Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kindly Submit Your Décor Plans with your Tax Return


Kathie Shoop

Since Congress doesn’t seem able to make headway in the weighty issues of the day, I’ve decided they should get the following law on the books post-haste:

“Each person purchasing a home over two million dollars with the means to sink another two mil into their décor must submit a plan detailing the type of décor, the reason for liking it and why they’re choosing to include the items they’ve selected if they can’t actually identify their decorating style.”

So what inspired me to take to my self-righteous, home décor bully-pulpit? I watched Posh Beckham’s show which is called something like Coming to America. It profiles her arrival with her soccer playing husband. Part of the show covered her as she’s introduced to fellow richies in Beverly Hills and the cameras follow Posh as she looks at homes she may or may not purchase.

I found myself thinking the ultra-wealthy simply can’t be trusted to decorate their own homes.

I’ve known for a long time that wealth doesn’t guarantee taste and I realize that the very people I denigrate would enter my home and be repulsed in the same way I was while watching their homes flash upon my TV.

However, my decorating has been handicapped by so many variables that listing them here would just depress the readers, but I can promise that the most prohibitive factor in creating an upscale yet warm environment is in fact, money.

So what the hell happens to all these people when they’ve finally lined their pockets with enough cash to splurge on the home of their dreams? Could velvet wall-paper, silky curtains so shiny you can see your reflection in them and lacquered black surfaces covering 9/10ths of the table-tops really be the stuff fantasies are made of?

And while my claws are out I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest that the décor law be extended to those ultra-richies who cannot stop at just five plastic surgeries. Seriously. One should not alter the landscape of their person (for purely recreational purposes) more than five times without written consent from Christy Brinkley’s personal shopper/beauty consultant.

Watching Posh throw back whiskey shots with women who have turned themselves into cartoons was just too much. Don’t get me wrong. My biggest fear about getting plastic surgery (besides being in the percentage of people who get a staph infection) is that I couldn’t stop at just one surgery. Like redecorating the home, once you paint the living room, there’s the couch to deal with, the flooring, accessories. Where would I begin? Where would I stop? I am the person who would most need the law I’ve proposed. But at least I realize my weakness which allows me to reenter the world of self-righteousness, right?

Yes, I realize the control is in my hands. I don’t have to watch reality TV. I have the power to just say no, to turn off the TV or change the channel—the history channel is readily available for viewing, but in life there are so few times to feel truly superior and tonight, watching that freak show, I felt damn ordinary and damn glad that I am.


Anonymous said...

I was once on vacation in Hawaii at a VERY expensive hotel (there were live Hawaiian peguins in the lobby!) I found that the ultra rich had a knack for ruining a vacation: if room service wasn't just right, if the meal wasn't perfect, they'd make a big fuss like the end of the world was coming.

The next time I went to Hawaii, I stayed in a bed and breakfast. Certainly not the ultra rich, but the visitors there knew how to have a good time!

Next time you want to feel superior, wonder if (between extreme makeovers of home and body) those people have any capacity for contentment.

Joyce Tremel said...

I'm so glad I'm ordinary, too.

Decorating is so much more rewarding when you have to save up for it. It makes you really put some thought in what you're doing when you're likely to have that piece of furniture for ten years.

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch that show, but I do try to pick up ideas for how the rich and super-rich (and the wannabee rich) live because many of the characters in my WIP fall into that category (tho mostly of the "old money" type). Have you ever seen how the nouveau riche in Russia are spending their money? "Gaudy" does not come close to describing their utter lack of taste and commonsense. They make the mansions of the Gilded Age (Newport, for instance) look downright dull and dowdy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tory, how swanky to share space with Hawaiian penguins--who knew there were Hawaiian penguins to hang with! The trip sounds wonderful, fussy people or not. Thanks for the comment...

Joyce, I agree, the thinking and mental rearranging can be as much fun as the actual purchase and placement. Glad I'm not alone.

Mike, I haven't yet seen what the Russians are up to, but I might have to google it just for kicks. I suspect if I were to suddenly become rich, my home would resemble dowdy old money rather than flashy nouveau riche as I love flea markets and antique stores and anything old, including houses. I'm old before my time in many ways and decorating def. falls into my geriatric sensibilities. But I love anything with a story even if I'm not privvy to what that story is...so though there are no doilies or lacy curtains in my house, I know the wrong set of eyes would see my taste as blah or just too woodish and dark...oh well.

Anonymous said...

Kathy -
Please please please never visit my house. I'm not rich, but I'm sure you wouldn't like it. Even my own brother claims that my kitchen gives him a headache. [Did I mention that I really like paintings on velvet? They glow!] Shouldn't everybody have the right to live with the decor that's comfortable for them?