Everybody Loves Raymond’s Mother
The Everybody Loves Raymond show holds a special place in my heart. It premiered in 1996, the same year my husband and I first became parents. I enjoyed all of the characters but, Everybody Loves Raymond’s mother, Marie was my hands down favorite.
Whether it was her over the top “mothering”, meddling, or tacky interior design style, I couldn’t get enough of Marie. Wikipedia’s character description of her says she is “intrusive, controlling, manipulative, and over-nurturing (at least with Raymond), she is a housewife who excels in cooking, cleaning, and other things dealing with keeping a good home and family”.
As long as keeping a good home has nothing to do with decorating, Marie was housewife perfection. Yet, because we do discuss color and decorating here, I thought a walk down memory lane could do our funny bones some good. And, while we’re at it, I’ll introduce you to W.W.L.D. (what would Laura do), something my clients say they ask themselves regularly!
Everybody Loves Raymond’s Mother – Design Don’t #1 – Dated Color Palette
Even though Everybody Loves Raymond began airing in the 1990’s, Marie Barone’s kitchen was reminiscent of the 1970’s. Especially her choice of color. Watch most any episode and you’ll see what I mean.
While Everybody Loves Raymond’s Mother utilized a softer rif on the classic 1970’s harvest gold, avocado, and burnt orange palette, the way she used the colors was bold.
The cabinet boxes, stiles, and rails were painted harvest gold while the cabinet panels were highlighted with avocado colored paint. To really spice things up, burnt orange ceramic tile comprised the counter top and back splash and an avocado colored refrigerator occupied one of the room’s corners.
The kitchens of recent years have featured a mix of white, blacks, and grays. Boring… Let alone, everybody’s doing it. And, YOU’RE not everybody. So, why not get more creative with color in the room where you create your meals?
My suggestion is to update your kitchen color palette with an analogous color scheme of yellow-green, green, and blue-green. These colors aren’t neutral wall flowers and will add polish and fresh vibe to any kitchen. Why not try Benjamin Moore’s 677 Azure Water, 627 Spring Break, and 536 Sienna Laurel?
Everybody Loves Raymond’s Mother – Design Don’t #2 – Sponge Painted Walls
As is true with many homes, Marie’s living room and kitchen appear to have been renovated at different times (different decades, actually). Why do I say this? As opposed to the 1970’s kitchen color scheme, the living room sponge painted walls are decade appropriate.
Sponge painting, while very trendy in the 1990’s, created lots of extra work for the next person to paint the room. With each sponge daub, a new layer of paint was deposited on the wall leaving behind an ever so slightly raised texture.
This obviously was the richly textured look everyone was going for, but once the trend died the walls had to be smoothed out in order to paint once again. So…
If’ you’ve read the Your LIfe in Full Color blog for any length of time, you already know my suggestion is to add wallpaper!
I adore wallpaper for all of the effects it achieves without the use of multiple layers of paint. Whether you’re looking for a faux sponge painted look (well, you may be), or just want to add some texture, wallpaper has you covered.
Because Everybody Loves Raymond’s mother had a huge personality. I imagine if given the opportunity to use wallpaper she may have chosen a crocodile texture such as the one below.
Everybody Loves Raymond’s Mother – Design Don’t #3 – Decorative Outdoor Posts… Used Inside
Off the living room sat a small dining area that was home to the next Everybody Loves Raymond’s Mother design don’t. There we find an outdoor application used indoors…
Two half walls topped with outdoor wrought iron decorative posts greet those wishing to eat in the dining area. Typically the posts are black, but Marie’s pair was painted white making them stand out all the more. And, not in a good way.
As long as a post isn’t structurally needed, consider leaving the half wall free and unencumbered of any posts. This is how I’ve treated such a space in my own home and I love the open feel it provides and allows easy site into the next room.
If you wish to add something, visit a lumberyard and take a look at the staircase newel posts they have. See if they have something you like that could be cut down. Then add trim to the upper and lower ends to give it a finished look.
Everybody Loves Raymond’s Mother – Design Don’t #4 – Plastic Covered Couch
I remember my grandmother’s plastic covered couch of the 1970’s. As practical as it may have been, comfortable it was not. On a hot summer’s day (with no AC) one would actually STICK to the seat. Even though I was young and small in the 70’s my behind stuck to the couch just the same as anybody else’s.
For this reason, the episode where Marie is coaxed into removing the plastic cover from her couch is my favorite. It brought back so many funny familial memories that I can’t help but laugh myself silly when watching it.
In 2018 there is no need to worry about plastic couch covers because there are plenty of high performance fabrics on the market. Now it’s quite easy to have your furniture upholstered with a fabric that can stand up to children, pets, and adults alike.
Another plus is the fact that these high performance fabrics both look and feel good. You won’t need to sacrifice style or comfortability with today’s fabrics. So, even though you can still find plastic furniture covers online, don’t bother. Not when today’s fabrics are so easy to live with.
If you enjoy reading about design don’ts, check out this article on tired design trends re-imagined.