DECORATING DIVA: Britney McLaws
Back at the apartment, Britney, our Decorating Diva, was transforming Ryan’s place into something more pleasant:
Ryan returned from his mission, but I was just beginning mine: to brighten, lighten and organize the apartment of a returned missionary.
I arrived at the apartment at 8 a.m. and from the initial looks of it, my mission was not going to be easy.
Clearly, Ryan and his roommates had let their apartment fall into the typical R.M. dump — I mean, slump. All I could see was disorganized and discordant furniture, slews of scattered papers, multiple sets of scriptures thrown on the floor, piles of Ensigns, bags, shoes, dust, dirt and more dust. This place was a mess.
To top it all off, evidence of Ryan’s R.M. withdrawals were scattered about the room. A poster of “The Best Two Years” signed by all four of its stars hung loosely on the wall, a picture of Elder Ballard saying “Every Member A Missionary” framed the door, the Colorado state flag tacked on the wall and Book of Mormon illustrations (including one of the stripling warriors) hung around the room.
Don’t get me wrong, it is quite appropriate to incorporate memories of his fabulous mission into the d?cor, but honestly … “The Best Two Years”? This was truly a decorator’s nightmare.
I hardly knew where to start but my expertise told me the vacuum is always a safe bet.
I cleared the room and ran a vacuum across the floor. Instantly, the room looked 100 percent more pleasant. Haven’t these faithful missionaries ever heard the phrase “Cleanliness is next to Godliness?”
The next step was to evaluate the furniture arrangement. Previously, the arrangement did not encourage healthy conversation. In short, the first discussion could not be taught in this room.
In order to allow for more discussion, I created a circle, which allows Ryan and his company to sit and talk while enjoying the television.
Next, I organized the piles and piles of papers and books. I turned an old entertainment center into a stylish bookshelf, creating a space for the masses of scriptures and piles of textbooks.
With a little organization, the room was beginning to come together. To toss in a splash of color to the drab apartment furniture, I placed a red throw rug on the floor and stylish, yet practical, throw pillows on the chairs.
To bring some life to the slightly yellowed walls, I hung retro and funky art using vintage post cards and old signs. Say goodbye to “The Best Two Years.”
To add some life, I incorporated plants. There is nothing like a little greenery to brighten a room; I just hope these boys don’t forget to water them.
To set the mood, I put some manly, yet stylish, aroma candles on the coffee table; these pleasing smells will keep the ladies coming.
Lastly, I incorporated much of Ryan’s mission memories into the room, placing the Colorado state flag in a coffee-table centerpiece along side neat piles of the “Ensign.”
The moral of this story is there is no need to hide the mission. On the contrary, flaunt it, not with cheesy and clich? representations, but with cool and authentic souvenirs and pictures.
Finally, the male gender has no reason to be ashamed of an apartment that incorporates organization, cleanliness and some semblance of d?cor. These qualities will the keep the company calling and the girls returning again and again.
All the accessories and redecorating cost approximately $60, plus using things they already had. That should not be too much to split among six roommates.