It ties the room together.

Many men wince slightly at the mention of interior decorating, but why is that? For me, it's because it's an unfamiliar rulebook. I don't want the wrong secondary colour accenting my cabinets, but I don't have enough of a colour vocabulary to know the difference between "spiced pumpkin" and "autumn flight". Hesitant to make the wrong choice, I instead stick with the primary colours.

That's exactly why I was dreading the move so much -- new carpets, new curtains, new couch, new cabinets. How was I going to fit my choices into the framework?

The answer? Find a vocabulary you understand. I picked out some curtains that didn't look too bad, and the salesperson complimented its rustic charm.

Rustic? I can do rustic.

And just like that, things fell together. That couch there, with the fish and canoe pattern? That's rustic. I'll take it. The end table, the deck chairs? Wood is rustic -- give me wood. The wall decorations? Let's put some aboriginal carvings up there. That's not just rustic, that's rusterrific.

It was like that for pretty much the entire weekend. Finally, though, I hit a problem: the entertainment stand. The electronics were all sleek and black. The only place the TV would fit was above the fireplace. Rustic, yes, but the fireplace was also white, as was the moulding around it. The problem, then, was that everything was spiralling towards sleek, not rustic. I'd already stained a pine shelving unit to hold everything, but the contrast was still off. It was just too much black... but then, I put my Wii next to the DVD player, and something clicked. It wasn't enough, though. I still needed something else. Something white... something electronic... something rustic. Something charming both despite and because of its years, something still practical, if no longer ideal...

And then it hit me: I still had my old Dreamcast.

And so, I learned that Interior decorating's actually a breeze -- you just need to have the right vocabulary.

That, and a decent games library. If you know anyone willing to sell their copy of Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram, send them my way, would you?

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About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.