So, I’ve been thinking about loft beds in the back of my mind – fond memories of them in my family’s first house, and then living in a student co-op in college. Good use of space if you have high ceilings. Which I don’t. But I can dream.
So, anyway, today I was looking at an Ethan Allen catalog, not especially by choice, but because it and I were in the car waiting for a friend to file some court papers, and she was gone a long time. And I found the strangest kid’s room set-up I’ve ever seen. I wish I had a visual here, but I don’t see the catalog on their website, so you’ll have to imagine.
At first glance, it was a sweet loft bed set-up – bunkbed, with a desk in place of the bottom bunk. But then I noticed there was about a foot and a half clearance between the bed and the ceiling. The kid would have to slide in on his belly. Which he would probably be doing anyway, out of fear, because the ceiling above the bed was stamped with shark stencils.
At first I thought they were lake fish – awww, how cute, grooming little Brad for his future fishing trips On Golden Pond**. Then I looked closer and saw they’re actually sharks. Man. Are they sending their kid a message or what, with a school of sharks mere inches from his face? “Toughen up, kid – you’ll have to fight for your own dinner out there. Stop crying. They scent that.”
Then I noticed something else weird. There’s this fake-antique red lantern hanging right above the ladder to the bed. There’s no clearance, so the kid would bonk his head on it getting into or out of bed. More character-building? Or just being so eager to fake UMC you overlook details like, say, childhood concussions?
And then there was ANOTHER weird thing. The books in the bookcase were covered in a madras wallpaper. All of them. You’d have to open the book to know what it was.
Now, this is especially funny to me, because a friend growing up had this stepmom from hell who covered all the books in their house in white wallpaper – perhaps out of a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of decor, maybe due to a fetish for reading material that gave the impression of a doctor’s office – so clinical! so delightfully sterile! – I don’t know, she was nutty.
So it was funny to see it on these books in the EA catalog. I’d thought covering books in wallpaper was a peculiarly Long Island lapse of taste, or a germophobe thing, but no. In madras, it can be waspishly stylish.
(Apologies to Ethan Allen fans – and actually, they do have some nice pieces – but wow. It’s Arts and Crafts gone so very weird.)
- Sorry, Ethan Allen is just so waspy. I love this page. Two generically non-white boys have to share a bunkbed, and the asian girl wears nerd glasses and raves about having space to do her homework. Meanwhile, the white boy says how cool his bed is after skateboarding, and the white girl talks about how her bed is perfect for sleepovers after all-day trips to the mall. I don’t get how a major retailer doesn’t understand that stereotypes are silly. Maybe they work, in marketing. But if I were a little Asian girl, I think I’d look at that page and say, Homework? Why don’t *I get to skateboard all day?