Show Me Your Mess

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I’m the owner of Florence Street Interiors, a boutique interior design studio specializing in custom home design across the South Puget Sound and Washington Coast. So glad you’re here!

I’m Whitney

Hey There!

I’m so sorry for the mess. . .

This is inevitably the first thing I hear each time I meet with a new client in their home.   The houses are always tidy – kitchen counters are clean, carpets freshly vacuumed, and pets and children have been spirited away.  Nothing is actually messy.  Toys, laptops, and all those things we use to get through our days are stashed in closets and drawers but the client still presents each space with an apology: I’m sorry about the carpet, please ignore the basket of toys, I tried to find time to clean…

I always feel a twinge of guilt when a client says this to me.  I know you’ve gone to great lengths to make your home look nice and it absolutely does.  I want clients to stop apologizing for their homes.  Trust me when I say interior designers don’t judge you for living in your spaces.  People have become so attuned to everything looking Instagram-perfect that it can be hard to remember that our houses are messy places. Dishes and laundry pile up, toys find their way from the basket to the living room floor, and the cat is always going to cough up a hairball on the rug, never on the tile.  It is such a thoughtful gesture when clients tidy up, but when I come over I want you to show me your mess.   

That’s right-I want to see your mess. . .

Mess is an inevitable part of living.  Before its remodel, this guest room was a catchall for all the things that didn’t have a place to go.

Designer: Florence Street Interiors.  Photo Credit: Florence Street Interiors

Increased storage, new linens, and updated light fixtures transformed this room from disaster to delightful.

When I come over for a design consult, I want to know how you actually live in your space.  I want to see the cluttered kitchen, the pet hair on the couch and the box of crayons on the wedged in between the chair cushions.  I want to see the jackets and shoes piled up in the entry, the stack of mail on your desk, and the shampoo bottles toppled over in the bathroom.  Sure, this may not look great – but it is a great indicator of how you use the rooms in your home.  That cluttered kitchen tells me you love to cook and that you need a better, more effective layout and increased functional storage.  The pet hair and crayons tell me your home is kid- and pet-friendly and you’d be better served with durable, easy-care materials that look good but perform better.  The jackets and shoes and the piles of mail tell me your home is a busy one and needs functional drop zones and storage centers that makes organization second nature.   For better or for worse, the mess tells a story about how you use your home.  Interior designers aren’t here to critique your housekeeping; we’re here to provide solutions that make your home work with you, not against you.  

Your home should be a reflection of you – your taste, your lifestyle, and your habits.  There isn’t one cookie-cutter solution for each design problem.  In showing me how you use your home, we can work together to create a more functional –  and ultimately more beautiful – home.  So while I’ll always appreciate a tidy space, just know I like the messy ones, too.

© 2021 Florence Street Interiors