In Which I Snark About Something Regarding Interior Design Whilst Sharing Words Of Wisdom

If you ask me “what is your passion?” I will answer that it is “interior design.”  

I think of myself as an active amateur interior designer because I like putting objects and ideas together to make any space, real or virtual, pretty.  I love the principles of design and all the possibilities.

After some introspection I’ve realized that I’m a problem solver at heart and design is nothing more than solving the problem of how to live in a way that is congruent with your core values.

Thus I keep my eyes open to any possible design trend that might enhance our transitional-style home and add value to it.  Earlier this week when I saw this article, Real-Estate Agents Think These Are the 3 Most Enticing Home Features, I clicked on it to read what it had to say.

[Spoiler alert] The three most-used keywords, therefore enticing home features, in real estate listings are: granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances.  We have those three things so we are on trend should we want to sell this house, which we don’t.

Make no mistake about that.

But getting to my snarky point here, if you look at the photo at the top of the article you will see that it is of a gorgeous kitchen whose teal-colored cabinets and gold-tone handles make me drool.  So much love.

However, as you continue looking at the photo you will notice that the kitchen has hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, but alas and alack, the kitchen has marble countertops.

Now far be it from me, an active amateur interior designer, to tell domino.com that their choice of photo does not support the facts in the article, but it doesn’t.  And it lends credence to something I’ve found to be universally true and shall share with you, my gentle readers.

Life is in the details. Pay attention.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

118 thoughts on “In Which I Snark About Something Regarding Interior Design Whilst Sharing Words Of Wisdom”

    1. Book Club Mom, I don’t think it’s asking too much to have a photo that reflects the copy in an article, but that’s just me. You know if you hang onto your out-of-date kitchen long enough it’ll come back into fashion. That’s my take on the cyclical nature of interior design.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, while there’s nothing wrong with you not knowing the difference between these two stones, IF you’re publishing a website dedicated to interior design I feel that you should know the difference. Honestly… 😑

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura, yes, good writing, like life, is all in the details. I mean, if’n your gig is interior design then I’m thinking you should demonstrate your awareness of the details regarding the stone you talk about. Just saying.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. granite = rock and marble = rock so, rock = rock in the eyes of the writer of the piece? Yes? No?

    Confession time. I am a an amateur rockhound, and it pains me to admit, that I would have probably overlooked the gross error in the piece. Because I am as far from being an active amateur interior designer as one could imagine. AND I consider myself someone who pays attention to the details!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, I thought this kitchen was so pretty that I took a long hard stare at it and then realized the mistake. I don’t know if I’d have noticed if I wasn’t so smitten with the kitchen colors. But still, shouldn’t an interior design website know the difference between marble and granite?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even though we have granite, stainless steel and hardwoods I imagine some young couple walking through someday saying (like you see on all those Real Estate shows), “it’s a good size, but a little dated.” Or, “this is a total gut job. ” We remodeled about 15 years ago so I’m sure it’s no longer hip.

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    1. dawn, I agree with you. Our *new* kitchen is 10 years old now meaning, like you said, it’s a little out of date. I can live with that and plan to do so for many years to come. But if I was into getting a new kitchen I can assure you I’d know the difference between granite and marble. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely. I wonder what will be the latest and greatest in appliances and countertops when I get ready to remodel again, say in about 10 years. The stainless and granite thing has been a ‘thing’ for so long now.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, when I started writing this personal blog I said that my thesis statement for it was: life is in the details so I’ll share them here. I still abide by that idea and find it annoying when I stumble upon something, like this article from a reputable source, wherein one small detail is wrong. *le sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love that teal color! Nope, not granite. Marble is not a good material to use in a kitchen. Do you think it could be a quartz man-made pattern masquerading as granite? We have white cabinets but our unique island is a glazed green and I still love it (all 17 years old).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I’d never put marble in a kitchen either. You could be right that this counter is some sort of manmade one, but it doesn’t look like granite no matter what it is. Your kitchen sounds lovely. I like the idea of glazed green cabinets in a kitchen, if for no other reason than it would remind me to eat my veggies!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, if you liked that, you’ll love this. I recently had reason to look up the meaning of the word ‘sward.’ As it turns out, it’s an old word that means a piece of grass-covered earth, but when I typed ‘sward’ into the Google search engine look what showed up. I never use voice recognition, but it seems that someone might be. Reason #84,932 to remember: the internet isn’t always right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. shoreacres, the internet may not always be right but it can be darned entertaining. Fascinating search query results for sward, a word I’ve never heard of but will now remember. I tell you, gotta laugh at stuff or go crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s my snark . . . meh! I am tired of hearing about stainless steel appliances, double vanities in the master, and “here are the colors of the year.” Really?! So I don’t even peruse articles like that.

    I enjoy my own eclectic/eccentric take/taste in interior decor. 😆

    But good catch, AB. I get a kick from catching mixed up muddled up scenes in movies and on tv and/or plot and timeline issues in books. It means I was paying attention . . . to the details!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nancy, I take your point. I think that if you read too much on any topic you’ll end up irritated by it. Interior design is no different, but it calls to me nonetheless. I enjoy envisioning the possibilities.

      I, too, am good at finding the flaws in movie scenes or TV shows that are supposedly set in the past but just happen to have a modern element in them. It’s the details I like– and snark about.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Jill, quartz is *the* thing now? Sure, I can live with that. But I suspect that it depends on where you live, how much you have to spend, and who advertises on the website or magazine that features the article. Cynical, me?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between marble and granite… and my hometown is even named after granite. That’s how dumb I am about interior design. I guess cement doesn’t count as hardwood floors? Rats, I should have demanded the plumbers put hardwood over my kitchen trench they dug instead of Quikrete…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. evilsquirrel13, I only know the difference between the two stones because we had our kitchen remodeled & I learned about various stones in the process of that.

      You do know that concrete counters are a thing? I don’t think they’re made of Quikcrete, but something like that. As for hardwood in your basement, I’m positive cement is the better option. You made the right choice!

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      1. Well, I don’t exactly have a basement… which is why they had to jackhammer through my kitchen floor to begin with. If I did have a basement, though, it could be made of concrete, steel, kryptonite… whatever, and it would probably still leak every time it rained. My town is cursed with leaky basements…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post and comments left by readers of that article spotted the contradictory photo also! See, I read comments!

    Yes, life is definitely in the details and that is why this old brain strives to keep details to a bare minimum as much as possible! Otherwise I am done for😂. I strive to simplify my life – placing keys in the same spot all the time so having an esthetically pleasing key holder on the wall or counter is helpful. Maybe that speaks to your blog, maybe not, but I had fun reading it!

    Susan Grace

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Susan, your approach to simplifying as you age in order to keep the details straight is how I go through my life, too. Design is all about solutions– and all the better if the details are esthetically pleasing. I think that’s why interior design calls to me: practical + pretty in one place.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Carol, I’m not sure I’d have noticed the mistake if I hadn’t been so taken with that kitchen as a whole. I’ve no idea why granite is the big deal that it is, but keywords don’t lie, I guess. Still, I think the photo should demonstrate what the words say. 🙄

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  8. We had to put in granite countertops just to sell our house over three years ago. It bugged me because I didn’t get to enjoy the investment. I have all three of the cool trends in our current house, but what I like most is the pines & oaks in the preserve and ducks gliding on the lake – yes, really!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marian, I’d be bummed too if I never got the opportunity to enjoy the granite. Sad for you about that. I’d love to have your view of nature and wouldn’t care one whit about what my kitchen counter was made of, if I had ducks gliding by.

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  9. I am probably going to end up painting my cabinets. Good to know that I may end up briefly trendy if I go with the Copenhagen blue that I would like to use. I think the marble is funny in their picture, too. But what really makes me laugh are the House Hunter type shows where the people don’t care whether the appliances are bottom of the line as long as they’re stainless steel. I loathe my stainless steel appliances. No matter what I do, they never look clean.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zazzy, I’d like your color choice for your cabinets. At one point we painted our bathroom cabinets a mossy green and it was easy to live with. When it comes to any color as long as you like it, then *whatever* to trends.

      Before these stainless steel appliances we had black appliances and those things never looked clean + they absorbed all the light in the kitchen. Our stainless ones are actually easier to keep clean. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tell me your secret! Nothing I’ve tried has worked so I’m willing to try just about anything.

        If I won the lottery, my dream kitchen would have red or blue Viking appliances. Or maybe the kind that hide behind cabinetry.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I rarely use the official stainless steel cleaning products, but when I do I use Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes following up with a wet paper towel to dilute the intensity of the product. Usually I use J.R. Watkins All Purpose Cleaner with a paper towel and it does the trick. Of course, the brand on appliance you have may influence how well they get clean. There are different kinds of stainless steel [I think].

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh dear, dear, dear … amateur error. I’m with you all the way on the importance of detail. The number of times I’ve selected a photo to illustrate a blog post and then spotted something in the detail which has made me scrap it and go on the hunt for something better.

    The picture does bring to mind an ex-colleague (Italian/German married to an Irish lady) who had his house re-modelled but was determined to keep the budget low. He wanted granite worktops but baulked at the price till he met a man in the pub with a funeral business. Yup, he ended up with marble worktops instead which his wife and daughters still refer to as gravestones 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. deb, what a funny story! He got his counter from a gravestone manufacturer? That is the sort of skit you’d find on SNL. I tell you, that goes to prove that anything is possible, but not preferable. Details, dude. Details.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Check, check, and check. Although, I’m a bit surprised that those items are still on trend. We did a huge whole-house remodel/addition 20 years ago so I would have expected them to be out-of-style by now. I’m a stickler for details too and that mistake would have bugged me also… but even worse is the choice of marble for kitchen countertops. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, I’m surprised those items are on trend still, too. I like what we have here, but think there must be something newer, hipper now. I guess not. We’ve done remodels on this house and if anything they’ve made me hyper aware of details– as you can understand. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I would have missed the countertops too, but I’m not a professional, nor am I writing an article about kitchens. 🙂 I have granite counters in my bathrooms but just vinyl(?) countertops and ancient white appliances in my kitchen. I don’t cook enough to spend tens of thousands on a kitchen remodel. I’ll let the next owner do that! I love the color of those cabinets, although I wouldn’t do hardwood. I’m a spiller and a dropper!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, I don’t think we would have done our kitchen remodel 10 years ago if it wasn’t for the fact that we both like to cook and the *new* kitchen is more friendly now. We have hardwood floors in the kitchen because that’s how it is around here. It was a new idea for me, but it’s everywhere here.

      [I am unable to comment on your blog but would like to say “ditto” to what Alison said. After all these years it’d be fun to get together.]

      Liked by 1 person

        1. No, I hit the post button and the system acts like it’s taking my comment. But the comment never shows up. I tried twice, but to no avail. Just letting you know, in case you were wondering about who was and wasn’t commenting.

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  13. My action plan is don’t look at design articles thereby circumventing the whole my-kitchen-seriously-needs-a-remodel dilemma. Since I have no need to know about marble/granite or latest or past trends, my mind is freed up to wonder about what I can spend the thousands of dollars I’ve now saved myself. Smart cookie, eh? 🙂 But I do applaud your keen eye, devotion to details and definitely hail you as an accomplished problem solver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, your action plan is sound and I understand your approach to not remodeling. I enjoy interior design more as an abstract “what if” game than as an actual “hands on” endeavor, although we’ve done our share of remodeling and redecorating around here. No money saved on that front! But to be honest I tend to be frugal in all that I do so maybe I should remember that when thinking about our home updates.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Darlene, in your situation I’d like marble floors but on the kitchen counter it’d be asking for trouble. I don’t mind that the kitchen in the photo has marble counters; I mind that the article and the photo are at odds with each other. Details, you know?

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  14. Well, we have none of those things in our kitchen so I guess we have to stay where we are for a while because a) can’t afford to replace and b) if we could afford it we couldn’t afford to leave. I’m sure that this caught your eye like a typing error catches mine. Perhaps a letter to the editor is in order so they know people actually care about things like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I was surprised when I read this article. I never would have thought that these three things were in demand. I thought it’d be media rooms and outdoor kitchens. Those are what I hear about around here. Anyhoo, the website made a mistake, but shared a photo of a really pretty kitchen… so I’ll forgive them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Rivergirl, that’s the thing, isn’t it? If someone who works for an interior design website doesn’t know the difference between the stones, then there’s something hinky going on there.

      Also, I know what you mean about the teal cabinets; I was surprised, too. Love them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. John, I like Apartment Therapy, too. I learn lots reading those articles. Domino is a good source, too. I can’t think of another time when I’ve caught anything wrong in it, so I’ll forgive them this time.

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    1. Dr Junieper, we don’t want to sell this house so the information in the article is something to keep in mind. I found it interesting, both the insight into buyer expectations and the wrong photo for the article. Happy New Year to you, too.

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  15. Ally,
    It does look like marble, doesn’t it? And perhaps it is. But if you google “granite that looks like marble,” you might question whether this is marble or granite. I hope it is granite that looks like marble so that whoever wrote this article may go forward with integrity intact. Even if it is granite, though, a heads up to that fact would equal less confusion for the reader. I can’t imagine the innumerable things that must happen in order to get a magazine out. With home decor, one wonders whether those who put the magazine out consider the pictures to be a little more important than the words used to describe the picture, even when it doesn’t really do a good job of describing what is shown. As with everything, my guess is that their number one job is to sell magazines and to promote those who place ads in their magazines. (Big picture stuff that tends to drive detail-focused people a little nuts; and, no doubt, those who are focused on aesthetics tend to be more detail focused.) As to life analogy, there are those who are more focused on details and those who are more focused on the big picture and those who are pretty good at seeing both. I make tons of mistakes and when I make one and realize it, I try and own it, realize that is part of who I am as a human and move on. However, I strive to always do better and, fingers crossed, grow from that. Hopefully, most of the time, I find myself somewhere in the big picture with an eye for detail camp. A job well done is always refreshing in a world of mediocrity; but I get that often, the details are not going to add up and most things are hyped up. It is a beautiful kitchen. The real question is how does it perform for the owner? Mona

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    1. Mona, no doubt the magazine business has its problems and there are mistakes. I look more at photos in shelter magazines than at the words, so that’s part of the reason this stone caught my eye. I think the kitchen is lovely and hope that the owners like it, but can’t help wondering about putting marble, that stains so easily, in a kitchen. But *hey* it looks great.

      Like you I’m good at seeing the big picture, understanding what is really going on, while noticing the details that make it so. This ability to do both things has helped me maintain a balance and be centered as I go through life. Glad to know you’re the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Still, the question remains: is it marble or granite that looks like marble — which is your bug-a-boo about the fact that the words don’t match the picture, right? Because if the counters are granite that look like marble, then there is no incongruence.

        BTW, in the first house I ever remodeled, I used marble for the limited counters I had. The marble still looks amazing. My daughter lives there now, so I know. Of course, something that looks brand new isn’t for me to begin with. I like things that are worn, that have soul, that have a story and life and history attached to them. I call it living with beautiful materials; so a stain here or there turns into “patina” and always has a story to it and is just part of our life. I’ve found that most stains fade over time and become part of the unique fabric of the material; again, patina. My kitchen counters in our home are copper. I’ve never been one for granite and I’m just not a quartz kind of girl either. My copper counter tops are beat up in places and are in different stages of oxidation and I love them. I’ve had them for 19 years thus far. When they were new, I couldn’t wait for them to age. They are probably not for everyone; but then neither am I. LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Funny you’d mention patina. I use that word often to describe the antiques we have in our home– and my aging self. Like you said, older materials have a different soul than new things, but in the end it’s the combination of old & new that makes me feel at home, comfortable in my surroundings. The good vibes and energy are in the mix, I suppose.

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  16. Oh Ally, just to have a small amount of that counter space, marble or granite, in that photo would be wonderful. The granite look is nice and a friend had it done – I know it takes some treatment to keep it in good shape but it will last a long time. The marble looks like a mortar and pestle belong on it. Yes – details matter! This morning I heard a blurb from the business editor who gives his spiel several times a day on my AM news station. He said the buzz words to make your house more marketable are “remodeled kitchen” and “totally fenced in yard” – the latter surprised me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. linda, you’re right about the upkeep of granite. Once a year we have to seal it and let it cure for at least 24 hours plus you have to be aware of the daily cleaning products you use on it, BUT it’s lovely to look at so I like it.

      I’m with you. I’d never have thought that a fenced-in yard would be in demand. I thought this list I read would include outdoor kitchen or media room, but it didn’t. Selling your house is a matter of chance, no matter what the pundits try to tell you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A granite counter is worth the upkeep and will last you many years. I have some upkeep with my butcher block counter. I have to “season” it with layers of mineral oil several times a year to keep the wood from getting cracked. I never use a knife with it or pound on it. I use a cutting board for that. I was surprised about the fence since many of the newer and larger homes here have no fence and they use electric fences only if they want a dog. That was news to me; I guess they favor a practical look over aesthetics.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve never had a butcher block counter, but they are pretty. I like a natural look, so they seem lovely to me. Around here we have strict limits on height and style of fences you can use. Most people opt for electric dog fences if they want to contain their dog. Each region has their thing, I guess.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s how they should do the fences – sometimes you see a whole line of privacy fences, all different and it does not look nice at all. My neighbor put up a white vinyl privacy fence on my side only – she claimed to not have money to do the other side, but it looks pretty silly in my opinion. She is one house away from a busy cross street, so I would have liked privacy from those who could see into the yard and put it on that side. To each their own I guess.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Joni, I agree that the teal is trendy and my experience with shiny brass details [in the previous house] taught me that I tire of them quickly. Still, in a powder room, I might go for this look. In a small amount. Maybe. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheryl, the mistake caught my eye and while it’s not the worst thing ever, it seems like knowing which stone is which would be important when you’re publishing a magazine/website about interior design. 🙄

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  17. Chances are that it’s actually granite. There are several that look like marble. When we remodeled our kitchen, we took forever to choose a countertop material (finally deciding upon quartz) and saw several granites that looked like that. I teetered dangerously close to choosing one that was black (!) at one point, but wisely thought better of it.

    I now have white quartz with a thin vein of black here and there, which took me forever to get used to. I was constantly wiping at it, thinking it was dirty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, you lend a different thought to this saga. I’ve never seen any granite that looks like marble, but if this photo features some unique kind of granite, then the photo works with the article. You are a smart one to figure that out.

      At one point we had a kitchen with black granite counters. They were gorgeous with a shiny rust-colored vein of something in them. However, you’re right; it was almost impossible to know if they were clean or not.

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  18. I LOL! I noticed this as well!
    It’s a gift and a curse. Can’t not see it. Would sometimes like to not see it.
    I am not interested in selling my house, but do have interest in interior design, to a degree. I prefer white appliances (when do i not prefer white?) and I do not want granite countertops (i have had them) and I care less about hardwood than hard. I’m a carpet in the bedroom kinda person, but not so much elsewhere. I don’t need it to be hardwood, but I have loved me some hardwood in prior home. I have become rather fond of laminate and how lazy it allows me to be. I think hardwood in water rooms is a lovely, impractical idea, because when something terrible inevitably happens, people can’t match it exactly without total strip and end up choosing mismatched patterns like parquet to repair and it’s not all that clever. I do so appreciate the colored cabinet trend, although mine are white, thank tacos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, you said it with: Can’t not see it.. Therein is the problem. It’s not a conscious choice, it just happens.

      I’ve only once lived in a house with white appliances and rather liked them. Somehow being the age I am and having lived the places I have I’ve experienced other appliance colors such as gold, olive green, brown, biscuit, almond, black, and stainless steel. I like the latter the best, but could groove on white. Never again to the other colors if I can help it.

      I don’t know why but hardwood floors are a thing around here. We have them all over the first floor except the laundry room that has tile floors. I’m still leery about hardwood in the kitchen but there they be, so there they stay. I may be actively interested in interior design, but I’m not obsessive about being on trend so for us having hardwood is more preference/accident than resale feature/design.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope no badness gets your kitchen floors!

        I like VERY MUCH that you’re discerning and authentic.

        I have had almond appliances – that was okay, too. If I couldn’t have white, I’d take almond over all the other ones you listed. Black and ‘silver’ are too cold and sleek for me — I don’t even like the nickel hardware and my house is loaded with it.
        I have a vague recollection of a brown fridge when I was wee. Mushrooms. There were a lot of mushrooms and owls. And pea green sofas on multi-colored shag carpet, like peas and carrots — maybe more like succotash..
        And on that note, I must say, the harvest gold Kenmore washer and dryer that I grew up with turned up in the ugly laundry room when we were at our home’s showing, and while they still work, we brought in our white ones. Something tells me, if I ever suffer washer dryer death, those harvest gold Kenmores might would run another 40 years!

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  19. Granite may be pretty, but it’s not as durable as granite. Bad choice in that photo (besides not matching the article). A couple of my favorite things when I was decorating this kitchen were the visit to the granite warehouse and to the wholesale place for buying pulls and knobs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nicki, when we’ve done our remodels I felt the same way as you about going to the stone warehouse + visiting the pulls/knobs store. I found both those places endlessly fascinating, a fast lesson in history.

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    1. L. Marie, yes I think that alabaster white, a creamy soft white shade, is the current trend. Of course, while I like it I’m not changing our gray walls to be in fashion. Interesting that your pastor knew that!

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  20. HA! Eagle eye decorator. Well done. (I understand marble is the new best thing for counters in kitchens and baths)
    I think your environment/space where you live is very important. It has to “fit” and feel comfortable and right or you always feel like something’s off. Good to be aware of what you live in.
    Fun post. (Wood floors forever – in this humid climate anyway – location determines what works sometimes)

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  21. Ally, I greatly admire someone who does enjoy interior design. I am very functional and basic on my feng shui. I do like your last line on many levels for life in general. Interesting post!

    Like

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