Proving that money can’t buy you taste, this 2.5 million dollar travesty is safely contained in the geomantic curves of Canberra’s deep south. The taupe rendering and the stone work is meant to suggest earthiness, possibly stability; but instead invokes visions of “The Flintstones”, while the decidedly 70s architecture harkens back to the cheesiness of “The Brady Bunch”. Sadly, in architecture and decoration we are all lactose intolerant.
The two letterboxes hint at the horror that awaits the discerning decorator, but more distracting is the giant green caterpillar / procession of triffids that are making their way to the top of the steps. Why would anyone do that? You’re not bringing the outdoors inside and you’re not leaving it outside either. Make your mind up. Maybe you could only afford a railing for one side? Here’s a tip, hand rails are easily affordable if you cut back on your giant black pot and ceramic lion budget.
This nature strip is so lack lustre; you have to wonder why they bothered. A punnet of small red bushes for “drama”, what looks like a couple of tired flax plants and an assemblage of weeds around a doubtlessly dripping garden tap, create a sense of urban hopelessness to rival any Russian housing project. Strangely enough there seems to be another letterbox in this picture. It’s white this time. Be afraid people, be very afraid.
A personal pet hate of mine is this driveway. I don’t think it would make it easier to get your car out (Oh, Darren is on a heroin binge right now, I’ll just reverse the car out instead) and it’s a great way to force rain water to rush down like a torrent across the already pathetic nature strip. Washing away your topsoil with gay abandon must be one of those ostentatious symbols of wealth I missed out on.
Let us now consider the gum lined street. Aside from the fact that the blue-grey foliage makes this look like one of the starting levels in “World of Warcraft”, there is also the problem that if there’s one thing a gum tree likes to do, it’s catch on fire. I look at these delightful Australian natives and I don’t see a picturesque and slightly exclusive suburb. I see a firestorm and the charred remains of a family trapped inside a Volvo who didn’t make their escape because their tires blew out from the heat, and a procession of triffids.
This horror of the exterior pales when compared to the travesty contained within. People, I cannot repeat this often enough, monochromatic is not automatically tasteful, and shiny is not automatically tasteful. Put them together and you have an interior guaranteed to cause spontaneous abortions amongst your pregnant friends and neighbours. The theme du jour of this suburban palace is “metallic women holding stuff”. I count ten of them, and a bloody great metal swan too. For every three metallic women there is one chandelier, which seems quite generous. Decorating tip #2 Chandeliers are a sometimes food, like donuts or rendered pig lard. Putting one in every room doesn’t make you stylish or grand; it makes you repetitive and unimaginative.
I’d like to think that the curtains are an attempt at a post-feminist lesbian nod towards the metallic vulvic mysteries of the metallic women who inhabit every corner and surface of this room. The reality though is they probably thought that the shiny fabric looks expensive (but not when it’s on every surface) and the masses of draped fabric suggest a generous luxury (but not when you have meagre 7 foot ceilings). This room reached towards grand and instead fell short and ended up as cluttered, and remarkably tacky, and abortion inducing.
Aside from the fact that the statue in the foreground suggests a love of female anal penetration, or possibly a desire to throw naked women into quicksand, this picture demonstrates a number of classic mistakes. Too much gold, shitty bric-a-brac on pedestals, vases on floors, Doctor Who props hidden under chairs, overdone drapery, monochromatic colour schemes and ugly statues all collide together in a visage of hellishly bland Canberra living.
Another foray into female anal penetration, some women holding stuff and a deliciously piss weak oil painting. I can imagine the back story of this piece; a recently divorced friend has decided to honour their inner goddess by expressing an artistic streak that hasn’t got a look-in since a senior art class in the 80s. One TAFE course later and suddenly friends with money and no taste are nailing that crap to the wall. “It’s a circus! Life’s a circus! I realised that after Jason and I divorced and I got the beach house on the NSW north coast!” It’s not art, it’s a travesty. The other blue seaside painting is decoration without artistic merit, unless of course you consider the fact that it was probably produced by a child in a sweat shop in Asia before it found its way into a tasteless middleclass Canberra abode.
White couches and ornate decanters on the sideboard proclaim “I’m very clean” but probably indicate that they hire an international student from an exotic locale who is working on a cure for cancer, when they’re not removing dark coloured lint from the white couch. The gothic candle stick holders are totally unusable unless the international student/cancer researcher/cleaner also removes scorch marks off the ceiling and resets the fire alarm. More likely, the hosts use tea light candles unaware of the gaucheness of such a manoeuvre.
The bedroom is meant to suggest luxury with its shiny window treatment, golden picture frames, foot stool and chandelier. However the effect is spoiled by the impractical use of tall lamp tables as bedside tables. There are no drawers in those tables. When the hell am I supposed to put my water based lubricant, prophalactives and tasteful white hand towel? In the foot stool? The devil is in the details though; the complete lack of a head board though leaves no doubt that this is less of a castle and more of a crack house, as is every third house in Canberra.
“We bought her very first painting” they boast “it’s called ‘feminist fantasy in purple’ and it really brings life to the den!” Bullshit. It’s like a “my little pony” decided to vomit up a storm, or possibly the blood splatter pattern from a cabbage patch kid. In front of it, is the requisite naked lady holding something. Considering her bum is exposed I’m surprised she’s not facing the other way. Maybe she couldn’t bear the purple horror either. The asymmetric zebra couches make me suspect that this home is owned by someone who is either blind (it would explain the pornographic statues) or someone trapped in an 80s psychosis.
Two kitchens, I knew it! This palace was at one stage flats. No matter how big and golden your picture is, you cannot disguise the fact that some poor bastard is expected to cook on an electric stove. I suppose I should be grateful that it has four burners. The white horror kitchen leaves nothing to the imagination, if you wanted to know what it would be like to be crushed to death in a glacier, then this is the kitchen for you. The uncomfortable looking white chairs in the kitchen cry out for a chandelier or three, but instead have to settle for more bric-a-brac on gold and glass display shelves. So if you have $2.5 million and are legally blind, maybe this is the house for you. If you have any taste or human compassion, or maybe you just think copper based anal pornography is wrong, then we at pinksheep salute you.