Find a job ad in the paper. Write about your life if you had that job
(The job ad I found was for a freelance interior decorator in London)
I have had some odd requests since I started doing this. I had one client who was completely superstitious of the colour green, which was difficult to deal with as she wanted me to make her office space seem more ‘outdoorsy’. Another client told me that he didn’t want me to paint his bedroom walls blue even though his wife had insisted on cerulean to be the colour of the feature wall. His reasoning was that his secretary didn’t like the colour blue. All I could do was smile and nod. The customer is always right after all. And since I was still building up my portfolio I needed to take whatever jobs I could get.
So that’s where Lacey Benson comes in. Recently divorced and looking to overhaul her entire house. Five bedrooms, a dining room that seats about ten, a sitting room and a kitchen that’s almost as big as my entire apartment.
‘Money is no object, my dear ex-husband is paying for it.’
So of course I’m going to take this job. There’s just one thing. Ms. Benson is big into Feng Shui.
‘I need positive energy in my life. This house has been so negative recently, I need to change it. I need to invite the positive energy back in.’
Cue more nodding and smiling from me. I know nothing about Feng Shui. We studied it, briefly, at the beginning of my degree course, but it was never something I was interested in. Positive and negative energy, chi, it all just seemed like rubbish to me. If you’re having a bad day then your couch facing the door isn’t going to make it any better. But I’m not in the business of turning down a job so here I am, sitting at my desk trying to figure out the best place to put a mirror according to Lacey’s chi. Google don’t fail me now. Okay so, the couch has to go against a wall, furthest from the door. No floating couches. Lacey’s sitting room is basically the size of a football pitch, but yeah, I can put the couch right at the back. And this house does not need a lot of mirrors, it’s plenty big already, why does this keep telling me to recirculate the energy with mirrors.
I’ve sent Lacey some photos of furniture I think would go well in her house. She has basically rejected it all. She doesn’t like the splashes of red that I’ve suggested for the living room. I tried to explain to her that the sitting room matches the element of fire and her south bagua (which I had to look up at least five times before I got the gist of what it meant) but she told me to change it, she wanted more earthy colours. She hadn’t struck me as a particularly rustic type of person, but the customer knows best, so I got to work looking for less red and more beiges and browns. I found the most beautiful round oak coffee table that would have looked perfect with a beige leather couch I found.
‘I don’t want it to look like I live in a shed.’ Was the email I got back.
Back to square one.
I decide to hold back on the sitting room until I can figure out exactly what she wants and move on to the kitchen. That should be an easy one. White is the perfect colour for a kitchen. Even Feng Shui can’t tell me white is a bad colour. Throw a few metal appliances and a soft wooden countertop in and I’ll be flying.
‘I want a blue kitchen.’
Okay, I can deal with that. Cut out the metal appliances, opt for some calming blue ones. Although nothing I’ve read about Feng Shui so far has talked about a blue kitchen. It seems like more of a bathroom or bedroom colour. But what do I know, I’m just the decorator.
I’ve finally moved on ton the bedroom. She’s pretty clear about this one, She wants purple. Lilac to be exact. She wants the main wall behind her bed to be lilac with matching curtains and throws. That I can do. The only problem is the main wall she wants is facing the door. That’s one Feng Shui rule that stuck out to me. The coffin position. I asked her about it. She shooed me away.
‘Don’t be silly, where else would I put my bed but up against that wall.’
What was the point in me wasting hours of my life looking up where to put furniture and what colours to use when she didn’t have a clue herself. It was getting obvious that Lacey was just spouting rubbish about her energy and her chi. She had no more of a clue than I did.
My email pings with another rejection from her. She doesn’t like the curtains I’ve picked for her. They’re not lilac enough.
Bring back the cheating husband and his secretary, all is forgiven.