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Frigid Dining

Lately I’ve been rubbernecking Architectural Digest. It’s not that the photos aren’t glamorous. It’s–well, just look.


These are from a series of “Before + After: Stunning Dining Room Makeovers.”

The “before” photos are predictably stodgy, dated and bland. The “after” photos are stunning all right. They make me want to jam needles under my fingernails.



It’s like the season trend is “Corporate Formal meets Frozen.”

And they’re ALL LIKE THAT.


When I look at those shiny shiny surfaces, all I can think of is slipping in stiletto heels and gashing my head open on the edge of that table. When I look at those icy chandeliers, I look around for a fur bathrobe.

When I think about eating dinner in these rooms, I lose my appetite.

And that’s why “stunning” isn’t necessarily a good index for designing rooms that people actually want to live in. It may be arresting to the eye. But how do you FEEL when you’re IN there?


Are you paranoid that you’re going to spill red wine all over that white wool carpet?

Me, too.

You know what I LOVE? Brooklyn designer Matt Austin.

This is his Bushwick apartment, painted with a “halo to give him golden dreams.”

You want to hang out there, so you can have golden dreams, too.