Lynette Jennings keeps it real

By Carol McGarvey, The Associated Press
Friday May 03, 2002

Television decorating guru Lynette Jennings is a strong advocate of personal style. From her program on the Discovery Channel, “Lynette Jennings Design,” to her own diverse two homes, she lives it. 

“Design is not absolute. Its beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” she says. “We need to own up to who we are and what we like and then have the courage to live the way we want, with what we want. Now that’s design. Taste is personal. Period.” 

With direct encouragement, Jennings tells homeowners to shed perceived “shoulds” and “musts” around them. “It’s about saying no to stuff you don’t like.” 

Jennings suggests that families take a good look at their space. If time is spent mostly with the kids, then why do so many family rooms wind up in the basement with no view or natural light? Do you “save” the living room for guests? Realistically, just how often do guests come to see it? 

“It’s time to make homes conform to your needs. The American house plan hasn’t kept up with our varying cultural lifestyles,” she says. 

It’s all about freedom, Jennings explains. It’s time to get rid of the so-called rules that guide home decorating. Kitchens don’t have to be yellow, a 1940s throwback. Little girls’ rooms don’t have to be pink. And if you want a pool table in the middle of the living room, go for it. 

“Remember, design is about life,” Jennings warns. “With five kids, we soon learned that a sandwich-making corner in our kitchen was a must.”