Thursday, January 28, 2010

Here we go again.


For the nursery, which was painted before the baby was born, the choice was turquoise. "I figured the blue had enough green so it would work for either sex," Ms. Louie explained.


Another totally newsworthy home featured in the paper of record. HERE.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

"They painted the living room walls a deep Merlot but it took five coats of paint to get the rich color they wanted, and a cage to prevent their son from touching them."

di fabulous said...

seriously?!! they didn't even make the bed! are there zero stylists on these shoots?

Kate F. said...

Wait, WHAT? "Although many design elements were standard-issue, the couple requested various changes to make the place their own, among them ...a wood floor rather than carpeting in the kitchen."

Carpet in the kitchen? Really?

SFDC said...

ugh.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the houses on those design in a half hour shows(the before look).

laurelstreet said...

Okay. As far as I can tell, the whole story is about how a couple painted their walls. I should write a book!

LisaH said...

Oh. Yawn. Is this to make the rest of us feel interesting and glamorous by comparison?

dcgirl said...

Like the other article, I just don't understand. There must be plenty of lovely or interesting homes in the New York area that weren't done by designers that reflect how 'real' people live. Why the boring/bland homes? There isn't even anything hung on the walls. Why is this news? Why does this get to be in the paper? I don't buy the writer's explanation from the last post.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Someone is being overpaid to find these 'gems.'

akimbo said...

If they could get the people who write the captions for Unhappy Hipsters to write the comments for these online slideshows, they would be much more entertaining.

juniperberry said...

this is even worse than the last one. and the rumpled comforter in the bedroom nags at me...really really nags at me.

Carrie said...

I think this couple actually managed to be more boring than the last. At least there you got the sense that maybe the lady would do something mildly wacky if she lived on her own. Like there might be some potential for conflict.

What is the story here? You can take the girl out of Ohio but you can't take Ohio out of the girl?

Kwana said...

I just don't know. Maybe no one is opening the fancy homes to The Times anymore? Or they are doing some odd slice of life things where it's all about paint and outer boroughs. Whatever.
What stopped me was this:
"...and a wood floor rather than carpeting in the kitchen.'
Huh? Must be a mistake. Please.

Marija said...

Wait, their first place was unprepossessing?

gatherings home said...

I read this the other day and thought....really? I'm beginning to wonder how long before they realize that stories like this are gonna cost them? The carpet in the kitchen thing is what sent me over the edge too. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I don't know akimbo. I think they already had the writers for Unhappy Hipsters write the captions. It's really funny to read them.

Anonymous said...

I just cancelled my NYT subscription this past week. This just validates my cancellation even more!

MoreSkinnyDays said...

I don't think this is about style, I think this is about how people live. A modest couple is buying a home during a depression. Nobody is claiming to be a designer or to have great taste, they're just a couple with a kid and a dog. They're not blaming anybody for their lives, they're not candidates for a reality show. They're just a couple who feel fortunate with what they have. Seems a bit refreshing.

Sharon said...

Authored by Connie again no less. She is getting really good at these stories. I noticed these people have a kennel for both their dog and their kid. Connie should have written about that.

sarah said...

YAWN.

Decorno said...

Some of you will notice I am not approving all comments... the reason I posted this is that I am not interested in slagging on these people. They are probably great, kind people who live in a very normal way.

My issue is with the Times. I don't think there is any value in this kind of profile.

Just FYI. I am interested in pursuing the conversation that is focused on, "Is this really worthy? Is this news? Is this interesting or necessary?" but I don't want to abuse these people.

Libby said...

I understand that it is in the real estate section & not oriented to design, but what about this shows anything appealing or positive about the development or the house itself (minus a cute, sort of, little balcony)?

Perfectly Disgraceful said...

I just saw Decorno's comment, and while I do want to abuse them a little for the taped-up box in the background of the first picture, I will try to be on-topic. No, I don't think this is newsworthy. While it is a little slice of life of middle-America (although most middle-Americans cannot afford $525K houses), it's not a particularly interesting slice.

It would be more interesting as a look back to the 2000s when people's interiors really did look like this. On some of the wife swap and nanny shows, you see interiors that are bereft of almost all decoration and personality-- and they don't even have merlot or turquoise paint, just beige. And some of them are large expensive houses. I don't get it. I think an exploration of that issue would be interesting. Why do people live in houses that have almost no decoration or personality?

I also have a hard time understanding why anyone would put themselves through the purgatory of a 90 minute commute for even an utterly fabulous house.

Lisa S said...

Dear god, that was so depressing to look at. Constance is pulling the shelter journalist version of a couple who gets married because of an unplanned pregnancy and quickly follows the first baby with a second just to prove the first wasn't a mistake. Sorry, Constance, they were both just wrong. Please NYT, CAN Constance and replace her with one the amazing shelter bloggers. Really, not one but two shots if the undone living room couch, what the fuck? Your advertisers should be pissed!

Tara said...

both the dog AND the baby are caged in the living room

if this is newsworthy than we are done for. maybe the developer put Connie up to this?

eeb said...

I agree... no need to abuse them. The guy travels 90 mins for work! As they used to say on the Bachelor recaps, "bless his heart"...

My issue is with the style of writing - if it's going to be a light, human interest story, what's with the Mr. and Mrs. all over the place? It reads like a court document.

i suwannee said...

Mr. Harken, sir,nI will not have my first story at this news station be about a cat fashion show.

Miss Corningstone, ma'am, you will do the stories to which you are assigned.

Mr. Harken, I am a damn good journalist, and this cat show thing is grade-A baloney.

It is not baloney.
Now, go do your job, missy!

Gwen said...

Just re-read the author's response to the previous fuss (http://decorno.blogspot.com/2010/01/thanks-for-your-note.html)

The Habitats column of the real estate section of the NY Times is the wrong place for "good stories that give a sense of the variety of lives lived in the city.". Perhaps the life section would be better.

I want my real estate/home and garden section to showcase creativity and prompt me to think about how my home "works".

gayhooker said...

this confirms there's still hope as to the NY Times publication of my shit hole

my favorite and my best said...

i mean really!! i feel like im taking crazy pills!!! is the NYT having a laugh?? are they havin' a laugh?!??!

Anonymous said...

I don't think this article was nearly as bad as last week's. Last week was a farce, I felt, because it touted a style that in reality, didn't exist. This week illustrated several important points:

1. Choosing paint color is difficult.
2. Buying a house is a big deal and causes panic attacks.
3. New housing can be delayed years, even if you put down a deposit and are expecting a baby.
4. New housing can be customized; you do not have to rely on the developer's lousy and cheap taste.
5. Everyone is searching for a "home" where they will feel comfortable.
6. Everyone makes tradeoffs between house and commuting time.

And, I thought the Mr. and Mrs. was quite respectful.

-EM

sarah said...

oh god-

Anonymous said...

Seems to me like the point of these articles in this particular section is to offer a look at various living quarters in and around NYC. They give a bit of background, the price the owners paid for it and what they liked about it, and how they now live in it. The (bad) decorating is not the point, so I'm not sure why we're even dicussing it here.

Decorno said...

Anon 2:56 - - I would typically agree with you, but when I wrote about another Habitats column (by the same writer) a few weeks ago, she defended a similarly uninspired place as interesting and worth profiling because the writer thought the woman profiled "had such specific decorating ideas." And that seemed like a stretch. She was telling me she profiled that couple in part because of her decorating, but it was just such a boring, wandering, unimpressive profile. You can read that post and the related response here:

http://decorno.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-is-this-couple-or-this-apartment.html

http://decorno.blogspot.com/2010/01/thanks-for-your-note.html

I am trying to understand why it's important for The New York Times to publish these features. I don't think either of these homes or these couples warrants coverage as it's being written.

rebecca said...

Girls who are 17 stop reading Seventeen and move up to Vogue or something similar.

We all want to see design for who we are now or want to be someday, for what we want our spaces to be now or in the future. We want to learn, to see something new and daring, to see something worth arguing about.

Features like this one are regressive. Who hasn't painted a wall? Worse, we expect more. We buy Vogue, open it up, and find Seventeen.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure why we're even discussing it here."

The problem is the writing. If Calvin Trillin had written a "Talk of the Town" about this couple and their house, it would have sung.

(NYT style is to use "Mr.," "Mrs.," and "Ms." in every story. Even about serial killers and cannibals.)

Anonymous said...

"We buy Vogue, open it up, and find Seventeen."

Yeah, but if Vogue is already doing Vogue, we don't need the NYT to (try to) do Vogue too.

I'm happy to see ordinariness portrayed. But the portrayal has to be out of the ordinary. It has to find something new or strange or surprising.

Sidney Ann said...

How can this even be for real? It's a recession, not a snooze session.

Anonymous said...

Recession housing narrative? Sad. So very sad.

Suz said...

Kinda reminds me of the song by the great Peggy Lee....Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that's all there is my friends, then let's break out the booze and have a ball.

J. Fudo said...

This is the second day in a row that you have ended my day with some serious salty humor... I am really liking this!

Sharon said...

Hey, gayhooker's blog is 404 Not Found!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Jesus who cares, give it a rest.

btw, best Ipad joke I've heard to date:
Are you there god, it's me Marketing?

Anonymous said...

I am just happy that Gay Hooker is back! Xoxo, SL

Anonymous said...

It's supposed to be a story on Real Estate not decorating. Those photographs, however, are extremely boring. Or was that the point?

Anonymous said...

Decorno: You still don't get it, do you? Even after having the NYTimes reporter explain it to you.


Or perhaps you're just a lazy blogger who couldn't think of anything to post.

Anonymous said...

This kind of uninspired article is what community papers are for. They fit there. They are forgiven for what they so obviously lack. (Even then, some are done so much better than this.) I don't get the NYT anymore. It's like they think to expand their readership and survive, they have to forgo the standards that made them an institution in the first place.

dcgirl said...

I think PerfectlyDisgraceful has a very interesting point. Why do people paint walls and then consider the place decorated. I would hazaard a guess (as I have friends like this) that some people don't particulary care what their home looks like as long as its clean. It doesn't need to reflect them or express who they are - it just needs to be useful. And hopefully clean.

Anon 4:28 has a great point. A good writer would have found something in their lives; they would have found the hook that makes us want to learn about their lives and their story. Connie commited the greatest sin in journalism - she wrote a boring story. Everyone is interesting; she failed to care about them and bring them alive for the reader.

Halcyon House said...

Stunning...really...where do I sign?

I agree D, no need to bag on this family, there is pick apart with the NYT and their idea of a good story.

These stories should be inspiring or at the very least quirky and unusual. It's just blah.

Anonymous said...

i skipped the photos entirely. the text told me everything i needed to know. and this from a woman who painted her living room an interesting, though some might call questionable shade of green. in other words, i tried harder, and someone who seriously thought merlot walls were a good idea got featured in the times. my home was built in the 1920's and someone in a developer's half-assed idea of a house got featured in the Times. sweet jesus.

Ann Ever said...

i feel nauseous.

Tracey said...

I too am fascinated by this weird thing of buying a huge home and then being terrified to decorate it. I swear to Maude, if I see one more cafe au lait colored wall with that damned spiral candle holder thingy that everyone and their dog has, I am going to puke. Someone else mentioned the commute, I live in a suburb of Dallas, but even here, people are moving farther OUT of Dallas just to get a bigger house, which they then don't decorate. I just don't get it. These people in this story, I didn't see one picture on the wall. HOW do you live like that?

parisienish said...

BLARG

Anonymous said...

It's just sad. A lot of money for a house in "NY by" the sea"... Concerning the news factor: nothing we didn't know before. It always takes longer to move into your newly built apartment/house, you are not perfectly happy with the environment/neighbours and the house itself might not be so great as you imagined it. Like I said, I think it's just sad.

Kathryn in Halifax said...

I kept waiting for the "after" photos. More power to them if it makes them happy, but purely on an aesthetic basis, I don't see anything to aspire to...

Anonymous said...

i really wanted to like it more, since they do seem like nice regular people, but everything was really dull. the decor, the writing. i was waiting for some interesting twist to explain why they were featured.

Anonymous said...

decorno! would love to hear more cooking updates. have you tried any new recipes lately? is the le crueset worth it? lets talk food.

Libby at Aurora Primavera said...

Deteriorating editorial content is a symptom of declining resources at the Times, a symptom of the fact that less ad revenue means less money for hiring clever, industrious, and clued-in writers, less time to devote to developing stories, less money for quality photography, and on and on. Good stuff takes resources; it doesn’t just happen. During Annie Leibowitz’s recent financial meltdown, her budgets were publicly raked over the coals, her photo shoots were notoriously expensive. But who could see her photographs of Queen Elizabeth and quibble about the cost? Good stuff is expensive. We are at the moment pursuing a zero-sum game, where everyone wants free content. News aggregators feed off MSM whose business model is dead; they’re bleeding out. Domino was not the canary, it was the coal mine.

sketch42 said...

So not only is the house boring, the article was even more boring. I was waiting to hear about dirty fights with the developer or something.... anything... just not "we had to paint the walls 5 times to get them the right color."

The point is, the story sucked, because there was no story and because the writer wasnt good enough to make one up. The article played out as if some news or something NEW was being relayed, but nothing happened at all.

Suzanne in Mtl said...

The first story you posted was quaint. I was totally underwhelmed by the pictures.

This story isn't as quaint and it's an odd way to convey the difficult reality of today's real estate market - if that's the article's intent. Didn't click on the pictures this time.

Daydreaming David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Deteriorating editorial content is a symptom of...less money for hiring clever, industrious, and clued-in writers"

The NYT couldn't afford to hire a better writer than this? I don't buy it for a second. Even in a rough economy, The NYT can have its PICK of journalists.

Anonymous said...

Libby, I completely disagree.

Good content does not have to be expensive. Last time I checked, personality was free, and THAT is what all of these NYT pieces are lacking, in both the writing and the selection of what they are featuring.

Anonymous said...

as i said with your last post. the nyt is a LOCAL PAPER to several million people in the conn/ny/nj/pa corrider. it is not "THE NYT" that national readers seem to fawn over.

the real estate section and habitats fall under the category of local interest.

like it or not, this is how some people live...and people like to read about people like themselves.

cut the couple and the author a break. not every feature in a paper is newsworthy. some are marketing driven (like almost all the wedding announcements). the paper wouldn't print these pieces if people didn't respond to them (that publishing and business 101).

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. There are surely people doing much more interesting decor, even with less money.

And, just an aside, I cannot understand why a baby needs "gender appropriate" colour on their walls, or clothes. It's the 21st Century, for the love of god.

LM

Gypmar said...

Color me baffled.

Anonymous said...

"people like to read about people like themselves."

No, they really don't.

The girls who read Seventeen are thirteen. The people who read People are for the most part not celebrities. And the people who read Sports Illustrated are not athletes.

People read aspirationally.

Anonymous said...

"the paper wouldn't print these pieces if people didn't respond to them (that publishing and business 101).

Do you really have no clue at all how badly the NYT is doing? Layoffs, buyouts, its bond rating close to "junk"-quality: It is close to going up on the block. People are NOT responding. The NYT is dying.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know carpet was standard in kitchens. Who are these builders?

Anonymous said...

The family is cute and typically american. The writing of the article is Junior High Newspaper worthy. With all these periodicals going out of business I would be paying attention to the quality of my writers and their stories. I guess the NYT thinks they are too big to fail and Obama will swoop in and help them out financially.

Lynn said...

Why are we dancing around the obvious question: WHO is Connie sleeping with??? That's the only reasonable explanation.

sketch42 said...

If the NYT needs a writer to cover decor and local homes for FREE, I am available and so are a billion other bloggers who write articles that are actually interesting. They CHOSE to print those crappy articles.