Richard: Full confession: I am a sci-fi/fantasy geek. I can recite long passages from Doctor Who, pre-reboot. I once stayed home from work to binge-watch all 74 episodes of the “new” Battlestar Galactica — and not just because I was entranced by Jamie Bamber’s magnificent ass. (Well, maybe a little.) For the past several years, three friends and I have met every week for a potluck dinner, topped off by hours of D&D. And for the recent Chewbacchus parade in New Orleans, I marched with a group of people dressed as 20-sided dice. There is no shame in my nerd game.
What I am not is a collector. I don’t understand the urge to shell out for every last plastic figurine associated with superheroes or anime princesses or even Battlestar Galactica. (Unless there were a replica of Jamie Bamber’s ass done to scale. If you know of such a thing, contact me immediately.)
This room demonstrates exactly why collectors drive me crazy: it’s because most of them are doing it wrong. If you want to collect books, Lladro figurines, whatever, for the love of Benji, have a place to display the fruits of your obsession properly. A breakfont china cabinet perhaps. Or a lovely barrister’s bookcase. Something substantial and attractive and protected from dust. A single, streamlined Ikea shelf not only fails to fit the bill, it looks totally out of place amid all that fuckery.
And don’t get me started on that shrouded thing in the back. I’ve no idea what’s under there, but I have a hunch that Dorian Corey would’ve approved.*
* If you don’t get that reference, you should be ashamed of your gay self. Look it up.
Richard: Someone — possibly George Bernard Shaw — once said that youth is wasted on the young.
You know what’s not wasted on the young? Rit fabric dye.
Whoever decorated this room is clearly on the green side of 30. Hell, I don’t know anyone over the age of 25 who thinks that booze bottles are acceptable bibelots. And everyone who’s been to college knows the pain that comes from removing dozens of taped magazine clippings from the walls. That’s a mistake you don’t make twice.
But for someone who’s built a stalker-esque shrine to monochromatic Karl Lagerfeld on his closet door, our decorator/aspiring fashionista has a shockingly motley bed. What would Chanel’s Great Gray Grande Dame say if he were to see that crazy quilt of a crib? Would he clack his silver rings with glee and slip into the sheets for some anal with his acolyte? Or would he squeal like Doctor Smith, impale himself on that dragon statuette, and pray never to see again? I think we all know the answer.
Bottom line: If you’re going to talk the fashion talk, you need to walk the fashion walk. Thirty minutes in a warm bath of Pearl Gray, and those pillowcases would look much blander and better.
David: I know the ongoing recession has driven many of us to cut back on our spending and also relocate due to exorbitant rents. But something I’d advise none of you do is add more clutter to already too-small spaces.
A good example is the bedroom pictured here, which, for all intents and purposes could just as easily be a samples display set up in the ‘bedroom’ division of an antique/junk shop. The message seems to be clear: “After mama dies throw everything out.” In other words: Now is your chance for freedom.
Here the eye becomes flummoxed as it follows the array of tchotchkes behind the brass headboard. They appear here as strata that only a seasoned archeologist would dare to dig through. The items seem to go on and on and on and on — and one can only image where they will ‘end.’
Again, if you are forced to downsize for economic reasons, enlist a friend to help you sort through your goods from your larger domain, editing fiercely as he goes. And then take his advice as he declares: “No.” And then again: “No” and “No” and “No.” And: DEFINITELY NOT.
Richard: Oh, so close. And yet, as Carole King once crooned, so faaaaar away.
I admit, there’s an awful lot of beige going on. For all I know, this could actually be a photo of a real housewife of Terre Haute chugging a vanilla milkshake on the balcony of a newly stuccoed La Quinta somewhere on the Florida panhandle. It’s that fucking beige.
I’m also a little uncomfortable with the furniture, which is nice but too-Bombay-Company-by-half. And let us all take a moment to remember that popcorn belongs in a bucket — ideally one with a hole in the bottom so you can get a second-date handjob at the dollar cinema during a matinee of Jem and the Holograms. One of many places that popcorn does not belong is on the goddamn ceiling.
And yet, I could forgive all that — and the whimsical container of golfballs/unfinished cascarones, too — if it weren’t for that television. Correct me if I’m wrong, but putting a sofa directly underneath the TV would seem to defeat the point of having a TV in the first place. Unless, of course, Regan MacNeil did the decorating here, in which case, the power of Christ compels you to sit down and watch the game.
David: What’s fabulously meanspirited about this picture’s composition is how the photographer is forcing our attention onto his wreath collection and not so much on the model’s reared ass. Our future porn star senses that he’s not the center of the spread — which explains his exasperated expression. You can hear him yelling back at the photographer: “Fuck the goddamned garland and show what’s important: My suffering for art — with this cockring ripping my ballsack off at the root!”
Beyond the chaotic menagerie of wall art (a stuffed fish anyone?), we’ve got the one defining element that turns this entire room into a genuine “happening” worthy of Lurid Digs. That luxurious faux mink bedspread, swelling like a wave that’s ready to crash through our monitor.
Again the model is upstaged by the setting. He seems precariously placed on the shifty spread, an afterthought almost, easily tossed aside so the room might bloom bigger and brighter with all its festive splendor.
Eric: Back in 1960, American moviegoers were introduced to Suzie, a gold-hearted Hong Kong whore. The film’s cultural legacy is large– the still-stunning Nancy Kwan, an iconic haircut, quaint racism, the cheongsam dress (see photo),and the realization that the Asiana the men had brought back from their war(s) could move out of the attic and into the house proper.
I think that sort of integration was the goal here, but it’s already gone wrong. My own preference in this style is for the more rustic, provincial stuff, not the highly ornate gorgeous court pieces, so that’s where I’m taking this. Think natural serenity, not kitschy restaurant.
There’s a good beginning here, but it doesn’t go far enough. I actually like both the color and shape of the media cabinet. Maybe our tenant can’t get rid of the electronics, but he could damn sure tidy them up.
I see a nice Buddha In A Box, a chair undernath the Supergirl costume, and some sort of a lamp. They can stay.The mask? Over the toilet. Guitar? Hang it in the dining nook, which will thereafter be referred to as the Hard Wok Cafe. What we have left is a lovely blank slate. Can’t you feel yourself zenning out already? The neutral carpet needs its yang, a soft, nature-based wall tone.
I’m hoping that the unseen upholstered pieces are in solid colors. If not, fitted slipcovers. Mission, mid-century, Shaker, contemporary transitional, Danish– almost any school of case goods would work here, with a light sanding and a coat of distressed matte black to unite disparities in style.
Artwork is no problem because it isn’t needed. Everyone has a pile of unused picture frames. Spray them with hammered-metal paint in various finishes and hang them empty (after painting the wires to blend into the walls, of course).
Necessary accessories are few. Coupla groupings of pillar candles will suffice. For anything else, natural materials (stone, rattan, wood, just a bit of old brass). Think Ikea if Pier 1 is out of your budget’s reach. Anything else would just be a drag.