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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The secret to keeping pale interiors pristine

In a peek behind the decorating curtain, interior designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz reveals the secrets to keeping his famously pale rooms clean:

- He and his partner undress when they return home and change into their "inside clothes."
- He located the laundry near his front door.
- He rarely invites guests over.

Dumplings, how anal retentive are you about keeping your home clean?

- "Batshit Noriega-Ortiz."
- "I ask my guests to remove their shoes."
- "Enh, I vacuum every election cycle."

[The New York Times]

29 comments:

susieq said...

Oh, I'm definitely in the 3rd category. I used to be wonderful anal. Up until all hours cleaning. A piece of lint did not drop to the floor without my catching it and polishing up the area. But kids and starting a business ruined me. It hit me -- who the hell cares? Now I'm all easy-going, flexible, and the pet hair flies. And, surprise! I like life so much better. The only downside is there's no ALL WHITE INTERIORS in my future.

only a movie said...

I'm somewhere between the second and third choice.

Kate said...

Please remind me what is this word.... cleaning?
my great grandmother used to say "you'll eat a peck of dirt before you die" I've taken to believe that a peck is a VERY large quantity.

ticklishfromadistance said...

Is that a home? Or a staging area? I don't get it. I don't hope for people to slosh red wine and mud in my house, but I want them to enjoy and relax. It sounds like the beautiful place he has created is a museum. Not for me.

David said...

We have someone clean, and I try to keep things picked up, but I also try not to be a freak about it. At the end of my life I'd like to look back and remember the fun I had, mess and all, rather than how well I kept house.

I love good architecture and decor, but they should enhance how I live, not dictate.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Yeah, I'd rather have good parties and clean up afterwards than not have people over because I'm neurotic about having a pristine house. We've got annoyingly light colored carpets so normally we ask people to take their shoes off but that's about the limit.

Linda/"Mom" said...

* OK, so exactly what A-R-E "inside clothes"... (in HIS mind's eye, anyway???). And I would PRESUME "no pets allowed" & no fires in the fireplace.

* SO, "Laundry near/at the front door"? ~ I mean, taking your clothes off there is the "why", I guess... but wouldn't a laundry room near the MBR be more feasible/convenient, so you don't have to carry clothing all the way back to the MBR???

* If one RARELY has guests over, I would think that one would be hard-pressed to find any "friends" to COME when you DO invite them...

NO, I did not eat nails for dinner.... This simply, truly seems so CONTRADICTORY to leading a wonderful, FULL life... caring more for carpets than people? I... don't... think... so...!!! Sorry, but I find it all VERY S-A-D.

Thanks for sharing this, tho... "interesting" to see how others choose to live...

Best,
Linda in AZ *

Awesome Sara said...

dude!!! theres no way i can live in a home like that. me brathing will make it dirty. i'm a dirty girl. ooo!

Camilla @ Designalogue Blog said...

No wonder he rarely has house guests - look how cold & unwelcoming it is!
The only thing I am anal about in my house is red wine on my linen sofa. The vacuuming gets done when I can be bothered which can be weekly or monthly!

Debi said...

I have two little boys - cleaning happens sometimes. This doesn't seem like living...

lucitebox said...

My secret--don't have a pale interior.

My house is as clean as it can be. I will not stress over it, though. I do a little here and a little there. It is what it is, crummy old woodwork, bad wood floors and all.

I have no frickin' idea what inside clothes are, either. Unless this guy is a roofer or a farmer or works on a road crew, how dirty can it be when one's out in the big bad world?

Things That Inspire said...

OK - you had me at the title of this post!

We got new carpet in the bedrooms last year, and as I was thinking we would put our house on the market 'any minute', I was a fanatic about keeping it clean. One thing that helped: we had wood floors put into the hall upstairs, which are so easy to clean. But the biggest change we made was a 'no shoes upstairs' rule. Really, if you think about it, how dirty are shoes? Very dirty. It was quite easy to adapt to this rule, and my carpets upstairs are incredibly clean and pristine - even the ivory short pile (very impractical) wall to wall carpet in my bedroom. The only problem is when a workman gets upstairs, but I feel a bit odd asking a workman to take his shoes off.

Yana said...

We have wood floors, so I'm not paranoid. Albeit, the only person I ask to take his shoes off is my Father in-law. He's is very sweet, but totally oblivious, and normally donning huge muddy shoes. And I just look at my pottery barn yellow rug and wince.
So i'm a 2-3.

white couches are gorgeous, but they are only for people who don't have kids OR have any friends with kids.

Alison said...

What's the point of having a kickass place if you don't have people over to ooh and ahh over it?

P.S. If you ever come to my house, please note: the cat-hair tumbleweeds you see everwhere are there on purpose. It's an, uh, art installation that speaks to the, um, rootlessness of...society? Yeah, that's it!

erin@designcrisis said...

Holy shit, talk about living in a bubble!

I thought he was going to say that they take their clothes off and run around naked when they get home, and I was wondering how often the hair had to be vacuumed up...

I'm tidy, but I could be cleaner. We have wood floors that show nothing, but dirty baseboards and toilets gross me out.

nkp said...

If it's family, they know to take their shoes off. Anyone else, I would hope they would take a hint via our bare feet sans shoes. But I would never insist or even request that a guest remove their shoes. What a party pooper! Truth be told, I'm a control freak and rather anal, but not batshit crazy. At least not yet. ;0)

Creepy said...

I like when people take their shoes off.. and most do...

I am somehow always cleaning and the house remains a disaster...

houseenvy said...

Wow. Do you think he makes his infrequent guests take their clothes off at the front door too?! Isn't this what wipeable paint is for...?

Robin said...

I like my house to be picked up and nice, and I clean once a week, although I am a TERRIBLE duster. Hate it. And I have no kids so I do have a white couch and white duvet, but I also have 2 black cats so there is a lot of lint brushing going on. As far as shoes, I pick my whole outfit based on what shoes I am going to wear, so I am the last person to ask anyone to take their shoes off when they come over, and I am reluctant to take mine off when I go to someone's house who has that... policy?

kate salenfriend said...

Nut Job.
some how just reading this post kind of creeped me out.

Shoes off at the door:
1.5 years ago we moved into brand spankin new house with wood floors and despite having two kids, really tried to keep the yucky shoes off of it- including visiting friends.
I even posted the query on the Domino forum (a tear coming down my cheek here) just to stir up trouble and it sure did.
Since then, I accidently flooded the worshiped floor, and a 15k replacement later...I'm much more relaxed about it. (it was likely the karma I was generating that caused the flood. Surely not my fault?)
One positive: my boys still don't wear their shoes in the house, but if you drop by, please do leave your perfectly- chosen- for- your- outfit shoes on. I swear I've changed and I won't freak out.
(p.s: THINGS THAT INSPIRE: workmen around here usually stash "shoe booties" in their trucks for weirdos like me. Just ask them)

sherri said...

I'm a slob.

Decorina said...

We wear shoes in the house and so do our guests. The large part of the mostly white rug in the living room has been slimed by the dog who just won't wipe his feet, damn it.

If you don't want me to wear shoes in your home I will comply, though I may complain later that you value your floors more than anything or anyone else. Just sayin.

Sol Kawage said...

Living in a small town that gets tons of snow in winter and where one rarely uses the car makes it natural for everyone to take off shoes before going inside, so floors stay clean much longer. It is also customary to provide slippers for guests. It's not a matter of valuing the floors more than the friends, but everybody likes a clean, dry floor. And personally when i go to someone else's house and it is all clean and tidy I feel guilty to besmirch it.
that said, those guys are crazy.

fromtherightbank.com said...

I worship BNO but inside clothes? I aspire to an all white house one day but if that's what it takes I might need a rethink. I used to be much more of a clean freak until I got dogs. I quickly learned it's hopeless with those furry monsters running around.

tony said...

"Dust to Dust;
Ashes to Ashes"

Rather pathetic when human beings are considered primarily as carriers of dirt.

Raina said...

Hello Tony and welcome to this deliciousness!

Blue Piranha said...

How sad. And too much work! I would rather have a warm, welcoming house that can handle the mess of entertaining dear friends a hundred times more than I want to live in a showplace.

Celestial Fundie said...

Removing shoes is the way to go.

I have an whole blog about removing shoes in homes:Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might like to take a look.

Raina said...

Celestial Fundie - Welcome and you crack me up! You're the reason the internet was invented.