My Design Manifesto

13 Jun

I was just looking again at the Domino Quick Fixes special issue and I came across their Design Manifesto (pictured below). It inspired me to create my own. And since Domino was the source that made me realize I should stop doing what I thought was right and start doing what I wanted to do,  I’ll start with one “borrowed” from their list.

(The rooms pictured here are some of my favorite inspiration pics. I tried to find original sources but in the cases I couldn’t, you can find them all on my Pinterest boards.)

1. Home should make you happy. This is Olatz Schanbel’s bedroom from House Beautiful. This picture makes me very happy, so despite the idea that a bedroom should be serene and soothing, this bold room is inspiring my bedroom makeover.

2. Screw resale value. Why are you decorating for the next guy? What about you? (I’m quite sure my real-estate-agent-mom just gasped reading that one!)

3. Don’t be afraid of color. Or anything for that matter. (image via Full House)

4. Don’t worry about things “going together”. Trust your instincts. If you like it, then it’ll work in your home.

5. Provenance means nothing. Sentimental value is everything. I just hung up my grandma’s mirror in my foyer and I LOVE it! I could care less that it’s not worth much because it means everything to me. (No, sillies! That’s not it. Remember these are inspiration pics. Details of the foyer makeover are coming soon.)

6It’s ok if it’s not “perfectly done”. Good decorating always benefits from a few changes every once in awhile. (Image via HGTV Canada)

 7. Just say thanks. If someone gives you a decorative gift for your home.  But if you don’t like it, don’t feel the need to use it…

8. …but respect your family heirlooms. If you’re keeping a box of something in your attic from someone dear and departed, you are not respecting them by keeping their stuff in a box. (I learned this one from the great Peter Walsh on Clean Sweep.) Either use it, display it, give it to another family member, or sell/donate it. Nana wouldn’t want to burden you with her stuff, would she?

9. William Morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I love this quote and I stuck it on my fridge before we moved so I could keep it in mind when choosing new furnishings. If something doesn’t fill one of the two criteria, it goes.

10. Have respect for yourself. Keep your home nice for you, not just for guests. Martha Beck wrote a great article in the old O at Home magazine (that was a good one, wasn’t it?) about a friend preparing her house to sell it and then not wanting to sell it because it was finally perfect. The lesson is: don’t wait to the fix the thing that needs fixing. Do it for yourself. (image via The Zhush.)

11.  Watch out for “The Grown Up Effect”. When we got married, we chose the most basic boring furniture because we figured we were “grown up now” and that was what we were supposed to get. Now, I buy eclectic pieces and I make sure I LOVE each one before I invest. And I remember to keep it young and fun and totally liveable.

12. Purge regularly. Clean out closets and drawers often. You’ll know where everything is, you won’t be storing junk, and you’ll feel a lot more organized. Seriously, how many birthday candles and keys to nothing do you need in your junk drawer? (image via

13. Personalize it. As much as I would love the help of a professional decorator sometimes, I love looking around my house and remembering each little thing that I discovered or made. I think my gallery wall (you can see it here) is a great example of “making it your own”. (image via Melange photography)

So, tell me…do you agree? Any you totally disagree with? (I’m not talking to you, mom! I know you hate the “screw resale value” one because of my crass language and the message it’s sending.) What’s your design manifesto? Hopefully it’s a little different from mine. (How boring would it be if we all had the same taste?!) And seriously…when was the last time you purged your junk drawer?


Sue at Home


5 Responses to “My Design Manifesto”

  1. designbydebbie June 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Love the Manifesto!!! So true and lovely. Purging in general is #1 on my list. Not only is it liberating and therapeutic you can also find things like a-dress-you-bought-two-years-ago-that-you-forgot-you-have-but-totally-love-so-you-wear-them-to-work-the-next-day… or something like that.


  1. Foyer Makeover « sue at home - June 18, 2012

    […] winner is: Grandma! (But my regular readers already knew that though from this post.) Yup, I hung my grandma’s old mirror vertically above the table. (It was hanging […]

  2. The big reveal – Foyer Makeover Part 3 « sue at home - June 20, 2012

    […] for. Oh, and I just discovered that he has a Manifesto on his site that has some similar ideas to my own Manifesto. His made me laugh out loud – especially the second one! So […]

  3. I Will Love This Poster For Like Ever « sue at home - August 2, 2012

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  4. Pin of the Week: Displaying Personal Pictures « sue at home - October 15, 2012

    […] I’ve always thought that the idea of limiting personal pictures in your home is so weird. (I don’t understand why this is an issue but check out this Apartment Therapy post about the differing opinions.) I mean, it’s my damn house and if I want to wallpaper it with pictures of my kids so it doesn’t look like a damn model home (gag!) then so be it! (Wow, I just got really fiesty there. Sorry.)  For me, displaying personal photos in my home supports just about every point of my Design Manifesto. […]

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