Trading Spaces
Pennsylvania: Tremont Drive

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Deborah: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Pennsylvania: Tremont Drive

The other homeowners are Bill and Becky (uh oh...Betsy and Becky? Good luck, Deborah!), who want their living room redone. They say that people are afraid to enter it and that it's like a museum. Well, it's definitely pretty off-putting, but I think it's more like the sort of room you'd find yourself in when picking out a casket: trying hard to be tasteful and pleasant, but not too cheery or inviting. Seriously, it's so formal and stiff. It's really one of the deadest "before" rooms I've ever seen on this show. The walls are the best part: they're done in wide vertical stripes of beige paint, in alternating sheens of flat and satin/semigloss so that the striped effect is subtly emphasized. While I'm not crazy about stripes, this is very nicely and neatly done. There's beige carpet and white crown molding. One of the biggest problems in the room is the mishmash of furniture: there's a simple couch in a style that's trying to bridge traditional and contemporary, upholstered in a beige fabric with a strong rosy cast, and opposite that is a more traditional side chair upholstered in a flowered fabric with an equally traditional side table, both in a darker brown wood. In between is a large square pine coffee table, very country-casual, in a warm orangey-yellow tone that clashes in both colour and style with the other wood in the room. On another side of the coffee table are two armless side chairs upholstered in a tone-on-tone red stripe which look like they belong at a dining-room table. They're the kind that have every inch upholstered, including the legs. Behind those chairs on the wall is an arrangement of four pictures that is far too small and insignificant for the huge amount of wall space they're on. There's a little old-fashioned cabinet in the corner with some dried arrangement and a candle on it. Opposite these red chairs on the other side of the table is a chunky armless upholstered side chair in what looks like a dark brown colour. The windows behind that chair have short hanks of off-white fabric, with a thin black pinstripe border, swagged across the top as window treatments. Let's all stop inflicting "window treatments" on our windows and look into some curtains or blinds. Please. If there's anything you can do to windows to make them look more uninviting or affected or stage set-y than these drape-y, swag-y treatments, I don't want to know about it. Once I convince everybody to stop putting up pointless, tasteless wallpaper borders, ludicrous window treatments are next on the shit list. There are pillows in various different and unrelated florals on most of the furniture. There's a candle surrounded by another dried (or possibly fake) arrangement on the coffee table. When a room is already dead and uninviting, arrangements of dried or fake vegetation only underline the arid, unappealing effect. Also on the coffee table is a silver tray with two martini glasses and a pair of white cups and saucers. Beside it on the table is a CD in its case, propped open so it stands up. Huh? I suppose they are trying to convince someone that this room is an inviting place to relax, have drinks and listen to music, but I'm not sure if they're trying to convince themselves, their guests, or the viewer. That's just so...contrived-looking.

Becky says that the room might as well be roped off because people come in and look at it, but are not interested in going in there. Maybe they've already bought their caskets. Bill says that they'd like it to be a room that's more comfortable and a place to have drinks before or after dinner. Becky likes the colours in their living room. She says it's very dark. It doesn't seem like it would be, but who can tell with the TV lights? She says that, at night, the couple of lamps they have in there don't provide enough light for a conversation. Becky doesn't like pastel colours, and says that the rest of their house has a lot of dark greens, burgundies, and yellows and she doesn't want the designer to use colours that don't go with the rest of the house. I think Becky looks like a less flinty Helen Hunt.

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Trading Spaces

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