Color Outside the Lines

Christiane Lemieux’s new book Undecorate breaks all the rules.

I follow the rules. I don’t park in emergency zones, I wait for my seating section to be called before boarding, and I always sort my recycling. But sometimes I color outside the lines. In fact, I break all social conventions and rules when it comes to design (remember my diatribe against furniture suites and homogeny?), so my heart pitters, patters, and flutters at the notion of Undecorate ($40), by Christiane Lemieux (the founder and creative director of DwellStudio). In this fresh new take on interiors, Lemieux explores spaces that challenge tradition with an eclectic, “love of imperfection and penchant for surprise and unusual juxtapositions.”

The premise of Undecorate sanctions taking hold of your space and taking the liberty to infuse your taste. If you find something you love, it belongs inside your walls – regardless of color, style, function, etc. Embracing diversity among your objects results in a unique aesthetic analogous to Bohemian whimsy.

Here’s an excerpt to ponder from the introduction of Undecorate.

“What does it mean to undecorate? A fine question.

It’s mixing fine antiques with your collection of Cher Barbie dolls, as Harry Heissman does in his description-defying apartment in Brooklyn Heights. It’s leaving temporary party decorations up for years because they just somehow seem right, as Erica Tanov does in her ridiculously beautiful California house. It’s wedging antique columns into a suburban house, or parking your cars in the living room, or building your own alter, or hanging vintage advertising posters in your toddler’s bedroom. Undecorated is following your instinct, even when it’s telling you to do something a little crazy, a little different, something against the rules.

Undecorating isn’t haphazard style; it’s not thought-free. It’s about being guided by something other than the traditional constraints – whether it’s your commitment to the environment, or your love of polka dots, or the fact that you want to feel like you’re in Paris when you live in Peoria.”

What’s not to love, right? I’m off to order my copy here. May I suggest you do the same? And don’t let it linger on your coffee table alone, set it beside one of these beautiful bound pictorial creations.

Images: Melanie Acevedo for Undecorate