Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I think this is the Poverty Barn design team's way of...


laughing at us.

Remember when This American Life broadcast Malcolm Gladwell telling his story about his little competition with a fellow journalist to see who could first get the phrase, "perverse and often baffling" published in one of their news stories?* I think the product development people have the same perverse desire to fuck with us.


Monica: Hey Pete, you think they will ACTUALLY let me source giant paperclips?

Pete: How giant?

Monica: Like the size of your foot...

Pete: Of course they will, M. Your giant clothespin was a hit. Try making this game HARDER. Try to get a bombe chest in a gross primary blue made... with STENCILED SEAHORSES all over it. I dare you.



Pottery Barn - - I really want to buy your Seabury sofa, but then you pull shit like this. I have a hard time trusting you. This is no joke.



*Was a bit of a HOAX. Just like some of PB's furniture. Also, thanks to the anon commenter on my beach house post for letting me know about this really scary piece of furniture.

45 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Ah ha ha ha...I'm in tears. Hilarious!

maison21 said...

thanks, decorno- now i have to go RINSE MY EYEBALLS CLEAN.

well, i guess at least they are trying to expand their hideous palette of "sage, taupe, mushroom and cranberry". god, that blue is awful though...

Jen said...

I don't know how it is that I've never seen your blog before, but having looked at it once I know I'll never miss it again.

I'm definitely going to be an everyday reader from now on.. I just can't get over how smart, hilarious and fearless you are!

Thanks for putting it all out there like this..

Jennifer said...

Seriously, it's two steps forward and then like twenty steps back. I thought that was a joke when I saw it in the catalog. Alas.

Shannon said...

Awww, I like the color of blue. Other than that, I'm drinking the haterade too.

Jessie said...

Are we SURE that this isn't a joke, people? I mean, maybe it's one big laugh in our faces...

T8 said...

My mother loves Pottery Barn, but it's because of pieces like this that I skewer them endlessly in my blog, StrangeClosets.com. Is Pottery Barn the worst? I don't even see stuff this bad at Ballard Designs.

Anonymous said...

On the plus side, PB has good curtains. Plain. No seahorses.

Porcelain said...

Hahahhahahha!!! That is hilarious!

Susannah said...

I didn't know I could laugh so hard so early in the morning.

And as a former product development director for one of PB's competitors let me just say that I know how shit this ugly gets made. It goes through design reviews and because the 2-4pm scheduled meeting did not actually start until 4:30 and people are getting tired nobody has the cajones to argue when some egomaniacal "executive team member" says "hey, we've done well with shell motifs before. we should stencil that crap all over that dresser!" And everyone nods their head in agreement because they don't want to lose their job and voila! More crap in the world!

Tara said...

Come on, guys! THAT is what Barbie should have in her Malibu Beach House. Pink and lavender are for her townhouse and BLUE is for the beach. Everyone knows that.

Anonymous said...

The Best Part of all of this....is that the Head of PD at PB's name...IS MONICA. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

simply seleta said...

I swear I could give sponge stamps in the shapes of starfish to my 2 and 3 year old and yield the exact same chest.

JJ said...

I saw this last night, tore it out, and put it on an envelope with your name on it.

decorno said...

So that I could line Rickey's litter box with it, right?

Anonymous said...

Me thinks you've jumped the shark.

Yes the chest is downright fugly and the way it plays on American bourgeoisie sensibilities hilarious, but how difficult is it to mock Pottery Barn? How much cleverness does that take? (From someone who's created/designed what, pray tell?)

You said it best a few posts ago, "I think I am running out of gas. I haven't had the most inspired blog ideas the last few days. Maybe I need a break."

Indeed! Once the 29 "topics of adult conversation" have been revealed and everyone's salaries and "social anxieties" have been discussed ad nauseam (Coach vs. Marc Jacobs! nanny vs. babysitter! couch vs. sofa!) there is really nowhere else to go, is there?

Anonymous said...

Dear Decorno: I am sorry you removed your post about Anonymous. Could he be the same malign individual infecting various blogs with his meanspiritedness over the last few months? I see a bitter drunk in a darkened room, swilling perfume because all the Scotch is gone, gazing at his pallid complexion in a smeared mirrored, and wondering why nobody calls anymore. And why his brilliance isn't recognized by anyone but himself. Pity.

Halfmad said...

Oh, recent anonymous, you have a large chip on your shoulder that is most unattractive. Care to show us to your latest designs or enlightened blog spots, so that we may be inspired to go on?

Okay, now that that's out of the way, I seriously thought there was no way this could be a real chest. And then I looked through the catalog I got yesterday, and there it is -- and it's $900!

Halfmad said...

Sorry, I meant the anonymous previous to the one just above my last post -- confused yet??

Elizabeth said...

Boo to Anon 2:47....Boo!

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, I know who 2:47 Anon is! It's Mrs. Danvers, from the movie "Rebecca"! Read her comment again, and then watch this clip:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bz7fcWOvmY

morrismore said...

I love the description in the catalog:

"A unique piece like this can transform a space, adding the individuality and style that make it your own. Place it in the entry to create a fun summer style statement. Handcrafted with a hardwood frame, the cabinet has a shapely bombé front that flows into slender curved legs...."

I think if I'd bought this, I would be really upset with all of our comments!

Anonymous said...

PB thinks that putting sisal in the picture frame justifies anything.

Anonymous said...

It would be fun to start a blog called fucksisal.blogspot

Brilliant Asylum said...

PB should stick to what they do best: furniture that looks like apothecary chests and those metal letters you hang on the wall in the form of affirmative words like "dream" and "desire".

maison21 said...

asylum, you just made me laugh out loud! so true- stick to "dream" and "desire", pb!

Anonymous said...

One wonders how they think of things like this and if anyone, because they're not cheap, anyone buys them? Find a room where someone has used this chest. I loved the comment on an earlier post about Man caves. I keep wondering what about our decor now will be the thing people laugh about ten years from now. Besides zebra and sisal...

Anonymous said...

"What about our decor now will be the thing people laugh about ten years from now?"

Good question. For starters:

Asian garden stools

blanc de Chine

foo dogs

African stools

Moroccan rugs

piles of brand-new, unopened art books everywhere

"Chant" upholstery

Saarinen tables up the wazoo

etc., etc.

Robin said...

I think PB bought that chest at the Lillian Vernon bankruptcy sale.

beachbungalow8 said...

anon 2:47

apparently whatever decorno posts provokes you to read her thoughts as well as respond to them. if it's all so awful....why waste your time?

Anonymous said...

If you left it outside for a good long time (three years, maybe) and got it all weathered and faded and scratched-up, maybe then you could tell people it was an antique from an eccentric aunt in Maine.

I'm trying to be optimistic, dammit.

Suzy said...

It's not even so much ugly as it is just plain ridiculous...

pve design said...

Oh, I feel sorry for the design team - directed to design this. I can relate to having been there, and having to design product, like a hideous holiday sweater. Even worse - to find out it is a best seller.
Go figure? Money can't buy good taste.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a hideous Trading Spaces design idea. You could put this chest in front of the plastic fake flower-covered wall.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the new Domino cover? The worst one yet, by far, and to top it off there right on the cover is Julianne Moore and her big white foot poking out.

Domino, why? Why??

Anonymous said...

Cut 'em some slack with the covers. You're allowed to have no integrity or taste on the cover. All magazines whore-out this way, even The Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

why no post today Decorno? you haven't jumped the shark. we miss you! hope you're not somewhere drowning your sorrows in carbless vodka. although if you're in a hot yoga studio somewhere, that's cool and worthwhile. surely if anyone has something to say about the latest Domino cover it's you. although you're probably waiting for your issue in the mail... come back decorno!

Anonymous said...

Feeling at loose ends about topics ever since the always-unpleasant Anon posted? I stand by my idea that "stuff anxiety" is of interest.



Of course, this chest causes me great anxiety, too...

Decorno said...

No post so far today because we are working on a little house project. It's been a busy week at home and at work. Oy.

But I am working on a little post... should be up tomorrow.

But for those who say they have enjoyed the posts - thank you sooo much. I post what I would like to read myself. I loved "Status Anxiety Week," and I am glad so many people participated. Sometimes, I think this blog writes itself because so many of you leave so many interesting (or bitchy, or funny, or silly) comments. So thanks for that, peeps. I don't think there is another ad-free decor blog that has so much reader-participation as this one (and if there is, please send me a link! I sometimes feel there is an alternate universe of design blogs that I am completely missing out on...)

JaHaute said...

lol- you're so funny!

Julia said...

HYSTERIA! :)

Anonymous said...

What?? Pottery Barn produced something tacky??? Needless to say, I am shocked. Shocked!

Next you'll be reporting on Pottery Barn's "design" team producing pieces that are derivative, over priced and badly crafted.

Well at least PB provides gainful employment for self-hating RISDI graduates, allowing them to afford apartments in the Mission district, colorful ties and Moroccan Candle Lanterns.

Anonymous said...

And peg handles? Where are you supposed to attach the bondage equipment needed to secure nubile levantine hotties? This is all wrong on so many levels. Clearly the self-hating, sado-masochistic RISDI graduate and member of the PB "design" team in question did this against his will. He's probably bemoaning his fate to one and all as we speak. Still designed the thing though. Sell out.

identity crisis said...

that was a HILARIOUS episode of this american life. pottery barn, not so funny

Anonymous said...

OMG.. i am sooo embarrassed.. i fell in love with this dresser.. and then read the blog... now, i can't have any of you over unless i get you drunk FIRST!! Oh well... i have been shamed into looking for a NEW BETTER blue dresser...with seahorses... of course!!

~~~~~ sweetblues