10 things Parks and Recreation has taught us about decorating

Leslie Knope approves these messages

We've learned so much from watching Parks and Recreation over the years. That jogging is the worst. That clear alcohols are for rich women on diets, and that, every so often, you should 'treat yo' self'. But over the years, it's also given us some inspirational tips on decorating.

Never seen it? You can find every episode of its seven seasons on Amazon Prime. We suggest you give it a watch because A. It's hilarious and B. The following might not make much sense otherwise! Enjoy!

More TV gold: 13 things you didn't know about the Friends interior set

1. Granny squares never date

ladies having discussions

(Image credit: NBC)

Our heroine Leslie Knope's house is a mess, but her BFF Ann makes up for it with her stylish abode. We particularly love her sofa, with its boho cushions and crochet blanket, which stars from seasons 1 through to 6 and is almost as famous as the rest of the cast. Its best scene? After an epic Telethon night, it keeps Leslie warm when she finally falls asleep... for 22 hours.

2. The entrance way to your house sends a message to the world about who you are

room with people having discussion

(Image credit: NBC)

So says Feng Shui expert Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe), who's own hallway is 'like a spa', according to Leslie Knope. Oh, and 'the front door provides energy flow and opportunity'. Ok then Chris...

3. Joan Callamezzo knows how to decorate a bedroom

bedroom with tiger print cushion covers and blankets

(Image credit: NBC)

Not our words, but those of Tom Haverford, who just can't resist 'seeing how soft these sheets are' when he and Ben drop off the tipsy Pawnee Today host at home. Because, as we know, Tom has a thing about soft sheets, which brings us on to our next point...

4. You can never have too many soft sheets

shimmery cushions and fluffy blankets

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Tom's own bed is covered in tactile throws and cushions. We were wondering if he washes them in Sparkle Suds, but then our good friend Ysanne Brooks pointed out that Tom probably doesn't clean his sheets – he either buys new ones on the Entertainment 720 business account or sprays them with his signature scent, Tommy Fresh!

Anyway, his whole apartment is a dream come true as far as Ann Perkins is concerned.

bathroom with white sink and potted plant

(Image credit: NBC)

There are 'amenities everywhere', including a cheese plate and Adriatic figs in the kitchen, and a Sudoku book in the bathroom. Another tip from Tom – the thermostat should always be set to 80 degrees F, 'night and day'. That's a balmy 26.6 degrees C, in case you were wondering.

5. A new home is worth celebrating

living room with wooden flooring and fireplace

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Leslie is going to lease this house. And to celebrate, she and Ann are going to dance to the Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. Possibly all morning...

6. No one really knows how to lay a table properly

dining area with dinner set

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Andy is a great help when Leslie throws a fancy party, offering 'not to spit in anyone's food unless they should request that I do'. Nice. He also sets up the table. Question is...

Andy:"Did I do this right?"

Leslie: "I don't know?"

We're not sure, either, Andy.

Prefer a good drama? Which Mad Men character's style would you steal?

7. Pictures of breakfast food can make fine wall art

breakfast painting on wall

(Image credit: NBC)

Ron Swanson loves breakfast food. So much so that he has pictures of it hanging in his office. His usual breakfast order? 'Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.'

8. A wall sconce can be melted down into anything

green wall with wall painting

(Image credit: NBC)

Need a wedding ring at short notice? Ron Swanson's your man. Start by ripping a wall sconce out of the home of an unsuspecting victim – in this case, Ann.

Ron explains the rest: 'It's not rocket science. I removed the sconce, fired up my grandfather's torch, heated up the pieces in a cast iron bucket, liquified the metal, poured it into a mould, obviously keeping it over a low frame to achieve a nice temper, cooled it in antifreeze, and just forged and shaped the rings. Any moron with a crucible and a settling torch and a cast-iron waffle maker could have done the same.'

Obviously! Why didn't we think of that?!?

'Whole thing only took me about 20 minutes,' adds Ron. 'People who buy things are suckers.'

9. No home is complete without a proper tool box

room with venetian blind and face mannequin

(Image credit: NBC)

Unfortunately, Ron finds out that April and Andy's consists of 'a hammer, half of a pretzel, a baseball card, some cartridge that says "Sonic" and "Hedgehog", a scissor half and a flashlight filled with jelly beans.'

Luckily, he and Ann are on hand to mend the leaking bathroom tap, the 'shock wire' above the shower, and every other damn thing that might need fixing.

10. You can have more than one crib tree

garden area with metal crib

(Image credit: NBC)

Related: 11 things Gogglebox has taught us about decorating

As we know from point 8, woodworker Ron doesn't understand why people buy things. So when he learns he is going to be a dad, he – of course – goes in search of a crib tree. Having found the perfect specimen, he 'approaches the tree, murders it and leaves it to cure in his woodshop' before 'working it into a crib for his upcoming child'.

However, when Chris and Ann's shop-bought crib turns out to be a death trap, Ron generously gives up his handmade cot. 'There's more than one crib tree in a forest,' he reasons. Ron Swanson, we salute you!

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.