SF Good Questions: How to Work With Excellent Architecture and Ugly Decor?

SF Good Questions: How to Work With Excellent Architecture and Ugly Decor?

Jun 27, 2008

this is not suzanne's abode, but we're going to poke our eyes out if we keep looking
at ugly decor to find a more relevant photo
AT:SF, Is there any way to work with someone else's excellent architecture and ugly decor? I rent a remodeled Victorian coach house, above my landlords' garage. It looks beautiful and mysterious from the outside and has a lovely sloping roof and good windows, but instead of making it elegant with hardwood floors or leaving it funky and barebones like the garage itself--a great space--they installed early 1990s ugly brown laminated cabinets and beige plush carpeting...

...I've furnished it in my usual eclectic yard-sale minimalist style, which actually works, but the inherited decor is a challenge. Guests mostly enthuse over how cool the place is, but as the stepdaughter of a mouthy designer, I have a hard time remaining silent in the presence of such unused potential. The landlords, who are actually wonderful people notwithstanding their curious idea of what constitutes an appealing neutrality, are willing to let me paint a single wall an interesting color (they're off-white)! but that's about the limit, since they consider me a flight risk. Thanks!


Oh Suzanne,

How we sympathize, having been there, done that many, many times. We actually usually end up moving because we just can't stand it any longer (talk about flight risks). But we hope readers have some more sensible advice.


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