Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hide and Seek

Beware of the new trends in home furnishing that have just been announced in the USA.

We have visited homes where the TV is hidden away in a cabinet (supposedly not to dominate the living room). According to today’s LA Times, now we can buy dishwashers and refrigerators with paneling so they appear like a kitchen cabinet. Then we can purchase for Christmas a microwave concealed in a drawer.

Move to the room to which Borat disappeared at the dinner party and you will discover why he returned with his doings in a plastic bag? Because he couldn’t find the ‘loo’! Toilets are being hidden because they are not considered to be aesthetic. As part of the new range you can purchase a ‘bench toilet’, with seat, cistern and pipes all camouflaged.

It is done in the name of minimalism, uncluttering and simplicity. That’s rubbish when you see the price list:

The Bench Toilet starts at $US 12,000 (the lavatory is extra) and the price ‘depends on the size’ (I wonder how much a three seater costs, each with a muffler and a Chanel 5 dispenser?).

The Microwave starts at $850.

The cat litter box disguised as a planter costs $200 (don’t leave your cat with the neighbours when you go on holiday).

Ceiling fans without visible blades start at $825.

And people are already ordering these appliances in disguise for Christmas!

What’s wrong with a fridge in the kitchen? It reminds us that we thirst! We get hungry.

I like to see a good chopping board on the bench with some knives. They remind me that we must cook.

I like a free standing dunny or two in the house with reverberating walls. I actually find the sound of a forceful flush to be a liberating experience. The tuneful filling up of the cistern, I find to be soothing.

All this reminds me that I am human.

Jeff Spurrier, the reporter writing about this unwelcome trend, suggests it is an example of ‘botoxing the house’. Removing the wrinkles to keep up the appearances.

Simplify by all means. Unclutter the house. But let’s not continue down this road of denying our basic and rich humanity.

Geoff Pound

Source: Jeff Spurrier, ‘Rabbit in a Hat, LA Times, 30 November, 2006.,0,7986440,full.story

Image: A Sydney man waiting proudly to use this Australian architectural icon.