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EST. May 2000 (AD)




Decorating TV Guide

By Mary Ketarkus Brown

Tune in tonight for "Bath in a Flash" where a happily (unmarried) host couple saws, grouts and plumbs a second bath in their home ­ in under 22 minutes." And everything turns out "fun" and "fabulous". But what happens during commercial breaks on TV decorating shows? While viewers watch a woman being chased by a toilet, only show personnel know... Here's the real behind-the-scenes footage you missed.

Episode #227: Collectibles are Crap

Norman Rockwell Schmockwell. If it says "of the month," it's crap. Deal with it. Learn how you can't even dump those Franklin Mint plates at a garage sale dollar table. Beanie Babies? Expert guy-who-looks-like -your-Uncle-Ed, tells hopefuls, "Get real. Your pet's stools are more valuable." Finally, a confounding revelation: the best thing that can happen to Precious Moments figurines is for kitty to knock them all over. Pale kneeling nuns and pastel graduates tumble into smithereens. That's a good thing.

Episode #587: "Hang'em High"

Exactly how often does Shaquille O'Neal stop by? If the answer is "Never," then why is your wall art hung a half inch from the ceiling? Alternate-lifestyle couple helps suburban tract house owner re-hang her velvet Elvis and canine poker tapestries at eye-level. Much better.

Episode #008: "Mix it up"

Discussion of ways to handle matching pattern furnishings in a room. A visit to three different living rooms in Faux Castle-Barn Estates. The gist of the show is to place the largest pieces in your room, then add quirky items to break up the matchy-matchy look. Try a Bobble head bin Laden on a book shelf. Feature that crucifix collection gathering dust in shoe boxes under your bed behind a sofa table. Your neighbor's annoying yippy dog - aprés taxidermy will look swell by fireplace or greeting guests in foyer.

Episode #401: "K.I.S.S'

Tell lovers of Southwestern tchotchkes to tune in ­ especially if they showcase more kachina dolls in their home than exist in the entire state of Arizona. Watch empty nesters in riveting tough turquoise love segment when perky hostess with too much hair packs up the jalepeno-shaped spoon rest, jalepeno-shaped pot holders and (you guessed it) jalepeno-shaped corn-on-the-cob holders. Don't miss the dramatic finale when our lovely hostess switches into full-metal PMS and declares, "Hell, with it. Burn anything remotely adobe-related." Quick Tip: Dream-catchers make great kindling.

Episode #413: "Material Goods"

Affected, anorexic host reveals, "If the backs of your thighs stick to your sofa, chances are it's made of materials not found in nature." Pure confrontation therapy for those who pay a mortgage to house bad 70s Pleather, Naugahyde or vinyl seating objects (Redundant.) Permission is granted to place on the curb all things bulbous or filled with buckwheat hulls. Episode concludes with thirty-something clueless couple buying real grownup furniture.

Episode #666: "Co-Dependent Decor No-More"

Remember when you were a kid the rooms that were off limits at your friend's house? Overly charming hostess and 200-mg-a-day Prozac veteran imparts helpful information that rooms are meant to be lived in and enjoyed. "Who cares what your Mom or aunt thinks about your decorating: it's your damn house. Spill grape juice on the carpet when you visit theirs."

Episode #982: "Got Ego?"

Must-see TV for home decorator enthusiasts! Secret formula for displaying your family photos. Count the number of framed photos you have. Add number of frames that a) don't match b) are magnetized to your refrigerator or c) dangle from your purse strap as a 6" round photo "button". If this number is greater than 300, subtract them all from every surface.You know what your family looks like. So do people who visit. Are you a vampire? No. You exist. You really, really exist.Decorating rules are meant to be broken. Follow these helpful tips and mark yourself one level up on the evolutionary scale.

Good job. Tune in next week for: "Scrapbooking: Gigantic Waste of Time".


BIO: When not keeping the world safe from dysfunctional room interiors, Mary
Ketarkus Brown stalks small woodland animals. Former (child-free) parenting
publication publisher, she considers her greatest gift embroidering French
knots. In her high school yearbook photo, she looks like a trout. Contact her:

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