Cribs Beautiful

If I had loads of time (and money) at my disposal, I would throw myself into decorating our house. The place is “massive,” to quote a relative who visited; “huge” according to a friend of mine, who herself has “House Beautiful” going on; and a “mansion,” if you believe the youngsters.

We’ve lived here for about six years now, and the place is not as elegant or pulled together as I’d like it to be. We’re still using bookshelves from our singleton apartments in the library, we have no drapes anywhere on the first floor, and the home office is beginning to look drab. We haven’t even touched the TV room and library, which are places where we’ve entertained guests, even overnight. I longingly page through issues of Veranda and House Beautiful magazines, hoping to find a family-friendly look that I can replicate on a modest budget.

So that’s why “Urban Livin’,” another show on Centric TV, caught my attention. I’ve watched two episodes online so far, paying particular attention to the one where Bailey redecorated a spacious library/living room, buying sofas, wing chairs and accent pieces for less than $2,500. I’m taking notes!

For the Latte Cafe, I like the episode about a Haitian woman and white man who wanted to infuse more of the wife’s personality into their home decor. That place needed it, with all of the husband’s family heirlooms that were … a little … drab. But ooh, honey! Ms. Bailey pulled off a miraculous transformation, and made that place multicultural, vibrant and elegant. Check it out here.

Before I go, I want to know why there are no home decorating magazines for black women. I like Ms. Bailey’s show, and regularly check B. Smith’s Web site to see what sorts of home decorating ventures she’s come up with. Is the competition in that segment of the magazine market too fierce? When it comes to buying furniture, are black women not a distinct enough group to support their own glossy periodical or sustain a furniture line? The ad revenue environment for print is brutal right now, so launching and sustaining a profitable magazine like that might be really tough. But I have to say that while I love Veranda and the rest, I use my time to seek out designers who incorporate interesting colors and fabrics into their creations. I don’t see any reason I can’t have animal or exotic plant motifs on an elegant area rug to anchor a room.

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