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McNulty, SA., 2018.

Dr Pink's House: Décor Determination in the South Manchester suburbs

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:The Constructed Environment
Venue:Detroit, USA
Dates:24/5/2018 - 25/5/2018

Home ownership is a particularly British obsession, which has fuelled a nationwide home improvement addiction, encouraged and validated by over inflated house prices. However, the idolisation, and subsequent commodification of the home through architectural remodelling and interior decoration, is well identified in western cultural norms and have led to aesthetic hierarchy and the décor determinism of gentrification. (Miller, 2017)

As home ownership becomes out of reach for the many and the pace of gentrification excludes original communities, this paper seeks to explore a more humanistic and ethnographic approach to buying or occupying property, and the subsequent decision making process of interior decoration.

This paper centres on the fellowship that developed between the seller and buyer of a Victorian Semi in the South Manchester suburb of Whalley Range, Dr Pink and the Mitchell Family. The amity between Dr Pink and the Mitchell's led the family to consciously live with elements of Dr Pink's distinctive décor - the 70's wallpaper and light fittings, lazy Jane and avocado bath suite - so even though Dr Pink had long since moved out, the Mitchell's were happily co-habiting with him through his décor. This paper will explore what this fellowship means and what it can teach us - proposing a much-needed antidote to social exclusion and the décor determinism of gentrification.