The XX Factor

Home Is Where the Consumer Guilt Is

Greetings, gentle readers. I’m Nick Olsen, interior decorator and former ‘Deal Hunter’ on the dearly departed Domino magazine website. (Full disclosure: EIC Deborah Needleman, wife of Slate ‘s Jacob Weisberg, gave me the gig and let me call a “fugly” spade a spade. Grateful!) I’m here to write about my Dream House, the irony being that I rent a rat-trap tenement apartment in downtown Manhattan- La Leopolda with a fire escape. Then of course there’s this giant bummer of recession and housing crisis and now ‘swine flu’ and OH MY GOD HOW I CAN EVEN BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT DECORATING?! Well, it’s still my day job , where I regularly encounter closets the size of my bedroom and tables worth more than my life.

But don’t gag just yet: this blog will be about style, not aspiration. I’ve seen gorgeous apartments in Bushwick and hideous ones on Park Avenue, and I could care less about fetishistic, design-y junk (who really wants a bedazzled skull teapot anyway?) or trends in the luxury market. I just like pretty rooms and pretty stuff! And if I can’t afford what I want, I’ll make or fake it myself. So that’s my Dream House in a nutshell: decorating inspiration, deals, DIY chutzpah, and deep thoughts. If you think something is tired or fugly or just think I’m a total charlatan, please say so in the comments! I won’t be offended.

Time for some pretty pictures? If you have a dream or a house or both I suggest making a bulletin board of everything you love at the moment, just like a real-deal decorator/fashion designer/creative type! Even in the post-scrapbooking Flickr era there is no substitute for a hysterical New York Post clipping tacked next to a swatch of beloved, discontinued fabric. The challenge, of course, is translating it all to your pad, but that’s where I come in. Click here for a gallery of some of my favorites, beginning with our office board at Miles Redd, pictured at right (a group effort) and ending with an image from Todd Selby . I’ll leave you with a link to Albert Hadley ‘s fantastic bulletin board (he’s the Triscuit-serving, chain-smoking, utterly awesome dean of American decorators). Here’s to living large on the small!