Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lynette Jennings: No Compromise Decorating

Our home life is an assembly that speaks of blended lives. Choices made from love." - Lynette Jennings

(click all pics to open bigger for details & text)

I have long enjoyed watching Lynette Jennings when she had design shows on several years ago. I've lost track of what she is doing now, but don't think she still has any design shows running at the moment. I always thought she had some great ideas and concepts about design and after recently picking up her book, No Compromise Decorating, I thought it had some good, practical, down to earth design sense that you might enjoy hearing about too. This book is about not compromising when it comes to how you want your home to live and feel, to be aware of what we bring into our homes and to only live with those things that you really, really love. Great idea! And, it's not at all about expensive items, but really connecting your life and your home through well-loved things that bring you joy. Lynette says to "decorate using items and colors that evoke pleasant thoughts or good memories."
She makes it very easy and practical, suggesting that you start by identifying your loves. "Forget perfection and consider comfort in every choice. Ask yourself: Is this a room for real life?"
I love this quote by Lynette: "Over time, decorating a home has turned into an anxiety-induced exercise in seeking approval."

So true!! We sometimes lose our own true style sense of how we want our homes to live because we get so caught up in what other people are doing or what magazines say is "in". Once you decide what you enjoy having around you, then you can make a lot of good, sound decisions which will be right for YOU.
"A beautiful home is not about money."

Amen to that one! I think we would all agree with this. It's about personal style and expression & not just filling your home with expensive things. She gives some great advice on taking a look at your home's architectural features, what are the best things about your house, what can you play up? And go from there. She also gives some great advice about taking a good look at your house and how to live best in it, for your own personal needs. If change is what you're after, then you'll be interested in the next part.

And then she gets to the fun part: The Love it or Leave it exercise. She suggests you go around your home, taking pictures of all the furniture pieces individually. Go through the pics and sort them into the following categories:

Love It - Look at why you love those pieces. Is it color, style, shape, comfort, etc? How do they make you feel? We women are all about our feelings, aren't we?

So-So - This is the toughest category. You don't have to hate the items, but if they don't have a real positive effect on how you feel about your room and they only serve a purpose, but don't excite you, then think about getting rid of them. She says to think of these items as eventually on their way out, or to be repainted or reupholstered.

Leave It - Out, out, out! She suggests unless you will have nothing left to live with, to get rid of those pieces that are all wrong for your home and your style, to get them out of the house as quickly as possible. You may not be able to make creative decisions with those pieces in the way. If you do have to keep them temporarily, then make them tolerable, she suggests. Here's an example of some of the before and after pics she shares in the book. It's amazing the difference. All of these families had ordinary, nothing special furniture to work with, just like many of us do. Who hasn't had to make do with hand-me-downs during our lives as some point? I know I sure have!
Before room: And AFTER: This family did end up moving their old sofa to another room and buying some new pieces, but what a difference in the feel of the room. They did add some new moldings and take a look at how paint can transform a space.
Their diningroom area.
This was a young bachelor's space, just run of the mill, old furniture that had seen better days.
Some pieces were kept, some discarded, and changes were made to make it all work together better and a few accessories were added.
Another dramatic transformation with paint on the walls. Amazing what editing, changing, and painting will do.

I really enjoyed Lynette's book and hope you got some ideas too about your own decorating journey. This is what decorating our homes is all about.....

"My home has evolved and materialized into a group of loved things: A comfortable, never boring, memory-laced, mismatched collection to which I add and subtract." - Lynette Jennings

Thank you ALL so much for the well wishes on my new business venture! Y'all are the best!

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Cherdecor said...

I appreciate all the effort you put into this post. It surely was helpful.

I love yellow! I striped one of my bedroom walls in yellow and I love it. Of course, I love red, too.

Thank you for this post!

Michelle said...

I, too, enjoyed Lynette Jenning's show. Thanks so much for taking the time to share all this wonderful decorating info.

Rhoda, I wish you much success in your new business venture! Many congratulations to you for stepping out and just doing it - way to go, girl!

If you get a few minutes, come on by my blog...I'm finally sharing a little tour of my house :)

Have a super day :)


Rosie's Whimsy said...

Lynette Jennings was one of the first shows of it's kind and I so loved watching it. I will have to pick up her book. :-) Rosie

catherine said...

I always enjoy your site. I can always count on you to have great pictures that I can use as a reference when I start to decorate. Thanks for the effort you put into this.

Julie said...

I used to watch Lynette's show too. Good luck with your new business venture. You will be a hit..I am sure!

Nicki said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this!! I always ALWAYS love your decorating advice! You are just great!

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

I loved Lynette Jennings. I wonder what she's doing these days? Maybe retired? I miss her shows. . . practical and inspiring they were.



Anonymous said...

Wow my fave color yellow - love it Rhoda! The before and after are amazing.
hoganfe handbags

Anonymous said...

First of all, I wish you good luck in your new business. I really enjoyed shows like Lynette Jennings & Kitty Barthlomew. Wish they would bring them back. Glenda

Jen said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of this wonderful information! I had heard of Lynette Jennings, but had not seen or heard her philosphy. Her ideas are fabulous. I really love the yellow and white striped room, as well.
Hope that your week is going well,

Rosemary said...

Love the photos Rhoda!
I use to love watching Lynnette's shows. I learned a lot from her.
Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Wow a blast from the past, I wonder what she is doing now. I used to love her. Another gal I adore is Candice Olson/Divine Design I don't think she's done a room I dislike; I love her taste.

Kathy :)

PAT said...

I always liked watching Lynette Jennings! Great post, Rhoda.

I'm giving away one of MCG's books for my anniversary. The post is up now. We're outta here tomorrow for a few days!


Kristi said...

Nice photo picks! I wish there were more tips on decorating for a house inhabited by small children. I have to forgo a lot of the details down low and keep things simple. I just love those rooms, but none are doable in our living situation.

I have no idea who Lynett Jennings is.

And good luck in your business!!

Southern Heart said...

Rhoda, I have Lynette's book, too, and I love it! I think that the camel and red rooms together (one of the photos you shared) is one of my favorites ever.

I tried to leave you a little note last night, but blogger wasn't cooperating. I am thrilled for you about your business, and your site is wonderful! I really think that you will do so well with's definitely "you" through and through. I will look forward to hearing more about your successes!


Jen r. said...

This is great with some great ideas! I love Lynette Jennings and miss her show a ton! I'm glad to know she is still doing something.
Jen R

justabeachkat said...

Wow...what a great post. Lots of wonderful ideas.


Ruth Welter said...

I used to love Lynette Jennings too Rhoda, I watched that show all the time. My new favorite and I think my favorite HGTV show of all time is Candice Olson, to me, she is the goddess of interior design. I don't think there was ever one room she designed that I didn't like.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rhoda for sharing the pics. I too love LJ and miss her show. I have to add that book to my wish list.

Anonymous said...

That second picture is one of my favorite homes. The woman used to work for Ralph Lauren, and she's got his pieces and fabric all over the house.

I may have the check out that book! Thanks!

Janet (rreminator)

PamperingBeki said...

I love this philosophy!

I definitely try to think "Does this piece fit into the vision I have for my home?" If not, it goes.

willzmom said...

I always enjoyed Lynette Jennings -where has she gone? Thanks for sharing the book with us-lovely photos. Congratulations on your new business venture-I know you'll do great!

Sandi McBride said...

I hope your new business takes off like a jet...I knew that retirement thing wasn't going to last!

Carolina Mama said...

Rhonda! Congratulations on The Restyled Room! That is so great!

Mary Isabella said...

This was a wonderful post...Mary

paperjunk-lc said...

What a well detailed post. Thank you so much!
I wish you much sucess in your new adventure.

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Oh what a wonderful post! I'm going to have to look for this book. Thanks for sharing it with us :)


Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Loved the passages you shared..and the photos.What a difference some color can make.

A Romantic Porch said...

Thank you for sharing. I love Lynette. xoRachel

Darla said...

I, too, had lost track of Lynette. I watched her for years (she came on at noon cst where I live - that's how much I loved her, I can still remember when she came on LOL).

It's great to know she has a book out - I'll have to look into getting one. She always had such solid and classy advice.

Susie Q said...

I love Lynette. I was a huge fan of her TV show and have her books. This book is a favorite of mine!

I wish you much luck and joy in your new venture dear Rhoda!!
You go m'lady!!


Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I loved Lynette Jenning's show too when it was on. I was just thinking of her last week and wondering what happened to her! I loved that old truck she would drive around!

I've seen that second picture in a magazine before and I've always loved that home! It's so cozy and warm!

Dana's Design Studio & Wholesale Furnishings said...

Amen to Lynette Jennings. I love her design preaching.


Rue said...

Rhoda, Do you know what a dork I am?? Go look at my last post for a good laugh. I hope you're not mad at me. I had no idea that you had done a post on this...

Yours is WAY better!

flowergirl said...

I, too, miss Lynette Jennings. Does anyone know what she is doing or where she is now?

Anonymous said...

I did a Google search for Lynette and found that she retired from television in 2002 to pursue her passion for painting. I doubt she understood just how much we all respected and relied on her, but I bet she'd want us to proceed in the manner that would be most comfortable for us in decorating. She worked hard throughout her career, and richly deserves some years to follow her dream.

Anonymous said...

It seems we all loved Lynette Jennings show. This is a biography I found today about Lynette:

NicNacManiac said...

Great Post...I have not heard that name for quite some time. I loved her style and watched her shows many times.
Thanks so much for sharing and bringing back sweet memories!1
Have a fantastic weekend!
Nerina :)

Betty said...

I loved Lynette Jennings and Kitty Barthlomew and Lynette's style is similar to what I'd like my home to look like. Only problem is I don't know how to put it together like she did and don't have the money to hire a designer or decorator..Kitty's style was a bit different but I liked it also. It was warm and cozy, if I remember right.