Service of Who Noticed?

December 19th, 2011

Categories: Art, Details, Interior Design


christiane-amanpourA week ago Sunday I noticed that when Christiane Amanpour interviewed Diane Sawyer about the Republican Presidential candidate debate the night before, both were wearing eyeglasses. I happen to like eyeglasses and how they look on people but I’m not used to seeing them on female TV anchors any more than wrinkles. Apart from eyeglass industry marketing types, I wondered if anyone else took note.

I was speaking with interior designer John Buscarello, ASID, at the International Furnishings and Design Association holiday party last week. (I interviewed John for this year’s Bathroom Blogfest.) He told me how for one year he’d fought a NYC Fire Department regulation requiring him to paint red the main sprinkler pipes that are in his top floor office because he despised the color. He finally had to. When he enters each day, the pipes glare and unsettle him yet many of his clients don’t notice the change!

Speaking of paint, do you find that when company is coming, every smudge or chip you’ve passed by a million times in a hallway or room suddenly looks unbearable? Same with shabby upholstery, liners sneaking out of carpet edges….all seem to take on flashing neon light status. If you add enough distractions such as flowers, a nicely dressed dining table, and serve good food, I wonder whether guests notice these flaws as much?

john-constableDo you notice the hallmark red dot in many of John Constable’s landscape paintings? Early 19th century style pictures are not my favorite so I tend to scoot by those exhibits, but I pointed it out to my date, now my husband, on a trip to the Metropolitan Museum a zillion years ago. We joke about it now because we rarely pick up the same things. He has haunted museum painting galleries for thousands of hours and he’s partial to the artist’s work yet until then, no red dot sightings.

Why was I surprised when he hadn’t noticed that our amaryllis had grown several inches in a week and developed a flower bud?

Do you notice things your friends and family members don’t? Like what?


9 Responses to “Service of Who Noticed?”

  1. JBS Said:

    I notice bad grammar … on TV or in person. I correct my grandchildren if they make a mistake, but there have been times (like yesterday when a woman made six grammatical mistakes in one short conversation) when I practically have to put my had over my mouth to keep quiet.

    My spouse laughs when I correct someone on television. There’s a sportscaster in Minneapolis who uses good when he should use well all the time and beat, when he should use beaten. Lots of Minnesotans end sentences with “with.” As in, “do you want come with”

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You made me think: Accents are something else I notice. Some make me a little sad, if they are the French kind, as they remind me of my Dad whom I miss. Others make me cringe.

  3. Simon Carr Said:

    As the old saying goes, “The Devil is in the Details.”

    A good example of this was the recent disclosure in the news, although it is and has been a matter of public record for several years, that the federal legislation covering the extraction of oil and gas from shale, contains a provision in it, which explicitly exempts the companies doing the extracting from complying with the federal laws, which govern water quality. (What the process used to extract the fuel involves is the pumping into toxic chemicals into the shale thus forcing fuel out of the shale, and is known as “fracking.” Once the fuel is out and pumped to the ground, toxic chemicals don’t go away. They remain in the ground contaminating it and the water in it.)

    Reportedly, this exemption was put into the bill at the explicit request of former Vice President Cheney as a parting favor to his friends at the Halliburton Corporation before he left office.

    The most disturbing thing about this for New Yorkers is that the city derives its water supply from the Catskills, which, at least in part, is where the shale to be “fracked” is.

    Unless something is done to stop “fracking” soon, within decades New York City will become uninhabitable, not that Mr. Cheney would care, he never did much care for Easterners.

  4. Lucrezia Said:

    I drift in and out of noticing things, and as a result can be accurately called eagle eyed or clueless, not to speak of anything in between. People differ, and it’s probable that one notices things of personal interest, while ignoring others which may intrigue a neighbor. In short there is no single answer to this question. It all depends upon who is talking.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Now fracking is something we should all take notice of, especially those of us who live and drink water in and around the NYC area. I wonder if Mr. Cheney also has stock in bottled water from elsewhere–say Perrier, San Pellegrino or Evian?

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Proving your point: I love noticing money on the street, and do on occasion find more than the odd quarter, dime or mostly penny!

  7. Nancy Farrell Said:

    Sometimes I notice what I am taught to notice. I cringe when I see window air conditioning units facing the street in a neighborbood of single-family homes. My husband, who grew up in an apartment, has no clue why on earth that would bother me and no clue why there should be a rule against it!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Is yours an aesthetic or energy-saving issue? My bet is that there may be landscaping or furniture placement issues that force a homeowner to muck up the look of a place with ac units.

    New business idea: Design a unit that isn’t ugly or that somehow melts into the architecture. Now if I could only do that!

  9. Nancy Farrell Said:

    I think that this is an aesthetic issue. The rule is to use a back window or if that is not possible, then a side window. Window units look like broken teeth on the front of a house. Great idea about designing a unit that “melts” or maybe even looks like a window!

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