Just Visualize It

We can do your taxes to the IRS’ liking, we can design high-speed rail systems of epic proportions, and we can crush the living daylights out of you in a round of badminton.

Ask us Asians about interior design, on the other hand, and the buck stops there. “Having a home” is generally considered to be more important than “decorating a home,” so until Martha Stewart learns to speak Mandarin, we are otherwise on our own. I’m not sure what happened to the creative drive that allowed us to invent paper and porcelain a zillion years ago, but it seems as if now all Asians just fill their homes with the same things:

  1. A piano. Could be a grand, baby grand, upright – doesn’t matter. Everyone has to have one because without it, your child will automatically be rejected from UCAC: University of California, Any Campus.
  2. Lighting. We are obsessed with illumination. Floor lamps, ceiling lights, desk lamps – you name it. Remember: physics homework can’t solve itself in the dark. Generally these do not match.
  3. Bedding. Most families I know have guest room bedding, bedding for guests, extra bedding for when guests come, and also emergency guest bedding. There is never a shortage of bedding. These definitely do not match.

Now that we have relocated to Las Vegas, though, my mother is determined to break this cycle of unremarkable home decoration. She tells my father in great frequency that we can now only purchase “beautiful things,” and we all must work harder to “maintain the house” so that it stays in Pinteresting shape. “Visualize it! We have to visualize it!” is the mantra. With that in mind, here are some ways that my father and I have managed to spruce up our house:

Welcome to la cocina de los Kim

Welcome to la cocina de los Kim

Help yourself to a napkin. Please.

Help yourself to a napkin. Please.

The most epic TV room in all of the land

The most epic TV room in all of the land

Enjoying the view on a summer afternoon

Enjoying the view on a summer afternoon

The only kicker is, my mother is not here. By “not here,” I mean she is still in our home state of California enjoying temperatures 20 degrees cooler than Las Vegas, while my father and I otherwise have no one else to cling to for survival in this wilderness of a new neighborhood. The problem with being “not here,” though, means that we are not allowed to make any permanent alterations to our abode because according to my mother, she is not here to “visualize it!” That’s a big thing for her. So let’s take this time now to deconstruct the temporary decoration from the above photos.

The beautiful new kitchen with granite countertops?
That’s a piece of cardboard acting as a backsplash for any hoppin’ and poppin’ oil while we cook.

The striking round napkin holder contrasting with the square napkins?
That’s a springform pan used to bake cakes that I brought from my old house.

The sprawling openness of our living room?
That’s every unused chair in the house because we’re not allowed to get a couch.

The dramatic windows that allow us to enjoy the desert sunset every evening?
That’s butcher paper covering said windows because we can’t get window treatments.

My dad: We need a clock. Can I hang a clock on the wall?
My mom: No drilling holes anywhere! I HAVE TO VISUALIZE IT!!!