Rhodri Marsden: I don't want my interior decor to reflect my personality

Life on Marsden

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The Independent Online

I'm currently having to make decisions about interior decor, but I'm a man and I don't know what I'm doing. I know I shouldn't tar the entire male population with the same brush, but you know what I'm talking about here.

The last thing a man living alone wants is to live in a place that looks as if it's occupied by a man living alone. Left to his own devices, a man living alone will rush things, make foolish choices and end up constructing a living space that looks like the interior decor equivalent of Richard Hammond. I don't want that. So I'm taking my time – but as a result I've become horribly bogged down, and paralysed with fear that I'm about to make a huge aesthetic error. Like accidentally ending up with a mural of a topless woman wearing protective cricket gear or something.

This personal failing of mine has history. My childhood bedroom was painted a hideous shade of orange, a colour that my parents would never have inflicted upon me and which I could only have chosen myself. I just called my mum to ask her about it. "I remember we had to have it mixed specially," she said, "and I remember that I never liked it. It looked even more garish on the walls than we expected, but we went with the flow because we couldn't afford to have it done again." Not much has changed in 30-odd years. Yesterday I showed my girlfriend a picture of a bath that I thought looked nice, but she looked it with utter contempt, as if it had just told a racist joke at a christening.

I mentioned my predicament to a friend, who sighed and said "It's easy. Just get what you like. It'll reflect your personality." But I don't want decor that reflects my personality. That would consist of blood-red walls with "OH NO!" and "WHAT IF?" painted in 7ft high letters, floors of burning hot coals, a staircase replaced with an unscalable ramp greased with Vaseline and strobe lights going off as though the Chemical Brothers are about to come onstage. What I want is decor that compensates for my personality. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this project brief, and I look forward to receiving a quote for the work in due course. Best regards, Rhodri.