Moving In: True Stories

This movie, more than anything else, defined my teenage years.

True confession: I was a teenage hipster dirtbag.

To be fair, I grew up into an adult hipster dirtbag, so I guess this is at least representative. My friends and I found this DVD at the bottom of the Wal-Mart $5 bin and were like, “hey, I’ve heard of the Talking Heads, I wonder what this is.”

And oh, what wonders were contained within. You’ve got John Goodman singing karaoke, you’ve got a lot of broken fourth wall, you’ve got a half-joke about how weird and wonderful Texas is, and a lot of bizarre filler, all set to an amazing soundtrack.

The look is pretty 80s, but the liberal use of colors and weird shapes can be easily updated– check it out after the jump.

Did you watch that karaoke video? Maybe go back and do that, because I’m about to drop a lot of truth on you. Be like David Byrne & Co.: do not fear the colors, do not fear the patterns, let it get weird.

I think this much look can be kind of a lot when you incorporate a lot of furniture into it, so this might be really fun…kitchen. That’s right. I went there. A Talking Heads-themed kitchen.

Hear me out: your kitchen is mostly populated by things that aren’t going to change much: you’ve got appliances and their attendant shelves, and a sink and its requisite plumbing, and all that noise. You can’t rearrange it, or pile it on. It IS a fun room where you spend a lot of time, so make it colorful and happy.

So let’s start easy. Go get a table. Any table will do, as long as it is the size you like and it’s even and stable. Seriously, get thee to a Goodwill and pick something up. Stained? Marked? No worries. You went to the Staple Gun School of Upholstery. Go buy some Mexican oil cloth and make it happen. In True Stories, they incorporate a lot of Mexican design elements

Durable, not that expensive, and cool looking.

Durable, not that expensive, and cool looking.

Then, you have 1. a nice-looking table for not much money 2. a table that is easy to clean and 3. a great color palette to work from/totally ignore.

Pick up some chairs– doesn’t need to be a set, but make double sure all the seats are at the same height. Get wild and do a bench on one side of the table, 2 ghost chairs on the other long side, and maybe uhhhh some stools or studded armchairs (like all those studded jackets) on the end. The world is completely and totally your oyster on this one.

The next step is a little DIY-intensive. I want you to pull all your cabinet doors off. I’m serious. Kill your cabinet doors. Look how much better it looks.

So much better. Via Apartment Therapy.

So much better. Via Apartment Therapy.

I like what they did– pick up a bright accent color from your oil cloth and paint your wall that color, then paint the cabinet a warmer color still, and then the inside of the cabinets an even warmer shade. If you’re me and obsessed with True Stories, your impulse is to do gradually warmer shades of John Goodman’s Suit Orange. But to each their own. Believe it or not, you’re still working with a very, very reasonable amount of color right now, especially if your plates are pretty neutral, like mine).

The open cabinets is great because 1. it’s easy to pick up your stuff when your hands are a little dirty and 2. it makes you be more organized and you know what 3. it lets everyone see your amazing mug collection.

So start to make things fun. Get some weird vasesumbrella holders/candy dishes in checker print, leopard print, and really whatever print you desire. It’s (sort of) the 80s in here, so go for it. Put those varied-height suckers in the middle of your table and fill them up with whatever you fancy. Channel Papa Legaba and get down with your bad self.

Consider yourself in desperate need of this.

That’s just not optional, even if you hardly/sometimes/never burn incense. Go on, David Byrne would want you to. The other non-optional accessory is a cool vintage radio, since this movie is the origin of Radiohead’s name.

Radioheaaaaad, sing me up something good.

Radioheaaaaad, sing me up something good.

Alright, so where are we? Kitchen table, check. Weird chairs? Check. Did we get some vases of staggered heights for accessories? Some real rad tunes to dance to? A little bit of resentment for me when I asked you to tear apart your cabinets? Check check check check.

Okay, great. We’re up to speed. If money’s no object, buy some weird colored appliances. Since it almost certainly is, we’re almost finished. Want to get crazy? Let’s paint the floor.

No, hey! Guys! Where are you going? I’m serious. This is going to be really fun! Let’s do it! This is what I have in mind:

Only with one small tweak.

Only with one small tweak.

The small tweak? Paint it black with white squares so that it emulates the multiple television look of the movie. Bonus: you won’t have to sweep quite as much since it hides things. Other bonus: way cheaper than tile.

So what do you think? Too much? Not enough? JUST enough? What’s your favorite Talking Heads song? Is it none of them? All of them? I’m back and I want to hang out.

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3 responses to “Moving In: True Stories

  1. My favorite Talking Heads song is Once in a Lifetime (snore) but with some specifics:
    -on the radio
    -in my former Ford Escort
    -clear spring day in April
    -you in the passenger seat

  2. In order to truly evoke the movie you’re going to need a convertible and a cowboy hat.

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