Interior Desecrations by James Lileks. Love the words, not the patterns.

Interior Desecrations

March 2015
Recommended for fans of design and humor
 ★    ★    ★    ★   

I picked this up after a friend’s review, not because I have any great interest in interior design, but because I was sort of hoping to see an echo of my parents’ kitchen when we first moved in, a hideous display of avocado green–the appliances to the carpet–and dark brown wood accents on cabinets and paneling.
But Interior Descecrations is a level above the common 1970s ranch house. It contains pictures from designer-level showrooms and appropriately snarky commentary alongside. Apparently the book’s genesis sprung from a website devoted to the visual atrocities of the period.

Amusing, to be sure, but these are hardly the more common visual manifestations that so wounded the senses. Although I do seem to remember a friend’s kitchen that resembled this:


Honestly, who was the brain trust that convinced people to carpet their kitchens?!? Did they not have children in the 70s?

Commentary is meant only to amuse, not inform, with witty observations:

“To understand the full visual horror of this era, you have to visualize a man in plaid pants sitting on the sofa. Or any patterned pants, for that matter: this was a sofa designed to clash with humans. Nude people would clash with this sofa. Albino nude people would clash with this sofa. The Invisible Man would clash with this sofa. It is one of those perfectly rare pieces of furniture that clashes with itself. Just looking at it makes you feel as if you’ve bounced down the stairs in a box of cymbals.”

“Fighting centipedes? A close-up of one’s intestinal lining Difficult to say. But you can be sure the designer chose this scheme because it ‘drew the eye upward.’ Of course, one could say the same thing about the Hindenburg disaster.”

“Here we have a mix of old green crap, new green crap and some stunning green transitional crap, all of which serve to give this room the exhausted, mealy flavor of overcooked vegetables.”

That’s the one!

These are horrifying photos with commentary worth of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is a combination guaranteed to amuse–in small doses, as it will surely overwhelm in larger ones–much like these rooms.


My eyes!

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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