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« Planting a Shade Garden | Main | Knobs, Levers, Locks & Hinges: Choosing Door Hardware »

Catalog Living At Its Most Absurd; Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls- A Review

As we all know decorating is serious business and it’s why two ladies with a background in Corporate America decided to tackle the no-nonsense world of corbels and tassels and mossy balls (we’re talking about us, silly). We knew starting this design blog was going to mean multinational conference calls and spreadsheets upon powerpoints of data compiled after ten-hour-long strategy sessions but yet we still forged ahead into the somber world of home design. So imagine our delight when we found a like-minded soul in Molly Erdman.

Molly is the very-serious author/comedian of and the to-be-released book, Catalog Living At Its Most Absurd; Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls. After the blog Catalog Living’s wildly popular success, Molly decided to create an entire book in order to showcase the lives of Elaine and Gary, a fictitious married couple who have “very high-paying vague jobs" and "live in a world with a seemingly endless number of rooms in their house.”


Author Molly Erdman and her new book, Catalog Living at Its Most Absurd: Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls, to be published on June 26, 2012. 


Like us, Molly’s background isn’t pedigreed with fancy design degrees; no ma’am. She is a writer, actor and comedian who once counted herself as a member of the famed Second City comedy troupe for eleven years. She also applies her critical eye to shelter magazine images for's Magazine Living column. 

After browsing through a West Elm catalog where random stacks of throw pillows filled rooms and beverage colors matched the furniture, Molly wondered “who actually lives this way?!” She must be doing something right because was named by as one of the top 25 blogs of 2011!

Throughout the book and blog, the captions are authored by the two hosts, Gary and Elaine, as if they are talking to each other about the ridiculous attributes of the pictured room:


Samples of the wit on display at Catalog Living.
LEFT: "It wasn't until Gary and Elaine found canvasses in the exact same shade as the mini floor vases that their living room finally fell into place." CENTER: "Returning from vacation a day early, Gary and Elaine confirmed their suspicion that their furniture isn't mature enough to be left home alone." RIGHT: "Having exhausted his supply of audioboks, Gary resorted to extreme measures in an attempt to get his books to talk." Images and captions via



LEFT: "At the end of a long day, nothing relaxes Gareth like taking a nice hot bath while sipping wine and staring at zebras being shot at with arrows." CENTER: "His knuckles bruised and raw, Martin didn't appreciate the irony of the fact that Gareth didn't answer the door because he was busy painting." RIGHT: "Coming home to find the poufs at the window attempting to escape, Martin and Gareth were forces to re-evaluate the decision of leaving the chair in charge during their absence."


In the world of all-to-serious design, this book and blog are a breath of gasping-for-fresh air. I defy you not to laugh at Elaine and Gary’s idiotic antics and justifications for decorating with “stacks of nameless color coordinated books strategically placed on night stands.” Be sure to pick up the book too (available for pre-order now) which offers new material never published on the blog. It’s great fun, to be sure!

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Reader Comments (1)

Oh my gosh - this sounds HILARIOUS. Must add this to my list of books to get. Stopping to laugh at ourselves is critical - especially in this business! ;-)

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

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