorry to hear that it is a 'no go'. Is there any chance of a compromise as afterall you both finally agreed upon colors. (Just a thought Artie.)

  8. You did the right thing by letting go. There are some projects that you simply do not need!!!! Remember, your name would have been pasted on that metallic neon wallpaper for years.

  9. The use of your Hollywood pals is hysterical. And with the metallic neon wallpaper, maybe he could be the official host of all bridesmaid dress parties?

    Big hugs, Artie - no need to suffer through things that make you miserable, and seeing the potential of that house get plastered over with the likes of what he wants would be a crime.

    Onward, to the next fun and beautiful thing! You have so many at your fingertips!

  10. Clever use of the celebrity photos!!! - Just proves that you CAN make use of the unattractive expressions(colors/fabrics) and make it work for you. - It's a challenge and you know you love a challenge, Artie. :-) ... take a deep breath, exhale and enjoy the experience. :-) - You can do this --- but only if you want to.

    Hmmmm, I wonder if he would like to have some of the walls stencilled??? - SherylCanadianGirl

  11. Artie, I'm sorry about about the disconnect between you and Sal. It'll be interesting to see if he can find a decorator who'll cater to his whims and desires. Buffalo's not that big.

  12. omg...BRILLIANT POST....where did you find those amazing photos? lolololo

  13. Artie, it is so hard to do a room that is not in your taste. I hate blue rooms and whenever I am ask for a blue room I just fade into the floor. But I have found that most are happy with my tan rooms with a touch of I would not give up so quickly , maybe a touch of sal and alot of you could produce a beautiful space that you both love... vickydarnell

  14. Perhaps Sal is color blind? -
    I can't believe that the decorating job looked so promising and then fell-through so easily. Must be some reason for it, such as color blindness. :-) -SherylCanadianGirl

  15. Wait, are you still doing the decorating for him, or did you tell him to forget it? The pictures you posted were hysterical!!! I'm sorry he didn't like what you chose, but in the end, it's his house and no matter how tacky, he has to be happy with it. Ugh, it's gotta suck having taste and working with someone who has none.

    Justine :o )

  16. Great way to tell a story, you're too funny! Yuck on his choices & good for you for not going along with it all. I feel for you.

  17. Glad you have maintained your sense of humor!

  18. Artie, Please don't tell me that hideous metallic oversized floral wallpaper is coming back in style. I FINALLY got every speck of it removed from this 1979 built house. My master bath had huge palm leaves in various shades of chrome and greens in a very tiny 3/4 bath. The hall bath had chocolate brown, vanilla, and chrome daisies, with stems mind you. A guest bedroom had chrome outlined terra cotta and navy blue silhouettes of bearded irise, with matching drapes and bedspread - minus the chrome outlines on the fabric - it's a good thing I had an open mind when I looked at this house and I could see past all it's beauty. LOL
    Now you just hang in there and another project will come along. You are a very talented guy. ~ Robyn

  19. It's time to play the Baby game. Come by as soon as you can!

  20. Wow,
    Poor Artie. It is one of those fine lines isn't it? You must have felt like you had the rug pulled out from under you. It sounds like he should move to Miami and give someone else a chance to restore that beautiful old home.
    Lisa & Alfie

  21. hahaha!! :-) good one!

    Greetings from Norway