SPOILER ALERT: she marries a prince and dies in a car accident.
I enjoyed it so much I downloaded an audiobook about her and listened to it over the last few days while I gardened and tended to my house drudgery.
SPOILER ALERT: this book ALSO ends with her death. It also includes her marrying a prince.
Then because I had Monaco on the brain I watched the film Monte Carlo on netflix. It was very cute and there's a cameo by Catherine Tate.
SPOILER ALERT: no one dies in a car accident, nor marries a prince BUT all three main characters learn about being true to themselves.
Other than immersing myself in facts about Monte Carlo -- for example, the citizens of Monaco are called Monegasques -- I've been reading books and magazines about kitchen renovations.
I hesitate to call our DIY plans "renovations." It would be more accurate to say we are "fixing broken and/or ugly shit in our kitchen." This list includes, but is not limited to:
1. replacing the deck railing around the stairwell,
2. removing the faux tile back splash,
3. removing the linoleum covered by the faux tile back splash,
4. buying new counter top,
5. replacing the bottom cabinets so the new counter top is parallel to the floor, and
6. installing a built-in dishwasher so cats no longer lose their toys under the portable dishwasher then sit next to the dishwasher looking pathetic(er).
My home decor interest persisted for years afterward and I spent far too many hours watching HGTV and TLC and reading design magazines. The death knell for my interest came while watching an episode of Trading Spaces. I loved that show. Frank was my favourite designer. I hated Hilde. I was on the fence about Vern and Doug. I was pretty sure Genevieve spent far too much time sitting next to the paint thinner at Ty's workstation.
At the reveal the homeowner was nonplussed. Pushed by Paige for details, he admitted to liking the design, but said he'd be moving the tv back to it's original position. Because the hookups for his satellite dish were on the original wall, and there were no power outlets anywhere close to the tv's new position. The penny dropped. Access to electric outlets determines where ALL my furniture goes. In magazine spreads appliances are seldom plugged in because designers are not concerned about practicalities LIKE ELECTRICITY! Wires are UGLY! Let's not use them!
I never watched another episode of Trading Spaces. Though the damage was already done: my house had a deep red accent wall and the living room was painted olive green.
I've become increasingly skeptical about the design and decorating industry. It's an exercise in frustration to read a design magazine (ie Canadian House & Home) that month after month trumpets only high-end products and lavish lifestyles that no middle class family can obtain without accruing substantial debt. Designers and publishers appear oblivious to the economic downturn. The housing market is too soft to justify lavish upgrades to houses as "investments." Image should not trump practicalities (ie, front loading washers look nice but they stink up your house and your clothes). The rise and demise of trends -- especially expensive trends -- makes me roll my eyes and I find myself coveting white cabinets. White floors. White walls even.
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Here's my prediction: granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances are going to quickly fall from favour in manner of my mom's avocado refrigerator from 1977.