Wednesday, July 8, 2009

House Beautiful...Sort Of!

I have a subscription to House Beautiful. I am endlessly fascinated with design shows and whatnot, and my favorite channel is HGTV. I like their shows because they actually stay within a fairly reasonable budget to make a house or room look great. House Beautiful, by contrast, is utterly ridiculous and amuses me to no end. Yes, sometimes I get some ideas from reading it, but overall, in a world where most people are shopping at Wal Mart, Target, and Ikea, the prices I see in HB are enough to make you choke!

Couple of cases in point from the July 2009 issue: as you flip through the magazine, you will come across a stool with hundreds of balloons tied all over it. Not blown up, of course, just stretched all over the place and tied to each other to keep them in place on the stool. You are never told what the stool itself is made from. The whole thing is absolutely hideous, and sells for $215. Are they serious?? It looks like an idea my preschooler had, and I can rest assured she would have done a better job for less money!

Further on, they do a feature on wastebaskets. Fifty of them. I'm not talking about kitchen garbage cans, I'm talking about the ones that you park next to an office desk or something like that. You never put what I call real garbage in these things. The most these will ever hold is paper, paper clips, and staples, maybe a dead pen or two. Two in particular just about made me swallow my tongue. One is painted to look like a Tole drum, whatever that is, and its cost is $495. No, that is not four dollars and ninety five cents!

The other is solid brass and designed to look like a big tote shopping bag from the departments store, and priced at a whopping $660. They're wastebaskets, for crying out loud. Those prices are higher than my mortgage payment!

And finally, the last amusing feature was on beanbag chairs. Yes, beanbag chairs, only now they've been revamped to be more modern and appeal to the rich with money to throw away. Let's just say they ranged in price from $80 to...drum roll...$2,190! Yes, there were at least two, and possibly three, that broke the $1000 mark. Scary stuff!

I gotta say, even if I had that kind of money, I don't think I'd spend it that way! Especially with kids, who draw on everything or worse. I think I would still have a decent set of furniture, nice decor and what-have-you, but I'd keep the rest of it for vacations, clothes, and toys for my kids that wouldn't give me a heart attack when they got broken!

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