Disney’s new Home line makes IP-based furniture and decorations

Mouse ears, but be subtle.
Photo: Disney House

when you think disney and decoryou’re probably picturing a Lightning McQueen race car bed, or the flying elephant-scale Dumbo that John Stamos keeps in his house, or one of those ill-fated wall decals that threaten, in 12 typefaces, ” In this house we let him go because HAKUNA MATATA.

But like velociraptors in a jurassic park movie, Disney adults have adapted. They become more devious. They want to express their fandom through “ambitious furniture” and “bespoke designer pieces”. On Monday, Disney launched a new design brand called Disney Home that will feature furniture, decor, homewares and accessories, as well as collaborations with established designers and retailers. The entertainment conglomerate shared the news with Dezeen, saying, “As our homes are now more important than ever, we wanted to introduce a new homeware brand that brings iconic Disney storytelling into everyday living spaces.” Disney Tales. Alive. Where have we heard these words before?

Carpets have ears.
Photo: Disney House

Ah yes of course. In February, the company announced Storyliving by Disney, an all-planned Disney community in Palm Springs. It follows that if you lived in a Disney-branded community in a Disney-designed home, you would want to furnish the thing with Disney home items. It’s like the architectural concept of biophilic design, or “bringing the outdoors in”…provided your outdoors is a Storyliving by Disney community in the middle of the desert.

Disney Home’s concept art places its products in clean, uncluttered spaces: there are rugs from Ruggable featuring Mickeys Mouse in black and white and star wars spaceships; framed Disney IP graphic prints that split the difference between the Mondo exhibit and RedBubble art; a child’s bedroom done up in a vintage Marvel motif, including a chest of drawers covered in a Jack Kirby era avengers to print. All of these stagings are accentuated by unbranded features like woven baskets, chevron-print textiles, and uniformly sleek Danish modern leg furniture. Just as the rest of the world has moved on cocaine-decor indulgence and boisterous new-Memphis maximalism, Disney has finally caught up with 2010’s mainstreaming of mid-century modern revival. It’s too bad, too, because the postmodernism of Michael Graves and Robert Venturi that defined Disney’s corporate architecture in the ’90s would feel so much more relevant to today’s kindercore moment and at the very least leave a Disney themed house watch really fun. It would certainly be less beige.

Disney home life from the crib…

… until adolescence (prolonged or not) …

…to comfortable adulthood.

Photographs: Disney house

In Disney animation, theme parks and hotel design, there is the concept of the “Hidden Mickey”, in which artists blend the tri-circle logo into environmental design, offering small Easter eggs to keen-eyed fans. With Disney Home, they may have done a little bit also subtle. These product and concept photos all display a restraint that seems to stem from insecurity; an assumption that potential Disney adults “aspiring” to this furniture want to camouflage their fandom. These Disney housewares try and fail…because they are Disney housewares. If you wanted to decorate your home with a Disney motif, wouldn’t you do it out of fantasy or nostalgia? If that was the design route we’re going down, I’d want my house to look like a damn fancy Gymboree.

Last week I went to Disney World. My mom and I had been in South Florida for a week and went to Orlando to spend a few days. We’re not the kind of people who go to Disney World every year, but we’re also not the kind of people who think Disney World sucks. This is not the case. It’s awesome. You can say it’s overpriced (true) or lowbrow (of course). But no other vacation destination has Muppet Vision 3-D, and I truly think Muppet Vision 3-D deserves recognition as a place of national artistic significance. On this trip, the first in maybe five or six years, I scoured the gift shops for a t-shirt, any t-shirt, with Remy the rat from Ratatouille above. I would have even opted for a long-sleeved t-shirt with a Cars car, obviously in the size of a husky boy, or something fun from turn red. I arrived empty-handed, but what I saw were stores with a whole new line of Disney merchandise that would look great on Anthropologie’s shelves: table linens and ceramics in pretty blues and Aegean whites, patterned with tiny hand stamps. , handcrafted Mickey Mouse heads. They launched in March as part of the “Mickey Mouse Homestead Collection,” which appears to be some kind of soft launch from Disney Home that will be incorporated into that brand when it goes live.

They look beautiful. But these are paintings of cowards, produced by a team that doesn’t have the courage to embark on Pop Art. Live in a Mickey Mouse house or not. Buy the waffle press that makes your waffles look like Mickeys or not. Establish a landline number so you can take phone calls on any of these things or forget about it. Turn your playroom into an “Enchanted Room Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki” or don’t invite me. You can be a Disney adult or a grown adult, but Disney Home feels trapped between worlds, and it’s not particularly magical.

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