Fish Are Not Decoration

The New York Times is running an article online about extravagant fish tanks: $200,000 tanks with $1000 monthly maintenance fees.  What I find particularly jaw dropping about the story isn't the cost of the homeowner's decor, it's the fact that the homeowners consider fish decor in the first place. Fish are animals.  They do not belong in little glass boxes and they do not exist to decorate your room or to amuse you.  They are living creatures.  And seriously, before I get a bunch of hate comments (I'm not changing my mind) yes, yes it is different from having a cat or a dog, both of which are allowed outside to roam and coexist in a mutually beneficial relationship of companionship with their care givers.  I do not own a cat so that my living room looks prettier.  In fact, my cats make my space look much worse, but I love them more than my things so I manage.

(sorry for the long disclaimer, I just really don't want to fend off hate comments today.)

The designers interviewed in the article note that aquariums answer the age old questions: “How do you humanize this space, how do you introduce natural elements? How do you make it feel like you’re not standing in a white, pristine, soul-less box?”

8 fish swimming endlessly around 2 rocks doesn't feel soulful to me.  Fail.

The owners of this 6,000 pound, $200,000 suspended tank "get lost in it" at night rather than the television set.  I'm so so glad that nature's creatures are able to provide you with endless entertainment.

It is noted that the owner's of this tank's other point of pride in their home is the tanning bed in the basement.  Need I say more?

Ok, really, I'm sure there are lots of people who will disagree with me today.  I'm sure several of you have aquariums and love your fishies and I'm sure you make great homes for them.  And, no, they are not being hunted and eaten.  I know there are several sides to the fish-in-home debate, and I could probably be persuaded to accept several of the gray areas, but the bottom line is that fish as decor creeps me out.  Please try not to get too hatey today.  Besides, this whole look is really 80s, and not in a good way.  xoxo


While sifting through the New York Times slideshows yesterday, I came across a room from this slideshow that made my heart skip a beat:

The object of my love and affection?

The Patrick Townsend Orbit Light.  At only $300 I feel like I could give it a really good home if only the internet would put the black one up for sale.  All I can seem to find is white and grey.

On a side note, I realized that yesterday I did not link to either of the NYT slideshows I wrote about (thank you btw for all the amazing feedback, you dudes rock!) You can read about the yurt here and the sleepy time boring pad here.

See you dudes Monday!

New York Times Slideshow Mash-Up

I love the New York Times Home slideshows.  Even homes that aren't my taste are always made interesting by excellent lighting and relevant commentary.  This week's line-up, however, looked more like the makings of an episode of Wife Swap then hard-hitting journalism.  First up we have a genuinely interesting, if not insane, article about a couple living in a yurt.  Yes.  A yurt.  Directly next to that on the Style homepage was what could easily be considered the most boring home-shoot ever to hit the interwebs, and I'm even including google "boring home" image search in my ranking.  I couldn't help but hear the snarky voice of the anonymous Wife Swap narrator when sifting through the images.  Let's see if we can make this work

Meet the Higman-McKittrick family:  Mother, Erin and father, Bretwood live in a yurt 90 miles from civilization in the Alaskan wilderness.  The Higman-McKittricks have forsaken running water and indoor heating in exchange for life in a $14,000, 400 square foot tent, which can only be reached by plane or boat.

This week on Wife Swap, Erin will be flying over 3,000 miles to swap places with a woman she's never met who lives in the Bronx.

Meet the Khinda-O'Donnell family:  Elizabeth Khinda is an algebra teacher while fiance, Thomas, is a telecommunications worker.  The Khinda-O'Donnells live in a standard size apartment outside Manhattan, Elizabeth claims to love anything pink and girly while Thomas wears a windbreaker.  The Khinda-O'Donnells engage in a rare interior design activity known to few as "seasonal decorating."

Without the benefit of an accessible grocery store, mom, Erin begins her day with a quaint round of front-yard ice fishing.

Back in the Bronx, Elizabeth admires the Ikea light fixture her electrically-inclined fiance hung over their holiday table.

Father, Bretwood prepares for the long winter by building a fire from the wood he hand chopped this morning and lining the yurt with quilts woven from angel tears

The season is well underway back in New York for the Khinda-O'Donnell family, who, again, pride themselves on their seasonal decorating techniques.

With baby Katmai strapped to her back, Erin cooks family meals on the only working electrical appliance in the couple's home.

Back on the east coast, someone finds this photo of the Khinda-O'Donnell family kitchen relevant to seasonal decorating.

After a long day of trekking through snow and chopping wood, the Higman-McKittrick family settle into bed on their shared futon nestled behind a curtain hand-woven by Erin.

The Khinda-O'Donnells take one last look at their bedroom dressers, one appropriately bare, suiting his masculine sensibilities, and another with a mirror and wind-up ballerina reflecting her girly outlook, before snuggling into their boring bed with only one nightstand.

This summer, the Higman-McKittrick family will be embarking on a 200 mile journey by inflatable raft (this is real) to unmined coal repositories in northwest Alaska

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Khinder will be swapping out her holiday decor for this target pillow to usher in the new season.

See what happens when these two families swap lives for two weeks:  new husbands, new children, new rules.

So, are you dudes tuning in?