"Parents": Horror, Suspense and Decorating

"We've had leftovers every day since we moved here. I'd like to know what they were before they were leftovers." 

Part horror/suspense flick, and part mid-century eye candy, the move "Parents" (1989) is just waiting to be made into a cult favorite. It's freaky good. And the styling is uh-may-zing.

The story begins with a family that moves to a new town in the 1950's. The father works for the "Division of Human Testing" at a chemical company (Toxico) and the mother cooks innumerable meals at home. The son almost immediately makes friends with the other new student, a girl who says that she's from the moon.

The boy starts having nightmares and the school social worker is called in to work with him. Besides having seemingly normal parents who like to get it on in the living room (I like to think of it as the rumpus room), everything seems pretty boring and his weird visions are unexplained.

Love that social worker who lights up during a counseling session at school. Very Mad Men.

Their home is a gorge split-level atomic ranch. Can I call this movie whimsically frightening? Is that a genre? Sort of like the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka if he secretly made candy from dead people. Oops, I just gave it away - SPOILER!


Is that a spray-painted Manzanita branch in the entryway?  Look at how that that Danish teak is styled.

Here's another view of the front of the house with those beautifully dressed windows. And plants everywhere! It's like the '70's, only less ugly. (Love the legs on that t.v. as well.)

More shades of aqua and teal. Aren't those geometric pillows just swell?

Another view of the fun brickwork along with a peek into the kitchen (left) and the dining room (right).

My absolute fave room is the kitchen. Notice the cool blue walls paired with the red pops of color in the front door, appliances, and those pretty, pretty counter tops.

That pendant lighting in the kitchen is da bomb.

How classic is this white cabinetry (and appliances)? The backsplash is accented with dots of tiny, red tiles, and the *almost* open shelving is so in tune with modern style.

This wall paper in the dining room totally rocks. Isn't it hilarious how the curtains exactly coordinate? Makes me want to break out the Sharpie.

Tulip table, red chairs of some sort (sorry, don't know) and a brass light fixture. And, oh, more plants to fill in the corners.

Here's the son's room: fake wood-grain wall paneling and brass wall sconce.

Here's another view of that retro lighting, with a splash of red on the headboard. Is that the Titanic above his bed? How very odd.

The best view that I could pull of his entire room. The bedspread has cowboys. Notice the barkcloth curtains peeking out from the blue hallway.


One last view featuring an enormous Melmac dinner set collection. In conclusion, I would totally love to live on this set. If only I didn't have to eat the leftovers ; )


Tucson Trekker said...

Did the lack of sleep finally push you over the edge? Now you believe you're a set designer/movie critic? Seriously, I luv your whimsical side!

modernhaus said...

Oh wow, those interiors are incredible! That movie looks super creepy...and is it based on that Bradbury story (Soilant Green I think is the name??)
Freaky stuff!

Tucson, Holla! said...


Um. Not a set designer or movie critic. Just someone who watches a lot of Netflix and lives in a 1952 house. So, I have an interest in seeing how they did it in those days.


I know, right?! That styling is so gorgeous. It is creepy. I was thinking about Soilant Green, but I didn't realize that that was it's predecessor.

Sorry all for the super tiny pix!


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