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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am obsessed with "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

How do I know the world is unjust? Because I am stuck watching only short clips from what looks to be the greatest piece of television programming ever - "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." The New York Times has not one but two audio slide shows featuring home tours personally narrated by two of the Housewives - Caroline Manzo, the show's mobbed-up matriarch, and Danielle Staub, the body-by-Tupperware cling-on man-hungry divorcee.

These two houses are so damn amazing, it's actually for the best I cannot view any of the episodes in their entirety. I would experience so many sharp intakes of breath at the magnificence that is Jersey decorating, I would probably pass out from the oxygen overload and injure myself.

The houses are exactly what one expects from your standard American 10,000-square-foot-plus suburban McMansion. Vaguely European styling, forests of oak and/or red cherry wood finishes, sparkly brass chandeliers the size of Mini Coopers, and two-story ceilings in even the smallest of rooms. Bad art and pastel silk floral arrangements abound.

Danielle's living room, which is one brass wall sculpture away from being an homage to Tony Soprano's salon.

Danielle's master bedroom, a pale oak tribute to the wood-working skills of the New Jersey carpenters' local 781.

Caroline's Tuscan/French/Moorish/American Colonial extravaganza of a living room. Disney's "It's a Small World" ride is more cohesive.

Caroline's rather ho-hum weirdly-alcoved granite and cherry wood kitchen.

Caroline's dining room ceiling probably put the faux paint artiste's children through a semester of private school. I love how there are only six chairs at a table built for 10.

So where does a New Jersey housewife purchase such category-defying home decor? Unique Furniture, "a 13,500-square-foot showroom in a former plastics factory is packed with crystal chandeliers as big as an Apollo landing pod, red velvet Alhambra-esque bedroom sets and fecund-looking rococo mirrors — in sum, what [the owner] describes as European-style furniture (a little bit French, a little bit Italian, a little bit Moroccan and always ornate, like some antiques, but without all the yucky dust)."

You must - and I mean MUST - visit Unique Furniture's website. Its beauty is not to be believed.

28 comments:

pillow mint said...

oy-vay!

nkp said...

This is you at your best! I ain't got nothin' more to say, but- you rock. Fuggedaboutit!

Kate said...

absolutely flipping stunned.

g. said...

Lol!!! I was on a plane and it came on and, bored, I thought I'll just watch this trash....bad idea. I am stuck-can't stop watching. Submerged here as well. And laughing all the way.

C said...

I am like a deer caught in car headlights watching this show! Holy Cheesey! Best HW series yet!

Alicia B. Designs said...

OMIGOD ISN'T IT THE BEST??!! I feel such overwhelming shame saying that but...whatever!! I loved when the one with the wannabe beauty queen daughter was picking out furniture for her new home! ASTOUNDING.

have you looked on YouTube for more amazingness? heres one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjZZcvc-ymY

Judy said...

Finally, a show that makes New Yorkers look restrained.
So much money, so little taste.

thehomebound said...

Holy crap, isn't this just a train wreck?! Love how crazy these chicks are.

Wish you had this show because we live-blog it on Noel Marie. You should come either way, though I am not sure about the time difference. It's so fun to talk crap!

erin@designcrisis said...

Last night, Ben asked me why I was watching this crap on tv, but I couldn't answer. I was speechless in amazed wonderment at the tackiness. The kitchens are the grossest -- acres of bacteria infested granite, overworked cherry cabs, and travertine spewed forth into every corner, like vomit.

I LOVE IT.

Jenny said...

She is the reason I buy my shit at Salvation Army...I am proud to say my house will NEVER look like that.

Jenny said...

And OMG I just noticed the pic of the dining room! This is a joke right? No one would do that...or should I say no one would PAY to have someone else do that???

sherri said...

why did I cancel expanded cable?

Pigtown-Design said...

i don't have cable and i was house-sitting the other week and watched three straight hours of RHONY and RHONJ. I could feel my IQ dropping with each minute!

House of Slappy said...

OMG, this post MADE my day today. How fucking funny! I love watching those trainwrecks...did you read the latest dirt on the tranny looking one about her sordid crack and whor-ish background?

I have one word for how these women dress and decorate - VILE!

Money does not equal taste or klass, that's right - they are not classy but klassy.

P.S. You totally reminded me of Raina.K. with this post. Ha!

Raina said...

HOS - Would you be referring to this juicy story?:

http://dlisted.com/node/32251

C and Judy - Hello and welcome to this deliciousness!

Raina said...

Alicia B. - That made my entire day! Thanks so much.

karly said...

Alicia totally called out my favorite episode. You actually get to witness, FIRST HAND that woman forking over $100,000 IN CASH to the stuffy proprietor of Unique Furniture.

The body by tupperware lady's (brilliant, P.S.) house is my fave, it's all white walls with random pieces of dark furniture pushed RIGHT UP NEXT TO THEM and hunter green curtains. The contrast hurts my soul.

I don't want to make you feel bad, but I just so happen to know that bravo is showing it in marathon right now and after reading your post, I kinda have to turn it on

Longest. comment. ever.

susieq said...

Oh my gosh. As an Atlantan, the Real Housewives of Atlanta have a special place in my heart. But, this New Jersey thing... It's a trainwreck and I can't turn away! Unique Furniture is shiny, glossy, over-the-top fabricated and horrendous. Now, I must watch every second of RHONJ.

Robin said...

This is my current guilty pleasure. Can't.Look.Away.

It's like they all shopped at Beige Tuscan-esque R' Us, except for the blond one, she lives in a more normal house, although it is decorated to within an inch of its life. And she has stuffed roosters in her kitchen.

griffo68 said...

I can't bring myself to subject my eyes to watching it yet, I did scratch my eye a few weeks back and I don't want to risk infection.
I cannot believe that people buy that crap!
It makes me so angry!
The before pics of my flat which I will be posting soon aren't that dissimilar....

House of Slappy said...

I only have ONE request of you - the season of New Jersey Ho's just started and there better be more posts...I'm just sayin. :)

Love you!!

Daine said...

Again... money doesn't buy taste or class; and what's with the housewife who pays for everything in cash??? Love the show.

PutzFrau said...

Yup. My new guilty pleasure as well.

The one girl was in the process of building her "dream home" and it was filled with onyx and marble straight out of Scarface. Like some 80's Colombian drug lord compound. Delicious!

karly / design-crisis.com said...

I'd like to add to Robin's comment by pointing out that the blond (Dina) also has a 2 foot replica Eiffel Tower on the floor of her Shabby French Country dining room.

hello gorgeous said...

I think you can watch the shows on bravo.com.

And did you see the horsehead on Danielle's bed? Puh-leeze.

Paul Pincus said...

it's SO addictive and INSANE.

i think i'm in LOVE with dina!

carol said...

I just found your blog and I am happy there are kindred taste-spirits out there! I am guessing that Bravo casting chooses based first on nouveau-richeness (for all except New York) then second on big boobsy-ness. I am convinced they key on the suburban shows is to have a very large, new and tacky house. Even if they can't afford it (to wit, the 2 foreclosures on the Atlanta show) the families on these shows seem to be trading-up to accomodate their TV habit (not to mention bra sizes).

Raina said...

Hi ya Carol and welcome!

Bravo must have a well-researched nouveau-riche to big booby formulation, complete with equations and pie charts, to determine casting decisions. ;)