Thursday, March 11, 2010

"California" Design - Safety First!

While working on finishing up my wine corks bulletin board, I decided to watch a little HGTV to help keep me inspired. I don't know their shows that well, but I can usually find something entertaining that I can get a few ideas out of.

When I came across a show where they were redesigning a California couple's bedroom, though, I was rather appalled at the reveal. Not because the colors were horrible or the layout was crazy. But because the designer had installed a large - and heavy-looking - wood shelf over the bed. Of course, the couple was thrilled on camera, and sure, it's a great idea for storage or knick-knacks or what-have-you...as long as you're somewhere where there isn't in constant danger of the ground shaking violently. Violently enough, sometimes, to knock pictures askew, knick-knacks off shelves, throw cupboards open and fling dishes onto the ground, and even perhaps shake a shelf loose enough to fall off the wall.

Now I'm a Northern California native, so earthquakes really don't scare me. And I'm not saying people should be running around the area paranoid all the time. But I am saying that when you decorate your house, make it so that if you're asleep when the big one hits, you're not knocked unconscious because you wanted a little storage over your bed.

I was taught this from a fairly young age. Posters over the bed - fine. Add a wood frame? Um, let's put that somewhere else. At the very least, over the side of the bed where it'll merely smash your legs and not your precious gray matter. And with shelving, secure it very sturdily to the wall (I admit I struggle with this more - there's an incident I won't mention at this time, but let's just say it was a little frightening and pretty much my own damn fault). And if possible, have a little edge lip or something on the shelf to constrain those little suckers so they don't fall and break. Think of it like a boat, only not so extreme.

So with all that said, you'd think I'd have the most secure house in the world, right? Not so much. There are things I just have decided that I can live without if they fall. I don't feel like putting child-proof latches on all my cabinets (like many people did after the '89 earthquake). The art on my walls is not attached at the top and the bottom of the frame (which many buildings have, more for earthquakes than people stealing them). But do I have anything hung over the heads of my beds? Absolutely not! And if I ever do, you can bet your life (literally) that it will be exceptionally lightweight.

Moral of the story? Think before you decorate, people. Especially with all the big earthquakes happening elsewhere lately. Try to avoid killing yourself in your sleep. And always run for door jambs and avoid glass as much as possible.

*End Public Safety Announcement*

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