Monday, April 20, 2009

The World Would Be A Better Place if People Co-Existed as Peacefully As The Random Knick Knacks Do On My Shelf.

We checked out our future place of residence this past weekend and wow! It's huge and I'm already feeling overwhelmed - in a good way of course. I can't believe how incredibly lucky we got nabbing this place. Basically it's more than twice the size of our two bedroom condo, the living room alone is half, if not the size of our entire condo. There's a huge backyard, a pool and a pool house complete with bathroom and shower and a lovely hillside view.

I've recruited the help of my friend Brandie to pick out colors (the owner is letting us paint!) for the walls, cabinets and just general help with placement of furniture and decor. Being that I'm Asian or more specifically, FILIPINO - my natural instinct is to fill every little nook and cranny with crap. Intermixing knick knacks, themes, decor, color - and basically turn the house into a living breathing definition of A.D.D. I'm not saying ALL Filipinos are like this, but most of the ones I've encountered, including my parents fit the A.D.D. decor mode.

For example, my mom had Buddhist and Catholic art and decor sprinkled throughout the house. It was not unusual for Buddha statues to co-exist with crucifixes and candles with saints on them. We had a 3D - YES, that's right, THREE DIMENSIONAL - painting/diorama of the Last Supper (faux gold plated for your pleasure) hung up on a wall in our dining room area so that every meal was like breaking bread with Jesus and his desciples. Or in a lot of instances, breaking a hot pocket or a bowl of cookie crisp with Christ. But the decor wasn't limited to religious Gods, oh no. If it was the hot ticket item at the swap meet or given to us, you can bet it had a place of its very own in my house.

There were these random paintings that a relative did that my mom simply could not resist putting up. They were nature scenes (a river, a cabin, a forest) that I think would have given the paintings at your local Motel 6 a run for it's money. We also had another 3D diorama type painting of an ocean with movement (SEE the ocean crash!) AND sound (HEAR the ocean waves!). It was like looking at a painting during a bad LSD trip, except no drugs were necessary, only a nearby outlet to plug it in. Let's not forget the clock that played a different CARPENTERS song every hour. (Okay, I kind of loved that one..)

That was my house and it never even occurred to me how horribly maniacal the decor was because it accumulated slowly. My mom would change her mind on what 'theme' she wanted but failed to take down the prior theme and wala, by the time I moved out in college the house looked like a storage room for Antiques Roadshow rejects.

I vowed to never be like that and my first tiny tiny apartment, I already had 'themes' going on in my head. For example, my bathroom was going to be done up Superman style. (STOP LAUGHING AT ME! I was still a kid! Okay, 22, but still...) Of course in my head, it was going to be done in this cool retro vibe. I was going to build (cough*viking hubby was going to build*cough) a nice high shelf and display all my Superman collectibles on it. I use the plural term 'collectibles' loosely as I only had a Superman statue, an old Superman pretzel tin and two old Superman metal lunchboxes. Thank you Ebay.

I was going to hang a retro Superman painting there... only I never could figure out where... and so my 'retro superhero' bathroom ended up basically looking like a normal bathroom except there were a few Superman knick knacks on top of the toilet that occasionally fell if you closed the lid wrong. Then, like mother like daughter, I would change my mind on these ridiculous decor themes and accumulate crap that fed into my 'hoarding' gene - also passed on by my parents who KEPT everything! When they finally retired, they still had my old speak n' spell because it worked and I guess you never know when you're going to need something to robotically nag at you on how to spell squirrel. I really don't know why they kept it. They claimed they kept it so I could give it to my child. Can you imagine giving an old speak n' spell to your child right now?? Or a Teddy Ruxpin with the story cassettes that go up his ass? Complete that set with a catch a ball in a cup toy and they'll never need the internet again.

Anyways, I've been pretty restrained with my condo because I'm well aware of my problem. It's an inner fight with myself to NOT buy that life size Elvis cut out at the gift shop. Where would I put that leather clad hunk?

First thought? "You could totally make your office into an Elvis shrine! And you could install a CD player that can play Elvis songs on a loop as soon as you sat down!"

If Nate Berkus could see the decor ideas in my head, he would need serious therapy afterwards or a mental scrub brush to erase the gaudy decorating taste I would leave in his soul.

I've also been restrained because from this point on, my dwellings have been rather small and I value space a teeny bit more than my penchant for room themes and useless knick knacks. A teeny tiny bit, not a lot. I may or may not have a Bob's Big Boy statue bumping shoulders with a matching set of ceramic tiki mugs on my kitchen window ledge. (head down in shame).

This house however, has space and extra bedroom ..that in my head has already turned into my MADONNA themed office...with a DVD player playing Madonna videos on a LOOP! (what I've learned about myself today: Apparently I like my entertainment played on a loop!?) There's also a fully equipped bar - and of course, since viking hubby doesn't drink alcohol, in my head, that has already turned into a mini-Jamba juice smoothie bar, complete with a retro Coke advertisement above with flashing lights!

Don't even ask my head about the ideas its had for our bedroom.
Two words: Space Cowboy.

wait..three words: RETRO space cowboy.

If left to my own devices, it could get straight up Graceland II in this new house. (The Jungle room is my favorite! Sick.) - so thank you to my friend Brandie in advance for holding my hand and knocking some good taste in me.


kim said...

OMG. I am in love with Nate Berkus. For shame, for shame...

When's the big move going down?

Cynnie said...

i do catholic /santeria themes..
being cuban rocks :)

( I wasnt BORN cuban, but Ive snagged it so now its mine :) )

Beth said...

There's a huge backyard, a pool and a pool house complete with bathroom and shower and a lovely hillside view.If I pay for the materials, can your Viking hubby build a huge dog house (air conditioned, please) out by the pool? I'll happily answer to "Rover" and you can decorate my little hut in any crazy-ass theme you want.

Pleeeease? Pretty please with sugar on it?

San said...

Cool now we have somewhere to stay when we are visiting!!! Yeah new house!!!Glad also that u guys are not leaving Cali!!!! double Yeah!!! =0)

Tug said...

I'm just a white girl that had Ty Murray & Tuff Hedeman (bullriders) cutouts watching over her pool table. (They used to scare the shit out of me when I'd go in there in the middle of the night - wondering who was in my house - LOL).

We won't even talk about the Mickey Mouse themed house I had once.

I'm ready to redecorate now - is Brandi for hire?

Karen MEG said...

Interesting - ahem- decor is not limited to Filipino Asians I'm afraid (see above comment re:Dad's fave pedestal). I turned a blind eye to most of it (mind you, I did have puke green velvet wallpaper that I chose when I was 11, but I think it must have been the genes).

My Grandma used to have pics of Jesus, crosses and Buddha all sharing space on her mantle too.

My sister is an architect and interior designer who favours simple sleek lines and muted colours. ... must have drove her nuts growing up in our house...hey, wait a minute, might explain a few things... (I'm so nice ...)

Anonymous said...

This post? Right here? Is why I luuuuuurrrrrve you.

Blues said...

My husband has the same hereditary disease. he won't let me get rid of anything. I'll throw ANYTHING away, because that means I don't have to clean it or put in away. You know, things like really important documents and chords that render an expensive electronic useless.