Monday, December 07, 2009

Confessions of a decorating meddler

Hello, my name is Danielle Powell. I am an interior decorator, graduate of a very prestigious school that will remain nameless because I don't know which one. I have decorated homes for the rich and famous all around the world. Just look at this home in London. It was my first design contract: 

I am tall, blond, beautiful, and ageless. My driver's license photo looks suspiciously like it was clipped from the JC Penny catalog. I can't seem to find that piece of identification right now. I am more than just a beautiful face. My portfolio speaks for itself. Besides interior design work, I can draw home elevations, floor plans, and landscape design. Just don't ask me to do roof lines or name plants.

Some may call the work dated, but I call it classic.

I excel at saving my clients money. By using my own crafts and shopping from the JC Penny catalog, I was able to create the master suit above for just $710. Occasionally I order from Domestications for their super awesome "bed in a bag" deals.

Every home should have an indoor pool in my opinion. I won't work on a project that doesn't have one. And that is just the beginning of my list of contract stipulations. For starters, my fee is 3 million dollars. 

You probably figured out by now that Danielle Powell isn't really an interior decor specialist. She was only real in my mind. In the early 1990's I was a pre-teen with too much time, too much creativity, an active imagination, and a JC Penny catalog -- a frightening combination. Being home schooled, my mom saw that I had an insatiable need to design and gave me assignments for decorating projects. Because of that I actually kept a "portfolio" of my work. I had a good laugh as I reminisced through the pages today. I could picture myself in my freshly designed blue and pink bedroom trying to ignore the pounding beat of Michael W. Smith coming through my sister's bedroom door. It seems like yesterday. 

These days I should really go by
I never went to design school and didn't take a single interior decorating class in college. I think when it came down to making decisions for my future, I was too intimidated to pursue the lofty ambitions of Danielle Powell. I was just a girl from a small town who liked to decorate. Actually I am still a girl from a small town who likes to decorate. I love to dream big, but live in the reality of a small budget and little kids in my home with "washable markers" that aren't actually washable. Think of me as the degree-less, cheap version of Design with Christine.

I enjoy decorating my own home and love a cheap project or fantastic deal more than anything. I still have the insatiable urge to design. It's really weird I know. My sister casually mentioned she needed to rearrange her living room furniture one day and I pleaded, "Can I do it?" After everything was rearranged to my liking, I found myself at TJ Maxx with $20 of her money looking for the perfect accessories to complete the look. It was at that point I knew I was a meddler. A decorating meddler.

If someone asks my advice, I am eager to help. People don't ask very much. They probably think that I am joking, but seriously, I'm not. I have painted my dining room 4 different colors in 7 years. Every room in my home has been decorated differently than it is now. I need some new blood (metaphorically speaking) for my sake and for my poor husband who would be happy with monotone rooms. That is why I decided to open up my blog to some decorating advice. It sounds like the perfect solution to my problem and yours (maybe): 
  • send me a picture of your space. Email me at ajepeters at gmail dot com.
  • tell me what you want to accomplish
  • what's your budget? I can work with anything
  • I'll give you some suggestions of what I would do and feature it on my blog, complete with pictures and prices
I might have to limit my "contracts" if this catches on. In the meantime, I'll just be sitting here checking my email 14 times a day hoping someone has a design crises for me to dwell on.

Yours truly, 


Uh hem,



joyq said...

We really must be related or something. So Brett and I built our first house (fun!) and I painted the bathroom *wait for it* SEVEN different colors in ONE year.

I have a sickness.

I need help.

I need *again, wait for it...*

Danielle Powell.

I can't wait to send you a real problem! I will tell my friends!

Annie said...

This was well timed because we just bought a house! I'll be sending you pictures so you can tell me what colors to paint the rooms.

Stacy said...

I'll have to send you pictures of our pantry-turned-half-bath (ok so its still just a toilet). It's only that far along because I am lacking serious creativity.

Melanie said...

Danielle, I love your work! Next time I realize I'm having a design problem, you'll certainly be hearing from me.

Kellie said...

I confess to using that same graph paper to "design" houses as a child. I'd design super mansions with several floors that included such necessities as indoor pools on the fifth floor. It was a lot of fun!

I have a hard time decorating my own home because I like too many styles to settle on just one. Plus my husband dares to have an opinion on such things and thinks he knows better then I do on how to correctly place items on the mantle etc. You'd think the fact that I have an Interior Design degree would give me more clout in decorating our home but apparently it doesn't. Annoying as heck.

Sara said...

Can I send you a picture of every room in my house? I'm the opposite of you. We haven't painted a single wall in our house since painting it all *gasp* WHITE (except the master bedroom) when we first moved in 8 years ago. And it's not that I haven't thought about painting. I've thought, and thought and thought. But that's it. My plans have never made it past my mind. There just never seems to be enough time, money, time or time for me to tackle a decorating project. But anytime you're in town, feel free to drop by and rearrange my livingroom - I've only done that one time in 8 years - and that is very inexpensive (I'll gladly send you to TJ Maxx with $20!) and shouldn't take up too much time. =)

Lesley Miller said...

If we buy a house in 2010 (crossing fingers/saying prayer)you will be hearing from me. Until then, I will be sitting comfy on my aunt's hand me down couch. ;)

Anonymous said...

Ooh, ooh, how fun! Why is it always easier to meddle in someone elses stuff than our own!? I have an up and coming project that I have been kicking around WAY too many ideas for. I'll send pictures your way once I get the room a little more organized!!

Jill V.

Andee said...

I'll throw in a testimonial here. The living room looks fantastic!! Danielle--I mean Alysun-- worked with my space and what I had for a pretty quick and very inexpensive fix:) PS I'm pretty sure she was able to do it so quickly is because she had already spent a lot of time pondering it in her free time when she was over. I would leave the room and come back to find her staring at my mantle with a pensive, longing expression on her face...

Alyce said...

I knew from the first time I visited your house that you had knack for decorating and design. I remember telling my husband when he got home that night, "You wouldn't believe how nice Alysun's house looks - everything's coordinated."

I wish I had that sense of style. Any time you want to come over and meddle in my decor you are welcome to. ;)