• Tell Your Friends

Right now, I’m in San Francisco, a city which I’ve never been to before but have been dreaming of visiting. After a few hours here, my best friend texted me two images she found of our apartment back in the day. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect; it was she and I who’d planned to save up all of our money from waiting tables to come here and check out all the city has to offer. Well, there is something else I would like to offer: advice to my current self to the me that existed in 1997. My design skills back then S-U-C-K-E-D.

First Designs

Even when I was in college with absolutely zero design experience, I was the go-to person in my social world for all things interior design and or do-it-yourself. Sure, things are different now, especially with 14 years of trial and error under my belt; however, I truly had one of those, “What the hell was I thinking?” moments when I got these two images.

First Designs

One thing I like: The color blocking and simple dressing up of found-on-the-side-of-the-road-furnishings. A few things I am horrified by: Everything else. Above all, the one thing I took away from this trip down Bad Design Memory Lane is that being a designer or decorator is kinda like having vocal or acting talent; it’s always there, you just need experience and a little bit of training to fine tune it.

Anyone else have any old pictures of their first attempt at decorating and design that, although hysterical now, was something for which to be proud back then?

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Design Inspiration

8 Responses

  1. [...] It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time HGTV Design Happens Fri, November 18, 2011 7:00 AM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate this story Share (function(){var [...]

  2. [...] It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time HGTV Design Happens Fri, November 18, 2011 7:00 AM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate this story Share (function(){var [...]

  3. Lori says:

    Oh, you amazing, brave, repentant soul. :) There's some definite Different World vibe going on with all those primary colors.
    My design "what was I thinking?" that comes to mind is stringing white Christmas lights over my desk and entry way. Ambiance, I suppose. Thinking back, it was less twinkle and more dark green wire mess everywhere. The cherry on top? I had low ceilings.
    I can't help but think, what is our "what are we thinking??" right now. Is yellow and grey SO 2010? Thinking DIY will look designer instead of "I've never picked up a paint brush before today"? Boring straight line couches? Ikea? LOL! Seriously. What will we be embarrassed about 15 years from now?
    …seemed like a good idea at the time.

  4. CplusE says:

    You forgot to mention that at least you had excellent taste in dogs — Dalmatians rule!!!

    I wish I had more pictures of my first feeble attempts at interior design, but I've never been a very enthusiastic photographer. What I seem to remember most about those early apartments is abominably bad flooring — peeling brown linoleum in the first, avocado green sculpted carpet plus peeling vinyl in the next, orange-and-gold shag in another, and a particularly obnoxious red-and-black shag in the first house I shared with roommates. Considering what we had to work with (or against!), I think my roommates and I did a fairly good job of decorating over the years! And to this day I have a distinct aversion to low quality flooring options, which is not necessarily a bad thing! xD

  5. Dawn Basa says:

    Remember when you helped me paint my bedroom in West Boca? We used white paint instead of white primer, and it took SEVERAL cans of paint to cover the purple walls that the previous owner had painted. White paint was spattered everywhere (even on my alarm clock, laughed several years with that.) You helped me sponge paint my walls blue, but it turned out darker than I had planned. We sponge painted yellow sun, moon & stars in the top corners of my walls. Fun times! :) ~Dawn (Basa) Christerson

  6. The mere idea of Brian Patrick Flynn sponge painting makes me happy. We should all thank our lucky stars that we can look back on our old work and laugh!

  7. Kayla@HGTV says:

    I love this post so, so much. When I was younger, my bedroom had bright yellow walls and all the decor was cheetah print/African-themed. It took a good year a half for the walls to be painted the right color for some reason, so it was in this really bad, awkward transition phase for way too long. I think people thought the yellow walls were part of the color scheme.

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