Asian Girl Problem #23: All Beige Everything

So it turns out that leaving the crazy commune as soon as I could was the best move, since my friend S decided she couldn’t take anymore after her first night there. She’s way better at roughing it than me, so that’s saying something. There’s a lot more drama going down now, including some  people I know who used to live there who are having to take legal action against the landlady, and the perilous state of my own deposit $$$.

But anyways, it’s ironic that weeks ago I’d planned to write a post celebrating the quirky character of that house.  My rose-tinted first impression was warm and abundant, filled with anything you might ever need, as opposed to my parents’ spartan, all-beige suburban home. Little did I know it was the lifelong work of a hoarder.

I’m still in shock that the first few times I visited the house were so different than that last time with my parents. Suddenly, decades of junk like rusted ovens, rotting bookshelves and moldy carpets were  out to play. Just shows that the line between lived-in and landfill is floss-thin. Which is why I’ve decided to dedicate this post to my mother’s own eccentric taste. Sure, it’s ugly and passé at times, but she keeps it clean and errs on the side of austere. I’m so grateful for it.

For one, her idea of decorating a coordinated home (and outfit) is choosing just one color and getting every item in that, if possible. For her, the magic color is beige. Rooms like these have her name written all over them:

The 80s have come and gone, but her love for pastels and rounded corners remains fierce. Once disgusted by the thrift stores I shopped in, she’s now keeping them in business with biweekly visits. Imagine being shown ten different soft-focused landscape paintings and being forced to choose one–that’s what shopping with her for decor is like.

One corner of her bedroom:


In keeping with the beige theme, she has also been obsessed with anything made of stone–we have stone tables, vases, cups, and several ashtrays though none of us smoke. Witness the stone animal shrine she has set up on the kitchen counter:

CAM00175Yeah, that’s a mortar and pestle on top of an ashtray, and a turtle on the roof. Just a small portion of the figurines she has covering every surface of the house. When people don’t believe my mom is crazy I show them this to shut them up.

She used to have a massive collection of rabbit-themed items and knick knacks, to represent my zodiac sign. Most were sold at one of our “clean the slate” garage sales, which she likes to have every few years to re-Spartanize our house.


 And finally, because the madness runs through the family, my dad has his own obsessions. With brass.


And wood.


And animals constructed from seashells.


Though that is something they can both agree on.


3 thoughts on “Asian Girl Problem #23: All Beige Everything

  1. oh no where did some of the pictures go??

    this style actually looks like one that one of my friend’s guardian parents had and they’re white Americans! however, they actually hired a decorator to create this… and perhaps it was your mom? the rabbit figurine thing sounds potentially scary, but I must see the mortar and ash tray… I never think about my own mom’s taste as weird, but there’s something to be said for asian immigrant parents trying to fit into america whether it is intentional or not..

    I hope the apartment hunting is going well.

    • whoops, are some of the pictures faulty? that’s frustrating i can see them on my computer. definitely think she would have the same taste no matter where she is, but at least there’s a greater variety in america

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