Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Design TV (kinda): Storage Wars


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A few weeks back on Facebook I wrote something like “Storage Wars. Pawn Shops. Exterminators. South Beach Tow. Kate Gosselin. I think it’s safe to say there are too many TV channels.” Well, I have to take back what I said about Storage Wars. As a big part of my rockin’ Friday night last weekend, I happened to catch a marathon on A&E, and it’s so addictive, I can see how the characters on it are addicted to the allure of someone’s abandoned storage locker full of junk. Basically, when someone abandons a storage locker, it’s put up for auction. Collectors and people who own consignment and thrift shops bid on the contents. They are only allowed a peek inside. While flashlights are allowed, going inside the locker or opening boxes is prohibited. The show follows a hilarious crew of characters who try to outbid each other, each with their own instincts about what a box or garbage bag inside may mean. By far, the coolest dude on the show, maybe on the planet, is Barry:

He’s a collector who will buy a locker in search of one cool thing. If it turns out to be guitars (he sees a guitar pick and a Bob Marley poster on a locker floor and senses instruments may be hiding under a sectional sofa), he calls up a buddy to help him figure out the value. The buddy just happens to be in Aerosmith. Barry is a combination of a slick Michael Douglas character and Jack Nicholson and your own father. He’s charming, he has a bunch of crazy cool cars, and I suspect he may be a bit of a hoarder, but perhaps a very organized hoarder.

The only con in watching this show? The thought of how many bedbugs are probably in some of those lockers makes me itch. Especially when thrift store owners take upholstered furniture and bags of old clothes to sell in their stores. Ick.

When I was a kid, A&E stood for Arts and Entertainment, and its programming was heavy with the arts part. Along with Bravo, it was full of boring Shakespeare and stuff no kid wanted to watch. It’s so funny how reality television has taken over these channels and what their identities are now. A&E has gone from Opera to Gene Simmons in just a few decades. Go figure.

Have you watched this show? If so, who is your favorite character and what was your favorite treasure that they have found?


Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

9 By Design – What Did You Think?


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

So, 9 by Design wrapped up this week on Bravo. What did you think? I have to say, at first these people really got on my nerves – I think because everything was so hectic – pregnant woman running around moving furniture, six kids yelling, a crazy stressful move, name dropping, claiming to be southern with the oddest accents ever, and a hyper husband. However, these people have TOTALLY grown on me. I think it started when they ran to the flea market and completely transformed their temporary granny rental in about five minutes flat. Then I started to see how sweet they are about helping their friends, and how they scramble for the bucks. Let’s not get it twisted – they make multi, multi millions on the houses they flip, so don’t feel to sorry for them when you see them have a tag sale, however, I like that they are having a tag sale.

Another thing about them: I remember seeing their Great Barrington house (I think it was in Oprah at Home a few years ago) and I’ve never forgotten it. I remember seeing the yellow and white curtains by the front door and assuming it was Kate Spade’s house. I remember a picture of Madonna smoking over the bed, and those vintage stools, and it all made an impression on me. Lately, I see so much design and I’ve seen the same old things blogged and printed in glossies over and over, it’s rare that something stands out (oh, and I should mention, I can feel myself writing the same things over and over – a phenomenon I call “deja blog”). When something is that memorable, I have to respect it. All and all, I’d give this show a thumbs up. It was certainly heading in the right direction by the end of the season – less hectic home stuff, more start to finish projects in a range of sizes, and I think it will have a great season two.

Side Note: I think we need to add oversized sepia tone horse photographs to our design drinking games. I am seeing them EVERYWHERE lately!

Oh, P.S. – you can buy an Ann Carrington Print of the Queen here.

all images from sixxdesign


Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Set Your DVRs: Man Shops Globe Premieres Tonight


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I’ve been watching Man Shops Globe screeners all week and all I can say is I wish I had this guy’s job. Or I at least wish I were his sister-in-law/travel partner. Or had his frequent flier miles. Keith Johnson travels the world buying furniture for Anthropologie stores. I now understand why their one-of-a-kind pieces are so expensive, though he didn’t really seem to be much of a negotiator. I imagine having cameras follow you puts a cramp in one’s negotiating style.

I was afraid this would screen like one long Anthropolgie commercial, which, let’s face it, it is, but it’s a damn good commercial. It’s totally entertaining, and I’ll take it over Pepsi or Ford product placement any day of the week. The most heartwarming part is are the great stories of how collaborators came together, and how an order from Johnson can change someone’s livelihood and life. I think my favorite episode is when he visits a design school exhibition in Holland and then heads over to Axel Vervoordt’s Complex.

I recommend watching this on a DVR, as some of the camera work is a little jumbled, and you’re going to want to hit pause when they are scanning around the flea markets and shops in order to check out the goods. The show premieres tonight on The Sundance Channel at 10 p.m. I was able to catch the first episode a little early on On Demand; this may vary depending on your cable service but if you can’t wait until tonight, give it a shot.

All images from