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February 14, 2008


Attention child therapists: future business alert!

Kids and posh decor don't go together

If you're a mental health professional who works with disturbed children, the NY Times published a helpful list of leads today to help you build your client base. It's in the form of an article about the pain parents suffer when having children forces them to alter their home design concepts, titled "Parent Shock: Children Are Not Décor".

Take down these names, find their contact information, wait a year or two, then contact the families when the kids stop eating, begin cutting themselves, or start sleeping with James Woods. These kids are going to need a LOT of therapy:

  • Debra Cherney and Hartley Bernstein, and kids Cole and Brooke:
    When the twins became mobile, the couple realized that they would need to create a designated play space in their prewar Park Avenue apartment. The room they sacrificed — the formal dining room — was tough.

    She felt the full impact when they put their 18th-century mahogany dining table and chair set in storage. "When I bought the table I was envisioning these beautiful, lovely dinners with fine china. Once you have kids and once you give up those things, it was like, 'Who was I kidding?' I remember thinking this room will look nice again — in about 18 years."

  • Kipp Cheng and Mark Jarecke, and son Beckett:
    "We spent years collecting meaningful, quality pieces. Basically each room was finally done, and then it all got blown apart."

    Among the most troubling matters was the fate of the Barcelona chairs... After much deliberation, they put three in the garage and wrapped the corners of the fourth in foam so it could stay in the living room. "It was just sad," he said.

  • Bob Stratton and Sandra McLean, and kids Vin and Fia:
    "They can play with a toy in the main living area, but it has to go away when they’re done. I’m very concerned with what’s in my visual space. When people come into the house, I very much do not want them being bombarded with toys."

    Ms. McLean instructed Fia and Vin not to eat on the couch, and told them half-jokingly not to "sit on it, stand near it or even look at it."

  • Jacqueline Brown and Gavin Friedman, and son Harrison:
    They were determined not to let Harrison "take control of the house," Ms. Brown said. They went ahead with putting in flat-front lacquered maple cabinets in the kitchen, even though they soon had to watch a professional babyproofer drill 300 holes in them for safety latches. (Ms. Brown still cringes.) And they held onto the molded-wood chairs, which were not an easy transition from the highchair. "They have a very sleek bottom," Ms. Brown explained. "He slides off it."

I bet children of wealthy interior design enthusiasts who grew up with furniture they weren't allowed to touch sometimes wonder if their parents really love them. Now they know!

Lots of sputtering indignation in the readers' comments.

categories: Culture, NYC
posted by amy at 3:42 PM | #

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