I love the New York Times Home slideshows. Even homes that aren’t my taste are always made interesting by excellent lighting and relevant commentary. This week’s line-up, however, looked more like the makings of an episode of Wife Swap then hard-hitting journalism. First up we have a genuinely interesting, if not insane, article about a couple living in a yurt. Yes. A yurt. Directly next to that on the Style homepage was what could easily be considered the most boring home-shoot ever to hit the interwebs, and I’m even including google “boring home” image search in my ranking. I couldn’t help but hear the snarky voice of the anonymous Wife Swap narrator when sifting through the images. Let’s see if we can make this work
Meet the Higman-McKittrick family: Mother, Erin and father, Bretwood live in a yurt 90 miles from civilization in the Alaskan wilderness. The Higman-McKittricks have forsaken running water and indoor heating in exchange for life in a $14,000, 400 square foot tent, which can only be reached by plane or boat.
This week on Wife Swap, Erin will be flying over 3,000 miles to swap places with a woman she’s never met who lives in the Bronx.
Meet the Khinda-O’Donnell family: Elizabeth Khinda is an algebra teacher while fiance, Thomas, is a telecommunications worker. The Khinda-O’Donnells live in a standard size apartment outside Manhattan, Elizabeth claims to love anything pink and girly while Thomas wears a windbreaker. The Khinda-O’Donnells engage in a rare interior design activity known to few as “seasonal decorating.”
Without the benefit of an accessible grocery store, mom, Erin begins her day with a quaint round of front-yard ice fishing.
Back in the Bronx, Elizabeth admires the Ikea light fixture her electrically-inclined fiance hung over their holiday table.
Father, Bretwood prepares for the long winter by building a fire from the wood he hand chopped this morning and lining the yurt with quilts woven from angel tears
The season is well underway back in New York for the Khinda-O’Donnell family, who, again, pride themselves on their seasonal decorating techniques.
With baby Katmai strapped to her back, Erin cooks family meals on the only working electrical appliance in the couple’s home.
Back on the east coast, someone finds this photo of the Khinda-O’Donnell family kitchen relevant to seasonal decorating.
After a long day of trekking through snow and chopping wood, the Higman-McKittrick family settle into bed on their shared futon nestled behind a curtain hand-woven by Erin.
The Khinda-O’Donnells take one last look at their bedroom dressers, one appropriately bare, suiting his masculine sensibilities, and another with a mirror and wind-up ballerina reflecting her girly outlook, before snuggling into their boring bed with only one nightstand.
This summer, the Higman-McKittrick family will be embarking on a 200 mile journey by inflatable raft (this is real) to unmined coal repositories in northwest Alaska
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Khinder will be swapping out her holiday decor for this target pillow to usher in the new season.
See what happens when these two families swap lives for two weeks: new husbands, new children, new rules.
So, are you dudes tuning in?