Interior Decorating
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Smoke and Mirrors Part 1




I am on a moving walkway at the airport walking in the wrong direction with wheelless oversized luggage carrying a toddler with a banana, while wearing stilettos.  Not really, but really.  Today I have a head cold.  My children got me sick for the 800th time this year.  I get better, they get sick, they get better, I get sick, I get better, they get sick…when we aren’t doing this fun exchange there is the snow that renders every road in Washington DC impassable resulting in school delays and closures and more time together in my house. As I was saying, it is snowing outside, rumor of early release from school, and a head cold, but that is ok because I just picked up my whole house.  I mean it is GOOOOOOD.  Piles gone.  Dishes done.  Beds made.  Clean.  Filed. Shiney. Did you hear me?  Totally ready to go. Immaculate. So naturally today my landlord decides today is the day that the ceiling will be cut out of my living room and dry wall replaced.  Saws, tarps, large equipment, ladders, toilets.  Yeah, toilets.  Because the toilet is being replaced too and in the middle of said replacement my landlord yells down, “Jennifer don’t come up here and ignore the popping sound and smell.”

Have you ever carried a toddler holding a banana?  You will always end up a mess.

I can’t pretend this is a new phenomenon for me.  Crazy and chaos are friends and shadow me closely. Over the years I have developed a smoke and mirrors technique to dealing with this inside my home which I teach all my staging clients. Have one thing in each room that makes a great statement and no one will notice the mess, as much.

For example,


The statement piece in the above picture is clearly the toilet.  No one notices the tarp, tools, shoes, dust, or mess.


Clearly the statement piece in this picture is the dog, or the snow shoes.  Either way no one notices the crime scene tape on the floor because of the smoke and mirrors…see?  You don’t see a thing wrong because you are too busy noticing my statement pieces.

In my next post I’ll show you some more “real” examples.  I need to go get my landlord bleach and garbage bags now.  Really.


If you enjoyed this post try: Puke is my Kryptonite, Hey Pottery Barn Check Me Out, and Mess=Creativity.


  1. Victoria Savu says

    At least you don’t have the stomach flu. Sorry Hope I didn’t just jinx you.

  2. Sharon says

    OMG! Thank god you got a dog! You’re right, all I see is that cute ball of fur!

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