It’s Fabulous Fabrication Friday once again! FF is a feature where we cast aside all practicalities and design an imaginary room — no budget, no limitations, no rules– for a fictional character or pop culture personality.

I don’t even know how to start this, except by saying that my family has a STORIED HISTORY when it comes to Richard Simmons.

When I was about 9, my mom busted through a police barrier at the St. Jude’s walk-a-thon so she could hug special guest Richard Simmons– which she did, quite successfully, while shrieking, “Richard, I love you!” To his everlasting credit, he didn’t even blink, and his good-natured reply was, “Honey, I love you too!”

I figure this is a situation Richard Simmons has to deal with quite frequently.

Years later, during a sweltering Tennessee summer when I was back at ye olde homestead trailer from college, my sister and I were desperate for some kind of exercise we could do indoors and for free. We unearthed a battered VHS copy of Sweatin’ to the Oldies that I had purchased for my mom at the used-movie store where I worked in hopes that it would motivate her to exercise. Mom never did the dang workout, but my sister and I wound up memorizing that tape AND Volume 2. I may have forgotten most of it by now, but some of it sticks. I promise any of you who sees me IRL that I would be more than happy to demonstrate the choreography to “Windy” by the Association as performed on Volume 2. It involves pretend wings, a syncopated clap-to-a-sunburst, and arm-opening moves that Richard describes throughout as “Welcomes!” In other words, it’s pretty great.

I figure we’ve reached a point in postmodern, Internet-era popular culture where certain things hold steadfast as common knowledge, and the fact of Richard Simmons is one of those things. He’s an institution. What can we possibly even hope to add to it, except that someone did this and that’s kind of amazing? He’s known for his wild outfits, his frenetic energy, his dedication to healthy living, his embracing of all people– and most of all, his relentlessly positive demeanor.

People who are relentlessly positive are frequently mocked by the rest of us, but the truth is that  I admire their tenacity. We don’t need reminders that the world is a terrible place. We already know. Sometimes you just have to shrug and say “You know, the human condition is one of perpetual doubt, anguish, and fear, with no clear answers and unending questions of overwhelming magnitude and gravity so we MIGHT AS WELL just dance enthusiastically to the chart-toppers of the early rock era whilst wearing beautifully sequined short sets.”


In honor of the many years of joyful sweatin’ that the Simmons has brought, today’s Fabulous Fabrication is an awesome Retro-Futuristic kitchen. The retro portion is in honor of the oldies music that has long been his professional calling card, while the futuristic elements are in honor of the fact that Richard Simmons is a robot and is totally going to be around forever. This is a kitchen that will have him cooking nutritious meals well into the early 2100s!


Click the photo to see a larger version (opens in a new window).

1. I am (sometimes) (sort of) genuinely troubled about the current maniacal obsession with granite countertops that seems to have gripped the house-owning population at large. Certainly, granite is beautiful and durable. But I think that other materials can look awesome, too– like this dogbone laminate from Formica. It’s redolent of a 1950s diner without going all-out cutesy patootsie with the theme. This would give a nice neutral cover to the countertops, which is helpful in such a colorful space.

2. Retro designs for kitchens tend to rely on primary colors– that’s even the case here, with bright red being the main color statement. I wanted to add warmth to the palette by covering the walls with a nice shade of peach. This paint is Benjamin Moore Hugs & Kisses (097), which is described on their website thusly: “As warm and enveloping as a hug, this welcoming shade of saturated peach feels confident and self-assured.” Yeah, forget those loser low self-esteem peaches. I don’t even know why those peaches even bother being a color, GAWD.

No, but seriously, as preeeeeeecious1 as that color description is, I can’t help but thinking that it’s right-on for this room’s intended dweller. :)

(1. Editor’s FN: Precious as in somewhat gratingly knowingly cutesy patootsie, not to be confused with this, obvs)

3. I’m imagining that there would be a high counter for barstools (in addition to the eat-in space), and I loved the retro-futuristic vibe of this Rose black and chrome bar stool. Would you believe this is actually an find for about $100? It looks like a high-end ultra-modern design piece. I love the splay of its legs. It reminds me a lot of the robotic crab-spiders that are going to be haunting our nightmares in the 2050s.

4. I am seriously tempted to actually purchase this Fall Outing print by Eric Joyner. It has everything: pretty landscapes, baby robots, donuts… a baby robot!!! A baby robot… Can’t… think… dying… of…. baby robots….
He has some limited edition prints available from his website, but there are also some very affordable prints available through Imagekind.

5 and 9. Now, some pure retro touches. Big Chill offers all kinds of amazing-looking appliances in a wide range of bright colors. When it comes to things like this, part of me is like “Um so anyway it’s a refrigerator and who cares how it looks because don’t you know how privileged we all are?” but then another part of me is like “HI I AM DYING FROM THE BEAUTY OF THIS REFRIGERATOR,” so … whatcha gonna do? The two appliances pictured are shown in Cherry Red.

6. This amazing hanging dinette set does not exist. I’m serious. From what I can tell, it’s just a really cool artistic/design concept by Diervek. But it really couldn’t be more perfect for this room, neh? It’s simultaneously modern, retro, AND futuristic, perfect for our inspirational figure to have friends and family over for low-fat Soylent Green seasoned with locally harvested Melange.

7. This kitchen hood with visible plants growing is from another design concept, the Ekokook Kitchen Concept by FALTAZI. From what I can gather, the Ekokook is a waste-free kitchen system that makes use of solid, liquid, AND organic waste. There are several other appliances (including a sink and compost bin) that aren’t pictured. All we need is this (pretend) living, growing hood, so that Richard Simmons can grow his own delicious and nutritious vegetables right in his kitchen in the future, when we are all space hippies.

8. Finally, instead of traditional upper cabinets above the sink and stove, I really like the whimsical touch of this Wrongwoods Collection wall cabinet. This was a collaboration between designer Sebastian Wrong and British artist Richard Woods. It adds the perfect combination of utility, style, and camp. How many traditional kitchen cabinets could claim that?

And that’s it! I hope you have a fun, fit, and fabulous Friday and weekend. Now gimme some motorcycles!

Want to see more Retro-Futuristic style? Check out my Fallout 3 Lookybook.