May 17, 2022

‘Dear Jen’ Debuts Today with Interior Décor Advice

jennifermannWe are very pleased to debut another advice column today.  Unlike our popular ‘Dear Cammy’ column, which is targeted at middle-schoolers, this ‘Dear Jen’ column is for adults.  Our very own Jen Mann, who has been our incredible book reviewer for more years than we can remember, is turning her hand to yet another thing that she does extraordinarily well.  And that is dispensing advice … so read on and if you have a question for Jen, you can reach her at

Dear Jen,

I need a change of décor in my living room, but I don’t want to hire someone or spend a lot of money. What small changes can I make that will make a big difference?

In A Rut.

Dearest in a Rut,

Not to worry.  This is not only an easy fix but a fun one.  Look around your room.  Take out 10 things.  Pictures, objects d’art, pillows, throws, plants, anything that moves.  Stick it in another room, better yet, put it on the dining room table where you can see it.

Now, look at the room.  Is there a difference?  If it looks noticeable barer, then you’re halfway there.  What colors stand out?  Walls?  A sofa?  The rug?  This is the color you want to work with.  Pick a color that you love.

If one doesn’t come to mind or you are having a panic attack, go to a paint shop.  Pull 10 colors you like.  Bring them home and stand in the doorway.  Hold them up one by one and see what appeals to you.

Then take that swatch or swatches with you around your house.  Do you have anything that jumps out?  You’d be surprised what you have.

If nothing grabs you.  Go to home goods with your paint chips.  Get a pillow or two.  Get silk flowers.  Get a throw.  A weird statue, a basket.  Anything that is this color is fair game.  Take your prizes home and place them around the room.  Move them around.  Nothing is set in stone.

Play play, play!

If you’re still in a panic, send me a photo and I’ll tell you where to put stuff.  The stuff you took out can be put elsewhere in the house.  Never be afraid to shake it up.

Hope that helps.

If not, there’s always the Monkey Farm Happy Hour…


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