Monday, August 28, 2006

Today's Why

Why do home improvement/interior design cable TV shows always feel the need to incorporate an animal print into a room if the homeowners are African-American?

I saw a show the other day (one where the hosts are there to help you de-clutter and redesign) and the redo on the bedroom was gorgeous - blue-grey walls, bedlinens of French-inspired red and grey silks, etc - so mellow, very subtle. The homeowners were black. So what did the designer do in the middle of that low-key relaxing bedroom of grey and dark red? Why put up yellow and black leopard print curtains, of course!

Oy vey.

This makes me nuts. I mean, it's not like the designers are going to look at me and say, "Hmmm... she's Irish, right? Let's do this room all in shamrocks and shades of green!"

I figure, if a homeowner has a gorgeous collection of Afrocentric art or has expressed an interest in an African-themed room, that's one thing. But this subtle - and sometimes not-so-subtle - last minute inclusion of wild animal hide-ish stuff like some sort of perverse I-want-to-prove-I'm-the-culturally-sensitive-designer move? I dunno. It makes me slightly nuts.

Maybe it's just me.

Rant over. Back to cleaning my office. It's Monday. Time to start the week with a clear desk for once...


Spencer said...

Of course if I showed you a picture of my sister's living room, you'd think these very same shows designed it.

It is in fact cultural - depending on whether or not you're into that thing. My sister is very Afro-centric - I'm not. That wouldn't work for me at all - but her? Perfect.

radiocynic said...

Sure, semi-cultural and just plain taste-based. And as with most things, stereotypes do not apply, which I guess was Merujo's original premise. [Btw, I have a (caucasian) relative also very into the whole Afrocentric decor thing.]

Hmm, I'd like to see what Slovak-Dane-German decor they'd pick out for me... Nah, I guess I wouldn't!

Merujo said...

Interesting - thanks for the insight, Spencer. I guess I didn't know if it was seen as okay or cool or pandering or insulting or annoying. My taste in interior design is all over the place. I have this great love of ethnic textiles from Thailand, Central Asia, Russia, and parts of Africa. I have a cedar chest crammed with pieces of mudcloth and silk. But I haven't figured out what to do with it.

Randy, dude, that's some Wonder Bread northern stock, there. (Same for me.) I invision a lot of blue and white "onion" pattern wallpaper. ;-) And a lot of IKEA-ish design.

Shafa said...

The animal prints make them feel more at home, duh.

And I am SO going to bid on the sub clock.