Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to achieve the garish look of the "Real World: New Orleans" house

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 7:43 PM

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Less than two weeks after the critically successful first season of Treme ends, pop culture will return to propagating ideas straight from the "K-Ville" Book of New Orleans Culture in the form of MTV's The Real World: New Orleans, which airs June 30. According to the show's trailer, which mostly features cast members falling over, the season seems to primarily take place on Bourbon Street and in the house's bath tub.

Incidentally, the last great season of the once-groundbreaking reality show took place in New Orleans. The first Real World: New Orleans aired in 2000, and cast members lived in the gorgeous Belfort Mansion in the Garden District. The show featured perhaps the last batch of interesting characters — right before the Las Vegas season established rampant sluttiness as a prerequisite for inclusion in the cast — like the conflicted Mormon Julie, the hilariously inappropriate Melissa, and Danny, the token gay cast member who had a strict father and was dating a member of military. These days, Real World casts typically feature young people with names like "Ayiiia" and occupations such as "aspiring model" or "Hooters waitress."
The new Real World: New Orleans cast is no different, and MTV's stringent policy against nuance — both in terms of the show's characters and depiction of the location — is most apparent in the decorating scheme of the cast members' house. The house, which we know a little about thanks to this incident, looks like a combination of those sad stores along Decatur Street that sell overpriced Voodoo dolls and the dorm room section of Target. The MTV website has a full gallery of the home's garish interior.
If you, too, would like to recreate this nightmare in your very own abode, here's a break-down of the decorating schemes used in a home that will just end up being covered in vomit (all photos are screenshots from the MTV website):

1. (Entryway) Mardi Gras beads collected from trees lining St. Charles Avenue, then draped over banister. Fake moss from "Swamp Party" section of Party City. Neon signs on loan from fraternity house basement.
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2. (Pool table room) Blue zebra-print rug from Walmart. Collection of stolen shutters glued to wall. Lamp from closed-down Applebees restaurant.
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3. (Living room) Rug from Baton Rouge-area LSU merchandise retailer. Furniture on loan from Monkey Hill Bar. Window treatments made with net and objects from the Louisiana Children's Museum's pretend grocery store.
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4. (Office) Sundry bedroom furniture items found discarded in front of people's houses, then piled along the wall as if a flood is imminent (perhaps it's an homage to hurricane evacuees).
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5. (Wall) Plate of food that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with New Orleans culinary tradition preserved in shadowbox frame.
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6. (Voodoo prayer room??) Room based on scene from The Skeleton Key, furnished by Jazz Funeral store on Decatur Street.
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