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Avoid flipping out over rearranging space

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Flipping out

I tell you, one of these days, I am going to burst. Why does my housekeeper think she is an interior designer? As a matter of fact, as I reflect a bit on the past, most of my previous housekeepers have moved my whole house around. Why? I guess they all thought they were auditioning for Zoila Chavez's job on Bravo's "Flipping Out."

Every Friday when I get home from work, the guessing game begins. From the four corners of our home, you can hear, "WHERE IS THE ...?" and "I CAN"T FIND THE ...!" And as I look around the rooms, inevitably, the lumbar pillows from the slipper chairs are on the sofa, the orchids that adorned the bar earlier in the day are now the centerpiece on the coffee table, and my stacks of shelter magazines are fanned out on the end tables in the living room as if it were a doctor's waiting room.

But really, why am I complaining? I shouldn't be flipping out. Every week is a different scheme. More than an effort to impress me, for better or worse, it's an attempt at keeping my house feeling fresh. I should rejoice that I am getting an opportunity to see my own things in a new light.

As I get older, I am learning to accept that my particular point of view on a room is not the only way to go. In reality, there are many ways to sort and redecorate, arrange and accessorize a room or an entire villa.

I highly suggest the following fruitful exercise to get rid of the blahs. Invite a trusted friend to come to your home and ask them to rearrange or reaccessorize it. You'll be amazed at how they perceive your home. Granted, it might take a bit of effort to get used to things being moved around, but the reward is the feeling of a freshly decorated room.

If you are not so fortunate as to have a friend to help you, revamping your decor still can be accomplished. The first rule of order is to keep an open mind. Allow yourself the freedom to pull a piece of furniture center stage from any room in the house.

Secondly, it's time to let go of any item that you've been afraid to ditch despite the fact that it annoys you. Yes, it's OK to let go of useless items, even if it means throwing out the Chia Pet your significant other's mother gave you for your birthday. The trick is to be discreet. Oops, it fell off the counter.

Another tip: Moving heavier furniture will require hired hands. Ask a neighbor's teenage kids or a handyman to help.

Finally, choose the time for your revamp wisely. If anyone in your household doesn't deal well with change, it is best to wait until they are out for a weekend or at least for a few hours to get your mission accomplished.

It sounds like a lot of work, and it is! Maybe I should give the housekeeper a raise.

Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla.



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