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Thoughts on Suburban Castles

April 26, 2012

Here is a serious question I have been silently pondering since the dawn of the docu-reality age: WHY do [nouveau] rich people think that decorating their houses in Baroque, Rennasaince revival decor is the epitome of class and style?

WHY?! Is it because they want to live in a castle? Do they think this will bring them closer to modern royalty? Is it because the “original” rich people lived in castles?

When a reality show brings you into the home of supposed “wealth” [read: people in serious credit card debt] from New Jersey to Orange County to Dallas they might as well just film on a sound stage because all these homes look the exact same.

Must haves: dark stone facades, overly ornate wrought iron fixtures, gothic crosses hung on the walls, candelabras, and gaudy railings on a massive grand staircase. The foyer should be visible from an open upstairs hallway/balcony construction so that you can feel like Rapunzel as you greet guests from the second floor.  The color scheme must be strictly maroon, gold, mauve, tan and merlot (which are all essentially the same color.) Pillows, sofa coverings and curtains should include as many tassels as possible and resemble the dusty tapestries of the Dark Ages. Most importantly, the 4-tennents of TJ Maxx that every fake-rich person strives towards: LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE and INDULGE must be displayed prominently in random places throughout the faux-chateau. In addition, it’s necessary for the kitchen to be equipped with those strange jars of pickled olives and peppers…for decoration? Also–replace silver with gold where ever possible, yes, this means your toilet paper roller.

It’s no wonder the Yankee Candle company is still rakin’ it in at malls across America. You bet your bottom dollar the central air circulating through these suburban castles ALWAYS smells like vanilla lemon zest cookie dough or pumpkin spice latte (and various other scents that seem to have been inspired by the menu at Starbucks.)

Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in cities my whole life so I have a biased aesthetic, but when I make my millions one thing is for certain: I will not invest in a counter-top figure of a butler who holds my bottles of wine.


Teresa of Real Housewives New Jersey in her Ivory Tower off the interstate.


True Religion jeans go great with modern-gothic.


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