Monday, January 25, 2010


On Saturday, while fossicking around in a wardrobe for something else, I stumbled across a storage box that had escaped the Great Magazine Purge of 2006. Grabbing a coffee & a comfy seat, I just couldn't resist a quick flick through before tossing them in the recycle bin. The year was 1998, an eventful year for many things - President Bill Clinton said 'I want to say one thing to the American people, I did not have sexual relations with that woman Miss Lewinsky', Apple introduced the iMac, 76 million viewers watched the last episode of Seinfeld, Google was launched, Ginger Spice announced that she was leaving the Spice Girls, Viagra received FDA approval, France won the World Cup & President Bill Clinton said 'I did have sexual relations with that woman Miss Lewinsky'.

And it seems we had a love affair with colour in our homes. Not just one colour, but as many as we could possibly use in one room with 4 walls. They say everything that goes around comes around, but I'm fervently praying to the God Of Interior Design please, please, make sure this look doesn't undergo any form of 'resurrection' - the shock would be all too much for me!!

Pink walls, yellow walls, red curtains, green tablecloth, blue glasses & brown & black floral pillows.

To quote the Home Owner - 'It has been fascinating explaining to people what we have done. Their lips curl up.....but then they see it!

I'd love to know how long it was before this kitchen received a 're-do'. If you are the present Owner, we'd sure love to hear from you.

Red rules here.

'In the dining room I decided to go completely over the top.' she said. No further comment is needed!

'Adorable' use of of purple to accent the skirting (base) boards against the blue walls.

Busy is as busy does.

I'm too dumb-founded to make any comment.

Interesting (read as overwhelming!) use of a purple/blue mix in the kitchen. Accented by the yellow curtains, one green & one yellow chair & an orange pillow thrown in for good measure.

'Hmmm, blue walls, yellow chair upholstery, dark wood armoire, lamps, granite sculptural piece, side tables, mauve sofa, old trunk, leopard print pillow, harlequin pillow, pink pillow, blue pillow, red gerberas, black & white check throw & zebra print rug - did I forget anything?'

All the furniture was HUGE! Oh & what a unique look we have here, each of the sofa chairs is a different colour.

BIG yellow chairs against the murky red walls.

More BIG chairs & BIG coffee tables & the compulsory dried flower arrangements.

More BIG chairs & a mind-blowing purple wall.

This sofa is SOOOO BIG, I would have had to take a running leap/jump just to land my backside squarely on those fat pillows & then would probably roll straight off again!

Any fess-ups as to what you were doing with your rooms in '98?

Images & with a big apology to New Zealand House & Garden.


  1. i am a white and neutral girl... always have been always will be ... that purple kitchen is a frightening site....
    thanks for the memories... as always millie... you make me laugh. xx pam

  2. I'm still having that same 'love affair' with color, and I doubt it will ever end :).

    So fun--thanks for sharing!

  3. It definitely wasn't that! I think you've just written one of your funniest posts ever...

  4. Too funny, Millie. Strangely, I kind of liked that purple wall color in one of the photos. Maybe I'm just needing a break from winter.

  5. Hilarious - what a shame the tartan sofa was not there - i was a big fan in the 90's LOL. No wonder i HATE with a passion our 90's kitchen with the maroon laminate bottom and yellow laminate top, fits right in looking at those photos. Mel xxx

  6. Your post almost blinded me, I thought it was 1988 not 1998. Urrgg. It is easy isn't it to scoff at these things. YAY. I love a good scoff. I think that that is why I still don't like one colour walls, it reminds me of this. So so over the top. And that Mondrian kitchen. I guess in 10 years we will laugh at the plain whiteness of everyhing now! xoxo

  7. i find all the rooms very hippie-ish.
    i like them very much for someone else ( the magazine shots).
    they might be too cheerful for me.
    my colors have been the same all of my life.
    just sometimes they are deeper or more vivid.
    corals, reds, greens, creams, touches of black.


  8. A few of those rooms I would still like. But the rest? HECK NO! :D

    What a fun sping through one of your old magazines. :)

  9. I'm afraid I'm one of those crazy people who simple love all that color -- and I have since I was a child. My kitchen today is a real-life (read not actually magazine material, but it's home) example of intense color: deep blue on the back wall, bright yellow on both sides, and appliances and chopping block in bright red. It really does catch people unawares, but they always smile, too. The colors are so fundamental, so intrinsically cheerful, that it cheers me to be in there.

    Plus, I'm an artist and a bit daft. To each her own, eh?

  10. I love-love those peacock blue walls, without the purple baseboard, of course!

  11. I dunno....I kind of like the unashamed flourish of color...everywhere!

    Reminds me of Mexico and South America. This is the norm. Our pallid, timid neutrals are ho hum to them.

    Not saying I could live in all that saturation....but do appreciate it.

  12. Great post. I did really quite like some of the rooms - those with a more bohemian flavour. My sister's house is a riot of colour, curiously with black walls. Somehow it works. When I stay there I feel sparkly and cheerful. When I come home I feel calm and serene. And that I prefer over time. My own colour scheme is white, black, brown. Has been for years. First painted the walls white, when white was the base tint only!

  13. Wow. I'm not sure what else to say about those! I find it so funny when you visit someone who is still hanging on to that era, the blinding clash of colours!

  14. The scary thing is that 1998 doesn't seem all that long ago - I think I am getting old! I think the people that owned that house moved to Qld and painted the exterior of my house - a bright mustard orange colour with bottle green and purple accents for the guttering, window trims etc. Aggghhh. Thanks for the laugh.
    Clare x

  15. Hi Millie
    Well.. you forgot the artwork... was sort of like playing one of those what'a missing in this image games... but in reverse.. haha

    Well I recently culled my 80's magazines... working my way up to the the 90's.... might have to bring you around.. you'll give them the flick!! haha .. Julie

  16. I'm afraid that I love 'drab', and neutral colours, Mill's.
    I do like colour but, I know that, within a few weeks , I would be fed up with it and want to redecorate, and that wouldn't go down too well around here !! XXXX

  17. Miss M, I had been married one year in 1998 and had just given birth. My home was a riot of colour, tuscan terracotta tiles, blue walls trimmed in mustard, aqua carpet, wallpaper friezes!!!!... I thought it was the bees knees... my first home... scary thing is that there are designers out there still throwing colours together like that today....and no-one is game enough to say "hey the emperor has no clothes dude"... great post.... and yes not that long ago. What will we be saying in 12 years time about today?! A-M xx

  18. This is great. I LOVE colour, but a touch is enough. One feature wall, one splashback. I agree, how long before those kitchens got a white makeover?

  19. Ouch, Millie, that really hurt my eyes. It's amazing how accustomed we've become to neutrals. Was that truly only 1998? I remember our first sofa (in 1993) was green the time, I thought it was just fabulous. Thanks for the reminder, Millie. Meredy xo.

  20. Oh, this was fun! I think I did a big magazine purge around 2006, too! The house sighed as hundred of pounds of 20 years of magazines were removed! LOL!

    It would be interesting to know what color of paint are on the walls of those rooms in 2010! :)

  21. Wow. If that doesn't give you a headache I don't know what would.

  22. "Busy is as busy does"....great comment Millie!! Loved looking at all the photos :)

    I've never been big on colour I have to say.....1998 was the year we got married AND that we bought our first sofas.....which were cream....clearly we were pre-children!

    I am off to see "Up in the air" on Thursday - good to hear that you enjoyed it. I will be going with girlfriends so can probably guarantee that with George on screen, there won't be much fidgeting.

    Finally, guess who I saw today on TV as I was channel hopping....MOTH's second favourite girl, Justine!!! I noticed Aussie Masterchef was on and just thought I would see if she was there - and yup, there she was....looking gorgeous AND cooking something's such a shame when people have so little going for them, I always think ;)

    Have a good week! xo

  23. Hi Millie
    Wow..does this bring back memories. 1998 was the last year that I lived in the USA before moving to Australia and our decor definitly did not work in Sydney. I remember those days well. Looking at these photos made me think of Kath and Kim, I think they would have loved, loved, loved a few of these rooms!

  24. My goodness, indeed!
    All too much for me, but interesting to see what other people homes were like back then.
    I love to look at old magazines I have kept ( the ones my husband has not thrown out!) and have a giggle at the fashion and trends.

    Happy week

  25. oh my! that kitchen!! i'd get a headache just making a cup of tea!

    i think '98 was the year of the yellow-and-blue deco theme. you remember how we all wanted that "beach theme". urgh!

  26. I have friends who still have rooms that look like looking back - it's a bit like looking at old photos & those 'OMG what was I thinking' moments....Susie x

  27. I thought it all looked frighteningly familiar, oh NZ house and garden how could you!

    Funny how we think of the nineties as minimalism, I know I was right into it with the exuberance of youth; but as a colour consultant back in those days I do remember specifying a worryingly large number of lime and bright blue feature walls....... Forgive me :)

  28. I remember him saying that line like it was yesterday.



And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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