Your Kindness keeps us Mean!

Design Experts

Richard writes the infamous queer blog Sturtle.com. His turn-ons include wainscoting, ZZ Top, and sharp-dressed men. Turn-offs: sectionals, pleated trousers, and pina coladas.

David K. publishes Nightcharm, the only gay porn site ever to be featured on Oprah and regularly compared to Martha Stewart Living.

Eric B. does not Facebook, Tweet or blog. He uses the internet to cruise for sex, like god intended. He has leopard print in every room of his house, save one. And he does not apologize

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David: One of the big reveals that we each encounter at the end of our lives is this: It was all about choices. Sidestepping the neverending philosophical debate regarding 'fate' or 'free will', we'll just assume that 'choice' is something we each have some modicum of involvement with. And this tableau symbolizes the myriad ways it can all go tragically wrong.

If you allow your eye to fall on any one item or treatment in this room you can hear a blaring 'buzzer' sound in the back of your head -- declaring: WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

And so many questions are triggered: The Warhol-inspired 'art' work. Is that Julian Assange or the homeowner in his younger days? Is that a motorized hospital bed that's been pulled from the Broadway set of The Secret Garden? Are the stuffed animals elementary school day leftovers or pilfered stock from a job at the carnival? And is the crazy mishmash of blue related to red and green spectrum colorblindness?

But then ultimately it's best to let sleeping dogs lie (or floral themes to wilt). One thing we've learned after publishing Lurid Digs for the past twenty years is that 'taste' is an incredibly complicated and subjective thing -- and often points to various levels of psychological trauma from childhood. What stimulates it, stokes it and provokes us to make one design choice over another is one of life's greatest mysteries. Yet another matter for philosophers -- and home interior TV show hosts to ponder.

Eric: Never judge a man until you've walked a mile with one of his sandals on your cock.

I'm pretty sure that's in the Bible.

This room, however, brings other books to mind. Plain Eyre? The Old Man and the Ikea? A Room With a Shoe? The Picture of Dorian Beige?

It's obvious that, whatever design tome our occupant skimmed, he didn't finish the chapter on monochromatic rooms. One color can be a useful shortcut, but you have to mix it up with varying tones and different textures. If you don't, the effect isn't restful, it's soporific. Your trusty paint sample strip has 5-7 shades on it. Pick three of them.

Getting this room to the last page is simple. Either change the walls or change the linens.

I vote for both. The right green would really make that repro bedside chest and the flatpack end table at the foot of the bed look intentional instead of hand-me-downs.

Since we've mentioned the bed, the end of it is where your old trunk goes, a handy place to toss clothes instead of leaving them on the floor. I'd hit the bed itself with spray coats of primer and textured brass paints.

As far as the existing bedclothes, put the skirt under the boxspring and the fitted sheet on it. Then you have a covering for the under bed storage you haven't bought yet. Replace the rest. Bed-In-A-Bag is your best bet, including reversible duvet cover. One side for skeetin' on, one side for sleeping under.

I like the candle stand, but not as a hatrack. Those gimme caps should be given back.

Put a few large rag rugs over that embarrassed carpeting. Much easier to clean the lube tracks.

Finally, the art. You're a gay man, and if your bedroom doesn't show it, you're in trouble. Another easy fix. Dig out your stash of magazine porn. You know you have one, don't even pretend. Find the picture that ummm inspires you the most. Put a piece of onionskin on it and without lifting the pen (that's the important part) trace the figure in one continuous line. Place a sheet of plain white paper under it. Dots and dashes of colored pencils for hair, eyes, nips, cockhead if you like. Finish with your spikiest and most illegible signature. Use the frame that's already there. Repeat as often as necessary until your walls are fabulous.

After all, if it has a penis in it, it's automatically fine art. You can quote me on that, chapter and verse.

Richard:Look, I get it: you're busy. After 31 years at Crazy Ed's Insurance Warehouse, you were shitcanned and replaced by an Eric Trump wannabe. Those Peanuts collectibles you bought on eBay, hoping that they'd appreciate in value and fund your retirement, turned out to be Chinese knockoffs from the Peanoughts collection. Uber isn't as lucrative as you'd hoped, so you're juggling 17 side-hustles to make ends meet. Ain't nothing going on but the rent, baby.

But for fuck's sake, that's no reason to take your frustrations out on your house. In this shot alone, you've committed two-and-a-half of the Gay Gods' cardinal sins and we haven't even peeked at the bathroom.

First things first: take down that bitch of a shawl collection (and those pastel button-downs) from the quilt rack and put a quilt where it ought to be. You'll brighten up the room and prepare for an overdue garage sale in one fell swoop.

Next, take everything off the wall. How many times must we say it? Wallpaper and wall hangings are mutually exclusive. Why would you spend hundreds of dollars on the awful wallpaper and hundreds more on installation, just to punch holes in that shit? Go to the attic, bring down the leftovers from the roll, and patch up the mess you've made. If you have to sell the house, you'll thank me.

Last but not least, get a light switch plate that complements the wallpaper but doesn't blend in. It's a bedroom, not Disney's Haunted Fucking Mansion. On the rare occasions that require you to use an overhead light, you ought to be able to find it.

David: Hey Guys

A lot of you didn't like the old comment section on Lurid Digs. (And neither did we -- fighting off the non-stop stream of bots and spam was a nightmare).

Sooooo, we have integrated into Facebook's comment system. The good news is that if you are already on Facebook you can leave a comment easily. The bad news is that you have to be on Facebook to leave a comment. We're hoping you are on Facebook.

This way your comments go up immediately -- which is what a lot of you missed about the old Lurid Digs set up.

Hope to hear all of your snarky love soon. START POSTING!

X.

David K.

Eric: I'm reminded of my first attempt at self-employment. Seems I knew a lot of folks whose attempts at tasteful decor had gone too far, veered into 'piss-elegant' territory. "Trying too hard," I would whisper to myself. I figured I'd go in and, for a fee, tone things down, even them out, butch up. I was gonna call it Room's Too Gay?, and my fortune would be made. But it was 1975, I was nine years old, and the idea did not catch fire.

So here we are, peering in on a space teetering on the brink. Fortunately, it can be wrestled back in short order. The fix itself is easy and we'll knock it into order quickly. First, we must address not the room itself, but its current use.

Guys, if you're going to stage a Greco-Roman play-perv-you I mean pay-per-view event in the parlour, don't put the concession stand so close to the action. You want the audience to have to walk past the merch to get to the food.

Speaking of souvenirs, where are they? You need bumper stickers, key chains, tee shirts, edible jockstraps, ballsweat-scented candles....

I'm in favor of feeding guests (especially if they're paying extra for it), but there's a lot going on on that table, most of it unspeakable.

Serviceable design is available at any price point. At the discount store, one can find convertible trifle bowl/cake stands, serving pieces, platters and large bowls in glass and (shudder) pressed plastic. Invest in them.

Our host didn't even fold the bags down so the inner foil shows. We call that Redneck Fancy, and it's better than nothing, technically.

As to the room itself? Simple. Slap up a chair rail and paint everything between it and the crown molding 3 shades lighter than the window trim. While you're over there, rip down those frilly balloon shades and replace them with unpleated floor-length curtains in a simple ticking stripe.

Get your artwork anywhere other than Big Lots. And get some Scotchgard -- an antimacassar is not a skeet blanket. Trust me on that one.

Hang on a sec, the phone's ringing ...

... 1990s sleazy motel trying to go respectable called. They want their carpeting back. Give it to them. Some things aren't worth fighting for.