I grew up in a household where a doll resembling a Barbie doll, dressed in a frilly dress, kept a tight reign over our (presumably one and only) spare toilet roll.
I also grew up with a 3D Jesus clock, hung on the lounge room wall despite not one of us being even one per cent religious.
There were salmon-coloured walls and silky, grey curtain pelmets at various stages of my young adulthood.
As an adult, I went on to commit similar unforgivable interior design crimes. We renovated a house at the height of the mid-90s that demanded a nautical yellow and blue theme. I was particularly partial to the ‘suede effects’ paints and, to complement this, purchased a luxurious fabric couch in bright blue with built-in recliners. You’re right: I had no shame (or taste).
But I know I’m not alone, either as a teen, or as an adult who, really, should have known better.
It took me more than a decade and the renovation of at three homes before I realised that really, there’s only one phrase you should remember when decorating: less is more.
It’s a phrase forgotten in these circumstances:
1. The toilet rug.
Someone needs to walk me through this. Which genius thought it would be preferable to have pee-soaked carpet surrounding the bog than easy-to-mop tiles?
2. Rugs made from an actual animal.
Removing the hideous green walls and wicker furniture from this equation, let's focus: THAT is an actual zebra skin. Not cool.
These were big. HUGE. Apart from the obvious unsupported back pain that would eventually result, was no one else a little more than anxious (and seasick) sleeping on what was essentially a big bag of water?
4. The feature wall.
The aforementioned suede paint effect that was big in the '90s covered a myriad of problems. Got a massive hole in the plaster? Covered. For some inexplicable reason, we also thought that if we just had a different coloured wall, it would enhance and distract from the rest of the house.
5. The blow-up chair
One sharp object and these were cactus.
6. Shag-pile carpet.
Seriously, what the hell was living in that carpet? It's not like they had the Dyson sucking power we have today.