3 Inexplicable Things About Female Interior Design

Continuing our series of stuff that makes you scratch your head, we come upon the following:

  • Pillows, dozens of.  Why do women insist on piling pillows and cushions onto beds and couches when they serve absolutely no purpose?  FFS, it’s come to the point when before getting into bed or sitting on a couch, you first have to toss half a dozen extraneous pillows or cushions onto the floor, like you’re uncovering layers of sediment in a geological study.  (A sub-segment of this is women who put a hundred teddy bears on their bed — are we still seven years old?)
  • Wall tattoos.  You know what I’m talking about:  signs that portray utterly banal shit like “Be Joyful Today” or “Happiness Is A Choice”.  The most extreme exponent of this awful trait is Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper  fame.  She’ll do a decent job of decorating a room, and then add some bullshit about “Fall In Love With Life”, just to undo the whole thing.
  • Having a “tidy” kitchen.  Meaning that all small appliances and such have to be dragged out of a cupboard somewhere, plugged in and used, then put away again.  I can understand this if it’s not something you use every day, but stuff like coffee machines, toasters and kettles too?  And nothing repeat nothing would drive me crazier than having to scratch around for a fucking breadboard every time I felt like a sandwich or some toast.  Whenever I see one of those kitchens that is spotlessly clean, immaculate, and empty with only a bowl of fruit on a counter, I think it reveals a character flaw on the part of the woman of the house.

Feel free to add your pet designing peeves, in Comments.


  1. Being unattached, I don’t do #1 or #2. For #3, my appliances are tucked away in cupboards, but I also have power outlets in the cupboards. Thus, when I want to use the microwave, have some coffee, or open a can, I simply open the cupboard, use said appliance, and then close the cupboard.

    I don’t like the kitchen counter clutter either, but there’s a man’s way to do it.

  2. 1. I’m with you on the pillow bullshit. Not only do you have to excavate to get in the bed or sit on a couch/chair, where the hell do you put that pile of cutesy junk? If sitting, you can’t throw them on the floor in front of the seat; your feet have to go somewhere. If on the bed, tossing them on the floor is a setup for tripping and falling on the way to the pissoir in the dark of night, especially if you are a guest in unfamiliar territory. Don’t ask me how I know about that one.
    2. Designer magazines or TV shows that set the biggest flower arrangement in the house in front of a perfectly good fireplace.
    3. Gaines’ and Property Brothers’ penchant for gray and brown, gray and brown everywhere, punctuated by couches and chairs that are so square they look like they’re upholstered cast concrete, with backs so low you dare not lean back for fear of rupturing a kidney.
    4. Taking a lovely white oak or pine floor and putting a dark, dark stain on it that sinks into the new growth grain of the wood, but won’t take in the old growth part, resulting in a blotchy floor that looks like the Hell’s Angels had a square dance on it with oily, muddy boots.
    4a. A gray “engineered wood” floor that looks like a dirt floor or one that’s been neglected out in the weather for 50 years. Ben Napier of Home Town said it best “That’s not a wood floor, that’s a picture of a wood floor.”
    5. Modern fireplaces consisting of a silver, gray or black metal rectangular frame with a glass window with a gas or electric pseudo flame behind it. Gaines and Property Brothers are the main offenders here. It would be a lot cheaper and useful to mount a flat screen TV and loop a vid of a burning fireplace . That way, after you tire of the pseudo flame, you could at least watch a movie.
    6. Around here, the fucking “wall tattoos” are extended out of doors. It’s the millennial bitches’, not the men’s, penchant for feelgood virtue signalling signage in the front yard or on their front porch, especially the multi-colored one in Spanish, Arabic and English at the bottom saying “No matter where you are from we’re glad you are our neighbor.” Makes me want to own a flamethrower.

    1. Piling on here:
      -No painting over aged red brick.
      -No over-sized clocks (three feet diameter and more) on walls, simply because they ran out of photos or ideas.
      -No whitewashed anything (it makes it look like the cabinet maker got lazy.)
      -No barn doors on any room or cabinet not in or on a barn.
      -Absolutely no shiplap.
      -No appliance that can be controlled from a telephone at a distance.
      -No “nautical design features” unless you’re living on an actual boat.
      -No “backyard renovations” that cost more than the actual main house, unless the majority of the expense is for the bar-b-que/smoker upgrades.
      -Vaulted ceilings are a waste of conditioned air space.

  3. My take:
    1) We have some, three pillows (other than those we actually USE) on the bed when it’s made (which doesn’t happen unless we have company). With a couple small exceptions all the pillows on the sofas are intended for use.

    2) In our old house we had our monogram over the bed, and “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord – Joshua 24:15” in our family room. Now we mostly have canvases with some sayings on them, seems a good compromise because we don’t need to paint if we (she) gets tired of them.

    3) Stuff that’s used all the time (coffee-maker, toaster) or things that are hard for her to handle if I’m not around (Kitchenaid mixer) are out. Things that aren’t used often (hand-mixer, espresso maker, extra coffee pots for when we have company) are in a cupboard. We don’t have a ton of counter space, so we keep as much free work-space as possible. As for cutting boards, they’re put away, but we know where they are and it’s no more inconvenient that having it standing somewhere, unless you keep it constantly ON the counter meaning you have to move it if you don’t want it.

    As for my pet peeves:
    – When a woman designs a house that’s so feminine it seems impossible for a man to be comfortable in it. A guy I used to know lived in a house like that, the furniture was so dainty I was afraid to sit on a chair (and he was bigger than I am), there were flowers and bows and cutsie knick-knacks everywhere. Save that stuff for your daughter’s bedroom.
    – Clutter. The parents of a girl I was friends with back when (she wanted to be “more” than friends, but (a) she outweighed me by three figures, maybe in kilograms and (b) she was a psycho) had a house with knick-knacks everywhere, mostly glass dishes/bottles/candy-dishes/cups/etc on literally EVERY level surface. Coffee tables, end tables, piano were covered, there was not a single place to put a glass down without knocking something over. I don’t know how her mother ever found time to do anything but dust (and the stuff WAS clean).

  4. Painting over perfectly beautiful wood grain. I just go all warm and fuzzy over tongue and groove knotty pine.

    Our daughter has a wall tattoo in her kitchen–“Bring your fat pants”. Yes, ma’am.

    1. painting over beautiful wood grain should be a punishable offense.

      Never heard of “wall tattoos.” It’s very appropriate though. Words of inspiration painted or even as pictures on the walls creep me out. If I see those motivation posters in an office I know that my resume is getting withdrawn asap. They remind me of the slogans in 1984.

      If we’re going to put up these silly “Live, Laugh Love” type crap, we need to butch it up with “two to the chest, one to the head” and “no tools loaned out” or “You can never have too much whiskey, too many books or too much ammunition, until you move,” “Sweat more, bleed less,” “Fuck your Feelings” and other more masculine phrases.


    1. Ditto that other bullshit known as “decorative hand towels” in the guest bathroom.

      I always use them, whether at home or at someone else’s house. Either way, it’s not my problem.

  5. Interesting, most interesting that some of you all know what they are showing on HGTV or as I used to call it when my wife watched it a lot, Highly Gay TV. We gave it up when we stepped away from a dish TV thing and went cheaper and now we are cheaper than that with no broadcast or current TV, only old movies and TV series we get on our fiber optic thingy.

    Having said all of that I have a daughter in her early 40’s whose husband has changed jobs three times in the last five years, each for the better requiring selling their homes, moving from Basalt Colorado to Savannah Georgia then to Grosse Pointe Park Michigan and daughter knows how to stage her home. She made out like a bandit each time, she was and still is in marketing and understands presentations, she was in charge of photos for catalogs of high end clothing and she learned how to be a bitch getting each page exactly right with no clutter or distractions even when doing photo shoots outside. She also flipped a little house in a Detroit suburb last year she purchased as a rental and then became concerned with the flu, in each case she would spend a month setting each room up, moving most of the stuff out to storage and then bringing in her chosen stuff, lots of it old stuff bought in yard sales to set the mood in each room, in order to get top dollar she spent around $10,000 on her nice home in a Savannah suburb that they had only owned from 18 months, palm trees were trimmed, pool was cleaned and scrubbed, she priced it about $30K over what the realtor who she liked suggested and she tripled her prep investment selling the home she was in a year and a half for a nice profit. That is what you see on those goofy TV shows, not homes folks live in but marketing of real estate and done with a lot TV fiction thrown in. So that’s my take on what people see on those silly house flipper shows, marketing which is kind of like photos on the menu at the hamburger stores.

    Now daughter lives in a nice home that looks lived in with her husband and three kids, three to 17 years old and she keeps her kids clean and home mostly picked up which is a complete improvement over her college days when she lived with a friend in an apartment that looked as if a person should have third world inoculations just to visit and sit down, it’s nice to see our kids grow up and become responsible people, all three of them married to nice people, int their 40’s and 50’s, making it through this crappy time being conservative middle age, people and wondering how they turned out so well. That was a little bit of a story turn to the right and I have no idea what kind of world the grand critters will live in years from now. I never understood when my dad born in 1903 hated beatniks in the 50’s and really was disgusted with all of the hippie shit in the 60’s and 70’s and we did get a little correction during the 80’s so there’s that.

    And back to pillows, we do have a few extra on the bed and the first thing my wife and do in the morning when the last one gets up, old and retired I can read well into the night and sleep late, is we make the bed together which takes about 45 seconds. We also have a functional kitchen with stuff I use regularly within reach, my knives, cutting boards, olive oil and vinegars, coffee maker and my vacuum sealer thing because with just the two of us lots of meat is sold in larger packs for the best price and I have learned to take the excess raw food, seal and date it and put it in the freezer as I am preparing the meal. We also clean up the kitchen after every meal putting everything in its place because we downsized years ago to a nice little place and we don’t have enough room to be very messy.

    As for things on the wall I have the front bedroom for a small office with a nice deer head and old photos of dead relatives on the wall, the youngest of them born well over 100 years ago, our front room has a nice mounted set of deer antlers my granddad killed about 110 years ago, the bleached skull of the only sheep I ever shoot over the fireplace along with a few very old Kraut beer steins that I brought back from my Army time over 50 years ago, we have old stuff that has stories and don’t have any of that decorator stuff just to put color on the wall.

    Two cups of coffee and I make a silly little bit of a story mostly about me and my family but I think that might be due to the fact that I have read four Larry McMurtry books this past week that remind me of my days in the same time frame growing up in a small town about 100 miles away from Archer City, damn that man could tell a good tale.

  6. My wife did all 3 of those things before her mental illness progressed to the point where she barely gets out of bed anymore. I’m finally able to at least return the kitchen to a semblance of functionality….

  7. Female interior decorator worst pet peeve – making me hide the gun safe in the closet instead of making it a centerpiece in the living room.

    Second – open concept housing where she feels that she can stand in the kitchen and talk to me, expecting me to hear her from 3 rooms away since there’s still a direct line of sight. No, I can’t hear you and if there was a wall or two between us, you’d at least know to walk into the same room as me.

    Finally, and maybe this isn’t so much women but making sure every house has both formals (living and dining) when 99% of the time we eat in the kitchen nook and hang in the den. If I’m going to have two useless rooms to heat and cool, let me at least install a pool table and wet bar. But nooooooo – got to have a formal dining table and formal (meaning expensive and uncomfortable) couch and chairs. Dang it.

    1. Don,
      You’re right about the uncomfortable formal rooms.

      when we bought our house 14 years ago, our realtor and our loan agent both kept encouraging us to buy a McMansion and we kept telling them no. We’re not spending money on a bigger house to heat, bigger yard to maintain and more rooms to furnish. We stuck with a three bedroom cape with a small playroom turned into a den. The yard takes about 90 min to mow with a push mower. The driveway takes a half hour or so to clear of snow. Raking leaves is about 3/4 of a day for one person. We didn’t spend a lot to furnish the house, maintenance is rather minimal and heating is cheap since we installed a pellet stove.


    2. That “formal dining room” thing is only appropriate if needing to wine and dine clients — i.e. at a certain level of housing luxury — or if your house is always the location for large family Thanksgiving / Christmas / Easter / birthday dinners.
      It’s the one good thing about living in a 960sqft apartment — no useless rooms.

    3. This isnt rooms, but my friend from childhood, his mom wouldn’t let us kids run on the front yard. The lawn had to be perfect. And in winter we couldn’t walk in the back yard, the blanket of snow had to be undisturbed. It was weird. Needless to say we always played in my yard.

  8. I was shocked by the pillow thing when I got married. I remember doing the math and realizing, given the trend at year 2, if we were married 50 years, there would be over 600 pillows in the house by then.

    My personal peeve is televisions over the fireplace. Watching a television over a fireplace is a literal pain in the neck. The TV is up to high to get a proper viewing angle. You can’t run the fire in the fireplace, or it is either too hot to sit close to the TV — not that I sit right up on it; our viewing distance is set up to 10 feet. But the high angle means you have to get closer to the fire to get a reasonable distance to the TV.

    And even then, you’ve got the heat from the fire taxing the electronics in the television, the soot from anytime you don’t get an immediate strong updraft, and all kinds of other reasons that a television over the fireplace is a bad idea.

    Divide your room. Put some seating near the fire for the people who want to visit and talk by the fire, and put some seating facing the TV on its OWN WALL, for the people who want to, whatever people do with televisions, watch Kardashians talk to Johnny Carson or something. Once I had youtube and its DIY videos on the television, I haven’t turned back to Programming.

      1. That’s the hole with brick around it in the lower half of a wall where your wife [female decorator] sets the biggest fucking vase or kettle imaginable containing the most humongous, ostentatious silk flower arrangement she can find.

      2. I’d like to add one more thought. If you’re in your 20s or 30s and you notice any of these trends beginning to form in your marital life, consider what is pending for you should you come (God forbid) to a parting of the ways, of if you make it to your 70s and one day your Significant Other says “we need to decide who gets what when we die.”

        In our house there are notes on just about everything with names of recipients, and directions on where to send stuff if the lucky heirs can’t come to pick up their prizes.

      3. It’s the thing you use to heat your house once every five years when the power and heat go out in February.

  9. My lovely lady works from home. She has an entire room dedicated to being a home office and for some reason she has to put the computer away in a drawer every day.
    Can’t leave the laptop on the desk that isn’t going to be used for anything else until tomorrow. I actually tried to argue about it, then gave up. Not my problem.

  10. Throw rugs. Fucking everywhere.

    Matchy matchy colour schemes. To the point where the “Artwork” is chosen based on its colour palette.

    Colour stories. This is a real thing, apparently. Room A this time is restful tones of pale blue and some sort of washed mustard (see above). Every purveyor of artwork in the city has to be visited (twice) to find a piece that fits in. Next year, of course Room A becomes our energising room (whateverthefuckthatis) and requires a new colour story. Repeat.

    My wife is on a first name basis with cushion sellers.

    We have been married for thirty five years. I write this sitting on the thirteenth lounge suite we have bought in that time. Yes, you read that correctly, the average lifespan of of a lounge in our house is three years.

    I became resigned to the fact many years ago that the simplest thing is to assume you have got full value out of every bit of furniture in your house and that you mentally add the cost of a complete refit EVERY time you move. Saves time and arguments.

    Now this sounds like a problem, I know. But put it in context, I buy a new car every three years or so, own *ahem* some guitars, amps, PA gear etc, a boat and other necessities.

    Everyone needs a hobby……

  11. The Tidy Kitchen,
    Some of our appliances are put away because they’re not used regularly. Quite a few are out on the counter because they are used daily or that’s the best place to store them. Generally the cabinets are filled with food, pots, pans etc.

    My grandparent’s house was a colonial built in the 1920s or so. It had a pantry and I miss a pantry very much.


  12. And don’t try touching the fruit. Either they get angry that you disturbed the arrangement and/or it’s wax or plastic, not real fruit.

    1. Ahem.
      At a buffet at the salad bar, I noticed a lovely display of a lovely life-like life-size three-cluster of rubber (latex?) asparagus.
      I added it to my plate.
      The three broad soft tips slightly bend at a lovely angle.
      I think such a lovely decorator touch is lovely on the night-stand on my side of the bed…

  13. My wife got upset with the Wall Tat I wanted.

    “Someone is always stronger, faster or better trained than you.
    He’s the one you have to kill first.”

    We came to a compromise. She did not put any up and neither did I.

  14. 2003, my Very Significant Other got sick.
    In less than a week — while selling everything — we converted a 1997 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to my concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
    Less than a week after reading the diagnosis, we hit the road from Oregon with a vague goal of ‘south’.
    2010, we converted a commercial trailer to our concept of a toy-hauler for our people-propelled exploring gadgets.

    Our home is three paces across by seven paces long.
    Our toy-hauler is three paces across by nine paces long, and totes kayaks, mountain bikes, SCUBA gear, and many months of food to extend our stays at the remote mountain lakes and isolated Baja beaches we prefer.
    With nearly two decades of full-time live-aboard, we reduced our clutter to a few full-size books about full-time living aboard an ExpeditionVehicle.
    No cabinets to mimic a stand-still house.
    Clothes/tools/shoes and new/spare engine-parts store in crates under the bed.

    Indoors, we cook on a one-burner induction hot-plate.
    Done, our entire indoor kitchen slides back into a vertical slot among our revolving binders of drawings, scribblings, and water-colors slowly transforming into birthday cards and generalized keep-in-touch connections via the paper-based postal system.
    Most of our time is outside — cooking, showers, hugs and holding hands while watching the sunrise.

    Discussions with other full-timers reveal a consistent realization:
    * most folks in stand-still houses work 24/7 to afford extravagant mortgages to store rarely-used stuff in rarely-accessed closets and bedrooms and garages

    I am pretty sure…
    * The stuff is less important than the people and the memories we create.
    Looking around the rig, I count three pillows for two people!
    There is only one possible conclusion — the end is near!

Comments are closed.