Catalog Living at Its Most Absurd

Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls, Molly Erdman, Plume.

Have you ever flipped through an interior design catalog and asked yourself, “Does anyone really live this way?” If so, “Catalog Living at Its Most Absurd” is for you. An extension Molly Erdman’s popular blog,, the book gives readers “a glimpse into the exciting world of the people living in your catalogs,” as seen through the eyes of “Gary and Elaine,” a fictional couple who serve as narrators.

As one might expect, the rooms pictured in the book are filled with an overabundance of throw pillows and a diverse array of functionally useless objects, like bowls of plastic fruit. And there are more-than-a-few rooms characterized by a theme—most commonly it’s aquatic or nautical. My favorite photo could be captioned “Elephant in the (Living) Room,” as it features a decoration which Erdman describes as “another brilliant installation in your ‘literal metaphors’ series.”

For those readers who find themselves inspired to shop, the book also includes a handy-dandy checklist that includes all the essentials for the overly-decorated home—seashells, lanterns, candles, pillows, vases, and assorted gourds, to name but a few. As Gary and Elaine helpfully point out, “If you’re going to start living like we do, you’ll need to start shopping like we do.”