QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY: THAT'S ME!
Back in 2006 and 2007, I had the pleasure of helping comedy screenwriter, Jim Herzfeld, create an atmosphere that worked best for his home. Like most straight men, Jim had never really gotten involved in the decorating or selection of furniture, fabric choices, window treatments or rugs. My assignment: to shift the entire feeling of the house, room-by-room.
The following was taken from an interview that Jim did on my behalf, and it reads as one of the coolest testimonials for how I do what I do best. Thank you, Jim!
Joey came to me when my life was in serious transition. I was recently divorced, but had decided to stay in the (rather large 7bd, 6 ba) house my ex and I had built, which was completely wallpapered and painted to my ex-wife's very girly tastes. Bear in mind, I was a 40-year-old straight guy whose last decorating experience was probably 20 years ago, in the 80's, when I had to decide which stolen street sign or cheesey Nagel print to hang on what wall of my college dorm.
Joey arrived and, rather than just telling me what to do, worked with me to develop my own sense of style. My house had been designed, both in and out, to resemble a Queen Anne style farmhouse, so making it a more contemporary (and a bit more masculine) without sacrificing some of the charm was key. The first thing Joey did was to prime over every bit of wallpaper with the exception of my daughter's rooms. We hit my bedroom first, the master, using a color (Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware) that looks restful, welcoming, and gender-neutral, though I must admit a few women visitors have asked me what the color is because they want to use it in their homes, as well. We then completely refurnished my bedroom changing the light fixtures and refurnising both the bed area and the sitting suite with nickel plated lamps tungsten floor lamps, dark wood tables, suede and velvet furnishings in shades of tan and chocolate brown... a silvery Plasma TV on the wall... It may sound overly dramatic, but when we were done with its makeover, the master bedroom went from being a symbol of failure to one of optimism and hope.
Downstairs, we went bold with my dining room, hanging a very large Spanish style mirror on the room's only wall and painting the walls a tomato-bisque red, but textured (using an overcoat of a darker, more brownish color and rag-rubbing it or something... you'll have to check with Joey on that one) so it had an old-world feel. I got a very cool Spanish/Moorish dining set... with the chairs upholstered in a paisley patterned gold and brown, and topped it off by hanging a huge wrought-iron and wildly colorful Tiffany-style globe lamp. You would think that doing something as bold and old world/latin flavored would clash with the bead-board and double-hung, 8-over-1 style windows of a Queen Anne, but it doesn't, mainly because of the softness of the colors and how they compliment the adjacent family room, the walls of which Joey painted and rag-rolled with similarly warm and complementary colors of gold and cream, with simulated wood grain (one of Joey's speciality) and silver accents around the fireplace and a purple-eggplant color (to go with the countertop's green and grey granite) on the face and cabinet-panels of the room's fully functional cocktail bar.
Suffice to say, the new house really helped me launch this new phase of my life... and the house reflects what I think, as opposed to what "we" thought (which was really what she thought). So it was a great experience, working with Joey, and I learned a lot about myself and my taste (hey, I HAVE SOME!) in the process.
MEET THE PARENTS, THE FOCKERS