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Ask Flipped: Help, I Am Trapped Under My Bookcase

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I am in a lot of pain. Please send help

Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

I was trying to rearrange the furniture in my living room when I knocked over a large bookcase and it fell on its side, crushing me. I am now trapped underneath. It is difficult for me to breathe. I messed up big time. Please, if you find this letter, send help.

I am in a lot of pain and don't really feel like thinking of a clever pseudonym right now.



First of all, don't be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes while designing, and it can indeed be crushing. But while we often feel trapped after making an aesthetic choice, everything is reversible. The question is: are you going to let this setback ruin your enthusiasm for home decor, or are you going to pick yourself up and keep going? Now that you've tried having the bookcase on its side and decided you that it made the space too claustrophobic (although saying that it's "difficult to breathe" seems a little dramatic, no?) it's time to try something else. Sure, you may have wasted some energy, but it's not the end of the world or anything. Messing up is part of designing.

As for your request that I "send help," I'm glad you brought that up. Too often, we rely on the advice of so-called design experts when really we should be trusting our own instincts. Sure, I or another expert who is not quite as good as me could come to your house and rearrange your furniture for you, but we would be doing it to our tastes, not yours. You are the person who really knows what configuration you want for your living room. And I think that deep down, you know what that is.

The simple fact that you care this much bodes well for you, I think.

Good luck!


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