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 We must interrupt the regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you breaking news and, of course, my obligatory comment.

I’m a little behind on my blog reading *coughkindlecough* so this isn’t exactly hot off the press fresh.  But today I learned that one of my all time favorite bloggers is calling it quits.  Decorno is one of the very few honest decorating blogs among the thousands.  The writer can illicit hundreds of comments with a title-less single photo.  She (I don’t even know her name) is snarky and crass, and intelligent and insightful.  And as inspiring as the posts are the comments.

I’m going to call this straight.  The decorating blogsphere is dominated by fragile egos.  Go out there, and try commenting honestly.  Tell the blogger you are a little tired of their increasingly dishonest product endorsements, or tell them what they are currently swooning over is f-ing ugly.  Or that perhaps the paint color they chose should be a tad warmer. They FREAK.   I have seen bloggers cry over the tiniest hint of disagreement, only to have loyal sycophants jump all over the commenter for making their idol upset.  “Oh, people are so MEAN! My delicate composition cannot handle this!  Why is the world so rude?”  Just recently, three bloggers did a podcast on “dealing with negativity”.  Because you know, anyone who doesn’t agree with you is simply using negativity to get attention …

Not at Decorno.  Oh no.  Vulgarity and disagreement abound.  The discussion is (was) honest.  Decorno “got” that decorating is the most subjective discipline in the world.  Decorno loved to call out stupid.  Decorno wasn’t about ego.  Decorno is going to be horribly missed. 

Since most of you, my readers, know me personally, you won’t be surprised to hear that I received a valentine on Sunday that praised me for being blatantly honest.  Integrity is my most valued character trait, and individuals with true integrity can state their opinion, and Receive Others’ Opinions without collapsing into a heap of thin skin.  I find this to be a character trait that many decorator/writers lack.


  1. Posted April 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Denise,
    Thank you for you “shout out” (of sorts) to the podcast on negativity. It got us a lot of hits, so negativity not only breeds attention, so does talking about it, apparently. The problem, as I see it, is not that people dissent, it’s that they do it by being personally insulting. Cutting comments about people’s looks, or voice, or hair, or family members, etc. And they do it anonymously – so the bloggers like you and I who put our name and businesses out there backing up our opinions are left waving in the breeze while someone in the safety of their anonymity can say what they want without repercussion. And when they are challenged, we’re called “thin skinned”. Who’s really got the thin skin? Why is that kind of “truth telling” considered honest and the way things should be? How does it add to a vibrant conversation about design that people seem to want? Yes, Elaine (aka Decorno) was an interesting voice in the overall discussion, but simply posting a picture and saying “discuss” isn’t brilliance either. Her skill was gathering people who liked to be provocative, which was fine for some. She made it into House Beautiful. I just wish people could separate the concept of authentic critique from verbal, or written abuse. We receive authentic critique on the Skirted Roundtable all the time – our podcasts are too long, we over talk one another, etc. When given in that spirit, it’s totally acceptable.

    Anyway, just wanted to add my 2 cents. I’ll be adding a link to this post on our SRT continuing the conversation sidebar.

  2. Posted April 29, 2010 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Wow, Linda, thank you for addressing little ole me! I have to say when I got up this morning and saw I needed to approve this post, I was stunned. Proof again that what one says online enters the etherium without the burden of a chaperone.

    Of course, I don’t believe commentors should be ugly or rude. And I hope to never be so. But I Do read blogs where the authors (one quite “famous” if one can be called such in this medium) cry and whine publically when anyone says the slightest thing that is anything but gushing praise. I am Facebook friends with a few, and it cracks me up every time I see a status update bemoaning how mean someone was. I have, on more than a few occasions, gone back to look at the offensive remark and I find it anything but!

    Once a commentor told the above mentioned well-read blogger that she felt the endorsements were slightly less than honest. It was written very sweetly. No rudeness at all, but what a hailstorm it caused! (This blogger’s comments are very intellectually challenging. “Ohhhhh nice!” or ‘I love this! Your style is sooo wonderful!” for 50 entries. There, that is me being mean…) Another blogger pitched a huge and ugly fit when a commentor asked her if she had considered a softer yellow in her Kitchen. The blogger went on a rant about how it was HER Kitchen and how dare we criticize! The irony of someone posting a design for all to see, and illiciting comments, than getting upset to read anything but fawning affirmations is too much some times.

    This is what I mean by some bloggers needing thicker skin. I certainly do think when commentors attack beyond the scope of the discussion, it can be horrific. I know what you are speaking of, my other passion is the science/medical blog world. It gets ugly fast in there!

    I think it is really to be admired that Elaine (thank you) was able to draw an audience who COULD discuss a post that contains only a picture. I guess as a lowly DC decorator with a need to put down words, I find this to be sublime.

  3. Posted April 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Blogging = high school. Sad but true. You’re right, it goes both ways. Some people can’t take any hint of criticism and others only want to sling arrows. And in the vast middle is the rest of us trying not to step in it! Good times. Anyway, nice to be introduced to your blog and your p.o.v.

  4. Posted February 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I think it is really to be admired that she was able to draw an audience who could discuss a post that contains only a picture. I guess as a lowly decorator with a need to put down words, I find this to be sublime.

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