ARTISTIC LICENSE DESIGN INC.

INTERIOR + ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN + PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Naked. 

Curious. 

Friend.  

Talent. 

Designer.  

Partier. 

Partner. 

Suit. 

Winner. 

Mother. 

Conscious. 

Couch-potato. 

Entrepreneur. 

Dog-lady. 

Writer. 

Exhausted. 

Loser. 

Bored.

Restless. 

Naked? 

Naked. 

I have been a lot of things—some of them I’ll admit to and some I won’t. Denial, is, after all, a kiss-ass like no other. But the whole point of vomiting your life onto a blog and tossing it into the cosmos is to wrap intel in entertainment. Except that I’m a deeply private person—thrilled that few people know who I am and that even less actually care. So how best to do that?  

I could lie to you—but it’s not my style. Not that I haven’t done stuff worthy of covering up; I just find the truth infinitely more interesting—and the quicker you reach it, the better. Sparks fly. Lessons are learned. It can be—and often is—magical.

And the best tool to crack open the truth? Curiosity, in all its childish, gleeful and bottomless glory.

Turns out that’s an aphrodisiac for a lot of people. And I happen to know A LOT about a topic that many people are interested in—especially now, after 18 months of lockdown: design. Take away our ability to socially interact and suddenly the world cares deeply about how to style with blankets.  

But seriously? Blankets?! 

Could. Not. Care. Less. 

Don’t get me wrong: I love blankets—I have them all over my house. But style with blankets? As an “industry professional”, IMPO (in my professional opinion), styling with blankets is just giving some poor soul the pipedream that buying a $29.99 Ikea blanket and tossing it over your sofa is going to transform your world and make you feel like you’ve got beauty and balance in your life.  

It won’t.  

I know that because I’m a design professional—but I knew that before I became one, because I’m the daughter of a design professional. I grew up immersed in design—and I was into it—as far back as I can remember.  

At 9, I sat on a 5-gallon bucket in the basement watching Werner—who would later become one of my favourite electricians—install a new ceiling fixture. I was fascinated, riveted, and full of questions: how does that work? Why does it work? What if you accidentally set the house on fire? Or electrocuted yourself? Would you die right away? Would I have to call an ambulance? How does it connect to the light switch? How’s the light switch connected to the— 

You get the idea. Annoying as fucking hell for poor Werner. But I learned a lot.  

Fast forward a couple years. I’m now 11-ish and desperately determined to reinvent my world. But thankfully, my father, David—design professional—is a busy guy. He’s never home. All the better for me to realize that my mother, Doreen Green—an incredibly smart, loving woman who nonetheless told me she’d been married for 10 years before realizing her first and last names rhymed—was a sucker for anything I was selling. 

And my first sale was smashing. Spectacular! So, so good that I made my mother promise not to tell my father about it until I was finished: I was going to renovate the bathroom. “Ok,” D’reen Green said, and went to make pasta, like the good Italian mother she was. 

While she saved our family from an apparently impending famine—what? Only fourteen dishes for dinner? Not fifteen?—I carefully reviewed the space. I pondered that bathroom from every angle. Then came the product research: I dug through magazines and, after extensive effort, came up with a great design. I calculated the costs, including shipping, taxes, time, emotional energy—and convinced D’reen these expenditures were not only reasonable but deeply necessary. This new space would be magical—a perfect combination of beauty and balance. Transformative! Life changing, even.  

I was crazy with anticipation. Surely the world would stop turning when people recognized the magnitude of my creation. Jaws would go slack. Random media trucks would arrive at my door. I’d have to give speeches about good design, worldwide—I’d need a passport, yes? And new clothes—maybe even a bra for those two crushed-raisins on a breadboard I was hoping would eventually indicate gender. But that was apparently a ways off, so I bought long, red shiny gloves to wear to the Oscars. Did I know they didn’t give Oscars for good design? Yes, but not the point. The design was Oscar-worthy, hence the need for gloves.    

The products arrived and I—single-handedly!—installed them. Werner would’ve been impressed. And—as expected—the bathroom was immediately transformed. It was truly a thing of love and beauty and joy forever. Even D’reen agreed. And finally, after waiting for—weeks, months and years!—my father came home. 

He stood in the door—but didn’t enter. Ah, I thought—he’s overcome; too stunned by the beauty to tread on it. I waited. 

D’reen waited. 

David smoked, as David did. This, in and of itself, was not informative. David always smoked. Then he gave his head a brief shake, like he had water in his ears.   

“How much?” he asked. 

“$29.99! On time and under budget!” I said, thrilled that my life altering transformation met the criteria. Was there a budget? I had no idea, but I knew he’d be impressed by the terminology. 

Except he shook his head—a 2nd time. What the hell? What could this mean? I silently consoled myself: ok, ok, that 2nd head-shake was a little disconcerting but not necessarily a bad sign. Sure, a part of me was thinking he was more annoyed than waterlogged, but he could’ve been waterlogged, couldn’t he? We lived by the ocean. Maybe he stopped on the way home and ditched his suit for a swim. What the hell did I know?  

I watched him take it all in: the bright pink plastic shower curtain that smelled like new barbies and came complete with ruffles!—and plastic sashes to tie them back on either side of the bathtub. On the window were matching pink plastic curtains, again with ruffles! Design rhythm and repetition at its finest, furthered by the fuzzy pink rug that fit around the base of the toilet. What a fantastic detail! Who the hell came up with that invention?! Then there was my personal favourite: the fuzzy pink toilet seat cover. Magical—and cozy—proving that beauty could, indeed, be functional. 

But then it came: Articulation. Undeniable. World crashing down in huge, violent chunks. 

“Waste of fucking money,” David said, and continued down the hall. 

That, my friends, is blanket-equivalent. Don’t expect a blanket to transform your world. It won’t. It’ll keep you warm. It’ll give you shelter, under which you can snuggle with your date or your dog or that giant bowl of Halloween candy you’re hiding from the rest of the family. But that’s it. 

So what will transform your world? A professional renovation—to your home, your office, maybe even your understanding of the meaning of life (one can dream). That’s where this blog comes in. I’m ripping off the band-aid, folks. Only the raw and naked truth from here on in—on the topic so many people care about: design.  

Join us for an entertaining and deep-dive into design, seen through a professional and multi-disciplined lens. We’ll explore everything from what good design actually is, to how to select the best products and finishes, to how to save money on a major renovation and where to spend it for maximum impact. And we’re open to topics, so if there’s something specific you want to know, email us at info@artisticlicensedesign.com.  

Sign up below to get the next post and fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. 

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