Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trial and Error: Home Edition

I find home decorating to be total torture. The end result is often satisfying, but I am stupefied by the process. Everything I have learned about dressing myself has come through trial and error, but when it comes to dressing your home, mistakes are prohibitively expensive. The biggest mistake I made happened when we first moved to our apartment on the lower east side in 2001. I approached my whole house as I would an outfit, based almost entirely on where my color/print/trend tastes were at at that time. Although it took nearly two years to come together, I was pleased with the end result. For a few months. But as my fashion point of view moved on, my hot pink wall to wall rug and loud African prints began to shout all the wrong things at me. Finally, in the past year, I began to take steps towards trying again. My goal was to be way more classic, with a touch of earthiness. I toned the girliness way down, and added warmth to the more masculine colors with lots of texture - morrocan rugs, embroidered pillowcases, and fur pillows. I only got my bedroom done before deciding to live in England for a year, and abandoning the project all together, for now. Here's a peek at the result:



  1. Hi Ms. Brooks,

    I've followed your blog a bit, and know of you of course and your recent departure from Barney's (which I applaud you for making the brave step to take the creative sabbatical!). I was wondering if you could tickle my curiosity with some advice to a few questions I have? Would love to email them to you! I'm just a student in NYC with similar interests towards your career choice and I'd love some advice on my path to success! Here is my email

    -Jeff Thompson

  2. Hi.. just read about u I'm the times. I used to love Barney's when they had a store in manhasset..I never forgave them in retrospect given the poor economy I would have greatly limited my spending there. However I think you must have been a breath of fresh air to the snooty people who run it. Good.luck in England. You will undoubtedly love it.

  3. I feel the thing about doing your apartment is to decorate with pieces which your heart connects with and which brings you joy when you are leaving your apartment for work and catch a glimpse of it or when you are relaxing after work - you see it and it brings a smile to your face
    there is no right or wrong answer!

  4. I love a dark wall as I think it makes artwork stand out well. Decorating doesn't have to be so expensive - paint is not that much and there are so many nice things at flea markets, ebay and the like. This room looks really nice and inviting.

  5. I can definitely relate. I love the thrill of figuring out how to dress and style myself and experimenting and mixing up my closet, but am so intimidated when decorating my place! The fact that the result is more permanent than an outfit puts the pressure on for picking the right mix of timeless pieces that are still true to your personality. I love the room you posted and think it's a great balance of masculine and feminine, though!