Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Interior Design Is a Challenge, but Personal Decisions Pay Off

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Interior Design Is a Challenge, but Personal Decisions Pay Off

Article excerpt

Byline: Jessica Collins

"Building a home could destroy your marriage," our parents warned.

Pshaw!

We were the ones who had strolled through the flawless model homes of OakLeaf Plantation, tested the we-don't-have-this-in-our-backyard waterslides at the pool and witnessed the neighbors sharing actual conversations over the mailbox rather than obligatory waves.

Yes, we knew exactly what we were getting into.

"What color grout would you like?"

Our innocence turned crusty two hours into the visit with the design center. We had already labored over which neighborhood, which builder, which lot and which floor plan, the latter of which had changed four times as we altered our ultimate dream home from a one-story to a two-story to have a backyard slightly bigger than a spiral notebook, and now we were faced with decisions we'd never fathomed.

"Who looks at grout color?" was my first thought followed immediately by, "My God, what if we choose the wrong color?"

Visions of the in-laws snickering at my lack of decorating prowess plagued me as we progressed from grout through faucets, doorknobs and cabinets to kitchen counters. Our design correspondent gave us an 11-minute window to choose 80 feet of counter space from among three shoeboxes packed with 2-inch samples. The husband and I clawed through the choices, barking with disgust at anything the other suggested. How in the world had I married a man who desired speckled white on black pigeon poop countertops? By the time the designer returned, our brains had gone mushy; we were putty in her hands.

Normally, no one in the Collins clan would ever walk into a store full of possibilities and come out spending $850 on beveled countertops of all things, but it was as if we had suddenly become low-brow MTV celebrities, constructing a pimp "crib" with meaningless numbers scribbled on a piece of paper. …

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