Thursday, January 17, 2008

Death, decorating, and houseplants.


This is the apartment of Robert Redford's daughter.

It made me think of houseplants in general. In particular, I hate most houseplants. I especially hate it when people put plants (especially ferns) on top of their refrigerator. I don't know why I do, I just do. I admit it's irrational.

And orchids I actually love, even if they are overplayed. But Carlos Mota, my little stylist idol of Elle Decor fame was known to shame the editor for having one on her desk. I think he thought it was predictable.



I do like a big-ish tree, potted, in a home. It seems pretty grand. And not overplayed.

I do insist in fresh flowers every week, but that's not really a "plant" since it's already been murdered. At that point, it's just sculpture.

Thoughts?

Oh, and incidentally, Ms. Redford debuts her film called The Guitar at Sundance. It's about:

"... a self-effacing young woman, drab as a dead leaf in February, who, told she has two months to live, leaves her basement apartment, rents a New York City loft and maxes out her credit cards, furnishing it with opulent and luxurious stuff: one-of-a-kind rugs from Carini Lang; chandeliers that sell for $2,500 a pop; and, finally, the creatively fulfilling guitar of the title. It’s kind of a shopaholic’s version of “The Bucket List,” with Jonathan Adler designing the Bucket.

“They speak to me, the objects,” explains the film’s heroine, Melody Wilder, who is probably as weighed down by the symbolism of her name as anything else. “They whisper the language of objects — they give me hope by whispering the rumors of my redemption. I just wish I could have collected them more slowly.”

Sounds like our kind of movie.

27 comments:

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

It would be fabulous if the doctors were wrong! Ha! She must be dull if she thinks 2500 is splurging on a chandelier, unless of course she did a grouping of three, or five...

Richie Designs said...

sounds like my kind of movie!

erin said...

nothing says living your last days to the fullest like saddling your grieving family with your massive credit card debt once you've kicked it just so that you can have a $2500 chandelier for 6 weeks. that's (dare i say it) classy.

Anonymous said...

There are plants and there are plants. Some are truly interesting dramatic sculptures, others are just leaves. Maybe the problem with plants on top of a fridge is that its an unhealthy place to put them, so they are dried out and starved for light? But a house without them feels dead to me. Flowers are great, but not the same.

Anonymous said...

Hate all houseplants here. Though I could be talked into digging cacti.

Jules said...

I always knew I was dull, I just didn't know it was because I think $2500 is splurging on a chandelier. And maybe I am just a boring, old traditionalist, but I'd rather surround myself with family and friends and travel the world than stare at a bunch of useless objects in an empty apartment.

Houseplants? I have to agree with ANON. A house w/o them just seems dead. Which is exactly what bothers me about my house now. I'm flanked by two 100+ year old trees and coupled with my northern exposure get zero light. No very houseplant friendly, so I don't have any right now.

Besides, plants are excellent air filters and absorb and breakdown most of the environmental toxins found indoors, especially if you rarely open the windows.

Jules said...

P.S. You can't hate houseplants after this, can you?

http://www.succulentla.com/

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Ack. Yes. I can. I hate succulents more than ferns. They are so short and stumpy and indelicate with those meaty, sharp, agressive little "leaves" or whatever you call them.

Jules - do you think I am some kind of stoner living in Ojai, CA? :)

I think because I live in the NW, which has some of the best growing conditions anywhere, I am biased toward lush, leafy stuff, actually.

I do think in a groovier, more modern home, succulents can work. My house is more of a grumpy old man, though. Not modern really.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

I think if I only had a few months to live, I would (aside from traveling a bit) hurry up and redecorate the upstairs. I know it sounds weird, but it's a dump right now, and I don't want to leave my fiance to mourn in an unhappy space. Plus, he won't do it himself, and after a year of missing me, he will need a foxy room to bring the new lady home to.

Jules said...

You hate succulents?! Maybe you are a stoner! ;)

I've never had succulents--my house just isn't that hip. Maybe I'll add some to my kitchen (under the window, not on top of the fridge!). It might be a nice contrast to the Happy Days/Mrs. Cunningham look I'm rocking right now, which is what happens when you quit your job in the middle of a remodel.

Good thinking on redoing the upstairs. He'll never want to change it, and the tramp he eventually brings home will have to live with your taste. Perfect.

Anonymous said...

erin: Your family wouldn't get stuck with the debt (unless you're under 18).

I think a better think to wish for, if you're gonna croak soon, is to be released from the hunger for all that expensive crap (though I do love me some Carini Lang). God that sounds pious and Gwenyth Paltrow-y. Sorry...

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Ok, this couldn't possible be our "real" Anon.

If it is The Anon, do you have a fever???

Alison said...

Worse yet......silk plants/flowers.
Un. For. Give. Able.

I will let a potted, sublime, English Ivy pass go (in the laundry room), and a small rosemary in the kitchen, though.

As seen in the window of a vegetarian restaurant (and worthy of needlepointing on a pillow):
I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, it's because I hate plants.

Cheerio, Alison

Anonymous said...

I know, right?! (Got that from "Mean Girls")

I just don't want to lie there dying and still WANTING more stuff, you know? It seems so...wretched.

PS: Are succulents the same thing as cacti? I am a total plant moron.

maison21 said...

ferns are scary, as are palm trees indoors (unless they are brass, of course). but who could hate an orchid? carlos motta must be one bitter queen to hate a pretty lil innocent orchid.

i have a scary sort of 70's house plant/tree thing myself in my living room (kinda of like a palm, ironically)- a friend was putting into a dumpster when she moved, and for some reason, that just broke my heart. it's the kind of cliche house plant from home depot that i never imagined i would permit in my home. but you know what? i like it.

and try as i might, no matter how much i neglect it, it refuses to die. i find myself admiring it's fierce will to live...

mamacita said...

D. -- have you tried forcing bulbs indoors? It's really easy, almost foolproof, and much cheaper than cut flowers. Also, I once had an arrangement I liked with a maidenhair fern potted with some other small plants in a single terracotta pot (about 15" in diameter). Bromeliads are kinda done, but they're cool because they're prehistoric. A Meyer lemon tree is definitely the most chic option, though.

It's nice to have something green around the house as an antidote to your cold, black heart.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

That last part made me laugh out loud.

I am obsessed with white asiatic lilies, so I usually get those every week.

But forcing bulbs is a really good idea. I think I may try it this weekend.

Bromeliads are already done?? I have never even heard of them? Crap, I am behind. Way behind.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

maison21 - now, now. La Mota is very charming and very talented, albeit a little jaded.

Anonymous said...

I'm with maison. La Mota seems like a twit.

Pigtown-Design said...

I am forcing paperwhites now, although not in a giant clamshell. But they do add a note of cheerieness to my office.

dean said...

um, lets talk about Ms. Redford's house for a moment, shall we? its horrible! what is going on with the weird tiny green couch behind the dining table and the giant khaki dog bed next to the door??

dont even get me started on the stained berber rug, the odd lumpy couch and the general poor layout of the room...and the windows! they are crying for help!

i'm kinda amazed that the woman who lives here did a movie all about interior decorating.

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

I'm SO glad to discover someone else who hates houseplants! I just think they look dusty and untidy and generally kind of grubby--maybe it's the pot of ACTUAL DIRT that they live in. Plus they just remind me of my first semester rendering class, where everybody would bung a houseplant in the empty corner of their floor plan because they didn't know what else to do with it.

mamacita said...

Bromeliads are what your doctor has in his waiting room.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Mamacita - that is the fucking funniest shit ever. You are right. That is what my doctor has.

DEAN - who are you and where have you been all this time???? Yes. The whole place is kinda... lackluster. (To say the least). You know that daddy has a decorator for every house he owns. You would think that even if his daughter was like, "I don't need flashy things," that she would still rock a sort of indie grew-up-with-creative-types vibe.

But, no.

It's pure piano-teacher-decorated-the-place vibe.

I think every week, Dean, we need to find you a tragic room and just let you go to town on it.

pve design said...

you will never find spider plants here-
orchids yes, and or fresh cut flowers.
nothing, I repeat nothing dried nor artificial

pve design said...

forgot - do love a really good succulent. - in the right minimal setting.
has sort of a "ittle shop of horrors" quality-

maison21 said...

hobac- i meant no offense to "la mota"- many of my best friends are bitter queens, and that tern has even been applied to moi-self more than once!

decorno, i agree on having dean shred a room more frequently. maybe you should have a guest blog shred-a-room once a week? what fun that would be!

actually, i don't think you need guest bloggers with lines like "
It's pure piano-teacher-decorated-the-place vibe". ouch! :)