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"When you know better, you do better.”-Maya Angelou

*warning, this is a long blog, make a cup of tea…

I’m not sure pretty sure that Maya Angelou was referring to interior design with this statement.  My God, it’s the truth. Maybe I should change the quote to, “When you see good, do good.” There is no excuse for having an ugly house after seeing Olatz Schnabel’s interior design. There’s also no excuse for having a boring house. It’s not about money, it’s about style. Yes, I understand that it doesn’t hurt to have your ex-husband provide the artwork. FYI, Olatz Schnabel’s ex-husband is artist, Julian Schnabel. Regarding their previously shared and individual homes, obviously the lines are blurred when it comes to who inspired whom with their respective interior design. It’s evident they have a similar aesthetic.
Color saturation, large-scale, objets trové.…all of which make an interior unique. If I see one more all white interior, I’m going to kill myself. What deep inner turmoil do you have going on in your life that you need to have a sparse all white interior? Work it out with your therapist, borrow my meds, then get some color in your life, you’ll feel better. I want nothing more than to paint my entire dining room Farrow & Ball Cooks Blue, but unfortunately I have a husband who wants his security deposit back one day from the owner of our apartment. Note to self: next time, marry a gay man who appreciates color. Okay, let’s cut to the chase and look at Interiors by Olatz




People ask my opinion all the time about interior design and I usually don’t give it. I don’t want to sound preachy or sanctimonious, but sometimes I feel like, “Uhh, if you have to ask, I’m already worried.” I would never tell someone how to decorate their house, but I would give this advice…

             Trust your instincts.
             Think outside of the box.
             Don’t follow trends.
             Save your money and invest in a forever piece instead of buying something cheap on the spur of the moment to fill a space. Honestly, I’d rather have an empty space than an ugly space.
             Learn the concept of “juxtaposition.” Contrast in interior design is what makes a space come to life and have depth. High/low. Modern/antique. Subtle/pop. Humble/haute.
             Allow your house time to marinate. Don’t just go to f#cking Restoration Hardware on a Tuesday and buy everything at once. Sometimes you have to “read” your house… What does it call for? Don’t worry, it will tell you.
             Curate your own house with pieces that represent who you are… No one else. I.e., you are not Oscar de la Renta, so don’t try to be him.
             Educate yourself on the basics of interior design… Scale, lighting, flow, balance (symmetrical and asymmetrical), focal points, details, layering, contrast, color, furniture placement, texture, etc.
             If all else fails, hire someone and do not give your input. Here are some interior design secrets that interior decorators do not tell you… They don’t want your opinion (including that of your husband’s), they don’t care about your opinion, their way is better, if you had any talent you’d be doing your own house, your budget is always too small, they will always go over budget (“yes” the AGA stove does cost $30,000), they will not share their sources, and lastly, do not ever, ever question their color combinations, size of a rug, height of a painting, or the angle of a cashmere throw over a chair.
Okay, let’s continue with Olatz…


Voilà! Pretty amazing, non? Nothing screams, “I have a lot of money!” That is one of my top 11 decorating “don’ts.” Not that you asked, but here are the other 10 decorating “no nos.”

             Curtains that don’t touch the ground.
             Circular rugs.
             Theme houses.
             Too many pieces of gilded furniture. Easy on the gilt, lady. Easy on the gilt. A little goes a long way.
             Pools too close to the house and waterpark theme pools.
             Houses/owners that ask you to take your shoes off before entering the house. What the f#ck! One time, Yolanda H Foster and I were invited to a fancy soirée in Aspen and the host asked us to take off our shoes. Yolanda said in her Dutch accent, “I don’t do no shoes.” That’s my girl.
             More than one animal in a room. Don’t use a zebra rug and a leopard pillow in one room. PETA won’t let you anyway. Just kidding. It’s just tacky.
             The term “great room.” “We do everything in our great room.” Shut up.
             Baby proofing a house. Translation: ugly house. If your toddler feels the need to touch everything, put him in a cage crib.
             Fake flowers. There is no excuse for fake flowers, including budget. FYI, Trader Joe’s has flowers for under $10. If that is too much, grow your own or steal the neighbors (sorry for that Monica, but your hydrangeas were irresistible).

See, this is why I don’t usually give my opinion, it’s a bit harsh. Just do as Olatz does, and you’ll be fine…

A toute!


  1. This post just made my day! Circular rugs are so awkward!

  2. I just found your blog today and I am thrilled. You are so incredibly funny and charming and honest and brave. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I agree with every word! No wonder you liked my house!!!

  4. You already know that I am a Schnabel fan and I agree that those particular blurry lines have produced great things. My favorite of all of your points here is that it isn't about the money, it is about style and being true to your instincts (as long as said instincts do not involve scurrilous themes) the balance section I would also add feminine/masculine...maybe it is just me but it always makes me sad for the man when I see that a woman so clearly had her way with ALL of the house that the dude is reduced to having a "man cave." Olatz clearly understands this. ;)