Well, it suddenly got HOT here in Boston. Remember, it was quite hot last May as well when I was in Northampton.
Today, I was reminiscing about a trip to Boston exactly seven years ago. Then, I had just written a post about three home furnishings trends I found to be objectionable.
So, I thought it would be fun to go back and revisit the three trends I talked about in 2014.
This was also around the time that my blog started growing rapidly.
I had found my “voice.”
Or, rather, I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind. But, of course, all to help save people from making what I thought would be terrible mistakes. And, besides, at that time, I only had maybe a couple of hundred subscribers.
Therefore, if I said something dumb, I didn’t have to worry about being raked over the 40 grit sandpaper.
Oh, wait before I get into the old post about 3 home furnishing trends. I have some BIG (and I mean BIG) news to share.
I spoke of it on Friday as a bit of a teaser.
It’s about my dear Joe. Many of you will recall that I introduced him about a year ago as the half-dead plant I have had since December 2015.
Here is Joe in Northampton, MA, last summer. Yes, I brought him with me as I was there for about six weeks. Remember when I almost bought a house there?
And, here is Joe in his new spot the day after I moved in, still in the same pot.
Can I tell you how horribly guilty I’ve felt about that?
And, even worse, when I noticed all of the brown on him a couple of weeks ago. So, I’ve been pruning it all away.
Well, the other day, I FINALLY ordered Joe a new pot.
Believe me. I spent hours on this. I also spent hours getting a new stick vacuum. But, that’s another story. Both of my Roborocks do the “heavy lifting.” The stick is for upholstery and quick clean-ups.
So, I got a blue and white Chinoiserie pot. Very pretty.
The size they said is 14 x 14 x 10.75 inches.
This is about double the height and 5 inches wider than the old pot. That sounds about right, I thought.
Well, the pot arrived in about three days.
It’s from Oriental Furniture on Amazon.
I failed to notice that the bowl weighs 14 pounds. Hmm, I don’t think so; I think it’s more like 24 pounds. But, man, I struggled to get the box into my apartment, and when I opened it up.
The pot is HUUUUUUUGE!
It is actually slightly over 14″ in diameter, and it’s 11″ high. So it is at least 8 times bigger than the old pot. I don’t understand how that can be. Well, math was never my thing.
Seriously, I made a horrible mess because I started to fill it up in the kitchen but then realized that I’d have to finish in the den. I cannot pick up the pot now that it’s filled with dirt.
Incidentally, I waited for my huge dirt mess to dry, and then I put my new Roborock S7 in the den on turbo power. And the rug looks good as new. These vacuums are amazing. I love both the new S7 and my Roborock S6 Pure. The differences are not major. The S7 does have a nice shiny finish, however. And, it might be a tad quieter. But neither vacuum is nearly as loud as a human-pushing vacuum.
Here’s Joe. See? The carpet mess is all gone. I did not do a bloody thing to clean it up. That was a blessing because, believe me. But, Repotting Joe was not easy. And, there was also a big mess in the kitchen.
But, here’s something else. Joe was positively swimming in this huge pot. I know it doesn’t look that big here. But, believe me when I say that it is. I wish I had gotten the 12″ pot. So, I stuck him in a smaller but good size plastic pot I found outside.
And then I buried him in the big pot. This way, if I decide to get a smaller pot, he’ll be okay. But, I should probably do that soon. Right? I don’t know. Yes, I did put some rocks for drainage in the bottom of the pot.
Speaking of plants.
My garden is growing like crazy, and I watered it for about a half-hour last night. I need to figure out how the watering system works. But, the beautiful rose bush is blooming. There are tons of buds on it!
And then, there’s my new portable Haier Air-Conditioner. I’ll spare you that saga.
No, wait. I won’t spare you. But, haha, I know that some of you derive a lot of pleasure from seeing me suffer.
It took me THREE HOURS to put it together. One of those hours was spent getting it OUT of the box.
Here. Please enjoy the instructions to install one “portable” air-conditioner. Clearly, “portable” is a misnomer. I mean, a piece of equipment that requires two or MORE people to move it is not exactly portable.
Somewhere, it said I needed something called a screwdriver.
Huh? That’s ridiculous. The entire thing is ridiculous. Some sadistic freak wrote this out.
Of course, I used packing tape to secure the thingy to the window.
Easy. They needn’t have bothered with all of that.
There ya go. Chic as hell ain’t it?
There ya go with an enduring classic home furnishing trend! haha
Renee, dahling, if you’re reading this, I believe it was you who said the other day:
“You don’t need no stinkin’ prince charming.”
Actually, you’re right. All I need is packing tape—my hero. So I’ve decided to take a roll of it to bed with me every night.
Anywho, the Haier portable air-conditioner actually works quite nicely.
It did rattle away for the first 20 minutes or so, but then it broke in, I guess, or else, it just decided to give up rattling. By the way, it’s the smallest “portable” AC I could find.
Obviously, the lack of sleep is getting to me. So, here’s what I’m going to do.
Okay, I will link to the old horribly written “3 interior design trends you’ll regret” post from 2014.
In this post, I’ll give the Cliff Notes version. If you feel like reading the old one, fine, and if you don’t, that’s fine too.
Please enjoy three home furnishings trends I was hoping would disappear very soon seven years ago.
Let’s see how I feel about them now. And, see IF they have disappeared.
Again, if you’d like to follow along with the original post, you can access that here.
Horrible home furnishings trends #1
THE FLYING PTERODACTYL SOFA – (WITH CRAZY BLINDING FRETWORK PATTERN)
At the time, I thought maybe it could be a chair, but definitely not a sofa.
Today, I’m saying, not even a chair.
Another version of the flying sofa.
THE ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY FLYING SARCOPHAGUS SOFA
How do I feel about these two non-extinct dinosaurs in 2021? The same. The same. No, wait. I hate them even more. And, yes, they are both still being manufactured.
Horrible home furnishings trends #2
THE PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR JADE MAUSOLEUM
Yes, Chinoiserie on steroids. And, yes, I do believe this one was a flash in the pan.
I love green. But, the only way I would consider using this piece would be if the walls were painted the same color.
Yes. It was published in House Beautiful. And yes, what I wrote for this one still cracks me up.
Horrible home furnishings trends #2
THE LOOK WHAT I FOUND ON ETSY FOR 75 BUCKS FOR EACH LAMP
This is about the trend for table lamps to get bigger and BIGGER!
I was way over these minimalist lanterns seven years ago. Plus, I feel this one’s too large for the island. Maybe in the space, it looks better. It’s from Pottery Barn.
Pottery Barn doesn’t seem to carry the lantern from the post, but I found this one they are claiming is new. It sure doesn’t look new to me. Maybe they meant the gold finish is new?
So, what are some interior design trends that are keepers?
Blue and white porcelain – Forever and Always and looks wonderful – EVERYWHERE!
Yes! And, there are some lovely pieces I just added in the vintage HOT SALES widget.
Well, anything, Chippendale.
Although, Mr. Chippendale would never have painted one of his chairs white. And his were far more ornate. So, in some ways, I think this trend is beginning to lose steam.
I will always love this style of Chinese Chippendale chair, however.
Okay, some will disagree with me, but please hear me out. There are different styles within mid-century modern. And, I’m not going to get into all of that. But this Billy Baldwin style is classic modern at its best, I think.
The upshot of this exercise is that I stand by my dislike of certain design trends seven years later. And, also still love the ones I’ve deemed to be enduring classics.
Well, that’s all for now.
OH! Thank you again so much for all of the great advice for the downstairs of my apartment. I took much of it and have done some nice tweaking. I did create two closets, both with access to the bathroom. And, I put the stacked washer dryer unit in its own little closet next to a separate linen closet. There’s a ton of versatility going on now that I really love.
Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!
And if you’d like to read other posts about interior design trends, please go here.
Joe looks soooo happy! Yay! I agree with Shelley…some moss in his pot would look pretty, keep things moist, and hide the soil.
I used to do that when I did a lot of staging. Makes a potted plant look finished. You can buy it in plant nurseries. It comes in a bag and is cheap!
Thanks for all of the great advice. My son and I went to a nursery just hours before you wrote this and bought a bag of moss. We also got to small hydrangea bushes, a hanging planter, and something for another small planter. But, it’s been raining practically non-stop for the last 30 hours!
Re: the flying sarcophagus sofa HILARIOUS
I have a very toned down version of that sofa in my great room right now. No “wings”, no weird rolled top and edges and definitely a nicer rich charcoal gray leather. Do I love the style? Nope. However, when my (multiple) 6′ 5″ adult children sit on it, it works. Of course, we can’t even buy a car without making sure everybody can sit up straight and their legs fit in… Thanks for the laugh.
What about re-uniting your teal damask pillow with the painting it so loved in your current dining room and moving the crewel work pillow with the light blue to your chartreuse couch. If it doesn’t work–back they go. You could be draped elegantly on a fainting couch with barely enough strength to lift a beautiful fan as an alternative. I wonder if a fireplace screen with arches on top (possibly painted white) would work as a decent screen for your A/C? Or, it could just look really dorky–a distinct possibility.
Also, I don’t see anything wrong with the yellow lamps, other than that the shades may not be quite right proportionally, the wall paper doesn’t do much for them, and most of all they look terrible on those delicate little tables.
I think classical is an understanding of God’s geometry and when it’s out of whack you know it and it just feels wrong (or should, and that’s where people like you come in).
I have been laughing my buttocks off regarding your new A/C unit! Excellent job! I love it! This is so me! I’m currently having to have 3 big butt trees cut at my Mountain home, I purchased in 2018! That has been under construction ever since. I locked myself out and my cat couldn’t help me, soooo I had to break a window that I now have packing taped with a garbage bag! Unbelievable! A+ is it’s a gated resort and I am not afraid of any people. More bears. Anyway, sleep cool! I may need one of the A/C’s too! So far so good, but this is my first summer. Sold my FL house and I’m not suppose to need A/C! Love your blog, sense of humor and I have the new MK bag similar to yours but in red! Kindred spirits, I bet!
I lived through mid-century modern once and I don’t want to live through it again. Ugly then, ugly now.
There is one interior design style that I wish would go away FOREVER, and that’s mid-century modern. Perhaps because I’m old enough to remember it the first time it showed it’s face, or maybe it’s just simply not my taste. To me, it’s nothing more than playful, stick furniture that is suitable for a child. I keep hoping that it’s current resurgence is about up and it won’t show it’s ugly face again for another 45 or 50 years. (Sorry, Laurel. I just had to get that off my chest.)
LOL…..I suggested the Ralph Lauren blue and white lamp for a client who was buying it through her daughter in law who is a designer and she accidentally ordered the ‘large” size.
OOPs that is a VERY BIG LAMP! Ok so to make lemonade of out lemons, we asked a custom cabinet maker to make a REALLY LONG CONSOLE for the front of a major window expanse overlooking the ocean and it was PERFECT! Though if they ever sell and move hopefully the next owner loves the lamps and the console! Scale is really critical, right?
Your new home is SO LOVELY. And I am glad your garden is coming along well. And they say no AC is necessary in Boston. HAH! But um, packing tape? That will rip the paint and maybe part of the wall right off when you remove it. You may want to rethink that. Cramming the AC in the window and getting a seal is always challenge. The best I have come up with is a squishy foam snake cut to fit. Someone told me there are window AC installation services. Good luck!
Well, it looks like both you and Joe have room to grow new roots now! BTW, I’m really great at growing roses. My secret weapon is fish emulsion. It works like a charm, stinks like hell…but it works. Pick some up at the big box garden stores. You can thank me by publishing the pictures of your ridiculously flourishing roses later this summer. Ha. JK well sort of? I’d like to see the before and after of the roses. Cheers Laurel and keep going you’re doing a great job.
You really have a way of taking us away from a crazy day ! Love your blog…Thanks
You are such a breath of fresh air. I love your blog and the design humor you bring to it. I echo Trudy’s comments above. ‘Joe’ is a bit stressed already with the browning foliage, so assuring it has good drainage will be necessary to prevent further stress. And as our dearly departed landscape designer, Beth, would say, “It is a plant. It does not have a soul.” So if ‘Joe’ doesn’t make it, it is not a failure on your part. It will just be time to start afresh.
Custom “radiator cover” for that portable A/C… some kind of grill in the “front” and an open back .. you could really have fun designing it too!
And thanks for letting us sympathize with your directions… WAAY too many tiny steps and not nearly succinct enough.
And Joe looks far better in his new pot!
Speaking of trends we may regret in the future 🙂 I’m wondering if getting a gingham sofa would be a mistake? The sofa would be a classic design, the Miramar Sofa with Bench Seat from Serena and Lily. I was considering the blue small check. I love gingham, always have. But will it scream too trendy in 7 years?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Re Joe: to what family or genus of plants does he belong? He looks cedarish/camycypressy to me, but I don’t think that can be for an indoor plant. I’m a gardener, though awful with indoor plants, but I just can’t place Joe. And he has my curiosity running. Looks nice in new big pot.
Hi Laurel, I DO love the size of the pot- as a plant person (Landscape Architect AND florist during HS and Undergrad) the rule of thirds applies to plants, too- from your photo, if one measures from the top of Joe to the bottom of the pot, it looks like the planter is 1/3 of total, which means it’s perfect! Looks gorgeous from here!
Hi, regarding Joe, placing the plastic or “working” pot inside the decorative pot is a practice that has been around for a long time. I have two large ceramic containers on either side of my front door and I can easily lower into them whatever I want, depending the time of the year. Say pansies in the spring, coleus in the summer, small pines at Christmas time, etc. This method calls for the use of a Jardinière, this is the “proper” name for the decorative outer pot. As others have said previously, get the outer soil out of the pot, lower the plastic pot in, cover with some moss if needed. Put stones, peanuts whatever to bring the inner pot up to the proper level. Also I definitely agree to get Joe outside during the warm weather!
I’m curious why / what you dislike tab out the sofa and chair which look like a c.r. Laine product. BTW, I love your blog, I’m relatively new to it but love your style.
Dear Laurel…OMG i laughed so hard had tears running down my face. Funny too, my daughter bought one of those Ac’s and my husband wanted us to take it to our VC home and install it.
I told him that no way was that going to happen. I couldn’t even pick it up much less install. Fortunately, my daughter does have a prince charming and he’ll be happy to do it.
Thanks so much for the laugh!! I needed it today. BTW my husband is blind so he had no idea how heavy it was.
I am certain Joe loves his new pot, and is the envy of the neighborhood, perhaps consider tucking in 5 or 6 ivies around the outside to trail down the side of the pot and some moss to finish off the top.
Hilarious post I read right after I sat down from unscrewing the shower head and soaking it in vinegar to clear the calcium crude. Voila’! Strong spray again. Even plumber taped it when I put it back on.
For those of us sitting in the corner of our Billy Baldwin style, mid-century homes, thank you for the shout-out.
Ditto on the “fill the bottom of large pots with peanuts” comments.
Please do another post with your updated designs for your condo!
You will or maybe already have received hundreds of comments telling you this, but Joe would do so much better in a pot with drainage holes in the bottom. If you can find a plastic pot with holes in the bottom (or make holes in it!) that fits well in your beautiful new one, that would be ideal. Then when Joe gets dry, you can simply lift out his pot, put it in the sink, water him until the water flows freely out of the bottom, and then let him drain thoroughly before putting him back. Doing so allows oxygen in to help his roots stay healthy, and washes out excess salts and such from the potting soil. Also you will be able to tell when he needs to be repotted, as his roots will start peeking through the drainage holes. So many houseplants are killed by root rot or drowning caused by overwatering with no drainage holes. A simple thing, but he will thank you. If needed, a decorative moss can be placed to disguise the fact that he is in an inner pot. He has been with you through thick and thin. The little guy deserves drainage holes!
Your blogs have been the loveliest bright spot all through COVID. I’m now a room porn addict.
I can’t thank you enough for what you do. Trudy
I read a few weeks ago that you don’t like Wayfair (I think it was) and I wonder if you can please tell me why. I’ve bought a lot of things from them and I usually compare prices first. Wayfair is usually comparable or less and they often have things that aren’t available elsewhere. Please let me know what you think and why.
Oh, no! I love Wayfair. The only thing is that I wish their website design was a little more stylish. But, agree that they usually do have the best pricing for items. That’s why I always include many items I like from Wayfair in my HOT SALES widgets.
Love the pot. I would keep Joe in his new plastic pot but I would then put him in an identical pot so he could be lifted out for watering. This way the soil can fill in the pot to keep him stable. Most plants do well with less often watering but soaked and drained well.
Empty water bottles work in big pots also.
Your little man, Joe, needs a blanket. A layer of Spanish moss would be nice.
Omg, I finally have a helpful comment …put bubble wrap or packing peanuts at bottom of pot….use the pebbles too.
Martha had a garden show during quarantine she did this …
Please don’t put the kids on the water bottles..use the lids instead..holy moly..
In place of using rocks or pebbles in the bottom of your potted plants, use styrofoam “peanuts”, empty water bottles with the kids on, wine corks..to name a few. This allows for root drainage and makes the pot weigh a ton less.
Love your blog and your sense of humor. Keep it up, Girl ‼️
Nancy, I would need a better close up photo but I wonder if Joe is a Juniper?
No no, don’t put Joe directly into the pot.
In fact, I would get all that dirt out now. Put a lot of moss in there to cover the opening and the pot. Nice pots should just be cache pots (I guess that a real thing?) They get all ick inside and don’t last as long. I’ve have some attractive cheap pots for years because I never plant directly in them.
That’s a beautiful pot! I’m getting one.
What is Joe anyway? An aspidistra? Does anyone know?
Love your blog, been reading it for years. But as a garden club snob your joe needs to be on your patio. He is an outdoors-man. In Virginia we have those growing everywhere and are best growing together because then you won’t see the dead scrubby underbrush. If he were my guy I’d put him in a lightweight pot on the patio where he’ll be happy even overwinter. Then get a gorgeous round shaped jade plant for the gorgeous new pot. You won’t have to water much as it is a succulent. And they are gorgeous.
Do spray your rose with something to prevent white fly. Even though it’s blooming now, it can go south in a hot minute- fertilize her too and you may get a second bloom.
Can’t your son do that AC? Mine put one in our garage and it cools the whole thing down here in Florida.
I think the Pottery Barn lantern might actually be over the bar in the foreground, not the island, judging by the size of the light bulb. A trick of perspective. Maybe. Either way, it’s wrong and pretty ugly. Love the new pot, and I hope Joe does well in it!
Years ago, a friend advised me to replace our antique, charming bedside lamps with bigger ones. I’m so glad I didn’t take her advice!
Joe needs a blanket of moss.If your air conditioner was perpendicular to the wall l wonder if it could become a side “table” with some form of vented front?
Designers only stop making money when we retire.
I love all your posts and have a special affinity for Chippendale chairs. I have tried to order some for my dining room but find that the seat height is often 18 inches which seems awfully low. You are “spot on” about the sofas and lantern…love how you point out what is “timeless” and classic…the way to go. Joe looks happy!
Basically what you have there in Joe is a bonsai. You could keep him in his existing pot.
Here is another good site for repotting.
I am a Certified Landscape Designer and Master Gardener so want to give you the best advice for Joe.
I haven’t read the other comments but just wanted to alert you. When you repot a house plant only go up one pot size at a time. You can still do this by repotting Joe in an inner pot one size bigger and then place it inside the ceramic pot. This ensures that the roots have somewhere to spread out to but not so much that they rot in too much damp soil.
You also need to ensure that there are drain holes inside your inner pot. This allows you to lift the pot out after watering to remove excess water and not have it sitting in water inside your ceramic pit.
One quick suggestion about your bedroom space: I would specify Quiet Rock drywall on the wall between your bedroom and the common area. Quiet Rock is a sound dampening drywall that is quite effective. It is a bit more expensive but I think it would be well worth it in your situation. Good luck with your project. Love your blog! LRS
So glad to see Joe comfortable in his new pot! GL is correct; you need the inner pot so the roots don’t grow out and around the ceramic one. If you transplant again, you can use packing noodles in the bottom instead of rocks to keep the pot lighter. All GL’s tips on Joe were spot on!
If you have a handyman (or your son visits again soon) you could move Joe to your patio for the summer. Put him on a rolling base so you can easily move him around out there. It should help his growth. In the fall, have someone move him in again.
When you do your kitchen &/or stair renovation, think about a ductless mini-split for AC. A bit expensive, but like your Rorarock, once you have one, you’ll wonder how you did without it.
On those awful trends, you are so right! Especially the oversized PB lantern directly OVER a gas stove. Imagine having to clean the inside of all those glass panes covered with cooking grease and soot!!!
Hi, Laurel! Love your new digs. Good decision- Northampton has gone to pot (literally).
In Joe’s case, the stones on the bottom of the pot are a good idea, since the big pot has no drainage. Just be careful watering so his roots aren’t sitting in water! They *will* rot.
You are spot on about those awful trends, especially the sofas; good for you for wading through the morass of AC instructions, and Joe’s roots need room to expand. He’ll be very happy in that beautiful new pot.
Seems I’m always pointing out something to you but we don’t do rocks on the bottom for drainage anymore. It allows the water to sit on the bottom of the pot and leads to root rot. I wouldn’t mention it but it’s Joe.
Love your posts and eager to read more about your renovation plans.
Can you tell me the names of the fabric patterns of your pillows — the ones on the sofa by Joe? I have been driving myself crazy looking for new pillows for my living room. A project that should be simple, but I end up liking nothing and everything at the same time.
Love your humor !
Joe looks happy, I have three of those pots.
Just put in a portable A/C in for mom 95 she is.
You described it perfectly.
About Joe: NEVER put him directly into your pot, because of the shape of the pot. If you need to remove him, the only solution will be to break the pot, as the root system will have filled it. You want to induce some basal growth if possible (but this type of plant tends not to break from old wood): you should remove some of the top growth to get new green growth lower down, and it would be a good idea to mist with water twice a day. The pot and table go well together, though.
About the rest: hideous design is hideous and will still be hideous in the year 3000. Couldn’t agree more with your comments — except for the white Chippendale chair: if he did that he didn’t ought to have!
Your greens and blues are so gorgeous. I’ve always admired the rug, sofa with pretty trim and coveted that blue pillow! Do you remember the fabric?
Joe’s new home is a beautiful addition. He will love all that room and I don’t think you need the inner pot. He will make himself right at home in no time at all.
As usual, your take on the trends then and now are right on.