1. It’s fun to say “my designer” and that little phrase makes people look at you with new eyes. In order to say “my designer” you have to give a designer some money (which they will save you over and over) and I wish I hadn’t waited till I was in my 60s to do it.

2. A lamp in every corner of the room.

3. Cut your flower stems to be in proportion to your vase. I was taught by a florist that “length of stem is everything”, my designer will not permit any of that nonsense.

4. If it’s pretty and you love it, you will naturally keep it clean and tidy. So true, Maria!

5. If you have a large floor, put a large carpet on it.

6. When you buy stuff for your place with a decorator, it will be brought home and put up or placed right away—it’s all about instant gratification and there’s no room for dawdling around with delivery or installation people. The designer has to see the effect, right now!

7. A woman can never have too many trays. These trays will contain your vignettes which your designer will place for you and God help anyone who moves anything on those trays.

8. If you’re designing a bathroom, don’t be tempted to have that little counter that runs over the back of the toilet. That’s called a “porkchop” and shows that you have committed a deadly sin of design i.e. being “dated”, a label to be avoided at all costs in the interior design world.

9. Home sense is one word and your car should have a new bumper sticker. Instead of “This car stops at all garage sales”, it now should read “This car stops at all “Homesense” stores.” If you’ve never heard of “Homesense”, hiring a designer is an emergency.

10. Pretty, silky, bejeweled, feminine, throw cushions speak volumes about what a fox you really are. Again, your friends and family look at you in a whole new way when you’re associated with great throw cushions on the furniture.


  1. I had no idea that in this delightfully doughy state of motherhood, I could maintain foxy status with just a few throw pillows. Many thanks for the tip.

  2. Hoping you will soon be posting an extensive gallery of photographs of your home illustrating the 10 principles!! I’m visual and if I can’t see it, it doesn’t register! Oh, and I’ve never heard of “Homesense”. Is it a Canadian store? Thanks for the interior design education!

  3. My car can find its way to HomeSense all on its own, I’ve been there so many times!!

    Really enjoyed reading your post, which I found through one of Maria’s posts on Twitter (that’s a tweet, right??)


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