Yesterday’s New York Times features a hilarious article about about how a Brooklyn, New York couple gamed a new reality show “What’s Your Sign? Design” (debuting on cable’s Home and Garden channel) to get a free do-over done on their neglected front parlor.
Alex (wife) and Andrew (husband) Postman put their heads together to present a captivating (for a tv producer, at least) dilemna. She hates color and likes it, though in reality, he doesn’t much care and she really really doesn’t like it. It didn’t hurt that they are a good-looking couple (Alex is “glamorously Pregnant”) and (theoretically) it can’t be hard to make a front parlor room of a Brooklyn Brownstone look good. Eventually they were chosen to be the headline couple:
Can a practical Capricorn and a headstrong Taurus really agree on the look of a room? Find out on What’s Your Sign? Design where zodiac charts and fresh paint mix to create incredible makeovers. Watch an expert designer and a talented astrologer make it work using creative design and a little help from the stars in this innovative series that brings design harmony to couples all over the country.
Andrew describes the process:
The producer called to prod me on the color issue. “So you love color, and Alex hates it,” she said, which struck me as a tad leading; I wondered if another producer was on the phone with Alex, good-cop-bad-copping her about my decorating inadequacies.
“I guess,” I said to the producer. “I like color. I don’t think Alex is a big fan.”
“Good, that’s good,” she said. In the next segment, the astrologer told Alex, a Virgo, that she had a moon in Capricorn, which made her, like, a super-duper Virgo: very meticulous, very organized, intellectual, literary. What he sensed she sought for the room, design-wise, was … country flavor.
At least my style would be easy to nail — boy from Queens, end of story.
A Taurus with Mercury in the 10th house, the astrologer said, I was all about work and communication. I liked “to put my ego out there.”
“Is that a euphemism for ‘jerk’?” I asked.
My sensibility, he said, was regal, noble.
Is that a euphemism for a Leo Ascendent?
But, as Andrew points out — the room was designed before either the astrologer or the designer laid eyes on the couple (the minions had already been sent over to photograph and measure the room) — they were saved for the big taping day.
Of course. The fix was in. The room had already been designed — furnishings purchased, colors chosen. The astrologer had read our charts before meeting us, the team played up our differences and they went to town. What — I expected them to interior-decorate in real time? There wasn’t the luxury for anything else; the network had bought 24 episodes of the show, we had been told, and the hard-working crew was filming two episodes a week for three months. Astrology and reality TV were soul mates: predictability masquerading as intrigue.
The unmasking of the “real event” continues, the repeated takes, the problems getting a wall color which would look good on camera, the upset to the family routine. But in the end, neither member of the couple seems too happy with the result. The problem? Neither the astrologer or the designer seemed to “get” that Alex (the “super-duper Virgo”) wanted white walls, while her husband could care less. And it is hard to imagine that the astrologer or the designer were either informed of Alex’s “concerns” or even looked at her chart!
The room was a deep, deep lavender. Call it grape, mauve, pale eggplant. But that wasn’t the most notable thing. It was that three colors I’d never thought could coexist — purple, orange and green — were, well, kind of coexisting.
In the exit interview, Alex tried to be charitable for the cameras, though she still detested the color of the walls and wasn’t crazy about the 15 framed sheets of music hung near the piano (toomatchy-matchy ) or the flowing olive-colored drapes. Our boys watched us through repeated takes, while we tried our best not to appear fake. But it seemed a little late for that. After I told the camera what I thought of the room, emphasizing the pleasant, I felt mostly relief: the filming, finally, was done.
Or maybe not. “That’s great and I don’t want you to say anything you don’t feel,” the producer said, “but in the next take, could you say the same thing, only use words like ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’?”
I mean where on earth did they buy that white – thing – on the floor?
Mr. Tafuro, astrology 101 time here. He is a Taurus. She is a Virgo with a Capricorn Moon. They currently have two children. Another is soon to arrive. An “earthy” couple with three children how ’bout . . . Earth Tones! Natural Fibers!
Much more could be said about what is wrong with this room from both a design and and an astrological perspective. And of course, to really unravel the mystery as to how this mess came to be, we would a love peek at the designer’s chart, which would likely hold a significant key. Or perhaps a composite between the “designer” and the “astrologer”?
But hey, it was a free re-do. Live within 45 minutes of NYC and want to get a room done over for free? Here’s your chance!