Christy Lorio: Interior decorating, and why I’m no good at it

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Christy Lorio

I remember stumbling upon a quote once that said if you are a fashion person then you can’t be an interior design person. Well, I certainly prove whoever said that right. I’m pretty much immersed in fashion all day long. I work with clothes at my full time job, come home and write about them for my fashion blog and do the same for freelance work that I pick up on the side. Just from osmosis alone I’d like to think that I do a pretty good job dressing myself. If only I could take an issue of Elle Decor and do the same for my (lack of) interior design prowess.

I believe the term “hot mess” would be the most accurate way to describe my decorating style.  See, it isn’t that I don’t have good taste, it’s just that I like the most exorbitantly expensive things. The items I covet are far beyond my reach. A $10,000 antique Caldwell chandelier? I want it bad. That sensible three-piece sofa set from the big box store? I’d rather sit on my 1929 hardwood floors than bring such atrocities into my home. To borrow a phrase from my dad, I’ve got champagne tastes on a beer budget.

We’ve got a living room full of mismatched furniture that we purchased in a vacuum. There’s a sofa purchased on eBay that was in perfect condition until our cats turned it into their playground, a futon bought out of necessity for a previous apartment, an 1880’s rocking chair Craigslist score, and a custom made armoire that was given to us when we purchased our home a year and a half ago.  See, I told you it’s a hot mess. There’s no rhyme, no reason, and certainly no style in sight. I wistfully daydream of a reality show makeover to solve my conundrum.

To help me get to the road of recovery, Ashley Hawthorne, an interior designer, armed me with a a few quick easy tips.

  • Do not be afraid to mix different metals such as pewter, nickel, and even something funky like antique brass.  Rules are made to be broken!
  • Be careful of undersized lamps and rugs.  Go bigger than you think you need.
  • Bring some new life to your space with some live plants.  Fake plants are a serious no-no.
  • Use color.  Do not be afraid of making your room look small by painting your room something intense like charcoal grey or kelly green.

So will we discover the perfect rug to compliment the stained glass windows? Will we figure out a place to put the bikes other than smack dab in the middle of the room? Is there any hope to redeem the error or our former ways? Only time and a weekend with a few gallons of paint will tell.

Our plan of attack:

  • Love Bluebag – Company that drives to the Ikea Houston weekly so you don’t have to
  • The Creole Cottage- Upcycled home goods at affordable prices
  • Nadeau– Handcrafted “furniture with a soul”
  • Etsy– Unique, handmade items and vintage pieces
  • Lonny Mag– Bimonthly online interior decorating magazine

10 thoughts on “Christy Lorio: Interior decorating, and why I’m no good at it

    • I have yet to use the service but a friend of mine raved about it. It is much cheaper than driving to Houston, renting a U-Haul and a hotel room for a night not to mention it cuts out the hassle.

      • I used Blue Bag a couple of months ago for butcher block kitchen countertops and some odds and ends for my studio storage. It was a great experience – they were super friendly, professional, and the whole thing was seamless. Beats driving over there!

  1. Christy-
    Glad to read your writings as the daze of summer start to grind…
    As someone in this profession- I recommend walk across Freret Street and buy your chandelier/lighting from us at http://www.brottworks.com, just be sure to contact us first as we are not a gallery + and show work by appointment only.
    + It’s tax for sales of Artwork on Freret.
    + Your buying local so our Freretian glass is the freshest and finest on the street.
    All the best,
    Andy Brott
    p.s. If your $ is tight you can always rob locally at:
    http://www.villagecoffeeneworleans.com
    http://datdognola.com/
    http://crescentcitycomics.com/
    Just kidding…
    To learn more about Freretians businesses go to
    http://thenewfreret.com/

    • HA! No way Andrew, I know better than to rob anyone in the corridor. Y’all have cameras. Besides it is summer time and I’ve got lots of tattoos meaning I’d have to sport long sleeves before planning a heist. 😛

  2. I feel your pain. It’s not that I can’t find cute pieces that I like–it’s just an overwhelming idea that I have to coordinate them all together and EDIT things that don’t mesh. I’ve begun to think I’m exactly the person who interior designers were meant for.

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