Thursday, November 19, 2009

Forecasting Interior Decorating Trends

The other day I watched The Illustrated Man, adapted from the Ray Bradbury collection of the same name.  A crazy bum, who is covered with tatoos, tells a young man he meets that a woman from the future did the "skin illustrations," which "come alive" if you look at them long enough.  This coming alive involves diversions to 3 short sci-fi stories.  It's the first story that concerns me here;  in it, the tatooed man and future woman live in the future in a futuristic house.  The scenery people for IM made the then-common assumption that future interior decorators would work entirely in white.  White walls. White floors.  White ceilings.  White furniture.  Why this whiteness?  One theory:  people in the future will like to show off the fact that they needn't opt for the darker colors that don't show dirt, since they have robots to keep everything spick and span.

The bum/future-man, played by Rod Steiger, complains about the economic necessity (in the future)of allowing people to work only six months out of the year.  What is he to do with that other six months?!  Why couldn't he brighten up his existence with some color?  Hook a red rug.  Buy a blue couch.  If he had invited his young son to help him paper the walls and paint the furniture, maybe they would have bonded.  And his wife and daughter could also have bonded while looking through decorating samples and buying fancy pillows. Interior decorating could have brought this family closer and perhaps the kids wouldn't have set the parents up to get killed.  Just a thought.

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