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Tag For Hate: Gen X Beige

With all this talk about Millenial Pink and Gen Z Yellow, our March episode finds us on the hunt for a signature color for our generation: Generation X.

Ascribing colors to generational cohorts appears to be based on the popularity of a color among young adults and the application of the color in their personal fashion and home décor. Following that logic, it wasn’t too hard to uncover the most popular color among Gen Xers in their early adult years. Sherwin Williams Color Through the Decades confirms it, (see also here) the signature color for Generation X: BEIGE!

We all know this house. Also note the ubiquitous Tuscan elements!

How dreadful! But true. Throughout the 1990’s as Gen Xers were coming of age, furnishing their first apartments or buying their first homes they turned to the color beige over and over again. Beigey Beige Beige décor was everywhere. Top colors of the era had names as uninspiring as the color itself. “Whole Wheat”, “Basket Beige”, “Urban Putty.” Fibrous not fun!

Blame it on our being raised in households full of dusty rose, country blue, and mauve. Or maybe we were so oversaturated with neon and color blocking that we rebelled…with beige. Whatever the reason for Gen X’s love affair with beige, it lasted longer than most of JLo’s marriages. Indeed, well into the 2000’s we couldn’t get any more exciting than “Latte”–how very Central Perk of us!

We may not love Millenial Pink or Gen Z Yellow, but we definitely hate Gen X Beige!

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Fresh Flowers

Over the ground lies a mantle of white…though it’s March, the snow keeps falling in the Hudson Valley. Spring is whispering its promise to return, but scads of greenery and color are still weeks away. The solution to the end-of-winter doldrums? Fresh flowers, of course.

Listen to our May episode to hear J. gush over tulips.

Cohost J. here. I picked up a bouquet of tulips at the supermarket on Sunday afternoon just because I could not go another day without seeing a flower. Our #houseplants have been around for a while now and are super boring, and the paperwhite bulbs I bought at Thanksgiving time (see: December episode) never bloomed.

Grocery store tulips

Will they fade soon? Yes. Are they an indulgence? Yes. Are they a waste of money? No. Do they hold off the winter blues? A little bit. And I’ll take it.

Even without the pressing need to see something beautiful on my dining room table (aside from a brilliant tablescape and the smiling faces of family and guests), I’d have fresh flowers in the house all the time, if I could. Here’s another reason I not-so-secretly want to be Edie Monsoon from AbFab. We know she indulges in lots of fresh flowers on constant refill from the “Poor” episode, when her auditor suggests she cut her fresh flower budget.

If I ever had a fresh flower budget, and then had to nix it, I’d fall on the floor too.

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Walmart

Brace yourselves, people! Rob here and I’m about to through down a Tag for Love for Walmart. You heard me right, a Tag for Love for Walmart. And if this post gets past J’s editing you’ll learn why.

Walmart, my least favorite retailer (for too many reasons to list here, plus this is about love not hate) launched a new video series called “Love is in the Aisle.” The series features couples on a blind date at Walmart . I know what your thinking: “Shitty first date!” and I agree. But the Episode 2 in the series features two gay men on a blind date. Pat and Andy are super cute as they wonder the aisles discussing scented candles, roasting veggies, and body wash. They also cream over Crème Pies. Need I say more?

This episode of “Love is in the Aisles” is so adorable, it almost makes me want to shop at Walmart. Well. Almost. Maybe. At the very least it has made me think a little more openly about Walmart. Respecting the LGBTQ community has never been the retailer’s strong suit. Featuring a gay couple so prominently is a welcome step forward. The video is getting a lot of attention! LGBTQ news site Towleroad reports the spot has bigots’ panties in a great big knot! Tag for Love!

Tag for Hate · Tag For Love

Tag For Competition: BHG Gets Into The Podcast Game

Inspired by us*, Better Homes & Gardens recently launched a new DAILY podcast called At Home Daily. Though they put out a few episodes since January, they just announced it on their website.

Found while listening to our new episode.

It’s daily, but only two to three minutes long, and apparently meant to be played as part of your daily smart speaker flash briefing. Topics thus far seem to be on their brand but not exactly ours–grandparents, houseplant care, etc.

Part of the reason we started this podcast was to help build a sense of community around home decor, gardening and entertaining using a digital platform. A year ago, they were behind the times (we think) with a definite lack of media projects–a few videos, some slideshow-based web content, etc. We wanted more than that, so we created it. In the past few months, their website has begun posting a LOT more content (regrettably, lots of content recycled from other brands and sites) and now this. So, visible improvements! Obviously they’re making attempts to win the magazine/platform survival war (watch out, Good Housekeeping).

We’ll be tuning in, of course. We wish them well! Though At Home Daily is a also a podcast, our show is entirely different. We’re the outsiders looking in…the readers. And we’re going to keep on keepin’ it real…but on a monthly basis. Speaking of which, did you check out our latest episode?

*totally unproven statement invented by us.

UPDATE: We’ve listened to a few episodes. Not gonna lie…it’s not good. It’s about as dry and void of color and warmth as Rob’s martinis but 1000% less fun. Actually I take that back that comparison because that’s an insult to martinis.

Episodes

The March 2019 Episode

This month we make sure you’re a real trendoid by dissecting our most (and least) favorite so-called trends from BHG’s Trend issue. We’re dubious about ’70’s glam (curate it, please), all-in on mural wallpapers, and totally over a certain color–this time, even the #houseplants get in on the action. Rob is only here for the zoodles, while J. does something unconventional and has to get something off his chest. And which of these trends did we totally call in our January live episode? Remember, we’re not shoving trends down your throat–we’re only gently strongly suggesting them. Signature cocktail: “Matchamacallit” inspired by the matcha-mint “shamrock” shake. Recipe taste testing on our YouTube channel: red lentil soup and hen-of-the-woods tart. Music by Bensound.com.

Tag for Hate

Tag For Hate: Ubiquitous Magnolia Home

Promise.

This is the last and final time we’ll tag Chip and Joanna Gaines’ design aesthetic for hate. It’s not that we hate the Magnolia Home aesthetic completely (though it is a bit white on white on white.) To their credit, they have perfected the intersection of farmhouse chic and industrial modern. It’s a look that works in many home and commercial settings. The problem: it’s the ONLY look they offer and its EVERYWHERE.

Shiplap. White paint. Wood tones. Metal. Repeat.

There’s no doubt about it, “Fixer Upper” was a monstrous hit for HGTV. For many of us, the show had a fresh appeal at its start. By the end of the season one, it was abundantly clear that the Gaines’ would be serving up the same exact look episode after episode. Can you say “shiplap?” The show went on for 4 more seasons! The monotony of Magnolia Home design and décor was mind-numbing. Moreover, “Fixer Upper” came to epitomize the monotonous offerings on home improvement television networks.

Shiplap. White paint. Wood tones. Metal. Repeat.

Anyone saddened by the end of “Fixer Upper” doesn’t have to go far to get their fix of Magnolia Home. Product lines can be found at Pier 1, Target, and Home Depot just to name a few retailers. (There’s also their higher-end licensing deals (like Loloi carpets). We don’t begrudge them their success (well, maybe a tiny bit.) It is the ubiquitous nature of their design line that’s ripe for hate. Magnolia Home muted off-white tones, galvanized containers, and “salvaged” accents are seemingly everywhere. (And they themselves are everywhere: even the check-out aisles via People and other celebrity news magazines.)

Photos from the Target Store Opening – Glenview, IL, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Jean-Marc Giboux/AP Images for Target)

It begs the question: Does a pervasive design aesthetic stifle creativity and individual expression in our personal design choices?

Not too long ago, folks would say “Your living room looks right out of a catalog.” Now, they can say “Your living room looks right out of Magnolia Home.” We don’t think either is a compliment.

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Crate & Barrel’s Spotlight On Women

The cover of the Spring 2019 Crate & Barrel print catalog.

Cohost J. here. As you know I’m a sucker for print so I get all excited when a new catalog arrives in the mail. And a Crate and Barrel catalog makes me a little excited in ways I can’t really get into here. So it was extra-special to have this one arrive earlier this week, with its spotlight on female Crate and Barrel employees in advance of International Women’s Day.

Inside spread. Not ironically, this photo was taken with the catalog resting on a C&B dining table and a bit of a C&B centerpiece saying hello in the upper left corner.

Not only was it great to see women highlighted in this way, we got to learn more about their styling and photo shoots–YES it’s on a totally designed set! –and the company–their co-founder was a woman!

The back cover.

To top it off (back it up?) the back cover spotlights their charitable work with VOW. They’ve also done work with Humble Design, an organization that provides home makeovers for low-income families–which would be my dream job, BTW.

So, bravo, C&B. I didn’t think I could love you more.