Monday, March 15, 2010

Design Cliche: Balls to the (chalkboard) Wall!

I know you’ve seen it and I hope you also are slapping your forehead in ‘what the fuck!’-itude like I am.  The chalkboard wall. 

Once relegated to your old elementary school and your kids' playrooms, chalkboard walls have now trotted their dusty asses out to dining rooms, offices and kitchens everywhere.  Kill me now…

lost source!  sorry!
Literally – this shit might kill you.  Apparently painters of such walls have conveniently forgotten what it’s like to clean a chalkboard and its erasers a la my third grade.  Or maybe they were born after 1990 and did all of their elementary education on dry erase boards and ipads and think chalkboards are cute and vintage.  Well  writing, erasing and cleaning a chalkboard is a dust storm of epic proportions that covers you and everything in a ten foot radius.  Like your house is a really messy cokehead.  Just imagine how healthy all that dust is when you are constantly inhaling it.  You're not even allowed to use baby powder on a baby anymore for gawd's sake!  I'm pretty sure chalk is just baby powder but made into stick form by adding arsenic and fertilizer and baking it.  If you breathe it in long enough will probably lead to the 'white lung' (the Martha Stewart version of black lung) and something like mesothelioma.  That's what all those late night class action lawsuit commercials are about.

And I'm just going to say something that scientists and editors of Country Living don't want you to know, but there is a direct correlation between the increased number of chalkboard walls (and subsequent dust inhalation) and the rise of autism spectrum disorders.  Yeah it's hard to believe because it's fake but it's completely true.  We need to get Jenny Mcarthy on this.

Just look at this recent "study":

Where X is recent history and Y is the percentage rate of change

Yeah.  I made a fake graph.  What have you done lately?

I think you can see from this entirely accurate graph that the rate of autism spectrum disorders and the rate of douchebags painting walls in chalkboard paint are in direct correlation.  Another interesting statistic is the huge increase in Madame Sunday's alcohol consumption during the previous decade which is inversely proportionate to the use of conventional logic and rational thinking.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Good thing each door front is a chalkboard for maximum dust exposure on all your kitchen appliances and utensils.  Like your cabinets has been spewing hot volcanic chalk ash over all your kitchen like a 2010 Pompeii.  However on a good note if you are one of the unfortunate basterds who has the type of amnesia that Drew Barrymore has in 50 First Dates your breakfast everyday is a lot less scary and a lot more helpful.

Alan Higgs from Desire to Inspire
Do you want some parmesan or chalk dust with your pasta?  I can't tell the difference between the two anymore! 

Mmmmhhh...  where are the knives?  Knives, knives, knives...

I get paid to draw.  I don't just create art for your walls so you can erase it when you're tired of.  You better shelac that shit so it can stay forever and then hand me a check.

Hey honey can you lean over that open flame on the gas stove to make a note that we're out of milk?

I will not even dignify that with a response.

Hey I've got a good idea!  Let's hang a chalkboard above a white daybed!  It's inaccessible AND gets colored dust over everything.  Perfect for snorting dust while napping.

Real Living from the Design Files
I wish it was just a black wall in that adorable kitchen instead of that dirty chalkboard wall that you need stilts to write notes on.  Really?  It's like twelve fucking feet tall!!

At least they had the sense to put a lid over the dessert to save it from the poison dust.  I don't want to even talk about how long it took to stylishly cram those books in the center of that table.  Try dusting that mess once you decide to write a cute new message on the wall.

sfgirlbybay from bliss
Fuck me in the ass I think the universe just exploded!!  Two design cliches just met and it was just as horrible as I could have imagined.  'Keep Calm and Carry On' you're getting it next week.  Start looking over your shoulder muthafucka.

Those people who say they use chalkboard walls for quick notes or grocery lists are idiots.  I don't want everybody seeing my business like the personal list I posted directly above or that Charlemagne needs to go get her worm medicine.  She's really private.  And I still have to transfer all this to a piece of paper before I go to the store.  Fuck that!  That's the point of having pads of paper with magnets on the back.

123 Cabinet by No Eight from loftlife magazine
I hate absolutely everything about this cabinet.  Well it has doors - I guess that's good.  I would carefully move that cute little doggie and then I punch that dumbass cabinet in its balls.  How bout you alert intruders to where the knives are?!  And you have to crawl on the floor to write your shopping list and then the second you turn away your animals come and lick it off.  Now you just made your dog autistic!  Way to go asshole!  You probably won't be so lucky with the burglars...

from seesaw designs
This kitchen seems nice and sleek on the left until you scan over to the right and that messy chalk ruins the entire thing.  I can't tell if that floor is supposed to look like that or it used to be black and all the chalkboard dust has just built up.  There'd be no sneaking in for a late night chocolate raid.

You know, all of these walls are adorned with sweet little poems, daily menus and clever sketches but I think we know that is only for the cameras.  A normal day would probably feature drawings of giant boobs by your preteen son and passive aggressive notes between you and your significant other.  If my friends came over for dinner I think my wall would look something like this:

Ahahahahah!  I'm just kidding - that would never happen.  I don't have any friends.

Marie Claire Maison from Apartment Therapy
Although the placement of drawing is suspect at least these people have figured out to use a chalk marker that doesn't wash off.  Leave it up to the Europeans to be light years ahead of us Americans with their health care for all and their chalk markers. 

Inside Out magazine via Design Files
Uh oh - I feel confused because this is a giant chalkboard dangerously close to a dining table but I like it.  Although maybe that's just a painting...  Note to self:  paint giant piece of cardboard with chalkboard paint, draw like a five-year old and SEAL IT.   Pair with awesome orange Thonet chairs.

from (500) Days of Summer
I know that you're probably going to say that the chalkboard wall in this movie was pretty cool but having sex with the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun under a chalky wall still makes mesothelioma very likely in your near future.  Just imagine what toxic chalk dust will do to your vagina...?!  Yeah.  Not so pleasant.  And even adding a cool soundtrack to your room does not negate the scientific evidence that proves that you will give your booty call vagina cancer, your kids a developmental disorder or poison your dinner guests.

Just go with beige.  Your vagina will thank me.


  1. My friends would all draw wang on my walls for sure. My vagina DOES thank you.

  2. Don't worry. Your vagina is in goods hands.

  3. I can't believe talc is bad for you! Crazy!

  4. True. Sucks for diaper rashes. Sorry babies!

  5. Oh my GOD you are so frikking FUNNY! I came over here via some diy design blog (I'm thinking Ikea fans?) the other day an I keep a tab open to see the history of your awesome kitchen whenever I have free time...and I'm having a ball reading your archives!

  6. Well hello, Candied Fabrics! So happy you are having a good time digging through my messy vault. Try not to get overwhelmed by chalk dust or the madness of my kitchen. I hug you long time in hopes that you stick around. ; )

  7. chalk is either calcium carbonate (CaCO3), the same stuff that's in tums, or calcium sulfate (CaSO4), aka gypsum/plaster/alabaster. talc, on the other hand, is a magnesium silicate (H2Mg3(SiO3)4), which seems to be carcinogenic. ideally you don't want to be coating your lungs with large quantities of any powder, but i'd be way more worried about talc than a little bit of chalk. and remodeling an old house means you're already spreading various calcium and lime dusts everywhere (unless you've discovered some magic trick for keeping it from going everywhere). let's hope for all our sakes that this stuff is fairly harmless in the long run. i know i've inhaled more than my fair share, even though i'm always wearing a full-face respirator while working, because this stuff takes forever to fully get rid of. :P