The undecorate trend and me

I have a confession to make. I have never made my bed. I blame my mother. She was the one that made my bed for me – every day – when I was growing up.

And now, after all these years of neglecting to tuck in sheets with hospital corner precision and plump up bed pillows, I am in style.

The newest trend in home decorating rejects perfection and embraces a welcoming, creative, lived-in, individualized home environment. With relief and relish, I embrace this sea change.


The ideal, says Christiane Lemieux, in her book Undecorate: The No Rules Approach to Interior Design, is of “unfussy, lived-in, creative imperfect homes…cleverness over money…personality over hired expertise, idiosyncrasy over polish.”

I can relate. So, in my very formal Spanish-style abode, replete with red tile roof and decorative black, wrought-iron railings, samples of my past slice-of-life  “Incidentally, Iris” columns are hung from a battered coat rack in the corner of my first floor half bath.

A cluster of my youngest son’s watercolor paintings from 3rd grade flank a much more sophisticated and pricey lithograph depicting a floral tapestry.

The four glass bottles my husband found buried below the surface on a lot he was developing in Cincinnati are positioned adjacent to the MacKenzie Child’s vase and matching candlesticks.

Call it artfully disheveled. Call it informal personal style. Not everything matching.  Undecorated cache. Personalized panache.

And, alas, this new trend toward non-contrived casualness is not just a decorating choice but seems to be bleeding into lifestyle choices as well.

It’s having a crowd over for Shabbat dinner without polishing the candle sticks. Without having made the challah from scratch. Without having scoured the kitchen sink. It’s being comfortable with who you are and where you are and what you have become or not become.

It’s a reflection of your most innermost self – not always neat and tidy – but who you are nonetheless.

Iris Ruth Pastor is busy adapting to being a long distance grandparent, coping with the empty nest and waging a battle against the sagging tush and other miscellaneous aggravations that come her way in the course of the day.

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