Beware-This Could Happen To YOU!!-- The Dreaded Mushroom Effect

Well, it has been a craaaazy couple of weeks...starting with my 14 year old being hospitalized on Memorial Day (he is thankfully home now and on the mend--we are so grateful!), followed by construction starting this week on our own house (more on this soon). SO, I decided I needed to reread the article below which I wrote last year. I am hoping it might be helpful to you too!:  

So, a couple of weeks ago I received a text from my cousin that went something like this...


"Painted the living room....

I now want to get rid of everything I own."


I had to chuckle. Has this ever happened to you?

You start with what would seem like a quick fix or decor update, and the next thing you know you are longing to change everything about that room, the next room, and maybe even the color of the flowers that are planted outside near your mailbox.

It is something I will call (da da da dummmm)

The Mushroom Effect...(evil laugh)....Mushroom Effect 1

It has happened to the best of us. We want to make a positive change, and the next thing we know we are rethinking things that never bothered us before.mushrom effect 2

My cousin lives in a huge (aka tiny) apartment in Brooklyn Heights, NY with her husband and three year old son. Their 650 square feet (considered spacious by NYC standards) has to be everything to everyone...a challenge for sure.Mushroom Effect 4Mushroom Effect 3

(the living room seating is also their guest accommodations, a sometime home office, and always the favorite spot for the cat to lie in the sun....)


And I have to say I think this propensity to question everything is a very good thing. Change is good, right?? When we tear a room apart to paint or reorganize, we have an opportunity to see things in a new light.


One just has to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater... There are pitfalls that quickly get one in over their head--let's talk about how to make sure that doesn't happen:Mushroom Effect 5

  • Start With A Plan: I know, DUH, right? Sorry if I sound like a broken record, but having a detailed scope in mind at the start, and a specific budget that won't stress you out too much later on, is the best way to keep yourself from getting carried away when emotions run high, or when you start drinking wine to make the work go faster.
  • Try To Identify Your True Feelings: If you are like my cousin, and find yourself disgusted and disgruntled mid-project (or perhaps angry with your significant other) have a heart to heart with yourself. Is it really the room? Its contents? The paint color? HIM? OR are you just really stressed out by the fact that everything is in disarray?? It can be a combination of all of these things, but be sure to recognize how stressful and unsettling renovations is hard to feel happy and peaceful in the middle of chaos.
  • Play With Changes That Don't Cost A Dime: Move furniture around and create a new layout, bring in artwork from another room for a fresh look, get rid of at least 10 objects from the space that probably weren't being used anyway--these are all ways of improving the space that are FREE. Amazing.
  • Make Sure You Finish What You Started: Don't allow yourself to be distracted by all these other things that now seem to need your attention. You started out wanting to change A, so don't start on B until A is completed. A room littered with unfinished projects will be more frustrating than one that isn't perfectly decorated. Trust me, I know. Mushroom Effect 6My cousin's apartment in still in flux, but I feel confident that the result will be very good. Meanwhile, I am here when she needs I am for help with vexing design questions, and organizational conundrums..