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Monday, September 09, 2002

Back to the Big Place

The other day, Niles took me to another Big Place to look at things. This time we went to the Big K Place.

This is the first time I've seen Martha Stewart's line at K-Mart. I must say it's hard to reject the suspicion that household-furnishings slut Martha has promiscuously spread her brand name on any item that would have her. Unlike Target's Michael Graves line, Martha's line doesn't look like the non-designer stuff I've been accumulating all these years. In fact, it seems as if all you need to be Martha is color. A towel's just a towel, but if it's a yellow towel with little birdies or fishies on it, it's Martha.

I was, of course, eager to check out Martha's idea of a toilet brush, after my encounter with the Michael Graves toilet brush the other day. Here I was pleasantly surprised. While the container housing Martha's brush was not quite as elegant as Michael's, hers was eminently more practical. It did not have a "lid" attached to the brush; here the lid was integral to the "vase", which had a large egress in the back for the brush to slip through. Turn the hole to the front to use, and to the back to hide from yourself the fact that your toilet ever becomes unclean. (Sadly, I found no image of this). Hers also came in colors other than white. Advantage: Martha.

Here's a page talking about the democritization of design, as I try flailingly tried to do in my last post. It smacks a bit of pandering to the snoot set, however, when it says that K-Mart has never been accused of having good-looking wares. I admit it's never been famous for that, but I've bought stuff there that was every bit as good-looking as their Martha Stewart stuff. It just didn't have Martha's name on it. I believe what they've done is just slap Martha's name on anything that wasn't outright ugly.

The passion for design seems to have bitten my boyfriend. I come back from three long years in furrin parts to find that he's color-coordinated the bathroom. Before, he just bought things that he thought were pretty or interesting, and just slapped them together. Now the white bathroom has all dark blue accessories. I had to compliment him:

I find the chill Manichean dualism relaxing.
Er, ahhhh....?
I like it.

Though to be sure, if it were entirely up to me, I'd have this instead.

I wonder if I can get paid to review toilet brushes...

UPDATE: September 10. Assuming there is a gig reviewing toilet brushes out there, I'd like to let it be known that Wal-Mart's toilet brushes---which have no pretenses to design---are indeed less sleek and beautiful than either Martha Stewart's or Michael Graves's.