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Kelly and Olive

Do you remember how once, not too long ago, my family and I lived in the Brown Place? How we swam every day in a Sea of Brown? Well, when I was getting all manner of helpful comments on how to spruce up Brownland, one of my commenters recommended using Kelly and Olive—virtual decorators who’ll advise you based on the information you give them.

As I was already overwhelmed with all the different advice I had, admittedly, asked for, I thought and thought about this Kelly and Olive idea. It sounded promising. I looked at their site. I liked their site. I looked at the fee they charged for a consultation. It was reasonable. And then it occurred to me that my words might be valuable to them, so I asked—would they do a consultation in exchange for my bracingly honest feedback on Finslippy? Assuming they would tell me to go to hell, and I could move on with my life.

Courtney, one of the two designers involved (please note: no one is named Kelly OR Olive in this operation. Do not be alarmed) wrote back right away. It would be their pleasure, she said. I was thrilled. Although I’m not a reviewing kind of blogger, I thought this would fit in perfectly with my apartment-design preoccupation and would provide a valuable service to you, the reader. Plus: tips! Tips for me! I like tips.

So I filled out their questionnaire, sent them tons of pictures, told them far too much about my complex likes and dislikes, bored them to tears, and anxiously awaited their reply.

Soon afterward, my apartment building went berserk. You may remember this as well. The residents above me were beset with some kind of collective insanity, and there was much screaming and violence. As you may remember, I didn’t handle it well.

(By the way, People Who Emailed to Tell Me I Was Overreacting and Should Get Over Myself: I received a call when I was there from the Director of Special Ops, recommending that we look into a restraining order against our upstairs neighbors. This came the day after the massive raid on the guy upstairs. It was beyond the normal rowdy-apartment shenanigans. So there.)

The day after my building became a nightmare factory, Kelly and Olive sent me their in-depth report on how to spruce up the apartment. That’s right: the horrible screamy one that we were now vacating.

I felt terrible. All that work, for nothing! With great regret, I had to inform Courtney that the deal we had struck had hit an unexpected snag. We were, however, going to move with the same stuff we had already, and changes would undoubtedly be made, so I promised her I would weigh in on the report once we were in our new place and settled in. She handled it graciously.

Well! We moved later than I thought we would, and then life got hectic, and then my computer died, and just today I was going through my recovered hard-drive contents when I found the report from Kelly and Olive. The recommendations they had so graciously provided me. The ones I had mostly followed, too. Yeah. THOSE.

So it immediately occurred to me that I should take pictures today and post them, but there was another problem, that being that my home is a mess. But I swear to you, I will clean this apartment—I will clean it soon and I will show you the wonderful non-brownness of it. True, it’s a different apartment. But look, Courtney and Lauren, if you had included recommendations for casting out the demons, maybe we could have worked things out at that other place. But that wasn’t in your questionnaire! You guys need to work on that.

Reader Comments (32)

Lol! Well as long as you are happy.... So how are your new neighbors?
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRose
Glad it worked out :-) They do great work. I've been meaning to take pics of my own bedroom that they helped me with and post them to my blog, but...lazy.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Too cool! I didn't know about this service. I could have really used it about 9 months ago when I first moved in. However, I will probably need it in another 12 months when *gasp* my son moves away to college and I reclaim the sun room he practically lives in that I want to make my sanctuary.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkaylen
HA! How did they NOT know the demon part?!

I'm totally checking out their site. We just moved into a HUGE house that is painted (floor AND ceiling) in peach. PEACH?!?! 6,000 square feet of peach. I'm going NUTS!

Oh, they also liked to decorate with kid's stickers. No joke. Serious decorating with stickers. Help me.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
ooohhh!!! That is amazing! I didn't know you could designer help via the internet. Makes sense, since you can get just about anything else on the internet.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzRocks
If you get everything cleaned up I'll come over and take pics for you! I have new sexy lenses.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber, theAmberShow
They are in Chicago - yay! I've already contacted them. I've lived in my new house for 2 years and there's nothing on the walls and virtually no decorating. Basically, I just don't know how. I've already contacted Kelly&Olive - I hope they can help me! Thanks for the tip!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDani
Kelly & Olive seems to be exactly what I've been looking for! Thanks for posting!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
Alright! Can't wait to see. :)
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramigurumigirl
At first I thought you had covered over all the brown with kelly green and olive green. Did you? Oooh, I can't wait for photos.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZina
Also, I never doubted the danger level of your previous residence, since I've camped in Utah so I had a reference point for comparison. I'm pretty sure the Special Ops director also calls up Utah campers with legal advice.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZina
Looking forward to seeing the new digs with their new non-brownness!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermauigirl
Are Kelly and Olive people or shades of green? Can Kelly and Olive tell me how to make my kitchen less confusingly small? Thanks K & O!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith
I felt a fluttery inside when you mentioned a call from the Director of Special Ops. It's like The Odessa File, right there in your living room. So cool! Sure, it scared you badly, but hey! You got out alive! Special Ops, man!

Not really sure which thing is sadder there: the vicarious thrill over the Special Ops thing, or the fact that I've never met you and yet I have such a vested interest in your apartment goings-on. At any rate, I apologize for both.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheila
I'm now training my freakin babysitter in exchange for walking the dog. Bartering is my life.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjessica Bern
Good to know that service exists. I'll have to check it out. I was thinking I wanted Nate Berkus to make my home all matchy and cool, but since I'd planned to kidnap him and all, this sounds far less illegal.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWombat Central
Who knew that there were services like that? Very cool - can't wait to see the pics!
But why do Courtney and Lauren call themselves Kelly and Olive?!
July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
On-line decorators? I've got to check them out.
July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCara
I have to admit - I'm terribly thrown by the absence of anyone named Kelly or Olive.
July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan (Best of Fates)
Popped over from BlogHer -- congrats on your finalism (? "finalist status" seems unwieldy) as a Voice of the Year! {Loved the 6 yr old post, by the way!)

Hope you are able to to some basking in the glow of the honor. And as it's so freakin' hot here in the NY area, everyone will understand if you opt to do some clothing optional basking. (Just close the curtains...learn from my mistakes!)

Happy Friday!
What a great idea, online decorating advice! I would love to try that. Our main floor is mostly decorated; I mean that when we moved in, we went nuts with paint and covered every available surface in a color that isn't white. Let's go ahead and call that decorated. But our finished basement--living room, our bedroom, and our daughter's room--still have completely white walls, accented only by photos thumbtacked to the walls. Not really the ideal look, I think. I can't wait to see what you've done, and I think I'm going to have to check out these ladies too!
July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKendra
I think you're on to some savvy strategy here for Green and Green. If they could combine decorating with exorcisms--brilliant niche marketing! There, NOW they got their money's worth.
July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSit At My Table
July 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergreg
I would love their help but I am so beyond decorating. I'd need all new furniture and that just isn't reasonable, but there is a sofa and love seat set I am coveting. Maybe if I get those bought I'll check them out :)
July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

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