At some point, bean-bag chairs must go

By Grant McGee: Local columnist

The Lady of the House was planning some interior decorating.

“I saw this trim with fish on it at the store,” she said. “We could trim out the bathroom with it. If we did the bathroom in a fish theme we’d have to take the cat paintings out. And we’d have to get a new shower curtain with fish on it because the one in there now has flowers.”

“We can leave the cat pictures because cats like to eat fish,” I said and smiled.

This was greeted with one of “those” looks.

“OK,” I said, “I guess this means we’d also have to replace the Native American art light switch.”

“Oh yeah,” she said. She was making a mental checklist.

I don’t know a thing about interior decorating. I should know about taste, color, complimentary elements, accents and such because when I was a kid my mom called in interior decorators whenever we moved into a new place. You’d think I would’ve soaked up some of this knowledge.

Not a chance.

I mean, I know when a home looks good. I can appreciate good interior decorating. But ask me to tastefully arrange my pad? Well, you might as well ask me to dribble a basketball and play for an NBA team.

Of the styles of interior decorating — modern, colonial, Santa Fe, territorial and such — I suppose you could call mine college student minimalist. Give me some yard sale or thrift store bargain furniture, swatches of cloth, boards and cinderblocks and I’m good to go.

Leaving my dorm room interior decorating style behind has taken years. I had a bean bag chair up until three years ago. It didn’t occur to me that I may have been too old for bean bags until I realized it was taking some concentration to get out of it. I had to think where to put my feet and knees then rock forward. Sometimes it took a couple of tries. It ended up at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

I always liked the good ol’ cinder-block-and-board shelf units. The boards were just the right width to hold vinyl LPs (remember those?) and I have a lot of them. My nifty shelving units went with me to my new home when The Lady of the House and I got hitched, but instead of being out in the open in the living room they were relegated to the laundry room to hold tools and such.

Not long ago we came in to some real shelving units. The cinder blocks ended up on the back patio and the boards went out to the shed in the miscellaneous lumber pile.

Sheets and swaths of fabric are important in my school of decorating, something I learned by hanging out with the hippies in Arizona. If your furniture doesn’t match, throw brightly colored fabric over it. If you own a scrungy sofa, throw a sheet over it.

This also comes in handy if you allow your dogs in your house — all the hair goes on the sheet instead of the sofa. And it’s great when you become a grandparent and have toddlers with sticky hands climbing on the furniture.

Yep, The Lady of the House handles interior decorating at our place. It’s a good thing too. If she hadn’t come along who knows how long I might’ve been living in a place that looked like a college dorm room.

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: