$38.95 CLOTH. RATING: NNNN Rating: NNNN
tired of the clinically minimal-ist interior design championed by Wallpaper magazine? Fed up with mid-20th-century spaces that mimic the cool ennui of Swedish airport departure areas? If instead of the austere aesthetic of a restaurant like Spaha you prefer the kooky eclecticism of Ciao Edie, Pad is your style bible.Subtitled The Guide To Ultra-Living, Pad is the decorating equivalent of the Ultra Lounge CDs issued a few years back, the furniture version of space-age bachelor pad music. Taking cues from Rat Pack Vegas, 50s sci-fi futurism, 60s Warholian op/pop and 70s neo-vulgar kitsch, Pad is either the antithesis of refined good taste or a whole lotta fun.
Beautifully produced and crammed with mind-boggling photographs, it's divided into chapters like Living Wombs, Padios and Pad After Dark. Maranian's book not only inspires but also includes easy-to-follow instructions for DIY types. Plans include Hawaiian Eye swag lamps, a coffee table made from a surfboard, and fun-fur 'n' decoupage toilet-seat covers. The chapter on bathrooms -- Sanitary Pad -- is a revelation.
Once your apartment has been retrofitted, Pad offers suggestions on how to hold Tiki-themed cocktail parties in your newly swank abode, from setting up a bar to mixing the drinks and curing the inevitable hangovers. Maranian also lists suitable videos to show and appropriate mood music to spin, although his suggestions pale in comparison to Re/Search's authoritative Incredibly Strange Music, Volumes I and II.
Pad concludes with Note Pad, a compendium of mostly American swingin' suppliers, wacky Web sites, campy catalogues and funky flea markets. Maybe it's a good thing that Canada gets shut out except for five Vancouver shops. We wouldn't want those 'Merkins buying up all our nasty national treasure, would we?STEVEN DAVEY
PAD: THE GUIDE TO ULTRA-LIVING BY MATT MARANIAN (CHRONICLE), $38.95 CLOTH. RATING: NNNNCool Pad