There goes the neighborhood.
The newest house going up in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson is a garish,
full-size replica of the house that television's cartoon Simpson family
lives in -- purple ceilings, turquoise stove and all.
Of course, the new residents aren't likely to be as unruly as Homer, Marge,
Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson. The house will go to whoever wins a
promotional contest put together by home builders Kaufman & Broad, PepsiCo
Inc. and Fox Broadcasting Co., which airs "The Simpsons." The winner will
be announced on the fall premiere of the show.
Los Angeles-based Kaufman & Broad, which once built a house atop a shopping
mall for a promotion in France, suspects that the winner of this house will
consider remodeling. Melissa Robinson, a Kaufman & Broad spokeswoman,
mimics a potential winner: "Uh, thanks, I think."
In an effort to keep things appropriately cartoonish, the designers used a
palette of just 26 colors to paint every item in the house, down to the
toothbrushes in the bathroom. The floors and bathroom tile are "robotic
blue" and the ceilings "radiant lilac." Adding to the surreal feel, all the
furniture, in pale amethyst, green and blue, is exactly three-quarters of
The other houses in the master-planned community of Springfield (also the
name of the Simpsons' hometown) are unremarkable buildings on sale for
between $110,000 to $130,000 apiece. The exterior of the four-bedroom,
two-bath Simpson home, by contrast, is "safety orange" and "solar yellow,"
with turquoise trim and green awnings.
Rick Floyd, the designer, admits this is the first house he's ever done;
his previous work includes set design for photographer Annie Liebovitz, the
"Pulp Fiction" movie poster and a Rolling Stones album cover. For accuracy,
he worked from blueprints of the cartoon home provided by Fox. He and his
assistant, Nancianne Piser, also watched 97 episodes of "The Simpsons" over
four days. "We saw 63 Pepsi commercials and 109 commercials for `Married
With Children,'" says Mr. Floyd. "It was hell."
So far, none of the neighbors are complaining. Jim Gibson, Henderson's
newly installed mayor, is unfazed. "Well, you know," he says, "we all wish
we could live in a cartoon."
--- Rohit Khare /// MCI Internet Architecture (BOS) /// firstname.lastname@example.org Voice+Pager: (617) 960-5131 VNet: 370-5131 Fax: (617) 960-1009