If decor is your porn, this is your blog.
Close readings of the New York Times with Professor Decorno
That is a good question! There is nothing 'decorative' about that apartment!
In a cost cutting measure, the NYTimes fired all its Home and Garden reporters and replaced them with the staff of Apartment Therapy.
Would have to agree, it's totally lame. The apartment certainly isn't interesting from a decor perspective and their personal story isn't anything to write home about either.
I'm confused? Where is the pink ruffly room they mention 14 times in the article?
Just went and looked and I'm totally baffled. Gag.
Seriously, WHY? I kept reading and clicking looking for the twist - they decorated it all for $25, or what have you - and there wasn't one.
I don't even know what to say. I thought the Indy Star featured the worst homes ever...a) slow news day, really slow, deadb) this couple has blackmail pictures they are threatening to use if they weren't featured (see My Favorite & My Best post today about stockydudes.com for ideas on the kind of pictures we are talking about)
Because they are completely ordinary and unremarkable. They are the "norm."
A perfect example of mistaking "staging" for "decorating."
ugh, no kidding. that last quote about having a pretty girlfriend and not caring about the apartment KILLS me.
Hmmm...I checked the link. Now I am just as confused as you?!? Maybe it was less of the apartment and more of a newbies first article and they didn't want him/her to screw it up royaly so they gave them a fluff piece...Wow. I totally tried to justify that crap.
WTF! That looks like my sister in laws first apartment, bland and seriously BAD. Furniture pushed up to every wall, tiny cheezy family pictures floating in the dining room, miniture light figures. UGH. WALL HANGING CD RACKS??????? I can't say enough. Scary Ugly!
On another note, you won't publish comments with LOL in it, but FYI is a older and more established acronym so it stays? I kid. I always think back to the SCRUBS episode when I see LOL with Many Moore on it as his girlfriend who never laughs but just says "that so funny". Really. It's funny. Hulu it.
I have NO idea whatsoever however from reading the article the boyfriend has bigger, no pun intended, things to worry about as he woke up the morning after to find a mangina firmly planted between his thighs..."I don't care if my apartment is pink because my girlfriend is smart and pretty"....WTF?On another note, I did a shout out to you today so check it out, http://doxahome.blogspot.com/2010/01/shout-out-to-decorno.html.All the best,Jaime
Because the NYTimes is not Elle Decor. A good newspaper's stories should reflect the world at large, not some idealized version of decor. It's supposed to be a window on a world, not a drool fest for bloggers.
I think this is a sitcom I accidentally watched once. You see the girl padding around in Juicy sweatpants and carrying a Louis Vuitton bag out to her Escalade and wonder "How can they afford that on a UPS salary?" This feels like something I'd read in The Onion--what's with the two pictures of the table-for-two?
Anon 9:11 - - when has printing stories reflecting the "norm" even been part of the NYT gameplan?
Clearly, this couple has some connection to an employee of the New York Times. They have a very good view for a New York City apartment, but the article barely mentions it, and is is not featured in the photos. Her choices from Ikea and Pier 1, while nice, are not spectacularly interesting. The icing on the cake for me was when the decor was described as "elaborate." Are you kidding me? Some candles, drapes and pillows do not make for elaborate decor, they make for normal, everyday decor.
Because Estee Lauder paid them to.Seriously. They may not have paid for the spot, but it's probably a sponsorship deal for the love story contest.
Where's my spread in the NYT? My throw pillows change with the seasons, too! IT'S A DECORATING MIRACLE.
possibly because its real...Not like the usual "artsy fartsy" family with kids who don't even have a magnet on their fridge...or if they do its a 17$ bottlecap magnet from Etsy. their house is real, boring, but real.I'm pissy today...so watch out :)v8grrl
Perhaps the couple are friends of the writer? This is quite possible, since the apartment shows a young couple starting out in the world with few simple clean items ala Pottery Barn, but they are trying to create a semblance of order and decor with a meager budget...clean, uncluttered and simple, with a dash of crystal for high style effect!I agree, there are loads of monied up apartments in Manhattan that could be showcased, but this apartment complex is dreary, institutional, depressing and architecturally a bore...but it does contain the above-mentioned little lovebirds in a nest so unlike the exterior.We cannot all live in the tallest Redwood Tree with the gossamer down of Swans...but WE should always try!!!!!!!!
I "think" what they were going for is the ever-changing scenery as being a larger part of their decor. Still, though, it was a failure. I kept reading, thinking it was going to suddenly all come together. Nope. Not so much! Oh well. Thanks for nothing New York Times.
No, No, No.
God forbid they actually publish stories about real people and the way 99.99% of America lives. Get over yourselves.
Amen to what everyone else has said.And since when does it require "brawn" to hang a light fixture?As poorly as the space might be planned, it's not nearly as lousy as the use of gender stereotyping in this article. Barf.Kelly
Absolutely no idea.
Hey Anon -There are TONS of "real people" with style.It's not all extremes of richies vs. brokies.But that space was BLAND. And the article was boring -- both things that can be conquered on the cheap.
I feel like we've been punked. Can my apartment be in The Times next?
i guess you've never seen the "new jersey" section of the sunday times which was delivered with all the other sections to my house each weekend until my dad aged into a republican. in our part of new jersey "the sunday times" was the local paper, nothing more.it was filled with stories like this and reviews of giggy ornate italian restaurants. this article is in the real estate section...not the style section. it's how some people (including nyt borough readers)live.
based on this standard, my college dorm should have made the new york times!
I think "because that's how 99.9% of America lives" is a weak reason to think that apartment was a worthy item for the Times to cover. Ditto Shauna. There are so many other people and apartments in NYC which would have been more newsworthy or interesting.
That is, without a doubt, the most uninteresting article I have ever read about an apartment or a couple.Who gives a shit about a ruffled room or the fact that she "weeded out the log-ed purses"...maybe it's an attempt at the "every man" angle?
Maybe the times wants design to be reachable, aka just like average people.
Depressing. The kitchen picture gives me a bad feeling in my stomach.
"God forbid they actually publish stories about real people and the way 99.99% of America lives."Now, you're just being silly. Americans don't give a shit about the way "real people" live.Sarcasm aside, terribly written article. If I was supposed to care more for the couple's foray into decor and life, they didn't accomplished it. I'd rather giggle at a photo of her 30 handbags.
reasons this apartment should never have been featured:1. hanging CD rack2. dorm room bookshelves3. they hang their art too high4. putting multi patterned pillows on the same couch is not "eclectic"5. all the furniture is against the wall and it is driving me batty. 6. the kitchen.7. the jewelry box she purchased from SkyMall8. the bachelor pad tv stand9. couples photos framed in the dining room.10. Holy shit, are their walls cat lady yellow?
No idea why this would be published in the NYT. One of them blowing the Style editor? ?????
the inside of my butt is more decorative.
I'm surrounded by "99.9% of America" every day: on the subway, at work, where I live." I'm part of the 99.9 percent. Why would I want to see MORE of the same?
From a sociological perspective, the article is interesting. The young woman probably has a knack for self-promotion and it does it real estate information about that particular apartment complex, its views, and the rent charged for a one bedroom apartment.
I'll tell you why, because IKEA is taking over the world!!! BWHAHAHAHA!
Wait...Seriously? I don't CARE if there was a twist where the place was only decorated for pennies...We have all seen what Jenny at Little Green Notebook did on a shoestring in her little girls' rooms...I am baffled. My college dormroom had more vim and vigor and its major accessory was empty liquor bottles. Vom.
Alright. I've got it figured out. This is the "prelude post" where we see the apartment and go OMG WTF BBQ THIS APARTMENT IS SO NORMAL. It's like a location shot in a movie: ta da! We know where we are and where the following scene takes place.Next move: Ms. Kinda-Wishes-The-World-Was-A-Little-More-Pepto ditches the bully because underneath it all, she's still mean. She guts the place, ruffles the shit out of everything, paints the whole place ten kinds of "I'm a pretty princess ballerina fairy" pink and then brings back the NYT. The living room is a closet. The kitchen is gone, because she hasn't eaten since the break up. In the bedroom, a tiny bar fridge is found - it only has chilled champagne and qualludes. Ms. K-W-T-W-W-A-L-M-P believes she living the life of Liz Taylor, circa 1962 - 1967. And frankly, the design blogs kinda love her. Don't say I didn't warn you.-- JanineOttawa-Emptor
And to be clear, it's a PERFECTLY GOOD place to live. We should all admit we are house geeks who dream of perfect houses and Frette linens, and that when we read a homes or style section in any publication, we all expect porn. I am not intending to torment these people. However, I have emailed the write to ask her what the point of the article is. I am just baffled by it.
it was published to depress the hell out of me. yes, that's the way a good portion of america lives- particularly in that age bracket- but i don't want to see it in the real estate section, thank you. and fact checker at the nytimes, i'd bet my gaycard that those pillows inexplicably squooshed in a windowsill are from tarjay, not pier1.it's weird, detective sargent decorno- please let us know when you unravel this mystery of story.
"Don’t Like the Décor? Wait a Minute"Wait a minute... What décor? That's not decor, that's merely furniture.
I don't think it's supposed to be a portrait of a decorating project, like an apt. in Elle Decor.The article is in the "Real Estate" section, and the subhead is "Habitats."So I think it's meant to be a portrait of a neighborhood, and is structured around a typical residence in that neighborhood.
You may be right. But that doesn't explain the headline: "Don’t Like the Décor? Wait a Minute"I am still corn-fused.
First off, it's the Real Estate section of the NYT, not House & Home. They always cover stories like this, many of them unremarkable for their design--normal people on their quest for a new home, a crazy renovation, an odd or distinguished coupling, what you get for the money, etc. Secondly, the focus on affordable is certainly not new, even for the Times as of late. What about all those posts about interior reno's w/ a free designer and a tight budget...?
"....Ms. Khinda has two closets, which is fortunate because her wardrobe includes not only those 30 handbags (41 before she weeded out the logoed ones), but also 6 pairs of boots and 19 pairs of shoes, some of which reside in bins under the bed."Mr. O’Donnell’s dresser is small and bare except for a tiny television monitor. Ms. Khinda’s dresser is twice the size and topped with an assortment of jewelry boxes, including one with a twirling ballerina that she received when she was in the third grade."The story kind of seems like a joke..."and on the bathroom counter, he has deodorant, a razor, and a toothbrush, while she prefers stocking her much larger side with make-up, Q-tips, and tampons."(I'm sorry to be mean if this is indeed a serious story, and the apartment really isn't bad)
In newspapers, the headlines are usually written by the copy editors, not the writers. The copy editor, probably working down to the wire, may have just grabbed the most distinctive detail in the story to whip into a headline, figuring it was better than:"Random Couple Typifies Nondescript Neighborhood."
A creative use of paint ( stripes, circles of blackboard paint, a giant blow-up of a personal photo....SOMETHING!)....hanging her many purses on the wall in an artful way...a DIY coffee table of SOME SORT......MAY have made it noteworthy. C'mon....at least go to a flea market or look for something cool someone has left in the street...it doesn't have to cost much. This was depressing.
I thought the same exact thing!
Because it's in keeping with their policy of reporting stories about "Rich People STILL Have Money To Spend!"?That piece managed to be both boring and annoying. Well done, once again to the YT Times.
"Don’t Like the Décor? Wait a Minute"The point of the headline is that they change the "decor" constantly. Christmas, Valentine's Day, summer, winter, etc. Duh.
The kitchen drapes?
Let's fact it, more than half of what we see on the design blogs is not publish ready. I am seriously not certain whether or not design blogs actually raise the level of debate about good design or by exposure are willing to anoint the bad. We don't have to argue someone's taste necessarily, but it's a different argument when it is presented as "high style", "country french", "continental", or simply what your average person should aspire to. I believe that is the real argument.Jackie
I prefer a "drool fest" when I look at decor....
My guess it that it was a tragic attempt to appeal to the masses, instead of "The elites that read the NYT" and yes, I am envisioning those words being spoken by a woman wearing fleece and a scrunchy.
"Don’t Like the Décor? Wait a Minute"The point of the headline is that they change the "decor" constantly. Christmas, Valentine's Day, summer, winter, etc. Duh.If you like that sort of shit, why wouldn't you like it right now? And if you don't like it right now, you're still going to think it's tacky 2 weeks from now. I mean, I don't love the decor, but celebrating holidays isn't decor, it's merchandising. Shamrock dishes? Boy shares his closet with all the out-of-season pillows. I suppose pillow cases never occurred to anyone. I'm supposed to be impressed that Shoppy McShopperson has a dresser twice the size of her mate's, but they both look like they brought their childhood bedroom furniture along with them. Get some adult furniture, they have the space for a real dresser and that vanity she always wanted. The point in the article that caught my eye was the rent. I live in a studio+ in Boston, a good distance from downtown and my rent is almost the same for their 1-bedroom, and besides having a real living room, their kitchen looks to be twice the size if not bigger than mine. Shit, you know? I probably have as much closet space, though. Can't say mine even looks as nice as theirs yet, but I'm with Decorno on the advice to wait and see how you live in the space, and also I'm not pining to be in the Globe magazine. Not this week, anyway.
I'm sorry, but it's quite possible to create a article worthy, well designed, small space when buying every single item from a thrift store. Having a low budget is NOT an excuse for having bland, unremarkable taste. If you think $ = style, then you're just being lazy.
my guess is the apartment building bought an ad that is presented as a "story." and this was probably the cutest apartment inside the building - maybe the cleanest? or least offensive? It's the real estate section. Also - just wait - it changes - is due to the beautiful view of the park - how the change of the seasons affects the way the apartment looks inside. A good story would be for the style editor to offer to redo the apt. on a budget and see how much cuter it could be. I would love to see what Jenny could do this with $1,000. NO great mystery - This is just a paid ad, no doubt.
Side issue: can someone tell me how, if you don't have spacious rooms, you can avoid placing furniture against the walls. I notice this seems to be a pet peeve with decorating types.
Um, they wanted to run a shelter piece that wouldn't make me, personally, feel bad about myself and my house and my decorating sense?
Fox news? Fox news? What do they have to do with it? It is always a good idea not to mix metaphors.
Okay, I get that might being try to feature average folks in an average apartment, however I can't imagine how they ended up featuring such a bland, uninspired and less than average space. There is lots of inspired decor on a budget in NYC...they just need to get out there and find it.
I really wish a movement on the design blog scene would be toward educating - not commentary. Suppose this couple just got out of college with a huge debt, they had no frame of reference coming into acquiring their first apartment, let alone style concepts. Wouldn't the design blogs serve a better purpose educating young buyers rather than scolding them? Design blogs are all about commentary - There is more than one way to achieve style.We don't need a blogger in NYC to decide for the rest of the country what good design is all about no more than we need a blogger in Texas, Ca., Colorado, Georgia to do the same. Shouldn't we go back to the basics and begin anew?
Somebody owed somebody a favor. Big time.
Can we please send Penelope to go help them out???????????? PLEASE.....?!?!?!?! SHE'S BEEN A DECORATOR FOR 40 YEARS!!!!!!!!....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PENNY, YOUR SERVICES ARE NEEDED!!!!..........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Beats the hell out of me...but it's not the Times' first such excursion into the banal:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/garden/23divorce.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=bradford%20gay&st=cse
my guess is the apartment building bought an ad that is presented as a "story."Sorry Joni. This isn't the kind of apt. building with an advertising budget.
ces - I was waiting for someone else besides me to mention item #9 on your list.
And we wonder why newspapers are dying. Probably because I'd never pay for a subscription to a newspaper that wants to show me what I could see any day for free: the interior of a completely bland apartment.When did we, as a society, start celebrating the lowest common denominator? Let's all aspire to smug mediocrity.
those hipsters made me zzzzzz
I cruised through some of Ms. Amanda Seyfried's other work and this just fits. I feel a 'We're just like you, only richer' vibe coming on and I do think The Times is trying to re-invent itself into a broader, more nation focused paper (blander and more AP).On the other hand, "Don't Call it a Dorm!" http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/realestate/04habi.html brought on flashy strobe-y lights.
why! because otherwise how would anyone ever know what “joyous” yellow looks like?
"Shouldn't we go back to the basics and begin anew?"No.
Ew NYT. Poor form. Ew. This apartment is for shame. And I live in Wisconsin.
I've been thinking for a while that the NYT could stand to trash half the paper and cut each article down by 2/3s. (Dont you lose interest after they repeat the same point in the third column?) This article just proves it...
To "iheartpenny,"I will help..... THEM!But first!!!All of you "anonymouses".... YOU MUST declare yourselves! Or have numbers! or something!Give yourselves... SOME kind of names! Miles Standish.......George Washington...... Jeffrey Dahmer.....DO not be cowards! I tell everybody: "I am Penelope."......I have been a decorator for .....40 years.Have worked with "the best."DO NOT use white paint!..... Why are there so many blogs?SHOULD I NOT BE USING CAPITAL LETTERS? I SHOULD ASK MY ASSISTANT.I met Tony Duquette!
bizarre. at least it made me feel pretty darn good about my own little nyc apt.
Maybe we should celebrate the lowest common denominator. Maybe if we all stopped coveting houses and Designer Stuff beyond our reach then the rampant, run-away consumerism would end. Let's face it: ogling shelter mags makes us want stuff we can't have. Kinda like porn.
I enjoyed looking at it-- only because I grew up in that neighborhood -- eons ago.. long since escaped the Bronx and here in the North West.. Outside of the nostalgia -- painting those apartments is not usually done by the tenants -- so maybe that is the catch? I really do not have a clue -- it looks pretty sparse.Joannythe dowsers daughter
What the WHAT?
Those cabinets are from Lowe's new "Are you fucking kidding me?" line.
Sorry, I have one more comment!! Because the Times is writing its own obituary. all the good writers have been let go.....and the people who are left.......think this is newsworthy and decorative. It is really quite sad. The NYTimes was and still could remain a great newspaper.That article was a new low! Good job highlighting it!Decorno!! I hope the Times survives!Penelopeps Love my new follower and fan !!! HA!!!
Because The New York Times is run by middlebrow losers who wear Dockers and take the 5:10 to Pelham To wit: "The Puppy Diaries" series written by the paper's MANAGING EDITOR, Jill Abramson - total dreck by the woman who promoted Judith Miller while Miller was shilling for the Iraq war. Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. thinks that going mass makes The Times less elitist, which is a mistake; it merely makes the paper pedestrian.
a paid ad? for a seven-story apartment building? in NYT? do you have any idea what even a 1/4 page costs? that is as out of touch with reality as the Christmas post. wtf?
"Habitats" is a column in the Real Estate section of the newspaper, not the Thursday House & Home section, so doesn't bother me a bit.
Some more good commentary on this NYT slideshow found after searching to see if anyone else was offended: http://design-crisis.com/
Penelope, are you drunk when you comment? You never make any sense.
What would have interested me would have been to see the stuffed closets or better yet the old flooded out apartment. That could have been a story. Nothing changing or interesting here.Not a decor piece more of a "how we got together and how we live simply in the Bronx piece."They must know someone.
My Favorite and My Best...tell us more.
Anon 10:16am - Sadly, I can never make sense of Penelope's writing either...it is unquestionably offbeat.
I enjoy Penelope's rants ;)There's some sage advice hidden between the lines (or not so hidden...no white paint)For those of you who did the WTF? she's giving you the big birdie by continuing to capitalize, over-space and remain cheerful. Penelope, I will now be Anonymous 101.
"she's giving you the big birdie by continuing to capitalize, over-space and remain cheerful."I think she just can't stop herself.
Even if one discounts the ALL CAPS,....................lots of S P A C Eand cheerfulness :-) :-) :-) :-) :- ) :-)~~~~~~it STILL doesn't >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>MAKE SENSE!:-(
um, wow. that article was like listening to my mother try and tell a story and you're wondering at the end if it's really the end, because WTF was the point of that?
Decorina - hahahha!agh, i have to agree, Decorno...blahsville. and whoever is saying we're full of ourselves...just...stop.
@ CesThe Skymall line was pure gold. Thank you for making my day.
Huh? WTH? Ick...Bleck...Snooooze. Regardless of what section this is run under, it has absolutely nothing interesting/informative/enlightening about it.
the apartment therapy joke was hilarious!
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