DESIGN OUT OF REACH
My sister-in-law stole my interior designer, and now I hear they’re putting the vintage kangas meant for me on her couch. What do I say when she invites me over? I can’t bear to see my dream living room in her house.
Luckily, you’ve already moved on from that aesthetic. Everyone knows that new is the new vintage—especially you. You could tell her so. (How jealous will she be when she hears about how your new Miriam Ellner verre églomisé just came back from starring in a show at MoMA?) Or you could take the classy road and compliment her good taste. My preferred tack is a little of both. How about, “I just love what you’ve done to the place. I saw that Ado Chale replica in Brimfield, too, and fell in love. I wanted it instantly! But my Jeffrey— I’m working with Jeffrey Bilhuber now; yes, Anna got me in—refused. He said we could wait a few months and get the real thing. I guess your girl disagreed. Lucky you!”
Please settle a bet: I have a 6,000-square-foot home plus twins, two golden retrievers and a cat. I think we’re pretty clearly a four-person- live-in-staff family, but my husband says three, max. What’s the standard here?
Unlike children, there’s no such thing as too much staff. My own dear cat has a nanny, a groomer and a professional litter-box attendant. That said, I’m a firm believer in only essential sleepovers. (This goes for relatives, too.) I advise just enough live-in staffers to avoid doing anything that could be considered soft labor or which involves another creature’s fecal matter, but not so many that you could run into a strapping young lad in the hall and not know if he’s your driver or your husband’s sidepiece.
Dilemma DuJour welcomes your social-misfit questions. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org