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snopes
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Comment: Is it true that the TLC show "Trading Spaces" is being sued over a
room that was done with hay glued all over the walls?

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defaultcrush
Jingle Bell Hock


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I was looking on their website the other day and they have this answer on their FAQ-

"Q: What happens when the home owners don't like what you have done?

A: Everyone on our show is told upfront that there's a chance they won't like the final design of the room. Each applicant signs a release acknowledging that the show is not responsible for redecorating a room that isn't to the owner's taste. "

Granted, being sued is different than redecorating the room, but it seems like a show like that would think ahead for those sorts of things.

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Cara T.
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I saw that episode. The neighbors reluctantly glued fresh hay to the walls, they insisted that their neighbors would absolutely hate it and that their children would tear it all down, but the designer told them to put it up anyway. When the women saw it, you could tell they completely hated it, I wouldn't be surprised if one of their children had an allergic reaction or something and they decided to sue. That show does some crazy things, but that beat them all. Who puts HAY on their walls!?
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BeachLife
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I saw the episode too. Made me think twice about ever applying to be on the show myself. I love the show, hate some of the results. I think people need to think long and hard about what they might get before signing up. It is a crap shoot in the end.

While I hated that room, and don't like many of the rooms when they do more to the walls then paint and artwork. I must be too old and too parental because when I see hay, moss, 2x4 or fabric covered walls my first though is 'how would you ever clean that?'

That said, I don't very much feel sorry with those who don't like what they get. It's a gamble and they know it going in. The majority of people get a profesionally designed, redecorated room at no cost.

Beach...and that wasn't even the episdoe where the lady hated it so much she couldn't stop crying...Life!

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Cure the Blues
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I just checked the bulletin board for TS. One of the posts purports to come from one of the homeowners. If true, TLC is working with the owners to fix the room and there is no mention of suing anywhere in the thread.

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DiscoSox
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A guy who used to live next door to me-- Fireman DAN-- was on the show a few months ago. And the "designer" put a bright red oil based paint over his entire living room; and painted over wallpaper to make it worse. And if anyone has ever had to try to remove wallpaper with oil based paint over it, they know that it is not the easiest task around. And him and his wife, Roseanne, hated it. And the TLC people just kept telling them that both parties agreed to accept what happens before the show. So basically, if you don't like what it done, you have to remove it yourself.

Disco "If the hay-people are not suing, they should be." Sox

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BeachLife
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quote:
Originally posted by DiscoSox:
Disco "If the hay-people are not suing, they should be." Sox

Oh yes, what we need in this country is more people who voluntarily enter into an agreement knowing they might not like the results then sue when they don't like the results.

Beach...that was sarcasm...Life!

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Mojo Jojo
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I was reading an Articile in Entertainment Weekly and this couple told the designers not to touch their firplace. Well they did, and they got mad, they didn't take any legal action (mainly becuase tehy couldn't) and had most of teh room teared down before TLC even left.

I don't think the designers don't realize that the room isn't for them, but for the people on the show. They do make some cool rooms, but they should listen to the neighbors a little better then they do...

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Milky White Midway Bill
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quote:
Originally posted by Mojo Jojo:
...I don't think the designers don't realize that the room isn't for them, but for the people on the show. They do make some cool rooms, but they should listen to the neighbors a little better then they do...

I admit I've never been able to sit thru the whole show - but isn't that the whole point? To "shock & amaze" the homeowners? It seems to me like a "Blind Date" type show, only with your house instead of [whatever]... Get some good video and move on to the next episode - not to actually improve someone's life [Big Grin]

Midway "already have the hay walls" Bill

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Grumpy
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Perhaps it's an unfair comparison, but on "Iron Chef," the worst that happens is the tasting panel complains that a dish is "a little too greasy" or "I wish it wasn't so salty."

--Grump "Watakushi no kioku ga tashika naraba..." y

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DiscoSox
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by DiscoSox:
Disco "If the hay-people are not suing, they should be." Sox
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh yes, what we need in this country is more people who voluntarily enter into an agreement knowing they might not like the results then sue when they don't like the results.

Beach...that was sarcasm...Life!

Did you see the hay wall? There is a difference between having your wall painted and some shelves put in, and having hay glued onto your wall. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. They should have just thrown some barber hair onto the wall for good measure.
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Brandi
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That one decorator, Hildy Santo-Thomas, is just plain nuts. She never seems to listen to the warnings/suggestions of the people she's working with. I remember her doing an (admittedly pretty nice) Asian-motif room despite repeated comments that the couple whose house she was in didn't *like* Asian styling.

Now Vern Yip or Frank Bielec, they seem to have more sense and are also willing to take into account that children might be in the room as well...

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RingKeeper
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I love this show but I agree that that Hildy character is not someone I would want in my house. There's another guy too, Doug something I think. Not only does he have horrible ideas, but he has the whole Designer Diva thing on the go. I have seen some horrible things happen on that show, but hay on the walls? I hope they didn't have hay fever when it was all over, or worse, ticks.

Ring "scratch, scratch" Keeper

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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When my family was looking for a house, we stopped at one in a subdivision on the edge of town. It was quite cute on the outside, about the size we needed.

When we walked into the kitchen we were shocked though. There was hay mixed into the stucco on the walls. The real estate woman said the house was built by a woman from Italy who somehow ended up in Southern Mississippi.

I thought seeing hay as a wall covering was a once in a lifetime experience. I really feel sorry for those people whose house got messed up. I can just imagine how bad that would be for a family with little kids.

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Callie Cat
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The hay episode wasen't even the worst one. Did anyone see the episode (I think it was last year) where they put moss on one of the walls in someone's bedroom. It even looked disgusting! Also, I heard that it really started to smell and they HAD to get rid of it. EWWW!!
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Sheduck
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One of my pet peeves on Trading Spaces is when the homeowners complain about what the designer wants to do with the room. In some cases, I think they are justified in expressing their concerns; certainly when the designer wants to paint or dismantle the owners' antique furniture or when the designer wants to alter the fireplace in such a way that it can never be returned to its original condition.

But when homeowners say 'they won't like that color' or 'that coffee table you're building won't suit their style' aggrevates the NFBSK out of me. The homeowners sign up for this knowing full well that anything could happen to their rooms. If they are rigid in what they do and do not like with design, this show is not for them. If they know exactly what they want for their room, they should do it themselves, and leave the show to another homeowner with a flexible attitude.

That being said, this doesn't mean that a flexible homeowner has to completley love the newly designed room. Being flexible doesn't mean being spineless. ("I like the colour, but what is with this moss/hay on the walls?!")

I think it's irresponsible of the designers when they don't take the time to find out about the homeowners and incorporate these findings into the room. For instance, do they have children or if you take that piano out of their living room, do they have anywhere else to put it?

Another pet peeve I have with this show is when a designer does something to the room without doing their research regarding proper installation. Once, Hildy had a living room/kitchen that she was changing. She wanted to put down new lino in the kitchen. Imagine that the living room is a rectangle, and the kitchen takes up one corner of it. Where the kitchen lino met the living room carpet was a right angle. Hildy wanted to make this into a curve rather than a right angle. She tore up the carpet to make room for this curve, and put newspaper down underneath the new lino. She didn't bother putting a proper sub-floor in, but thought newspaper would do the trick. [Roll Eyes] I wish they would take the time and learn how to properly install new flooring, tile, etc. (although there are a few times that they do).

There is a Canadian version of this show called The Decorating Challenge (I'm not sure which was first: The Decorating Challenge or Trading Spaces). From what I've seen on DC the homeowners don't seem to dislike the designs. Are the designs that good or is this just an example of Canadians being too polite and not saying what they really think of the rooms?

I've rambled on long enough.

-She"I'm just glad Dez is gone"duck

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Callie Cat
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Sheduck:
There is a Canadian version of this show called The Decorating Challenge (I'm not sure which was first: The Decorating Challenge or Trading Spaces).

Actually, I think they are both based on the British version which is called Changing Rooms. If you live in Ontario it comes on TVO.
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melissababe
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I like 'The Decorating Challenge'. Even though both shows are based on the same idea, the 'DC" seems to care whether the room will be liveable after the home-owner sees it. It is not quite so shocking and it gives great, useful ideas that people might actually use.

On 'Trading Spaces' I have seen the designers cut corners so badly just to make their budget that I wonder if there will be a safety issue. I have seen the Hay episode and even Paige, the host, had a hard time with the reveal. You could visibly see her cringe. I think they should definitely dump Hildy and use Frank, Vern and Laurie more. They show taste and sensitivity. The other consider every house an experiment!

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megaira
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The safety thing drives me batty as well.

Hildi was the hay walls...she also did a room with brown felt on the walls last year and squares on the ceiling outined in what looked like red electrical tape...it was...classy (coughchokecough). She's behind a lot of pretty warped designs and she's the first to always do exactly what the homeowners absolutely do not want done. What I don't understand is...if the piece is so friggin important to you that the designer must absolutely not touch it, then take it OUT of the room before they get there. But then, I've seen episodes where they've found something else in the house, altered it and used it in the room. I'd never, ever want to be on that show.

Genevieve was the moss walls...that room also had a tile floor that was just plunked down with glue -aggravating the daylights out of the homeowner. The other room was Hildi and she painted it black...and the floor: black. They said blue, it looked black.

Doug was the fireplace episode. I normally can't stand Doug -he's got a bug up his butt in every episode I've seen. The homeowners fought him over the fireplace tooth and nail... they fixed it so that it could be just taken down -nothing was really truly altered about her fireplace (and it actually looked pretty nice -though, I have questions about the lighting/wiring!!) -but the whiny bawling about it...ugh. What really got my goat about that one was that the women turned on her friend over it and went "why didn't you DO something?" [Roll Eyes] I would have paid blood to be a fly on the wall when she saw the actual episode and saw her friend argueing like crazy over everything on her behalf.

Is it not just plain old commen sense not to let them loose on a room you have second thoughts about when you know the designers may turn it into a total nightmare? I mean, sheesh, let them loose on an office you use for storage, don't offer up your main living area for sacrifice if you can't handle what happens to it!

Hildi and Doug both seem to be the only designers on the show who are prima donnas...they seem like they could care less about the people who live in the house, but rather have a sense that the people should feel honored to have such "big" designers doing their home, sneering away at the sordid middle class of it all while they try to make a room suitable for their tastes. Vern, Frank, Lori and Gen seem to all adopt a down to earth, friendly and sincere attitude...all of them have made some gawdawful decisions, but they're at least not chilly, aloof and rude. (oy, I still cannot figure out if Doug adopts that nastiness as an act for the show or if he's geniunely that much of a buttmunch).

Meg

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Did you see the hay wall? There is a difference between having your wall painted and some shelves put in, and having hay glued onto your wall. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. They should have just thrown some barber hair onto the wall for good measure.
I hate the hay on the wall too, but guess what, I didn't sign the contract, nor did I have them a redo a room in my house.

They should have learned a lesson from it. Adults learn from their mistakes, not blame others and file suit. The lesson anyone who's watched the show should know, is you have to give up and hope for the best.

Beach...if they had such great decorating ideas of their own they wouldn't be calling on TLC...Life!

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Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
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Blue june_miller
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I will be dead in the cold cold ground before I turn the re-decorating of my home over to a total stranger. I am way too anal-retentive to let someone who may have atrocious (or at least very different from mine) taste screw with my suroundings. Plus I am kind of a homebody so the appearance and feel of my home is very important.

Luckily I have good taste! [Wink]

I had no idea that this show was so contriversial; I'll definately have to check it out.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by megaira:
Hildi was the hay walls. ...

I happened to be flipping around the dial when I came across this very show, and kept it on because I couldn't figure out if it was real or somebody's idea of a joke.

The hay on the walls confused the heck out of me, because I couldn't figure out the point. I have seen homes built out of hay -- put the bales tightly together and you have nice foundation walls -- but couldn't imagine the point of decorating with it.

I'll just add this to my list of shows I cannot fathom how they get people to go on.

Pogue "I'll decorate my own rooms, thank you" Mahone

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
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megaira
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What blew my mind about it (hay walls) was that it showed absolute and utter disregard for the homeowners themselves. It's not so much "will they like it" but "if they hate it, as it's very possible they will, will this be really hard for them to undo?" - the one girl asked "how do you remove this??" "the same way you remove wallpaper" -oh, really, you can steam the hay and peel it off in sheets? Are they supposed to scrape it off? Pick it off? Sand it off? A room that size? That's so wrong... it was, IMO, teenage thinking... "hahaha, I'll just slap it on" and no thought to getting it off...and even if the homeowners loved it, straw and hay are fragile...unless they're mixed into mud, when they sit out in the open like that, even with the glue, pieces are going to come off and get on furniture... the kids will pick parts off... I'd give it a week of high humidity before their wall looks like a ratty mess (moreso than it was). And here I spent years with a broom out in the barn getting loose straw OFF the walls.

Strawbale homes are nifty -btw... I've seen a few books on them, quite interesting. The firehazard potential of it always scared the snot out of me... one spark! Books say they're actually pretty fire retardant. Having seen the remains of barns that have gone up in flames, I have a hard time believing that...especially when one of the fires was started by improperly cured slightly damp hay. D'oh.

Meg

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mouse
The Red and the Green Stamps


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There are not enough words to describe what horrible people and even worse designers both Hildy and Doug are. But in Doug's defense (dear lord i can't believe i said that), the fireplace was not actually touched itself. He built something over the fireplace which could be removed with the fireplace unscathed. Or so was my understanding. But it was a terrible room and the only one where the homeowner was so upset you could hear her sobbing offcamera.

And in the moss wall's defence... the moss was dead and specially treated for decoration purposes. Unlike the hay.

And yes, even with the hay, they can't sue because they knwo what the people on this show do, and they signed all sorts of agreements and legally have very little say. Even though the hay room cost more to fix than it did to create because....

Ta-da. I just happen to have a link to an article about this very tragedy:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/02/27/HO169339.DTL

I could actually say more things about this episode -and others, but mostly this one- to horrify you more, but i think this is enough horror for one post.

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angel161718
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I actually, much to my best friends dismay, liked the look of the hay. It was really different. However, for the kind of household this couple run, it was completely impractical. There were all kinds of safety issues and medical issues. What if someone had been allergic to the hay? Like I said, I liked it, but I wouldn't really want it done to my home. It's interesting to look at, but who wants to clean up that mess?
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birdman
We Three Blings


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The safety issue really scares me too. I hope the Trading Spaces contract includes a clause about your house burning down because Doris Q. Dumbf*ck wanted to make a lamp out of crepe paper. Or because Shifty McSh*thead wanted to carve a hole in the wall and seal it up with putty instead of wood (hopefully they'll never hang pictures on that wall). I also hope the contract says that they aren't responsible for damage to your possessions or property (such as the Douglas fir mantle that was hacked up and replaced with pine, or any number of times that they paint over antique wood, without any thought to the permanent damage certain types of paint can do). Or how about your neighbor's property, such as the branch of lemon tree that was ripped off, in spite of a fence indicating the property line?

These designers cut so many corners, it's not even funny; it's a health concern... like the time they painted a kitchen stove top. A STOVE, you know, those things that put out lots of HEAT?? I hope they were using a water-based paint with no chemical pigments in it! (I assume they at least had enough sense not to paint the actual burners.)

Here's another article about Trading Spaces. It gives some insight into how the show is filmed, and how they get it all done in two days. I like it except for the part where the author seems to blame Pam for not liking the ugly fireplace that made her sob uncontrollably, calling her "stubborn" and "unadventurous". How about, "doesn't like ugly sh*t" or "has better design taste than the show designers who spent four years in school to learn how to turn tacky into putrid"? I've seen some amazing crap in my four years at art school, but Hildi and Doug really take the cake (and then replace the frosting with feathers and write "Happy Birthday" with Elmer's glue, topped off with Crayola crayons for candles).

And then Doug gets all snippy and ego-trippy about the fireplace incident: "I'm sorry it disappoints you." Maybe a group of neighbors could pool their $1000 allotments and send him back to design school... but with today's schools, that might just make it worse. We'll have more faux-Modernism with black-n-white stripes sloppily painted over the hardwood floor, more hay on the walls, more shards of glass sticking out of fireplaces. I'm just waiting for Doug and Hildi to cover the floor with sharp rocks, replace the sofa with styrofoam egg cartons, and drill holes in the "kitschy" Victorian woodwork so they can hang thorny rose branches they stole from the neighbor's yard.

And call it art.

bird "I'm sorry it disappoints me too" man

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RingKeeper
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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What is wrong with these designers? Is it the paint fumes that have affected their ability to think logically? The hay on the walls was on obvious health risk, especially in a house hold with a baby? The article said there is a form filled out and a preinterview, do they pay attention to these or is it just for show. I remember a show I saw where Hildi, once again, tried and orthogonal design on this couples basement recroom. It was dark, dark blue with a white grid all around the walls. It was a basement, very dark, and now with a Tron pattern in it. She put candy in sealed boxes on the walls for the kids. Great idea! The kids would have them torn off trying to get the candy inside. She also removed the sofa and replaced it with nine ottomans. I think it is safe to say this woman has no children.

As for taking things from others yeards, I have seen several episodes where Doug removed things from other's yards for his use.

Ring "Give me back my bird bath!" Keeper

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I saw the one with the dark blue with white stripes and the candy on the walls. That was the dumbest idea on earth. God knows how nasty-looking that candy is going to be in a few months.

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DiscoSox
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I think the one with the basement room with the white and blue grid (It was supposed to be a Scrabble theme.) and the candy in jars was the episode my former neighbor was on. They also painted the floor of the basement, and the floor was concrete. It would peel up in a matter of weeks.

I was actually in the basement before the "makeover." It was like a dorm room/frat house without the funk. It was a great place to watch a game. It kind of lost that zeal with the Scrabble theme.

I saw another episode in which a ceiling light and/or fan was installed. And they left the wiring on the outside of the ceiling and wall, and then painted over them.

Disco "You don't like the moss wall because you are middle class and boring." Sox

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Mr. Fed
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I've seen this a few times. I always got the feeling that some of the designers held the homeowners in contempt -- that they saw the people who lived in these houses as shallow, unsophisticated, uncultured middle-Americans and thought that they deserved to have their tastes "challenged" by designs that they knew the homeowners (and 99% of other people) would hate. In other words, the designers struck me as living up to the worst stereotypes of the modern artist -- the arrogant, hostile elitist snob.

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Sheduck
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by DiscoSox:
I think the one with the basement room with the white and blue grid (It was supposed to be a Scrabble theme.)

The white and blue grid was from the mind of Hildi, and the theme of the room was 'orthoganal design'.

There was another rec room/family room done by Genevieve which was based on a Scrabble board; brown squares on the floor (or maybe it was the ceiling) and a pillow made to look like the centre star square on a scrabble board.

-Sheduck

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Sheduck:
The white and blue grid was from the mind of Hildi, and the theme of the room was 'orthoganal design'.

I saw that episode a few months ago. In calculus the other day, my teacher mentione orthagonal functions... I almost cracked up in my seat thinking of that idiot Hildi and the way she kept saying it over and over and over again. I think the rest of the class probably thought I was losing my mind.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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melissababe
The Red and the Green Stamps


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yeah, she kept freaking out when people said 'plaid', like it was a dirty word or something. I mean plaid was the word for it. Looked like my kitchen tea towels.
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Kiefer Wombat, Average Son
The Red and the Green Stamps


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"Orthogonal design" really sounds like one of those vague, fancy-sounding terms you use when you want people to think you're smarter than you actually are. After all, how often do you see a house that's not designed orthogonally? How many pieces of furniture do you own that don't stand perpendicular to the floor? "Orthogonal design" is either jargon or costume jewelry.

Kiefer "prefers hexagonal houses" Wombat, Average Son

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Ophelia42
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Just a note on the episode with the bawling lady (Pam, I guess her name was?)

There was an update from her on some message board (I think it was on a Delphi message board, but I can't seem to find the message now. I'll try to paraphrase it here)

There were a few things she mentioned - first - her Grandmother had been rushed to the hospital in the middle of filming, and they wouldn't let her leave until they were done. So that was one thing that may have given her some excuse as to why she was so upset.

Also, the fireplace front was (number one) planned from the beginning - it wasn't something Doug just came up with off the top of his head. It also was not quite as easy to move as it seemed. They used some kind of caulk (or something) to attach it to the ceiling and floor (they put the gunk on the rug - so that had to be replaced) The cover itself had a few problems as well. It covered up the controls to the (gas?) fireplace, so they had no way to get in.... When it was removed, they (supposedly) found bare wires from the lamps that were smoldering on the sawdust left behind from the holes for the lamps that were installed. So basically, it was a good thing they took it down.

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